Category Archives: Book Review

Book Review: The Indus Challenge

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TITLE: The Indus Challenge
AUTHOR: R. Durgadoss
PUBLISHER: Rupa Publications
GENRE: Fiction (Historical / Mythological )

THE BOOK

BLURB

Bharat is in chaos. While the kingdoms fight each other, Alexander’s forces gather for the assault, their leader lured by tales of supernatural weapons and the elixir of immortality. Only one man can save the subcontinent from domination by the Greeks: the young Chandragupta Maurya, trained under the aegis of the ‘dark brahmin’, Chanakya.

When an ancient seal is found, sharing the secrets of the brahmastra, the redoubtable weapon of the Mahabharat, it is up to Rudra, young commander of the Mauryan Nava Yuva Sena and lifelong friend and confidante of Chandragupta, to decode it. Along with his fellow commandos, and with the able guidance of his guru, Rudra embarks on a quest that takes him from the snowy peaks of the Himalayas to the seas of Rameshwaram, hunting the clues that will lead him to the brahmastra. On the way, he meets the Chiranjivis, ancient beings tasked with divine duties, and learns the secrets behind his own birth and his mysterious powers.

But Rudra must be careful, for not all enemies were dispersed with the death of the mighty Alexander. Treachery lurks in the home, and when Rudra is framed for the attempted murder of his sovereign, he must pull every trick at his disposal to reveal the enemy, and save his kingdom from plunging, once more, into bloodshed and chaos.

A historical, mythological adventure story, The Indus Challenge is sure to appeal to readers interested in the storied past of India and the legends woven into its soil.

MY TAKE

PLOT/ STORY-LINE : Interesting, intriguing and one in which the author’s imaginative side is very much evident. To weave a story combining history with mythology seamlessly is indeed a tough task. However the author has to a considerable extent succeeded in the same. Revolving around the Maurayan Empire lead by Chandragupta Maurya, the story has as its protagonist neither Chandragupta nor Chanakya but someone with special powers, one who holds a key to Brahmastra, a man blessed to meet five of the eight Chiranjivis. He is none other than Rudra a close companion and confidante of Chandragupta Maurya and a dear disciple of Chanakya.

Rudra’s journey from infancy to his untimely death at thirty is filled with adventure. While his mystic powers make him the most powerful man in the empire, they also tend to be the source of his agony given that Chandragupta Maurya’s Greek wife Helen feels jealous and insecure of his close bonds with her husband. What follows is a tale of treachery and deceit.

There are twists and turns, some expected and some unexpected but what held my interest is the mystery shrouding Rudra, his mission and the eight keys or eight commandoes who hold the keys to eight shastras (sciences). What is their mission? Do they accomplish it? If so, how? To get the answers to these one must read this book which I must stress is a piece of historical ficion and not history.

CHARACTERIZATION: The characters of Rudra and Helen are well- developed. While Rudra comes across as a true warrior, a man of his words and duty bound, Helen comes across as a vile one, expert in the art of treachery and one jealous to the core.

However I feel that the characters of Chandragupta Maurya and Chanakya leave room for improvement. They somehow seem sidelined. A little more effort on their character and their role in the story would have added value to the book.

LANGUAGE : Simple and easy to understand. There are no jargon that act as stumbling blocks nor long winding sentences to trip upon.

PACE: Slow at first but gradually picks up and when it does, one can’t help spending more time with the book.

NARRATIVE: This is where I felt there is still a lot of scope for improvement. The opening sentences in nearly all the chapters put me off. I wish they were constructed differently. It would have made the transition from one chapter to another smooth and enjoyable.

VERDICT

An engaging read, I’ll rate the book 3 on a scale of 5.

