Thursday, 26 October 2017

Review: The Falcon's Revenge

The Falcon's Revenge The Falcon's Revenge by J.E. Holling
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Warrior brotherhood is a deadly secret organisation. Revenge is powerful motivator. They hatch a plan to assassinate president. Eric Tyson and Ex FBI agent will have to step in to thwart their plans. Will he be successful?

This is a ok thriller. 3/ 5 stars.

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Review: Becoming Hero

Becoming Hero Becoming Hero by Jen Finelli
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book is innovative, this is kind of a graphic novel. It has two versions

1. A text only version.
2. Text plus comic version.

This is story of Skye who is a superhero. It has lots of action and good illustrations. Good for lovers of novels and comics both. 3/ 5

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Review: Touch of Fire

Touch of Fire Touch of Fire by Jasmine B. Waters
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is a paranormal book which is a rage these days. Mari Elwood family is peacekeeper. She has gift of empathy. Then her dreams become almost real and takes over her life. How will she deal with it.

The book has an interesting premise and entertains. 3/ 5 stars.

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Sunday, 22 October 2017

Avishi by Saiswaroopa Iyer

AvishiAvishi by Saiswaroopa Iyer
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

India has a rich heritage. The civilization is almost 5000 years old and started with Rig Veda. Most Indians are not aware of this rich heritage. We have rudimentary knowledge of Ramayana and Mahabharata and not beyond this. This book is a commendable effort by Saiswaroopa Iyer to bring to forth that legacy.

There is mutiny against the General Ugra and Sukratu, his loyal bodyguard is killed. Avishi, his daughter is saved by a transgender and taken to another kingdom. What destiny has in store for her?

Language of book is rich and concise. Avishi is brave, intelligent and loyal. This is god book to be read but not in hurry. One has to spend time with it.

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Soul Warrior (The Age of Kali #1) by Falguni Kothari

“...the secret of the Great Stories is that they have no secrets. The Great Stories are the ones you have heard and want to hear again. The ones you can enter anywhere and inhabit comfortably. They don’t deceive you with thrills and trick endings. They don’t surprise you with the unforeseen. They are as familiar as the house you live in. Or the smell of your lover’s skin. You know how they end, yet you listen as though you don’t. In the way that although you know that one day you will die, you live as though you won’t. In the Great Stories you know who lives, who dies, who finds love, who doesn’t. And yet you want to know again.

That is their mystery and their magic.” 
― Arundhati Roy, The God of Small Things

I am tempted to open the review with these words. Mahabharata is a great book. It inspired countless authors to retell it in myriad ways. Everyone has their own interpretation.

Karna is a character from the epic which deserves our sympathy. Same is done by Falguni in her book. He is shown as immortal and is present in current day also. He can see the asuras, devas and shape shifters by their aura. There is the eternal battle going on and he is playing his part.

The book has interesting premise and almost all the characters of Mahabharata are here but with a twist. This book has a large canvas and took time to sink. 3/ 5 stars.

Saturday, 21 October 2017

The Five Shields :The Lost Souls by Ilan Dvir, Joseph Fackenhiem (Translator)

The Five Shields :The Lost SoulsThe Five Shields :The Lost Souls by Ilan Dvir
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Fantasy as a genre has enthralled us since time immemorial. This is liked by children and adults alike. Fight between light and dark forces is also eternal.

Jess, May, Johnny, Rose and Kiyoshi have a secret. On their 13th birthday they come to know that they possess shields with gems in them. They are the soldiers of light forces against the darkness. They are set on a journey to find a scroll and set free the persons of light.

It is a thrilling ride. The book kept me hooked and I liked the fantastic elements. Though the story is same as told countless times it is still enjoyable. I liked the chemistry between the five. This is book one and I hope Ilan Dvir writes next instalment and the book ended with a hint of further books.

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Friday, 20 October 2017

Devil's Bride by K. G. Isaac

Devil's BrideDevil's Bride by K. G. Isaac
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Devil is real or just a figment of our imagination. If there is a god there must be a devil. Because plus and minus are opposite side of the same coin.

The opening of book reads “This book is dedicated to those who believe devil exists, but do not know where to find him. If you believe in devil and feel your search will end after reading it, you will be disappointed big time. I failed to understand whether Rabbi Mendel Schul is mentally disturbed or does devil possessed him. He searches a wife for devil like a fanatic and in the process destroys lives of two women.

This is sick, confused and very long book. Very boring and idiotic to say the least.

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A Universal Storm by Gershon Shevach

A Universal StormA Universal Storm by Gershon Shevach
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

If we can have one nation for all religions, races and skin colour life will be great. But it requires a revolution and that means blood have to be spilled.

A reporter finds there is no power. Then he meets a person with no name but just “Engineer”. Leila is a Muslim girl from Pakistan who is rescued by Engineer from a building rubble. She is taken to Israel for treatment and she hates it. Eyal is an idealistic young man from Israel. He is not impressed by Zionism. Eyal and Leila meets in picturesque Manali, Himalayan foothills of India. They plan for something g drastic.

