Monday, August 10, 2020

Hinterland by L.M. Brown - a Book Review

I have been provided ARC of the "Hinterland" by L.M. Brown in exchange for an honest review. As the cover was that of a flower vase on a chair, I didn't get any idea what to expect. So I checked the blurb, I got a feeling that book is a semi thriller and semi drama. Finally, I took a chance and read the book.

Hinterland by L M Brown

As mentioned in the blurb, the story is formed around a small family. Central characters of our story are Nicholas, his daughter (Kate), his wife (Kathleen), and Ina (his neighbor). The story started when Ina came back to town as her mother, Tilly, met with an accident. But Kathleen who was already unstable took it in the wrong manner and had a fight. Few days after that Nicholas found Kathleen in a suspicious position with evil intentions. Authorities took Kathleen away, but nobody told Kate what actually happened.  Fearing that truth would destroy Kate, Nicholas hide the truth from his daughter. He went into extreme, hampering his relationship with her daughter. Ina who knows truth helped Nicholas but the gap between father & daughter was something out of her hands as well. Read the book to know more.

Few facts about the book

1. The book portrays the unconditional love of a father who wants to protect his daughter. If you are a father yourself you may find yourself in a fixed situation and may like to debate what you would do in his position.

2. The book is written uniquely. Though it is an emotional drama, the author has unraveled facts in thriller fashion. For example, an actual event that occurred during Kathleen's accident was mentioned multiple times but every time only a fraction of information reveals each time.

3. The pace of the book is slow. Except for the last 20% section where pace improved. 

I found a few weak points here and there. But those are about character, not about the plot. When I inquired about cover design and message behind it, I came to know that the current picture of a flower on chair represents dysfunction, something off with the picture and not right.

Overall I will give 3.75 out of 5 to this emotional drama.

Book Links - Goodreads

Saturday, August 1, 2020

The Green Signal: Poems of Virtue, Positivity & Emotions by Manishi Gupta - Poetry Book Review

I have been recommended "The Green Signal" by Amazon suggestions engine. I have recently bought few poetry books on Amazon Kindle (though mostly free or below 19 rs), that's when I saw this suggestion. I took my chances and bought the book. 39 pages long book was a short and sweet read, it has lightened my mood.

The Green Signal by Manishi Gupta

There are a total of 17 poems in the book divided into 3 sections, Virtues, Positivity & Emotions. And poems of each section follows the theme of that section. Three poems of virtue will make you face the mirror and think about gratitude & morale. The poems containing in positivity section can boost the reader's confidence and morale. And emotions section can remind you of your upbringing and may bring tears in your eyes. I have lost my dad when I was away, though I never had arguments with him (mentioned in the poem ) it still made my eyes moist. The best part of the poems is simplicity in which it is written. Limited use of exquisite words, which makes poems available for a large audience. I think this is a very important aspect because many poets use the choicest wording which deters normal readers' interest quotient. If you were not able to take a poetry book in the past due to its complexity you may try this book, you may be able to relate easily and read it with ease.

My favorite poems are
1) Everyday learning
2) Believing in yourself
3) When my father was alive
4) The power of love

Coming to the book design, the cover of the book was aligned with the title. But when I checked the book in colored screen (mobile/iPad Kindle app) I was blown away by the page design. A unique background on each page captivated my mind. 

You may take down 20-25 couplets in your diary which may be useful for your day to day life. A quote or stanza from these poems and you can give a different touch to your gifts or belongings. With a uniquely designed product, you may also gift this book to your near & dear ones. 

I will give 4 out 5 stars to the simple yet deep poem collection.

Book Links - Goodreads and Amazon

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Black Hole Oblivion - Earth to Centauri Book 3 - A Book Review

Out of 6 books written by Kumar, L. l have read 4. And I am a close follower of Earth to Centauri book series. I have read the first two parts of the series within 3 months of its release but due to our strict schedule, we were not able to get enough time to read the third party for the last one year. Covid-19 came in disguise it gave me time to finish my previous pending books and I got enough time to read the book of my choice for almost three months now. 2 days back I saw a post by Kumar where he mentioned that he has few copies of Hindi edition of third part which contains few typo errors. I have read the first 2 parts in English, still, I didn't miss the chance and took the third part's Hindi edition. I started reading it within a week of its delivery and finished it within 4 days. I finished it into 2-3 seatings and I enjoyed it a lot.