Click here to get an insight into the brain that weaved this story, Author Durgadoss


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Book Review: The Rise of the Dawnstar

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TITLE: The Rise of the Dawnstar (The Avalonia Chronicles #2)
AUTHOR: Farah Oomerbhoy
PUBLISHER: Wise Ink Creative Publishing
GENRE: Fiction (Fantasy)

To read my review of ‘The Last of the Firedrakes (The Avalonia Chronicles #2)’ a prequel to ‘The Rise of the Dawnstar’ click HERE

THE BOOK

THE BLURB

The seven kingdoms of Avalonia are crumbling and evil is spreading across the land like a plague. Queen Morgana is close to finding a way to open The Book of Abraxas and it’s only a matter of time until she uses the power trapped inside its pages to enslave the entire world.

With Avalonia growing more dangerous by the day, Aurora must travel through war-torn lands and deep into the heart of the fae kingdom of Elfi. Her goal is to find a legendary weapon infused with the last of the realm’s ancient magic—the only weapon in the world powerful enough to stop the queen.

Aurora might have survived her first battle against Morgana, but the true fight to save her kingdom and restore her throne has only just begun…

MY TAKE

STORY-LINE/ PLOT : I took up ‘The Rise of the Dawnstar’ with lots of hope having loved the prequel to the same i.e. ‘The Last of the Firedrakes’ and I must say Farah has done it once again. ‘Riveting!’ is the word that comes to my mind.

The story is full of twists and turns none that one can forsee and the imagery is something I have no words to describe. The book transports one to the magical world of faes, mages and much more. The events seem to unfold before your eyes and you can’t help but be on the edge looking out for the next bolt that’s sure to hit you from the blue.

The story is a maze of emotions; love, hatred, empathy, deceit, fear and inner strength.

To be able to enjoy the book and appreciate Farah’s flight of imagination and creative skills one must read the book. It is one that I’m sure I’d like to re-visit again and again.

CHARACTERIZATION: The characters are well fleshed out with their imperfections. The story does spring some surprises towards the in terms of characterization but then it is best one knows what I mean by reading the book. No clues from my side.

LANGUAGE: ‘Smooth sailing!’ The language is simple, crisp and lucid. No jargon to act as barriers. This is another thing that endeared to me as a reader. The author definitely has a way with words. She is I’ll say a magician when it comes to weaving magic with the letters and knows how to keep her readers hungry even after the story ends. Can’t help but wish I could lay my hands on the next to the series immediately.

PACE & STYLE: Perfect. Has the ability to engage the reader right from the word ‘go’ till the last word.

EDITING: Two to three typos that need to be taken care of.

VERDICT

A must read for the ‘young at heart.’ Will transport you to another world. The book scores a 5 on a scale of 5 from me.


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MEET

FARAH OOMERBHOY

Farah Oomerbhoy is the international bestselling author of The Avalonia Chronicles. Her first book, The Last of the Firedrakes, was originally published on Wattpad where it gained over two million reads and a Watty Award. Since publication, her debut has gone on to win a silver medal in IBPA’s Benjamin Franklin Awards and the Readers’ Favorite Book Awards, along with winning a finalist placement in the USA Best Book Awards. Farah loves the fantastical and magical and often dreams of living in Narnia, Neverland, or the Enchanted Forest. With a master’s degree in English literature from the University of Mumbai, Farah spends her creative time crafting magical worlds for young adults. She lives with her family in Mumbai, India.

(Courtesy : goodreads)


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GIVEAWAY (US/INT)

For each stop on tour, there will be a special number at the end of the post. Collect all the numbers, add them up, and enter to win one of three prizes! Once you have all the numbers you can enter the giveaway here : http://farahoomerbhoy.com/rise-dawnstar-now/

My lucky number is 16

The giveaway opens at the end of the tour and closes on May 21st, 11:59pm Eastern US time.


