Thursday, 21 December 2017

The Shack .. By William Paul Young

An unusual and mysterious book which I am sure many people will find it highly controversial in religious or spiritual sense because of so many reasons I don't want to get into, but to be completely honest with you, I grew quite fond of the story even though it had some fluke aspects that we tend to avoid. And before I begin to explain why the book was worth reading, I would like to give a synopsis -

When Mackenzie takes his three children on a camping trip, his youngest daughter goes missing and later he finds her bloodied clothes in a shack far out in a forest and everyone assumes the worst. The whole family sinks into a great sadness.

One day, Mack receives a note in his mailbox from "Papa", saying that he would like to meet with Mack that coming weekend at the shack. The family refers God as "Papa", however, Mack assumes this to be a trick or some sick joke from his murderer to lure him out too. Outraged by his own misery and his family's condition, he sets out towards the shack, unsure of who he will find there. After reaching the shack, however, he finds himself face-to-face with manifestations of God in different forms. 

What you need to find out is.. Will he confront God for what happened to his daughter? Will he find inner peace and ability to cope with his life after what he went through?

This story is more about the journey of a tortured soul and his relationship with God and how to deal with people who hurt you and your loved ones in the most heinous way.

I liked this book not only because of its valuable teachings, which without a doubt was insightful. I liked it more because the image of God in his various forms were exceptionally fascinating and also the way Mack come to terms with his suffering was beyond something.

I would highly recommend this book to all, especially those who have been angry with God or are trying to process pain and suffering in their own lives.

I am sure Papa will help you as he is especially fond of you!!!

Monday, 11 December 2017

The Hunger Games .. Mockingjay # 3.. By Suzanne Collins

The final book of Hunger Games is a mixture of battles and politics with an amazing but slightly predictable end of the series.

Katniss Everdeen, a sixteen-year-old girl, who outlasted two Hunger Games - a deadly fight for survival, becomes the symbol of a rebel to overthrow an evil empire for its unspeakable cruelty towards its citizens. 

"It takes ten times as long to put yourself back together as it does to fall apart."

I have a mixed opinion on this book because, on one hand, it had an amazing characterization and a lasting impression, despite which it fails to generate the level of excitement created by the first two installments with less of adrenaline-driven power acts and more of sorrow and destruction. 

This time it is not about the actual challenge to survive against the other districts, which is what made the Hunger Games books so much fun for me, but it is more about the revolution against the government and the struggle to obtain freedom. Although the book is beautifully written with all the emotions rightfully expressed and with a wonderfully laid out story, it fails to draw the reader into the plot as it did with the other two books.

Nevertheless, I enjoyed the series very much with its perfect amalgamation of sci-fi and fantasy, which is enough to steal the heart of any youngster.

Please check out my reviews on its previous two books:

"Here's some advice. Stay Alive."

Happy Reading!!!

Thursday, 30 November 2017

The Count of Monte Cristo .. By Alexander Dumas

One of the classic novels in the history of English Literature, The Count of Monte Cristo is adventurous in its crudest sense. A story of love and revenge with a bitter-romance drama from the times when Nepolean returned to power after his exile.

A young sailor, Edmond Dantes, when returns from his voyage to marry his beautiful fiancee - Mercedes, he is falsely accused of a crime by his supposed friend, who is also in love with his fiancee.

He is cast in prison for fourteen long years in the Chateau d'If, far out on an island. Dante is on the verge of suicide when he befriends a fellow prisoner, also known as the Abbe Faria (Mad Priest), who had dug an escape tunnel that ended up in Dantes' cell. On his deathbed, Faria tells Dantes about the location of a hidden treasure and when he dies, Dantes breaks through and takes his place in the burial sack that is thrown into the sea and is rescued by a smuggling ship that stops at Monte Cristo. 

Escaping from prison, Dantes finds the treasure, buys himself the title of Count and returns to France to put into effect his long-nurtured schemes of revenge.

Alexander Dumas, the author of The Three Musketeers, has definitely created a literary masterpiece with this immense feat of writing an intricately plotted tale of vengeance. Even though the book is very long (1000+ pages), I never felt the need to put it down once. Engrossing at the highest level, it is a classic fusion of French Impressionism and English Romanticism.

I recommend this book to all, especially to them who are looking for a historical-classic fiction with a gripping tale that would hook you up till the end.

