Monthly Archives: July 2019

Book Review ~ The Clockmaker by Paromita Goswami

Standard

 
 

 

Format: Kindle Edition
Publisher: Ficus India Books
ASIN: B07SFZTGKX
 

 
 

What if you could go back in time and change certain things? What if you could move forward and see what the future holds for you? Tempting isn’t it? Wouldn’t you jump for it? Well that’s exactly what ‘The Clockmaker’ is all about. Starting with an interesting and riveting prelude, the book takes us on a journey through time and space only to tell us that one’s destiny is predetermined. Tempted to tamper with it? Go ahead…..But get ready for a shock. Just like Time and tide wait for no man, destiny too does not bow down before the mortal.

Interesting and intriguing, ‘The Clockmaker’ is a fine example of Author Paromita Goswami’s growth as an author. She has come a long way from ‘Shamsuddin’s Grave’ which she authored way back in 2015, in terms of creativity, style and language.  The book, which is a part of The Jungle Series that the author is bringing out, is a mix of the paranormal and psychological.

With power comes great responsibility. However if that responsibility is pitched against your family, which would you choose? Given what human nature is, the general tendency would be to secure the self and loved ones first. Ashish the clock-maker, from an illustrious family of clock-makers chances upon an antique timepiece passed down as a family heirloom, a timepiece long forgotten and buried by in a side table. The chance find which holds immense powers, turns out to be the turning point in his life. An insight into the future tempts Ashish the father to tamper with the timepiece, and thereby time. The cascading effect of this action of his impacts many lives. A man out to control time and destiny finally falls victim to his own actions both physically and mentally. Will Ashish be able to undo his actions, will he see light at the end of the tunnel, or is all this just a mere figment of his imagination?…..Only time and a reading of this book, will reveal.

Replete with various emotions like greed, possessiveness, jealousy,fear, horror and subtle romance, the book brings out the best and the worst in each character, with its evocative language. While the prelude sets up a riveting background to the story, the first quarter of the actual story pales in comparison to the same. Thereafter the pace picks up and the actual story starts to bind the reader. From there on there is no looking back.

VERDICT

A wonderful read that’s sure to hook you till the end.

Check out the blurb @ Goodreads


***************************************************************************************

Buy the book @ Amazon.in

Book Review: Chaos at Keoladeo by Priya Fonseca

Standard

 
 

 

Reading level: 8+ years
Paperback: 96 pages
Publisher: Puffin
ISBN-10: 0143442023
ISBN-13: 978-0143442028

 
 

There’s entertainment and there are lessons to be learnt. In fact this little book of less than 100 pages, holds within it a world of knowledge pertaining to animals especially birds. Replete with facts and illustrations plus eye-catching pictures, ‘Chaos in Keoladeo’ starts off as a travelogue only to end up as an adventure mystery. On the way there is fun accompanied by some truly wonderful insights into not only the birds and animals inhabiting the Keoladeo National Park in Bharatpur, Rajasthan, but also into other bird species not found there. Other things that turned out to be of interest to me was an insight into the Bird Man of India Dr. Salim Ali, the rickshaw pullers of the Sanctuary who are also known as bare foot naturalists, and the minute details about the Siberian Cranes.

The D.O.P.E. Quiz at the end of the story to find out the kind of bird personality one has, is I must admit the icing on the cake.

VERDICT

A must have book in your book collection, ‘Chaos at Keoladeo’ is a mini encyclopedia of sorts that will keep the reader in you hooked till the end along with tickling the explorer in you to dig further to unearth more information on the flora and fauna of Planet Earth.


***************************************************************************************

Buy the book @ Amazon.in

Disclaimer

A copy of the book was provided via Penguin Random House in exchange for an honest review. The thoughts, opinions & feelings expressed in the review are therefore, my own and have not been influenced by either the author or the publishing house in any manner

Book Review ~Alumni of the Year by Tomson Robert

Standard

 
 

Paperback: 158 pages
Publisher: Notion Press
ISBN-10: 1684668255
ISBN-13: 978-1684668250

 
 

Queer are the ways of life. The more you run after something, the greater it distances you from all that really matters. ‘Alumni of the Year’ by Tomson Robert is a take of sorts on this aspect of life.