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TO GET AN INSIGHT WHAT OTHERS HAVE TO SAY ABOUT THE BOOK
DO
VISIT THE OTHER BLOGGERS ON THE TOUR
HERE

Monday, April 24th

Review– Of all the books I’ve loved before…
Interview– Lisa Manterfield

Tuesday, April 25th

Review– The Reading Cat
Review – The Book Lover

Wednesday, April 26th

Guest Postand Review – Celebrityreadshush
Review– Bubble Bath Books

Thursday, April 27th

Guest Post & Review– The Bewitched Reader
ReviewCreative Bookie

Review– EndlessReading
Guest Post– A Redhead’s Ramblings

Monday, May 1st

Review– Reads All the Books
InterviewInterview (click here for giveaway number) – Motif by Tanya

Tuesday, May 2nd

Interview and Review– Books and Stars
Guest Post and Review(click here for giveaway number) – Paranormal angel blog

Wednesday, May 3rd

Review– Writing Pearls
Interview– Eliza Green

Thursday, May 4th

Guest Post and Review– The Reader and the Chef
Review– JBronder Book Reviews

Friday, May 5th

Review – Miranda’s Book Blog
Interview– Sarah Benson

Monday, May 8th

Guest Post and Review– Creatyvebooks
Guest Post – J. M. Butler (Telling stories, reading books, and savoring life)

Tuesday, May 9th

Review – OldVictorianQuill

Wednesday, May 10th

Guest post and review – Kindle and Me (http://www.kindleandme.com)
Review – LiyareadsYA (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCy57923LodhcqD8QLYurgyQ?app=desktop )

Thursday, May 11th

Interview and review – The YA Wizard (https://theyawizard.wordpress.com/)
Interview – Coffee Addicts Book Reviews (http://selenityjadebooks.blogspot.com/)

Friday, May 12th

Review – Darcy’s Book Blog (https://darcysbookblog.com)
Guest post – Rockin’ Book Reviews (http://www.rockinbookreviews.com/)

BOOK REVIEW : The Tree with a Thousand Apples

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TITLE: The Tree with a Thousand Apples
AUTHOR: Sanchit Gupta
PUBLISHER: Niyogi Books
GENRE: Fiction

THE BOOK

BLURB

‘If a criminal was once a saint and a saint was once a criminal, then who is a criminal and who is a saint?’

Inspired by true events, this riveting narrative traces the lives of Safeena Malik, Deewan Bhat and Bilal Ahanagar, three childhood friends who grow up in an atmosphere of peace and amity in Srinagar, Kashmir, until the night of 20 January 1990 changes it all.

While Deewan is forced to flee from his home, Safeena’s mother becomes ‘collateral damage’ and Bilal has to embrace a wretched life of poverty and fear. The place they called paradise becomes a battleground and their friendship struggles when fate forces them to choose sides against their will. Twenty years later destiny brings them to a crossroads again, when they no longer know what is right and what is wrong. While both compassion and injustice have the power to transform lives, will the three friends now choose to become sinful criminals or pacifist saints?

The Tree with a Thousand Apples is a universal story of cultures, belongingness, revenge and atonement. The stylised layered format, fast-paced narration and suspenseful storytelling make for a powerful, gripping read.

MY TAKE

WOWs !!

STORY-LINE:- Gripping & insightful!

The story takes one on a journey of life in the valley albeit a short one yet enough to make one ponder. Within the 279 pages one comes across the feeling of brotherhood shared by the Kashmiri Pandits and Kashmiri Muslims, the sudden souring of relationships and the communal flare-ups, the birth of terror and terrorists, the loss of innocence ……. But what stays with the reader at the end of the read is the strong bond of camaraderie shared by the protagonists i.e. the three childhood friends Bilal, Saifeena Malik and Deewan Bhat.

The sufferings, the embitterment as well as the good times are portrayed beautifully in the book. Finally on closing it one can’t help but ask a few questions such as –

“Have we as a Nation failed in integrating the youth of the valley into the mainstream?”

“Where did we go wrong?”

“Why is there so much hatred among people of different communities?”

“Who or what is the root cause for the crisis that saw Hindu Pandits leave their homeland and why are we still not able to instill a sense of security in them to return to their homes?”

The book reveals some distasteful and disturbing facts; things one wishes are not true.

CHARACTERIZATION :- Perfect. The characters are well fleshed out with all their imperfections. One can’t help but empathize with Bilal and Safeena.

LANGUAGE :- Simple, crisp and lucid, one that has the power to take the reader on a smooth and engaging journey.

PACE & STYLE :- The pace is even and perfect while the style of narration leaves no room for complaint.

OOPs!!