Happy Reading!!!

Monday, 20 November 2017

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone .. # 1 .. By J.K. Rowling

The first ever book series that I started reading as a child or the book series that I have read more than twenty times till date or the book series I will continue to read till I none other than Harry Potter!!!

On the occasion of celebrating my silver jubilee post on Bloggers, I would like to share my views on my favorite book series' first novel and will continue the tradition of posting the review of all its sequel.

So here goes....

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone was introduced into our lives by the famous fantasy novelist J.K. Rowling in 1997. The entire series is the second most read book in the world after Bible... couldn't imagine a higher praise than that! 

The story is about a young orphan boy named "Harry Potter", bullied and mistreated all his life by his relatives, discovers the truth about his magical heritage on his eleventh birthday and facts about his horrific past of his curious encounter with the evilest dark wizard - Lord Voldemort when he was just a year old. Voldemort killed his parents and when he tried to kill Harry, the curse rebounded and removed all his powers, but baby Harry gained immense fame among the magical community due to this mysterious occurrence.   

Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry

He is surprised to find himself the center of attention in his first year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Hated by some like his archenemy - Draco Malfoy and Potion's Master - Severus Snape, but loved by many, like his best friends - Ronald Weasely and Hermione Granger, he discovers a new home in this strange land of magic and finds himself extremely happy for the first time in his life.

Harry with Ron and Hermione

His first year at Hogwarts is filled with plenty of magical learnings in the most interesting, but bizarre classes. He not only becomes the youngest person to be chosen as a Quidditch (Magical sports played in the air on broomsticks) player in a century. His encounter with fantastic beasts like giant three-headed dogs, trolls or dragon that becomes a nightmarish experience for him. He also faces the Dark Lord yet again in his gallantry attempt with his friends to save the theft of the Philosopher's Stone.

Albus Dumbledore and Minerva McGonagall with baby Harry

It is a brilliant book and one of its kind to be published in many centuries to come with a content that any reader could easily fall in love with. It is a heartwarming and perfect story to capture your interest right from the first line and the reason that I read it so many times is to simply forget the real world around me and jump into that magnificent sphere full of childhood memories and a remarkable magical journey with a story that comforts me and reminds me so often that words are in my not-so-humble opinion, our most inexhaustible source of magic.

Don't let the Muggles get you down!!!

Saturday, 4 November 2017

A Mutiny In Time .. Infinity Ring # 1 .. By James Dashner

A truly adventurous children's novel about time travel - a concept that is not unfamiliar but has an altogether different level of obsession, especially among children.

This is a story about two kids, Dak and Sera, in the futuristic USA, which is controlled by a group called SQ. Dak is obsessed with history and Sera loves science. When they find their way into Dak's parents' lab, they end up making a discovery that could save the world, or if let into the wrong hands, worsen it further. With the help of the Hystorians and a techie boy named Riq, Dak and Sera must righten history and find Dak's missing parents.

I found the story has the perfect length for the age group it was written for and the way it was described was fascinating.

There was an unusual concept called "Remnants", that people experience in the story, which, from what I understood is something that occurs in the mind which is shadows of what should have happened instead of what is happening. Not sure if I understood that correctly or not, as I feel that it was not properly explained in the book. 

On the whole, the book was meant to be read by children, so from their point of view, it was very entertaining, but to us adults, it would seem a little predictable.

I am definitely going to go for book two of this series and will bring you the review of it soon as well.

Happy Reading!!!

Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Origin .. By Dan Brown

Another mind-boggling journey - this time in Spain, through this incredibly awesome book by my favorite author - Dan Brown. 

"Where Do We Come From?"
"Where Are We Going?"

Two of humanity's fundamental questions throughout millennia has been answered. Believe it or not ... the speculation concerning the origin of human beings has taken an interesting turn and what is more bizarre is the discovery of our future because where we come from is not nearly as startling as where we are going.

Yet again Dan Brown has left me speechless and proved it time and again that nothing could be more interesting than running around risking your life to break codes throughout historic cities to find the meaning of so wild a controversy that could alter the course of your life. 

What is the formula of an engrossing thriller to you? Is it Dan Brown's classic ingredients?