Dave short for David is a workaholic whose life is in shambles thanks to his ambitious nature, and a shrewd and demanding boss who knows how to turn Dave’s weakness to his advantage. As time flows Dave’s unquenchable thirst to scale up the ladder of success, slowly but steadily starts taking a toll on his personal life. Relationships erode, and a five year old starts hating the very person who should be her world. Dave the successful Junior Partner at JW Associates, a magician of sorts who closes deals with a vision matched by few, is at a crossroad when life gives him a second chance to mend ways and return home to his loved ones. Will he romp back, or will he continue to be swallowed by his ambitions and ultimately drown?…… Alumni of the Year holds the key to this and much more.

‘Alumni of the Year’ sees a simple plot being woven into a saga of friendship, love, hurt, deceit and forgiveness , a re-bonding of relationships and a search for true happiness. The story told from two different aspects is in fact an eye-opener for the one who knowingly shies away from reality. Life throws up challenges. It’s up to the individual how he/ she deals with it. One wrong move and you land in soup. One right move and you live life to the full. Apart from being a simple story of childhood bonding, enmities, aspirations and relationships, the book also throws up a vital question, a question that gives the atheist food to mock the faithful, and the faithful to look down upon the atheist with disdain…. Is God a reality?

A light and evenly paced book, ‘Alumni of the Year’ has some light moments as well as some tense ones and is a truly breezy read which is bound to make a lazy afternoon interesting. However the only thing that put me off at times were the typos here and there. I’m sure that if these are smoothed out, and the book is subjected to a fresh round of editing with a view to fine tuning the style of narrative, the result will be truly awesome.


***************************************************************************************

Buy the book @ Amazon.in II Notion Press

Disclaimer

A copy of the book was provided via WritersMelon in exchange for an honest review. The thoughts, opinions & feelings expressed in the review are therefore, my own and have not been influenced by either the author or the publishing house in any manner

Book Review ~ Narasimha : The Mahaavtar Trilogy Book #1

Standard

 
 

Narasimha (The Mahaavatar Trilogy #1)
by Kevin Missal

Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: HarperCollins India
ISBN-10: 935357076X
ISBN-13: 978-9353570767


 
 

Unpredictable are the ways of life
Unpredictable is the mind

Narasimha by Kevin Missal is not just a re-imagining of the fourth Avatar of Lord Vishnu, but is in many ways a sneak peek into the working of that part of each being and species, which is in fact the epicenter of all that’s good and bad, and which incidentally is wired differently in each individual. It is also in some ways a reflection of present times, the present social fabric, and the inadequacies of the present generations to address the ills that ail society. It is a mirror of our times.

True to his style Kevin Missal takes a different take on mythology once again and dishes out a fare that’s unique in many ways. Narasimha here is introduced as a brave soldier turned physician who is anything but an Avatar, while Prahlad is a lad torn between right and wrong. Narasimha’s past is anything but savoury. Running away from his past, he tries to redeem himself. On the other hand Prahlad is a weakling of sorts. Torn between right and wrong, he is an easy prey for the shrewd. Will Prahlad stand for all that the Asura clan believes in, or will he ditch them for Lord Vishnu is something to be seen.

Hiranyakashyap the ruler of the Asura Empire is an enigma. Unlike his characterization in stories of yore, he turns out to be a just and peace loving ruler who loves Prahlad as any father would. Then what drives him to undertake the dangerous and near impossible Trials of Brahma just for an astra – the Brahmastra?………..Is it just grief or much more?……… To understand him, Narasimha and Prahlad one will have to pick up this book which neither demonizes nor glorifies anyone in particular. In fact all the characters here are etched in a manner that reflects their inner turmoil thereby giving them a human touch and making them relatable to the reader. Lord Bhairav too is a surprise. Coming across as one easily manipulated by Lord Indra, he surprises the reader in more than one ways. In fact the women characters of Holika, Chenchen and Dhriti turn out to be stronger than him. 🙂

Deceit, defeat, strategies, revenge and forgiveness combined with action and the brewing of subtle romance make the book an interesting read. Well edited and crafted, this one is fine example of creative writing. It’s easy for us to take out gems from mythology and history and reinvent them without making many changes to the original. However to pick up the gems and mold them in an entirely different perspective needs a lot of courage and creativity which thankfully has not gone awry here.