I’m confused. Know why? Somehow I can’t understand how one General can continue to hold command/ call the shots in one place/ command area continuously for more than 20 years like General Choudhary.

VERDICT

An engaging read, one that is not only interesting but insightful too. I’ll give the book a 4 on a scale of 5.


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MEET THE AUTHOR

SANCHIT GUPTA

Started off as a part-time copywriter and then went on to co-found his own theatre group this young man worked as a freelance film screenwriter and as executive producer–fiction for a leading television network too.

Born and brought up in the hills of Himachal Pradesh, Sanchit Gupta’s short stories have been published in several publications and lit festivals, viz Muse India, Indian Ruminations, Contemporary Literary Review India and Tata Lit Live to name a few. He has worked with All India Radio as a talk show host and regularly features in poetry recitals at Prithvi Café, Mumbai. ‘The Tree with a Thousand Apples’ is his debut novel, the screenplay based on which has been long-listed in Sundance screenwriters’ International lab- US.

To follow Sanchit

On Facebook click HERE

On Twitter click HERE

Website click HERE

Book Review – Key to My Soul

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TITLE: Key to My Soul
AUTHOR: Probal Mazumdar
PUBLISHER: Maple Press
GENRE: Fiction

THE BOOK

BLURB

When Siddharth, a lonely young man with a failed marriage gets a sudden phone-call from a mysterious person about his lost childhood lover, Hazel, and learns that she is battling for life, he is shaken to the core. He also learns that she had left certain letters for him fifteen years back that never reached him.

It disturbs him so much that he rushes to the hospital in his old hometown. There he discovers an eclipsed past buried in time that is riddled with dangerous surprises, trauma, twists of fate, sacrifices that exemplify true love and the real reasons for the tragic end of their childhood love story.

But will Hazel ever open her eyes to see him…

MY TAKE

STORY-LINE/ PLOT: Like sweet-salty ‘nimbu pani,’ there is a touch of romance and a touch of suspense but the end result is something cool and refreshing and heart-warming.

There is subtle romance as well as some fist-fight. There is treachery as well as love and care.The book takes us on a journey of amateur love that is caught up in a storm that takes years to settle down. The storm plays havoc in the lives of the protagonists only to see them especially Hazel, emerge strong. The author has been able to bring out the suffering and feeling of remorse experienced by Hazel and Siddharth respectively, well.

The strong bonds between the Father- son duo of Mr Banerjee and Siddharth as well as mother- daughter duo of Mary and Hazel is something one can’t miss. It is deep and one of understanding. However, one thing that I found wanting was more details on Sidharth and Kiran’s divorce.

CHARACTERIZATION: The characters of all including that of the least important ones are fleshed out well.

LANGUAGE: Language is simple and free-flowing. It reminded me of the water rushing in an irrigation canal in rains, cool and crystal clear.

PACE: Perfect. At no point did I feel my interest wane which would not have been so if the book was unevenly paced.

VERDICT

A wonderful read, one that has the capacity to hold the reader till the last word, ‘Key to My Soul’ scores 4 on a scale of 5 from me.


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MEET THE AUTHOR

PROBAL MAZUMDAR

An IT Manager by profession, Probal Mazumdar is into fiction and poetry writing. Winner of the Al India Poetry Competition 2014, conducted by Poetry Society of India, Probal is a well- published poet having many of his poems make it to various national and international journals.

Book Review : Jim Morgan and the Seven Sins

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TITLE: Jim Morgan and the Seven Sins
AUTHOR: Bharat Madan
PUBLISHER: Notion Press
GENRE: Fiction (Thriller)
ISBN: 9781946714435

THE BOOK

BLURB

A quest to identify seven deadly sins
A mystery behind seven keys that were passed to seven men
A deadly race against time to seek atonement

On the outskirts of New York City, Jim Morgan, an international bestselling author learns through God that he had committed seven sins in his previous life. Clues lie in the six novels he has written, that would lead him to the mystery. But the novels won’t reveal everything to him. With seven days on hand, he must walk in the direction that faith leads him in, to reach the lost chamber of Seven Planets. Unless Morgan understands the secret behind his past life and the sins he committed, his chance to live will be lost forever.