  • Robert Landon - Harward Symbologist
  • An exceptionally beautiful and intellectual woman to help him out!
  • Stalker Assassins
  • Powerful parties at work to destroy the world
  • Exotic cities
  • Historic Hero
  • Visiting unparalleled Cathedrals, Mosques or historic buildings to find inconspicuous meaning of famous arts
  • And finally coming face-to-face with the ultimate truth

The formula is right there in this extraordinary book, set in Spain's three beautiful cities - Barcelona, Madrid, and Bilbao. And talking about our historic hero will be like giving out more than that is necessary to the readers who has not yet started reading the book. But I would still like to give a hint by including the picture of the building below- Sagrada Familia, which is not so much as a major hint because it is already included on the cover of this book -

Take out some time to read this fabulous book because nothing is more fascinating than entering a world of Dan Brown that is so much like our world but only a hundred times more interesting.

"The Dark Religions are Departed and Sweet Science Reigns"

Happy Reading!!!

Monday, 16 October 2017

Delhi Is Not Far .. By Ruskin Bond

A short and sweet story by Ruskin Bond which is filled with soft narrations by the story-teller mainly about Pipalnagar, a small town in Northern India, where he currently lives, and Delhi, where he dream of moving to one day.

The main protagonist, Arun is a struggling writer, who is waiting for an inspiration to write a phenomenal novel, meanwhile seeking love from a local prostitute, friendship from an orphan & homeless boy, and escape to the capital. 

A very simple and neat novel, describing the ordinary lives of a small town's landscape and its people in an extraordinary way. It felt like a journal entry that gives the reader a nostalgic view of the author's memory compilation which had an overwhelming sense of fulfillment, the character wants to achieve once they undertake the quintessential journey to Delhi.

Even though the language was very simple, but the brevity and clarity of the narration was spell-binding. I would like to conclude by quoting Ruskin Bond from the book, which has a direct relationship with our hearts as an Indian and has felt like this at least once in our lifetime...

"The rain swirls over the tress and roofs of the town, and the parched earth soaks it up, exuding a fragrance that comes only once in a year, the fragrance of quenched earth, the most exhilarating of all smells"

Happy Reading!!!

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

First Family .. By David Baldacci

One of the intense thrillers I read so far this year and it surely qualifies to be an exciting page-turner and Baldacci classics. It is another Michelle Maxwell and Sean King series of an adventure novel, who are ex-secret service agents and partners in an investigating agency. I absolutely adore these characters and enjoy reading their chemistry of problem-solving.

Sean and Michelle are called in once again to solve a dangerous situation and this time it involves the kidnapping of the first lady's niece, right from Camp David, the Presidential Retreat, which turns into a national security nightmare. There are multiple hurdles to overcome and to top it off, Michelle's mother is found murdered in her home and her father is the prime suspect.

Manipulation, deception, murder, and secrets make up the plot of this enthralling tale and on top of that, the story gets intricately woven into a mysteriously bold phenomenon, which is highly exciting and captivating. It is a clearly crafted work and one of Baldacci's best works.

I would recommend this book to a reader who is looking for an entertaining action-packed drama with some interesting plot-twists without too-confusing mystery.

Happy Reading!!!

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

A Thousand Splendid Suns .. By Khaled Hosseini

Let me present the review of yet another story from the snow-peaked and the vast mountains of Afghanistan. Like its barrenness, this tale also speaks about the tortured lives of two women who suffered at the hands of fate.

Khaled Hosseini has amazed us again with the brilliance of his writing and story-telling ability. It is astonishing to find yourself in such pain just by reading stories of tormented souls and the empathy that you feel towards the characters is unbelievable; that's the kind of narration is what Hosseini is famous for. 

It is the story of an illegitimate child, Mariam, who suffers from the stigma surrounding her birth along with the abuse that she faces throughout her marriage. Laila, born a generation later, is comparatively privileged during her youth until their lives intersect when she is forced to accept the marriage proposal from Mariam's husband.

The story was incredibly sad and the writing, as I mentioned earlier, had the power to stomp all over your heart without mercy. It is not the kind of book that you would want to peruse while traveling because this might cause intense emotional stress or bewilderment to you. You would rather read this story on normal working days, as it will make your stressful life seem like a paradise. 

I would also like to make a comparison between this book and "The Kite Runner". It may seem to you that both the stories had striking similarities, in terms of war damage, family spectacle and social hierarchies, but I feel that Kite Runner's story had far better essence than this one in terms of character simplicity and grafting of history.