VERDICT

A wonderful read that’s not only gripping but insightful too; Narasimha is the author’s attempt to think out of the box.

Am I looking forward to reading the next in the series? You bet it……I am. 🙂

Read the blurb @ Goodreads


***************************************************************************************

Buy the book @ Amazon.in

Disclaimer

A copy of the book was provided via Writersmelon in exchange for an honest review. The thoughts, opinions & feelings expressed in the review are therefore, my own and have not been influenced by either the author or the publishing house in any manner

Book Review ~ A Man From Mandu

Standard

 
 

TITLE
A Man From Mandu

AUTHOR
Manoj V Jain

 

Paperback: 168 pages
Publisher: Notion Press
ISBN-10: 1645871622
ISBN-13: 978-1645871620
 


 
 

THE STORY: A SNEAK PEAK

Is he the New Age Guru that we have all been waiting for?
Is he a fraudster?
How does he know the story of your life?
In his latest book, Manoj Jain delves into the world of Godmen and devotees, of faith and money. A Man from Mandu is a book of deception, transformation and growth. Read about Dhawal and his metamorphosis into Avishkar Baba, the Sadhu of Stories, and about Tarini who is promoting him so successfully. But what does the scheming Tarini have to gain?

 

THE BOOK ACCORDING TO ME : A REVIEW

A journey of deceit slowly but steadily winding through alleys of research and soul search ends up in a destination that’s not only amazing but insightful too.

Author Manoj V Jain once again serves up what he is best at; a short yet riveting read that delves deep into the human mind. The latest from the author’s desk A Man From Mandu is anything but boring. Delving deep into the human psychology, the author holds up a mirror to the reader, the mirror of reality.

Who are Godmen? Are they human beings born with supernatural powers or just mere pawns in the hands of some unscrupulous elements? Are they conmen out to beguile the unaware public who fall easy victim to their tips and tricks or are they truly the enlightened ones? A Man from Mandu is the author’s take on this and much more. While faith is something personal, it is also prone to deceit and deception, and it is not only the illiterate who fall prey to it but also the highly educated ones.

A Man from Mandu is the story of Tarini and Dhawal alias Avishkar Baba more popularly known as the Sadhu of Stories. It is the story of the metamorphosis of Dhawal from an ordinary human being into a Sadhu, one with numerous followers. What makes him step into that path? Is he successful as a Guru? Will he shatter his followers faith in him? …..These and many more questions are answered in the book. However what puts Avishkar Baba apart from other Godmen is his way of reaching out to his audience. His stories delve deep into human psychology. They make interesting read and offer food for thought. The stories stay with even one long after the book is closed.

Characterization is another strong aspect of this book. Each character turns out to be the soul of the story. The protagonists Tarini and Dhawal are etched out in such a manner that you can easily visualize them. While Tarini can be easily deciphered, Dhawal is out of bounds, and that’s exactly how it should be for else how can he don the garb of a Godman with success.

Replete with emotions like desire, passion, frustration and defeat, the book also shows us how desire can lead to greed, as well as pave the way to enlightenment. Two different paths, one leading to darkness and another to light, are there for the choosing. It’s up to the receiver to dwell upon the two, do a soul search and pick.

The icing on the cake? The climax.
 

VERDICT

A Man from Mandu is one of the kind that you would love to go back to again and again. I for one plan to give it a permanent place in my private collection.


***************************************************************************************

Buy the book @ Amazon.in II Notion Press II Flipkart

Book Review – Astra ~The Quest For Starsong

Standard

 
 

TITLE
Astra ~ The Quest For Starsong

AUTHORS
Aditya Mukherjee
Arnav Mukherjee

 
 

Reading level: 11+ years
Paperback: 256 pages
Publisher: Puffin
Language: English
ISBN-10: 014344302X
ISBN-13: 978-0143443025

 
 

Fantasy fiction with a touch of mythology, Astra is all about the mythical astra of the Gods deemed to be extremely powerful so much so that if wielded by the wrong ones they can spell doom not only for mankind, but for all races and all species. When Ravana the King of Lanka, evinces interest in something, no one can stop him. With the ‘Pushpaka Vimana’ one of the few astras available, at his disposal, he now eyes the ‘Tarageet’ or Starsong an astra that has the power to make him invincible. Hidden up far north in the Kingdom of Ulka, the Starsong makes the wielder not only invincible, but can drive him or her mad too, mad to the extent that once it takes over the soul of the wielder, there is no point of return. However what Ravan’s cohorts don’t factor in when they reach Ulka, is the escape of Varkan the young prince of Ashmaka, with the Starsong. What follows is a saga of war and destruction. Will the Starsong fall into the hands of Ravana or will it show its true power and make Varkan mad?…….To know the answer to this and many more questions that are sure to arise along the way to the climax, one will have to read the book.