The book has some interesting idea. But it read more like a disjointed stories which have no plot. It was more of a non- fiction feel. The characters are flat and you don’t feel anything for them. There is no purpose either and it ended as abruptly as it started.

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Just A Few Lies by Sandeep Sharma

Just A Few LiesJust A Few Lies by Sandeep Sharma
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Mind is complicated machine. It can lead us to believe things which may or may not be there. Love, guilt, crime of passion and stealing away someone’s love may lead to losing one’s mind.

Anant is a popular writer and his friend Raman is his publisher. He feels his beautiful wife Kavya has an affair with Raman. Then enters Sagarika and Raman asks him to mentor her. Then it becomes like a love quadrilateral or a maze.

Psychological thrillers are a new hot trend. This book also has a mysterious character Alka Thakur who may be imaginary. This is many insights like about the second woman. There is always guilt and the second one gets less love. Lies are good or bad for relationship?

There are some issues also. The book is jumbled and motivations of Raman and Kavya are not clear. Sagarika is also confused it seems. Anant condition it seems affected all. As this book is told in third person but mainly from Anant point of view the result is confusing.

3/ 5 stars.

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Thursday, 19 October 2017

My Evolution: An Amazing Journey from Zero to Hero by Gili Weintraub

My Evolution: An Amazing Journey from Zero to HeroMy Evolution: An Amazing Journey from Zero to Hero by Gili Weintraub
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Life is a riddle to be solved by us or by philosophers. It is a complex and finding meaning is tough. What is the point of life? What is success? How to live life on our own terms?

The book answers these question with help of animals; rabbit, zebra, lion, salmon, crow etc. Gili answers the life biggest question in a very funny and light way. You feel that the answers were in front of you all along but you filed to see them.

Say for example Zebra. Horses are trained and subjugated. Zebra is from same family but he is never tamed. He teaches us to be free and independent; how to take our own path.

Success is not material things. It is growth within. I liked the book very much and learned few things.

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Playing with Fire (FIRE Trilogy, #1) by Devika Fernando

Playing with Fire (FIRE Trilogy, #1)Playing with Fire by Devika Fernando
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Paranormal romance is a new rage. This adds another dimension and tension to stories. Otherwise love stories tend be pretty boring. Boy meets girl, they fall in love and marry. Or don’t.

The story opens with a burning house. She is fire and can’t burn. But Joshua doesn’t know this and tries to save her. Then they meet again in the library where she works. Sparks fly and attraction she feels is electric.

The story has potential and as this is book 1 story is developing. Characterization is good so is descriptions. Language is impressive. I liked the book though I don’t read paranormal. Let’s see what book 2 has in store.

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Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Two Princes and a Queen by Shmuel David

Two Princes and a QueenTwo Princes and a Queen by Shmuel David
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The world has only heard about atrocities committed by Nazis on Jews. This is history lesson and we read this in terms of numbers and dates. So the real horror of situation doesn’t come out in terms of human tragedy. But through a book or movie we can see the human tragedy that the holocaust was.

Hanne is living in Yugoslavia with his family. They have to flee from there when it becomes to much a life and death struggle. They go to pre Israel in a make shift boat. What happens next?

The book is good and gives the perspective of persons who has to face this persecution first hand. I gather that this is translated from Hebrew in English and translation is good but sometimes becomes jerks. But that is understandable. You should read it if you want a human angle of those events.

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Breathing Two Worlds by Ruchira Khanna

Breathing Two WorldsBreathing Two Worlds by Ruchira Khanna
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Is it easy to settle in a foreign land? There is so much craze to go to USA or Canada or Europe to earn and settle. Indians (especially Punjabis) are crazy to go abroad and to be called NRIs. But is it all hunky dory?

Neena a Delhi girl goes abroad and meets Adan. They hit it off and when she comes back to India, she feels trapped between two cultures.

The language is lucid and crisp. This book has a message that we have to take the best of two cultures. Clash of east and west is old and both civilizations have good and bad traits. It is up to us to choose. 3.5/ 5 stars.

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Second Chance by Sandeep Jatwa

Second ChanceSecond Chance by Sandeep Jatwa
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I received a review copy from Vinfluencers in exchange of honest review.

Life gives us many chances. But this book is about second chance. Life is a continuum. It never stops for evil as well as good persons. Do people change? Maybe.

Shekhar is a businessman whose father is paralytic. He is a selfish, nasty and ruthless person. He is totally indifferent to feelings of others. He does not believe in marriage. He needs new woman daily and does not want to be tied to one. He has a new manager Manish whose only capability is that he acts as a pimp for Shekhar. He arranges girls for him for sex. Kailash is old manager from his father’s time and he demoted him. He insults him all the time. Unnati is a nice girl in his office but he does not promote her. Hrishita is new girl in the office who is ready to sleep with him. He takes hostile over company of another businessman. Then he start receiving warnings from mysterious “City of Justice”. They warn him either to mend his ways or be ready for dire consequence. He ignores the warnings. And one fine day he meets with a fatal accidents. He is taken to this city by a mysterious person. There he sees hell and realize his folly. Then he comes back to consciousness. It may a dream or reality but it changes him completely. What happens next?