I would say that the author did a great job on both the books, that is to say, well thought-out characters and picturesque description of the mountainous views. Even though the story was molded based on bomb rubble on the surface with traditions and family norms in the core, it clearly relates the strength and courage of Afghan women in the face of the cruelty of life.

Happy Reading!!!

Sunday, 27 August 2017

Dangerous Women .. By (Multiple Authors)

Dangerous Women is a combination of short-stories which was published in 2013 and edited by George R.R. Martin and Gardener Dozois. It is called a cross-genre anthology, that includes science-fiction, horror, romance, mystery, and fantasy combined.

The first volume contains a novella, "The Princess and the Queen", which reveals the origins of the civil war in Westeros, known as the Dance of the Dragons, pitting Targaryen against Targaryens and dragons against dragons, 200 years before the events of Game of Thrones. Other short stories include:

"Raisa Stepanova" by Carrie Vaughn
"I Know How to Pick 'Em" by Lawrence Block
"Neighbors" by Megan Lindholm
"Wrestling Jesus" by Joe R. Lansdale
"My Heart is Either Broken" by Megan Abbott
"Nora's Song" by Cecelia Holland

I am not sure what to say more about this book than saying that it was completely foolish of me to read it even after the bad reviews given by my friends. It was a complete trash and I suggest you all, not to fall for the author's name alone like I did.

The title itself is meaningless and is another misguided attempt to capture interest because there were plenty of men in it too and women, well, were not that dangerous at all. The only story worth reading was "I Know How to Pick 'Em", which has a charm and dark sense of humor that captivated my attention till the end and the best part was, the story was a perfect length. I am sure to add Lawrence Block's other books on my reading list. 

But, I honestly didn't like other authors work in this book, especially R.R. Martin's. It felt like a total drag of unwanted history of the seven kingdoms, that you are surely gonna give up reading way before the ending. 

I am glad I didn't spend money on this book and just got it out from a library. A seriously disappointing read!

Please check out this Blog Space for more reviews!!

Monday, 14 August 2017

The Immortals of Meluha .. By Amish (Shiva Trilogy # 1)

On India's 70th independence celebration, I would like to start the review of this fantastic series which is soulfully connected to India's one of the oldest mythologies.

This is one of the most intriguing books about the stories of deities I read so far. Can't really say if it could be compared to Shiva Puran, which I haven't read, but would rather categorize it under pure imagination or fantasy for that matter.

Meluha is a perfect empire created by Lord Ram many centuries ago. However, as the time goes by the Suryavashis of this empire face a major crisis in the form of their slowly dying holy river Saraswati and continuous assaults from Chandravanshis, who have joined forces with the Nagas, a cursed race with physical deformities. 

The present king of Meluha, Daksha, sends his emissaries to Tibet, to invite the tribes that live there to Meluha. Thier brave warrior chief, Shiva who accepts the proposal and travels with his tribe to the mighty land, finds that they are all subjected to somras, the elixir of life, on the way to Meluha. When the Meluhans discover that Shiva's throat turned blue after drinking the somras, they announce him as Neelkanth, their fabled savior.

What follows is a captivating adventure of Shiva's epic deeds, Sati's enchanting endurance, and the mystery that the tale covertly possesses and promises to grip us till the end.

I enjoyed this book immensely and was pleasantly surprised by how the author used the legend in an interesting form of storytelling.

Amish explains the caste system established by Lord Rama based on people's merits and not based on their inheritance was enlightening. I especially liked the way he narrated the story not based on fictitious renditions, but rather in a scientific manifestation of the fabulous miracles we encounter while reading the book.

I would like to conclude the review by saying that it is a "must-read" category series of novels with an admirable writing of an awesome story that is guaranteed to keep you engaged till you finish the trilogy itself.

Happy Reading!!!

Monday, 7 August 2017

The Silkworm ... (Cormoran Strike Series # 2) By Robert Galbraith a.k.a.. J.K. Rowling

Cormoran Strike's second adventure novel was released in 2014 after the success of Cuckoo's Calling. It's a crime novel created by none other than J.K. Rowling under the pseudonym of Robert Galbraith.