Black Hole Oblivion - Earth to Centauri Book 3 - Book Review

The third part started just after the alien attack on Earth. The Indian government sent Anara's team to capture the person responsible for the attack, the person called chairmen. Unknown to them, somewhere between the solar system and Proxima, Joe had blasted devastating bombs that they have captured from Antrariksha. He wanted the device to get lost so that the chairman cannot use it further for his nefarious actions. But this action of his made a black hole which was within the path of Antrariksha. On their way to the next assignment, Anara's crew stuck into the horizon of this black hole. Not just that they found a French space station on way to Proxima, which gave negative signals to Anara. Stuck in a black hole where their every tries to escape horizon failed how Anara would save her crew. Read the book to know more.

Good points about the book
1) Fast track storytelling. No nonsense to the point narration
2) A strong female character steering the plot
3) Mixed of sci-fi and space-time hypothesis
4) Unexpected twists and turns
5) Easy language usage. No showcase of extraordinary vocabulary.
6) The best cover in the series.

Overall I will give 4 out of 5 to the series.

Book links - 

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

A Light Read - An Uneasy Alliance by Kyra Radcliffe - Book Review

I have been reading thriller and crime novels lately. Many of them were of a psychological thriller. Reading them during lockdown was actually made my mind very very serious. So I decided to lighten my mood, that's when I saw a romantic cover of "An Uneasy Alliance" by Kyra Radcliffe. The cover reminded my Mills & Boons series. The book was available in Kindle Unlimited so I took the chance and read the sample chapter. The sample chapters gave me confidence that the book is good to go. So here I am discussing my observations about the book.

An Uneasy Alliance by Kyra Radcliffe

Let me give you a brief of the story first. The central characters of our story are Katherine and Tate. One fine day Katherine, the mayor of Blissmore, got to know that her younger brother Keith was in jail. On meeting Keith, Katherine came to know Keith was framed by his girlfriend, Samantha's brother Tate for frame charged. Katherine wanted Keith to fight the case but Keith wanted the blessing of Tate for his wedding with Samantha. Katherine met with Tate, who was under impression that Katherine was unemployed. At the same time, he found her attractive, he thought of having a good time with Katherine by making Her work as social secretary for his work. There was unspoken chemistry between Tate and Katherine but same time there was a sweet enmity between them. The period of 2 weeks decided between them when eventful and Katherine went back to her town with tearful eyes. Read the book to know whether Katherine-Tate or Keith-Samantha finally meet or not.

Coming to the writing style, the story is written with a minimalistic approach. You will not find complexity in plot narration. There are hardly 7-8 characters in the story, which means you can easily keep track of characters as well. The language is easy to follow, I would recommend it for beginners. Due to a slight sexual touch, I would suggest it keep away from under 14. 

Some critical observations. Though the book is written more like a love story a few parts I found written like erotica, well the language of those narratives were tender compare to plain erotica, which was a slight relief. 

Overall a good light mood read. You may read it in 3-4 sittings. I finished it in 3 and enjoyed it.

I would give 3.5 out of 5 to this story.

Book links - Goodreads, Amazon UK and Amazon India

Saturday, July 18, 2020

Confused - Audible or Storytel? 3 major differences between Leading Audiobook Apps in India

Are you confused about which audiobook app is better for you? Are you not sure how audiobook apps operate? Not sure which one suits your need? Check our video.

There are three simple differences which will help you to make your decision. Questions are subscription-style, cost & book portfolio. Check the video to know how these three things will help you.

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Grumpy due to Lock down - Cheer up - Read the Laughter Riot called Scoundrels

I have been a regular member of NetGalley till Sept 2018. Later on my visits to their site reduced, I think one of those visits I applied for "Scoundrels 1 & 2". I got the approval for both the volumes. I think I checked the first volume and read a few pages. But somehow I forgot about those two books and found them during COVID Lockdown. I wanted some good books which can lighten the mood and stress level during these trying times. And Scoundrels gave me that peace of mind. I am grateful to NetGalley and authors for providing such a wonderful book in exchange for an honest review. And I would like to apologize for the delaying review. Still, books needed it's pending praise and here I am delivering duty which was due for almost a year and a half.

Scoundrels - Volume 1

Before we discuss the plot let me tell you my first impression of the book cover. I was going through NetGalley shelves when two funny covers came into the view. They reminded me of my favorite childhood tv show "Laurel and Hardy". The title was equally funny, "Scoundrels". I knew the books will be a fun riot. I applied to them immediately. I think they were the last books I applied within those 12 months. I am glad I have these books with me to enlighten my mood. As I applied books in combo and got approval for both, I am posting a combined review. 