MY TAKE

STORY-LINE/ PLOT: Intriguing. A suspense with a lot of twists and turns and a lot of surprise elements ‘Jim Morgan and the Seven Sins’ is the story of Jim Morgan’s quest to unravel the sins committed by him in his previous birth with an aim to atone for them.

Time is short and the task at hand is not an easy one. Racing against time, Jim embarks on what is known as time travel moving through portals that open up via his books.

Packed with action, drama and suspense the book takes us on an introductory journey of sorts, of the world of astrology and is in fact an insight into the seven common sins committed by man. To know the connection between the sins, human behaviour and astrology you will have to go through the book.

In short ‘Jim Morgan and the Seven Sins’ is a thriller that leaves you guessing only to make you realize that all your guesses are mere guesses. The truth is something else. The climax I must admit is the ‘icing in the cake.’ It is fresh and will catch you unawares.

CHARACTERIZATION: The characters of the protagonist Jim and the main players are well- developed with all their imperfections. But yes, I’d have loved to get to know Kathyrn better.

LANGUAGE: Simple, crisp and lucid.

PACE: The initial chapters tend to be slow and bumpy making you want to put down the book often. But once it picks up you can’t help but get hooked to it. It is smooth sailing thereafter. The reason for the slow pace in the initial chapters I believe is because it is a bit confusing. One takes time to come to grips with the story.

VERDICT

A gripping action packed thriller this one scores a 4 on a scale of 5 from me.


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Book Review : Finding the Angel

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TITLE: Finding the Angel
AUTHOR : Rubina Ramesh
GENRE: Fiction (Suspense/ Romance)

THE BOOK

COVER DESIGN : “Breathtaking!”

BLURB

All She wanted was love…

Shefali is a die-hard romantic. Having lost her parents at a very tender age, she is in search of a place which she can call home. Her passion for Art lands her a job as an art curator to the famous artifacts of the Ranaut Dynasty. When she meets the scion, Aryan Ranaut, she feels that her dream might come true until…

All He wanted was to trust…

Living the life of a modern day Prince is no easy task for the young and dashing Aryan Ranaut. Having lost his father to a rapacious woman, Aryan has severe trust issues. But upon meeting Shefali, he feels he could let down his guard. Until…

All They need is to find The Angel…

Just as Aryan realizes his love for Shefali, one of the most precious artifacts, The Angel, goes missing from the Ranaut collection. All fingers point towards Shefali—more so because she leaves the palace without telling anyone on the very night of the theft.

Finding the Angel is a story where duty clashes with love and lack of trust overrides passion. Under these circumstances, can The Angel bring the star-crossed lovers together?

MY TAKE

STORY-LINE :- Interesting, intriguing and riveting. The plot is strong and the author has been able to do full justice to it. There is subtle romance as well as suspense.

There are some twists that will leave you guessing and when the suspense breaks you can’t help say, ‘Oh!My God, was …. the main culprit….’ The author has not only been able to get across the brewing romance between Shefali and Aryan Ranaut well, but has also managed to keep the mystery surrounding the loss of ‘The Angel’ well under wraps till the end.

CHARACTERIZATION :- All the characters are well developed. Speaking of the main protagonists Shefali and Aryan Ranaut to me Shefali came across as a strong girl, one not easily cowed down by threats. Aryan Ranaut comes across as an arrogant and confused man. He is one who is hell-bent on thinking in just one direction regarding the loss of the artifact but is at the same time in two minds when it comes to his feelings for Shefali.

LANGUAGE :- Simple and crisp. Word power is the author’s strong point and I must admit that she has taken full advantage of it in ‘Finding the Angel.’ This makes the book a truly enjoyable read.

PACE: – Fast and even paced. Hence one is able to finish it in just one sitting without wanting to put it down.

VERDICT

An easy yet, thrilling one. In the first instance itself the cover design and blurb are sure to tempt you to pick it up. Don’t hesitate. The inside is as good as the outside.