When missing novelist Owen Quine's wife contacts Strike, he thinks there isn't much mystery to this search. But once he starts digging into potential whereabouts of the author, he discovers a highly controversial unpublished work written by the author, that turned out to be a dark and mysterious bashing of his co-workers, which might have led to his disappearance or possible murder.

Strike and his talented assistant Robin, find themselves solving yet another conundrum and tries against all odds to save the author's wife from being proven guilty for a crime she didn't commit.

This book met with a lot of critical acclaims, but after J.K. Rowling's identity behind this work was revealed in 2013, the sale of the book increased tenfold.

To be honest, I myself started reading both the books when I came to know it is Rowling's invention. Nevertheless, she did a fantastic job with the series. Even though it started out with a slow pace, the book gained momentum and purpose extremely quickly and hooked me till the end.

Many readers might not like this series as much as I liked it because the style of mystery writing is quite different from the general perception, which interested me a lot. Especially the way each character was portrayed and the illusion that it created of each of their murderous sides made it impossible to guess the miscreant till the end.

I would recommend this book to all readers and invite you all to share your thoughts on this and its previous novel, Cuckoo's Calling.

Happy Reading!!!

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Dear John .. By Nicholas Sparks

This is my second review of Nicholas Sparks work and I am gonna say this again that he is one of the best romance writers of the 21st century and would admit that I enjoyed this novel thoroughly.

Sparks might not use fancy words or poetic contraptions while narrating, but the stories that he put forth never stop to astound me because the true exchange of emotion and passion is what we look forward to in a romantic novel anyway. I love the simplicity of his stories and the way it absorbs me the minute I start reading and not to mention its heart-numbing conclusions. 

Time for some rundown..

John is a tough guy with some rough childhood and rocky relationship with his father, which made him join the US army after high school. He meets and falls in love with Savannah while on holiday and promise himself to spend the rest of his life with her. But destiny had a different plan for them because he returns to find Savannah is married to another man, who is in dire need of her help and support. What follows is some unexpected turn of events which was both sorrowful and inspirational at the same time.

There was a film adaption of this book, which had some significant differences with the book; ending being the most crucial. Yet it turned out ok in either case which is a rare phenomenon in itself. 

I would recommend this book to all but especially to those who are looking for love stories that are not dull commonplace and twined with lovey-dovey lines, but some first-rate and convincing romance.

Happy Reading!!!

Monday, 10 July 2017

Last Man Standing .. By David Baldacci

Another Baldacci political thriller with an action-packed drama; secretive clue-findings and never ending plot twists and turns, which thoroughly fails to leave its mark on the reader. Unlike its Camel Club series, this book turned out to be a sour read throughout with too many cliched dialogues and average overall execution of the plot.

Here goes the synopsis -

An FBI agent Web London and his rescue team are sent down for a surprise attack on a drug dealer's lair. As they move with stealth precision towards the target, they are surprised to see a boy in the dark alley. When the kid sees them, he utters the queer words, "Damn to hell" and cackles. 

Uncharacteristically, this kid unnerves Web and when the Operations Center radios give the go ahead for the final move, Web freezes and fall down on his gun. At five seconds to impact, Web lays helpless as he watches the team proceed and then one by one fall to the ground, all dead in seconds. Ironically, Web is the only one alive. That is to say, he is the last man standing after this terrible ordeal.

He can't stand to bear the silent accusations of the family members of the deceased. So, he sets out to prove his innocence.

I enjoyed the story, however much I hated the longevity of it. The characters of the plot were justifiable, however, the plot itself was not very convincing. It took me too long to finish this book, which itself is unlike me, that I would literally place it under the boring category.

Baldacci novels usually have an exciting fast-paced thriller story to its credit, but this one felt more or less tragic life events of one particular character, which felt monotonous, not to mention disappointing. 

Kindly check out the links to my previous reviews of David Baldacci fictions and wait for more-

Happy Reading!!!

Sunday, 2 July 2017

The Kite Runner .. By Khaled Hosseini

Khaled Hosseini's Kite Runner is surely one of the best stories I ever read so far. Its intricately woven words were mesmerizing in an unusual sad sort of way. 

It is a tragic drama set up on the hilly terrains of Kabul. The story is of a boy who desperately desires his father's approval, but has a far way to go before he gets it. He was best friends with his servant's son, a Hazara boy. However, a tragedy that befalls them tore their friendship apart and changed their lives forever.