Replete with twists and turns, Astra is not just the story of the Starsong or its wielder, but is also an insight into the strength, the resilience of the one not ready to easily surrender his soul. The fight between right and wrong, light and darkness is a bitter and exhausting one. Yet it is not impossible. Friendship, loyalty and respect are at stake and human emotions find a voice here.

The characters are well-etched and have the capacity to evoke strong emotions in the reader. The battle scenes as well as Varkan’s encounter with various tribes on his mission to keep the Astra safe, provide interesting reading. However the book does have its lows more on account of the setting of sequence of events which I believe is because of the style of narration adopted. Had the authors built up a background involving Varkan’s childhood and imparted a little bit more information on his father King Tarktha and mother Queen Raesa as well as the how and why of Varkan’s imprisonment before plunging into the first chapter i.e. The Imprisoned Prince, the story would have been more interesting and less confusing.

Overall the book is sure to appeal to young minds.


***************************************************************************************

Buy the book @ Amazon.in

Disclaimer

A copy of the book was provided via the publishers i.e. Puffin, in exchange for an honest review. The thoughts, opinions & feelings expressed in the review are therefore, my own and have not been influenced by either the author or the publishing house in any manner

Book Review ~ Diary of An Awesome Friendly Kid

Standard

 
 

 
Reading level: 9 – 11 years
Hardcover: 224 pages
Publisher: Penguin UK
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0241405602
ISBN-13: 978-0241405604
 

Hilarious to the core, Diary of An Awesome Friendly Kid is Rowley Jefferson’s journal which gives us an insight into a bully of sorts who takes advantage of his meek pal, one who literally hero worships him. Their adventures, fights and the troubles they land into take us down memory lane and see a smile light up the face and a sparkle brighten the eyes. Rowley’s transformation from the meek one to a lad who learns to stand up for himself is beautifully depicted, Sleepovers, scary moments and prank galore form a part of this journal which started off as Greg’s biography only to end up as Rowley’s journal.

Characterization being the strong point of this journal, it’s sure to appeal to both the young and the old alike.

 


***************************************************************************************

Buy the book @ Amazon.in

Disclaimer

A copy of the book was provided via Penguin Random House in exchange for an honest review. The thoughts, opinions & feelings expressed in the review are therefore, my own and have not been influenced by either the author or the publishing house in any manner

Book Review ~ Shiva’s Stone : Hampi’s Hidden Treasure

Standard

 
 

 

Format: Kindle Edition
Language: English
ASIN: B07Q8VS965

 

A suspense thriller, Shiva’s Stone: Hampi’s Hidden Treasure is all about an archaeological excavation that unravels not only artifacts of interest, but also sets into motion a series of incidents that get murkier by the minute ultimately ending up in the loss of few lives. Narrated from the point of view of Mithila and Professor Mozumdar, the story has its ups and downs. After building up considerable interest in the mission at hand, the story rolls down the hill only to climb up again towards the end, albeit with heavy steps. The result is that the end seems rushed through. Ending in a cliffhanger, the story definitely has its interesting moments in the form of twists and turns that the reader fails to perceive in advance.

While the style of narration was okay as far as I’m concerned, what disappointed me was that there were too many small details that did not contribute in any way to the story. In fact they stood out like those jargon that make an otherwise smooth ride bumpy and tiresome. If these details were meant to create imagery, then they failed to do so.

The best part of the whole story according to me is the plot. The author does have a wonderful plot here, one that can truly be converted into a best seller if…….he works on it once again, ensures that the pace is even, unnecessary details are sifted and trashed, and the climax is built up slowly but steadily in a manner that keeps the reader on edge and does not allow him/ her to put it down till the last word is read. In short, the book needs fine tuning.


***************************************************************************************

Buy the book @ Amazon.in