Scoundrels Volume 2

"Scoundrels" & "Scoundrels: The Hunt for Hansclapp" are the first two volumes of adventurous, fun-filled & thrilled journey of Major Cornwall and Major Trevelyan. The word scoundrels are not specifically for majors but rather a secretive club dedicated to great Britain. But the name does signify their activities which can not be done through political dialog or war. They do the nasty jobs.

The first volume started in recent times where Major Cornwall pushed Major Trevelyn to work on a combined memoir of their adventures. After much cooing and pushing around Major Trevelyan reluctantly accepted Cornwall's request. And thus started a rollercoaster of comedy. The very first incident they mentioned was "Race to Dakor desert". After that followed, their encounter with the Chinese Emperor. After giving a brief of what is to be expected (if you continue reading the book) both major took sequential narration of their memoir. The first part covers both major's school lives, how they entered the Scoundrel club, how they brought a secret weapon from Nazis, survived as prisoners of war in the Japanese army's captivity. The first part ends with Majors making enmity with Gruber Hansclapp.

The second volume starts with Major Cornwall getting poisoned by Hansclapp, and then went to Istanbul to destroy his plans. On their mission to Istanbul, Major Trevelyan met a lovely 8 years old girl named Anais and adopted her. Same way Major Cornwall adopted a gorilla named Titus. In this part, Major Trevelyan got married and got himself stuck knee-deep problems. Check out both the books to know more. I haven't given any spoilers. So don't worry. 

Major Cornwall is shown smarter of the two always get stuck in the problem and later on saved by Major Trevelyan. Both of them, or I would say most of the club members, were shown as super-rich and their lifestyle is shown with comic style. The way Majors use a variety of liquor and specially made tobacco for various situation/place/moods bring a smile to your faces.  

Now coming to characters & storytelling, I must have mentioned fun quotient more than 7-8 times, and you will find multiple styles of comedy. There is a black comedy, blue comedy, situational comedy, physical comedy, character comedy and whatnot. The selection of words is time appropriate. The first volume was around the second world war, and the second volume covers a decade after the second world war. 

Language is not age-appropriate, it is strictly 16+ material. 

My advice is not to read the book in public, you may end up laughing out loud and may embarrass yourself. 

With this, I will complete the review. Talking about ratings
1) Scoundrel - 4.25/5
2) Scoundrels: The Hunt for Hansclapp - 3.75/5

Book Links - 
Amazon - Volume 1 & Volume 2
GoodReads - Volume 1 & Volume 2

Friday, July 10, 2020

A Must Read Psychological Thriller - The Coast-to-coast Murder by J D Barker & James Patterson

"The Coast-to-coast murder" by J D Barker and James Patterson. It was my second read from J D Barker and the first from James Patterson. The first book I read by J D Barker was "4MK Killer". It was a completely new kind of experience for me. I may have read few psychological thrillers in past but 4MK had completely blown away my mind. So when I saw this book I gave a chance to Coast-to-Coast. Another reason was that James Patterson has written so many books and I haven't read a single book by him. So I wanted to explore his style of writing as well. I would like to thank NetGalley and publishers to provide me an early review copy of "the coast-to-coast murder."

The Coast-to-coast Murder by J D Barker and James patterson

As genre suggest it is a psychological thriller but one that you may not have seen or read yet. Our major characters are Michael Kepler, Megan Kepler, Michelle Kepler, and FBI agents. Michael Kepler got a call from his neighbor that there was water leakage from his flat and it has overflown from his flat to others' property as well. He came back running and found a body in his bathtub. He called LAPD and reported the death of a stranger. He also informed his sister Megan regarding this. Michael was a hundred percent sure that he saw that lady first time. Things that the LAPD team found were completely in contrast. The pieces of evidence they found were indicating that the murdered lady was the girlfriend of Michael. On top of it when Michael was taken to LAPD for questioning someone help him escape the jail. And from there detective Dobbs from LAPD joined hands with FBI agents to solve the case. FBI agent brought in new information that Michael might be the person behind not just one murder but more than 16 murders. Michael had asked his sister Megan to help him out and his sister was on the way to help Michael. They were both adoptive children of a psychologist couple and both had trouble passed before and after adoption. Read the book to know how killings happened and how it was related to human psychology.

I'll give you four reason why thriller genre lovers must read this book
1) Awesome plot building
2) Simple narration style and easy to read language usage
3) Minimal characters and maximum exposure to each character's to get a proper stage
4) Unexpected twist and turns to keep you engaged till the last page

Coming to the writing style, the book is written with multiple POVs making it more interesting as narrative jumps from one person to another. My only complain was cover design, I think a better cover may attract more readership.

Overall I will give 4.5 out of 5 to this wonderful thriller.

Book Links - Goodreads & Amazon