It is an overwhelmingly distressful book with an extraordinary storytelling. The way Khaled Hosseini expressed the emotional state of each character was undoubtedly touching and made me swear off other books for a while. This book has the power of creating a deep impact on your emotional state and make you feel insignificant all the while you read this book. In so many ways it tells you how the life of Afghanistan's locals was affected and is still affecting due to civil war, insurgencies, and social hierarchies.

I would definitely recommend this book to all for its poignant writing and excellent narration.

Happy Reading!!!

Monday, 19 June 2017

King Lear .. By William Shakespeare

King Lear is a tragic play written by the greatest writer of all time, William Shakespeare in the 17th century. I have often seen the film adaptation of this play, but reading it first hand was a completely different experience altogether.

The play is about an old King of Britain who decides to divide his realm among his three daughters and declares he will give the largest to the one who adores him the most. The two of his eldest daughters showers him with flattery, however, the youngest daughter, Cordelia bluntly refuses to declare her love saying there are no words to express or compare the love she holds for the king. This infuriates the king hugely and he decides to disinherit Cordelia and divide her share with his two eldest daughters. This disposition of King Lear's kingdom sets in motion lot of tragic consequences.

(King Lear mourns Cordelia's death)

King Lear is Shakespeare's one of the greatest tragic drama filled with incredibly violent catastrophes occurring to its dark and brooding characters. It represents the hunger for power and control; the evil inside a person and the madness of losing love or the trauma of finding something back that you hold dear. In the end, what matters is not survival, but one's personal principles. 

A fierce, uncompromising and intense play that is "best seen, not read", which holds true for every work of Shakespeare, especially the concluding scene that challenges the tears to shatter and achieve absolution. This combination of great story and superlative narration is what makes it a legend.

Happy Reading!!!

Monday, 12 June 2017

A Dance with Dragons .. Game of Thrones .. # 5 .. By George R.R. Martin

A Dance with Dragons is the fifth and the last published installment of the Game of Thrones The Song of Ice and Fire series out of the seven books that R.R. Martin planned to release. 

This everlasting fantasy piqued my interest in the whole tale so much that I completed the entire volume of more than 700 pages per book in less than a month. No one would ever understand the pointless insanity to read this seemingly endless opus of sword fights for an ugly chair.

Well, I suppose the insanity wouldn't have turned into lucidity if it hadn't been for the HBO production house who created a sensical story out of Martin's unruly narration. 

This book turned out ok compared to its prequel which was an absolute disaster. The plot picks up where Storm of Swords ended and runs almost concurrently at least for the first half with Feast for Crows. The story has already spun out of control and that too with the additions of so many new characters which flit past so quickly that they would barely create any impression on the readers.

All in all, the book was a bleak rendition with only one cliffhanger up its sleeve which is the speculation concerning the release dates of the last two books.

Before the conclusion of this bitter-sweet serialized drama, I would follow the tradition of giving the crude summary of the series comparing it with the TV show - (Including only the essential bits of the story)

On the wall, Jon becomes the new Lord Commander of the Night's Watch and tries to resettle the wildlings to the south with the help of Stannis. Despite the Red Woman's warning, he ends up getting stabbed in the back by many of his own men for giving land to the wildlings.

Across the Narrow Sea, Tyrion is smuggled to Pentos by Varys to help and advice Daenerys Targaryen on her conquest. It is also revealed that Prince Aegon, son of Rhaeghar Targaryen, is alive and Tyrion supports his claim of the Iron Throne. (Contrary to the series, Aegon is still dead and Tyrion's wits and wisdom is reserved only for Khaleesi)

In Braavos, Arya continues her training with the Faceless Men after her temporary blindness, she develops her sense of hearing and soon is given the task of assassination after which she is declared an apprentice of the Faceless Men. 

In Meereen, Daenerys struggles to keep peace within the city and also to keep control of her dragons. In order to preserve Meereen's history and gain the trust of its people, she reopens the fighting pits against her better judgment and ends up in a terrible mess.

In King's Landing, Cersie acquires a new toy of destruction in the form of an invincible "Mountain" (Sir Gregor Clegane), after facing the utter humiliation from the High Sparrow and his disciples. 

Here is the end of my takes on this series until the last two books - The Winds of Winter and The Dream of Spring is released.

In case you missed the reviews of the previous books, please check out the below links -

Happy Reading!!!