‘Finding the Angel’ scores 4 on a scale of 5 from me.


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MEET THE AUTHOR

RUBINA RAMESH

An avid reader, writer, blogger, book reviewer and marketer, Rubina is the founder of The Book Club, an online book publicity group. ‘Knitted Tales : A Collection of Emotions’ is her first Anthology and ‘Finding the Angel’ her debut novel.

To know more about the Author do visit her profile at goodreads

Book Review: The Princess of a Whorehouse

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TITLE: The Princess of a Whorehouse: The Story of a Swamp Lotus
AUTHOR: Mayank Sharma
PUBLISHER: Notion Press, Inc.
ISBN : 9781946129789
GENRE: Fiction

THE BOOK

COVER DESIGN : Beautiful

TITLE: Intriguing! Enough to up ones curiosity.


 
BLURB

Aparajita is a tenacious go-getter. Her name means unconquerable in Sanskrit, and she lives up to its meaning.

Just like any other ambitious girl, she desires to fulfil her dreams and become an independent individual. Far and wide, the shadow of her melancholy past chases her passage. The fact that her widowed mother is a former sex worker irks the community. Nonetheless, she is not ashamed to reveal her mother’s past.

Will she lose hope, or will she defy an enigma that is centuries-old? Will she ever conquer the hearts of a prestige-obsessed community?

See the world through Aparajita’s prism in a tale stirred by some real life events.

 
MY TAKE: REVIEW

 
STORY-LINE/ PLOT: Realistic, relatable and thought provoking, the story is not only inspiring but one that brings forth the dangers lurking in corners generally considered as safe. Apart from highlighting the fact that once trapped it’s very difficult for the victim to escape the whorehouse, it also highlights the concerns of children born to sex workers, their education, their future, their trauma, etc ….

There are dreams, dreams that spur the protagonist to try achieve the impossible and there are people who join her on the way, who play an important role in her survival and success.

There are some interesting twists especially in the second half but what caught me unawares was the ending.

CHARACTERIZATION: The characters are well- developed. One can easily relate to their dreams, their emotions and their actions and reactions.

LANGUAGE: Simple and easy to understand.

 
VERDICT

A simple and breezy read, one that stays with even after you’ve finished it, ‘The Princess of the Whorehouse’ scores a 3 on a scale of 5 from me.


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THE AUTHOR

MAYANK SHARMA

Get to know him. Click HERE

BOOK REVIEW : The 365 Days

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TITLE: The 365 Days
AUTHOR: Nikhil Ramteke
PUBLISHER: Write India Publishers
GENRE: Fiction

THE BOOK

 

The 365 Days

 
 
BLURB

This is a story that falls through the crevices of pitiless anonymity, yet miraculously waits to be told.

Shijukutty, a Malayali fisherman, leaves his tiny hamlet of abject poverty in the coastal village of Vizhinjam on the outskirts of Thiruvananthapuram, the capital city of Kerala, that picturesque vignette of searing beauty on the south-western coast of India.

Shiju, like millions of other Malayalis, seeks his destiny in Dubai, that gleaming global hub of fortune on the southeast coast of the Persian Gulf. What unfolds is a stirring story of distilled hardship, exploitation, identity, and friendship, and the heartbreaking choices Shiju is often forced to make.

So what he sees is not what he experiences when he lands in a world of glimmering towers, fast-paced life, and unabashed opulence. For what he was not prepared for was the dark underbelly of Dubai beyond the shimmering mirage.

Shiju’s life is no more the same. But he holds his ground, drawing on ancient instincts of his seafaring ancestry. As things settle down around him, he is inexorably pulled into the canyon of recession…

Will Shiju be able to hold on to his dreams? Will he able to pull out himself from the whirlpool? Will he survive against all odds? Will he redeem himself?

The 365 Days weaves a captivating tale about the countless Indians and other South-East Asian migrant labourers, who, in seeking to forge their destinies on that gleaming promontory of dreams, end up colliding with forces beyond their reckoning.