Unnati explains about “Near Death Experience” which he felt in 2 minutes when he was dead. It is felt by those who has been very near to death and they might feel extreme fear or total serenity, security or warmth. In 1975 Raymond Moody wrote a book “Life after Life”. In 1981 “International Association for Near Death study (IANDS)” was founded. Many famous people has experienced it.

The book starts off well and is written in a simple language. The description of hell is clich├ęd and so are many other things in the book. Shekhar character lacks development and transformation is very simplistic. He is shown as a very cruel person initially and then he becomes diametrically opposite. He even made a list of wrong deed done by him, which is very short considering his character. After the accident book became very boring. It is a one time read.

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Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Flying Without Wings by Rishabh Puri

Flying Without Wings (Ravinder Singh Presents)Flying Without Wings by Rishabh Puri
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is my second book by the author. First one was “Inside the Heart of Hope”. The hero has some kind of disease. Live is hard to find both for rich and for poor. Rich can never be sure whether the lover loves his money or him. And who loves a poor person?

Mili work at Chandigarh airport shop. Her brother Karan was an army man. She lives with her mother in a despondent atmosphere. Karan Singhania is a rich businessman. He has many girlfriends but no lover. Then they connect through a dating app and hit it off. What happens next?

I find this book much, much better than the first one. The editing and language is better and so is the narration. Character development of Karan and Mili is good. Their love develops steadily and it is heartening to see. I enjoyed the book and recommend it to romance readers

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Craziotic by Anika Vedh

CrazioticCraziotic by Anika Vedh
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Heart break or heart attack. Which is bigger killer? Earlier it used to be attack but mow heart break is a real threat. It leads to depression and suicide.

The girl in the book meets Chris at her work place. They are poles apart in personality. They fall in and then out of love. And our heroine heart breaks and she is extremely sad. There is a mystery caller also who warns her from time to time.

The book is an out and out romance. It is told in first person from point of view of the heroine. She lives in a dream world and then in a hell. This is part one of the series and many questions remain unanswered. A better editing would have been good.

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Army Girl Steals Civilian's Heart by Oswald Pereira

Army Girl Steals Civilian's HeartArmy Girl Steals Civilian's Heart by Oswald Pereira
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Love in the time of communal tension and ghar vapsi. Its like fighting a herculean battle. Though the book is printed in 2017 period seems old. But the issue is evergreen. Inter religion marriages are always tricky.

Amrita Datta and Oscar Pereira are as different as chalk and cheese. She is an army officer daughter having loads of money. He is also from an erstwhile landowner family; but they were ruined due to drinking. She is an intern in the newspaper where he is a seasoned reporter. She is a hindu and he is Christian. He has a heavy drinking problem? But after he falls for her, she ask him to choose between her or booze. What do you think he chose?

The way Oscar family integrates her is commendable. She goes to church and gifts the priest “Bhagwad Gita as it is” after he gifts her a Bible. He also respects her decision and is very open.

4/ 5 stars.

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Friday, 6 October 2017

Until Sweet Death Arrives by Amnon Binyamini

Until Sweet Death ArrivesUntil Sweet Death Arrives by Amnon Binyamini
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Mental illness is much more devastating than physical illness. The reason is simple. Brain controls the whole body and if brain goes kaput. Whole body stops functioning. Alzheimer’s disease is especially cruel.

Nahum Patterson, happily married to Edna, is a talented journalist. He is not afraid to take on powerful people and exposes the wrong doings. He is highly regarded in the professional circles. But his life becomes pathetic due to his disease. He starts forgetting things but his enemies don’t forget.

The book is fast paced and keeps the interest going. The pace is good and the conditions of Nahum evokes sympathy.

4/ 5 stars.

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One Last Time by Anubhav Shrivastava

One Last TimeOne Last Time by Anubhav Shrivastava
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Teenage is a crucial age. You are at the cusp of childhood and young age. Your body and mind are changing. It is also important from the career perspective.

Nakul is an upper middle class spoilt brat. He goes with his grandma to Bardoli and meets Prakash. There is no modern amenity there and Prakash lives in poverty. He is unlike Nakul and Nakul learns a few things from him and in turn teaches him English. Akansha is a beautiful young achiever. She is good in studies and dance. All the boys are in awe of her and thus don’t approach her. Nakul and Akanksha become friends.

This is a story of bonding. The friendship of Nakul with these two is special. They teach him few things and in the process they also grow.

The pace is slow and plot is missing. It is a simple straight line story with no turns. The climax is also predictable.

I give the book 3/ 5 stars.

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