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

The Hungry Tide .. By Amitav Ghosh

Amitav Ghosh is one of the best Indian Authors and The Hungry Tide is one of his finest books which has won the Hutch Crossword Book Award in 2004. This book tells us a story about the horrors lying within the confines of Sunderban Delta and describes in a subtle fashion, how the life of this tide country is immensely different from the rest of India. 

It was so strange to understand the fascination, the tide country holds for its people who are constantly struggling with the floods, water-borne diseases, daily attacks by vicious predators and barely coping with poverty. Yet Amitav describes this melancholy in such a fashion, one can't help but fall in love with the wide flowing mighty rivers, the mystery of the mangrove forests, the playful riverine dolphins and the serenity of the Isles. And the most enchanting part of this book was the mysterious tale of Bon Bibi, which was poetically recited by the author.

It was a heart-tugging story with a touch of an unnatural narration using winds and water which had an almost supernatural rhythm to it. Such a phenomenal thought can only be brought about by reading and discovering the finest qualities of storytelling one could hope for.

Happy Reading!!!

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

The Da Vinci Code ... By Dan Brown

A highly debatable story of the century, this book is exceptionally popular not only because of its controversial content but also because of the author's meticulous writing.

It is an extremely addictive book with innumerable suspense and ingenious puzzle solving from our favorite symbologist and Harward professor, Robert Langdon. It also provoked a major interest in speculation concerning the Holy Grail legend and Mary Magdalene's role in the history of Christianity.

                      I awoke, only to see that the rest of the world is still asleep!

                                                                                      - Leonardo Da Vinci

Dan Brown is a perfectionist in terms of storytelling and his ability to blur the lines between facts and fiction always amazes me. And to read a suspense thriller which has symbols, codes, secret societies or conspiracies are the best sources of fascination for me more than anything else.

Da Vinci Code is a 24-hours mind-boggling puzzle-solving ride with the Harward Symbologist, Robert Langdon, who is in search of the Holy Grail whose secret location might just be hidden in the meaning of Mona Lisa's mysterious and knowing smile.

Well, I couldn't get enough delight even if I read this book a hundred times over. I absolutely adore this book and has kept it as a crowning jewel in my library.

Some might call it insane love, but I personally endorse this book to all who love English fiction at its best.

Happy Reading!!!

Friday, 26 May 2017

The Cuckoo's Calling ... (Cormoran Strike Series # 1) By Robert Galbraith a.k.a.. J.K. Rowling

Robert Galbraith is a pseudonym used by J.K. Rowling to publish the Cormoran Strike series and this is the first of the saga. She has again proved her worth as a fiction writer with this marvelous tale which could easily be regarded equivalent to Sherlock Holmes.

It is a superbly exhilarating tale of Cormoran Strike, an ex-military private detective with a prosthetic leg and a troubled family, who is hired to investigate the death of a supermodel, Lula Landry, who jumped from her balcony three months previously. This sharp detective with his quick-witted assistant, Robin, probe into the case with determined fascination over the work they have been assigned and bring us a chilling truth behind the so-called suicide of the famous model.

The book is a well-written mystery with intense characters and beautiful imagination. There is no hint of J.K. Rowling's magic world at all, other than her brilliant writing itself. From the genre of writing children's fantasy novel to adult fiction was a great wager she took against critics and what's wonderful is that it paid off big time.

I would also like to quote a beautiful poem from this book, which hints at the truth all along that when the snow was falling and when a "Cuckoo" fell off her balcony to her tragic death, the paparazzi gather around her body just as they did when she was alive....

Why were you born when the snow was falling? 
You should have come to the cuckoo’s calling, 
Or when grapes are green in the cluster, 
Or, at least, when lithe swallows muster 

For their far off flying From summer dying. 
Why did you die when the lambs were cropping? 
You should have died at the apples’ dropping, 
When the grasshopper comes to trouble, 
And the wheat-fields are sodden stubble, 
 And all winds go sighing 
 For sweet things dying. 

                                                                     --Christina G. Rossetti, “A Dirge”

I am going to continue down the road and bring you all, the review of the following books of this series as well- The Silkworm and Career of Evil.

Till then keep your eyes peeled for my next review which is an International Bestseller and an exceptionally controversial book of all time.

Happy Reading!!!