Nikhil Ramteke unfolds an extraordinary saga about Indian expatriates, their struggles, their alienation, and their dreams. The 365 Days is more than a story of a year in Shijukutty’s life.
 

REVIEW

 

STORY-LINE:- A simple plot told from the point of the protagonist a simple and humble soul, a fisherman, ‘The 365 Days’ is the saga of a major chunk of Indians working in the Middle- East. The fact that the story is nothing but the truth makes it endearing and at the same time opens our eyes to the untold miseries suffered by those who go there with high hopes only to find their dreams shattered.

There is a saying in Malayalam, “ ikkare nilkumbol akkare paccha,” meaning the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. Same is the case with us Indians who believe that those working beyond our shores are well- off just because we happen to see their family suddenly lap in luxury, build multi-storeyed houses, go in for the latest gadgets, etc., etc. But how many of us are aware of the sweat, the tears and the toil that has gone into the ‘sudden rise in their stature.’

Shijukutty’s story also reveals another truth that is staring the face of all immigrants to the lands beyond our shores, the truth that one day they may have to return home, to unemployment and worse still debt not repaid. Some may have money to tide over a few months but the majority may return to a life worse than hell. Shijukutty was lucky that he had a loving wife who valued him above the money he sent home. Not all are that lucky. When dreams fall apart, palaces crumble like a pack of cards; relationships are bound to be the first casualty more so in today’s world where money rules and selfishness overpowers love.

There are dreams, there is truth. There is love, there is deceit. There is enmity; there is a sense of hopelessness. In fact ‘The 365 Days’ holds in its bosom a wide range of emotions. It is a saga of dreams unfulfilled, a saga of lives tossed to fend for themselves in the desert sand, a saga of tears and turmoil. It is a saga of the helpless immigrant trying to make a better living by making many a sacrifice only to find that his trials and tribulations are never ending. The light at the end of the tunnel is far from sight.

CHARACTERIZATION: – The characters are well- developed with all their imperfections. One can easily relate to the emotions, the actions and reactions of each one of them. They are not only relatable but reflect the various shades of human emotions naturally. While Shijukutty represents hope, Thavamani represents despair. Jabbar chettan comes across as a seasoned veteran who yearns for the love and care of his beloved ones, Chacko is the cynical one. In short the labour camp is a world in its own, a world where people of different shades, different virtues, different vice are thrown together, a place where people struggle to survive yet often do not lose that one attribute called humanity. You can be sure that there will be at least that one being that you can depend upon to give you a shoulder to weep upon.

LANGUAGE: – Simple and easy. No hard nuts to crack by way of unnecessary jargon. This is a great relief.

STYLE:- Fine.

PACE: – This is the only point I had a problem with. Too much of unnecessary detail at places slowed down the pace at times.

EDITING:- Needs to be tightened at places.

VERDICT

A well- researched book within which life in the coastal belt of Kerala is captured beautifully and the Malayalam dialogues, etc. are spot on. I’ll give the book a 3 on a scale of 5.


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BUYING LINKS

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THE AUTHOR

NIKHIL RAMTEKE

Born & brought up in Nagpur Maharashtra, Nikhil Ramteke is an M-Tech in Chemical Technology and is currently working as a Production Manager in a leading multinational FMCG giant -IFFCO, since 8 years. A multi-faceted personality, Nikhil Ramteke is a qualified painter, nominated photographer & an avid traveller. The 365 days is his debut novel.

Want to know more about him?

To connect via fb click HERE

To connect via twitter clickHERE

#BookReview: 1857 Dust of Ages Vol 1: A Forgotten Tale

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TITLE: 1857 Dust of Ages Vol 1: A Forgotten Tale
AUTHOR: Vandana Shanker
PUBLISHER: Amazon- Asia Pacific
GENRE: Fiction ( Historical)

THE BOOK

BLURB

1857. The rebellion erupts in India. Despite its attempts to stay aloof, NAVGARH, a small town near Delhi, is drawn into the conflagration. And at its heart are Princess Meera and Captain Richard Smith, with their strange alliance made for the throne of Navgarh.

2016, Shiv Sahai, a young Indian art historian and Ruth Aiken, a British scholar discover an excerpt from the journal of an anonymous British soldier, searching for his wife in the chaos of 1857 Delhi. As they begin investigating the scandal, they become aware of the vague rumours that are told in the bylanes of Navgarh – about a princess who married a British soldier to save her kingdom

MY TAKE

The story a short read, told in two different timelines is well-spun and riveting from the word ‘go.’ There is history, romance, intrigue and rebellion but……… the end is abrupt, meaning the reader will have to wait for the sequel to know more of the protagonists, their strange alliance, the fate of Navgarh, the result of Shiv Sahai’s research, etc., etc.

The character of Shiv Sahai and Ruth Aiken the Indian and British Scholars are well fleshed out. While Shiv comes across as one not easy to comprehend and a person who fiercely guards his secrets, Ruth is shrewd.

One gets only a glimpse into the characters of Meera and Captain Richard Smith the protagonists of the story of the strange alliance. Hence it’s premature to comment on them.

The language is simple, crisp and lucid while the style of narration and pace are perfect.

VERDICT

A simple read, one that’s sure to arouse your curiosity and leave you hungry to gorge on the sequel, 1857 Dust of Ages Vol 1: A Forgotten Tale scores a 3 on 5 from me.


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BUYING LINKS

amazon.in II amazon.com

#BookReview : A Walk in the Rain

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TITLE: A Walk in the Rain
AUTHOR: Udai Yadla
PUBLISHER: Partridge Publishing India
GENRE: Fiction (Romance)

THE BOOK

walk

BLURB

Love is elixir that keeps you alive. Love is poison that kills you. Unreciprocated love keeps you alive but kills every day.

Heartbroken Sunny lives a reclusive life, trapped in the past, living in his memories. He has no complaints about his life but refuses to embrace the present.

Saloni is a prostitute who is desperate to earn money by any means. She does not care about exploiting others to fulfil her purpose.

Fate unites the loner and the prostitute to embark on a life changing journey of retribution and self discovery.

Lovelorn Sunny turns misogynistic after Sandy, the only girl he loved walks away from his life, unannounced. He suffers painful solitude for almost two decades with the relentless haunting of her thoughts. A distressed friend Imran, vows to change his life forever. A surprise planned for his birthday turns into a tragedy that claims the life of his dear friend, triggering a series of unbelievable events. As Imran gets killed by a stranger, Sunny’s calm life suddenly turns into a turbulent storm. With nothing left to live for, vengeance becomes his ultimate mission. His reluctant alliance with a prostitute to trace the killer sets him onto a nerve racking adventure of life and death.

Both are bound to a common goal with different motives but destiny has its own motive. A walk in the rain is an intricate tale of intense emotions, driven by hair raising twists and turns.

MY TAKE

STORY-LINE/ PLOT: Interesting, intriguing and engaging. Yet somewhere in the middle I knew what to expect. Hence I’ll not categorize this book under the mystery genre. Instead I’ve put it under the romance genre because a major part of it goes to showcase the budding love between the protagonist and his lost love Sandy.

There are twists, heartburns and of course a bit of violence. But hold on. This violence has got nothing to do with the protagonist’s love life. Instead it is connected with something entirely different. But then I’ll leave it to you to find out. 🙂

CHARACTERIZATION: Characters are well fleshed out. Each one is complex by nature. But then it is their life events that have made them what they are. To understand them one has to understand the underlying emotions that are slowly exposed as one progresses with the story. Each one acts his/ her part well and that in itself is a plus point. It helps one to relate to their actions and reactions.

LANGUAGE , PACE & STYLE: Language is simple .Pace is perfect and the style needs a bit of fine- tuning.

THEN WHAT DID NOT CLICK?

EDITING: Needs to be tightened. Typos and grammatical errors took away a bit of the sheen.

VERDICT

The book is an enjoyable read filled with action, romance and a little suspense. It’s one that you can pick up on a lazy afternoon. I’ll give it a 3 on a scale of 5.


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BUYING LINKS

amazon.in II pustakmandi II snapdeal II amazon.com