Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Dharmayoddha - Kalki - Avatar of Vishnu by Kevin Missal

Mythological books are my weakness I cannot resist them no matter how many books in that genre I collect. All credit goes to Amish Tripathi. But a few authors were able to match his work of Shiva Trilogy. Dharmayoddha - Kalki by Kevin Missal is one of those works, which I can say I loved it as much as Meluha. As the title suggested it is the fictional story of Kalki avatar.

Book Blurb
Whenever there is a decline in righteousness and an upsurge in unrighteousness, at that time, I take birth again.
Born in the quiet village of Shambala, Kalki Hari, son of Vishnuyath and Sumati, has no idea about his heritage until he is pitted against tragedies and battles.
Whisked into the province of Keekatpur, which is under the fist of Lord Kali, Kalki sees the ignominy of death trumping life all around him. He learns that he has been born to cleanse the world he lives in, for which he must journey to the North and learn the ways of Lord Vishnu’s Avatar; from an immortal who wields an axe.
But trapped in the midst of betrayals, political intrigue and forces that seek to decimate him, will he be able to follow his destiny before the Kaliyug begins?
The main characters of our stories are Kalki, Kali, Arjun, Kripacharya, Padma. Kalki was having steady and happy life in his village Shambhala. He has immense physical power and he didn’t know the reason for such power or reason for his existence. When his father was killed by mlecchas, he came to know from Kripa, a strange drunkard, about the secret of his power. The kingdom of Kiratpur in which Shambhala lies was recently taken over by tribals under the leadership of Kali. Deteriorating health of Kali, led his sister to Shambhala where the sacred caves of Soma existed. Durukti wanted to give miraculous Soma to her brother to cure him. But Kripa asked Kalki to make sure no one should take soma as it can give birth to Adharma. Kalki was set on a mission to stop Durukti. But things took an interesting turn. Check out the copy to know more.

Some books require just story part, other description bore out readers. But series like Klaki need a proprer story and characters building. Author has created not just a main character but supporting characters as well. A book with 478 pages is not at all slowing down in between. You will keep turning pages one after another. Though the book is about Kalki, the author has taken the liberty of changing the time of Klaki and even mythological timeline and names of great wars. The author has mentioned the same thing in the preface.
Things I liked about
  • Characterization
  • Role of Kripa and Durukti
  • Fights and wars 
  • Tribal politics
Well, the map of world and name of kingdom gave a feeling of fantasy book than myth fiction but that’s okay considering all positive point. Taking about rating
  1. Cover – 5/5
  2. Concept – 4/5
  3. Characters – 4.5/5
  4. Title – 4/5
  5. Overall – 4.5/5
Book can be found at Amazon & Flipkart
Review from other readers can be found at GoodReads

Saturday, November 25, 2017

The First Trillionaire by Sapna Jha

The first time I saw "The First Trillionaire" by Sapna Jha on Goodreads Giveaway I checked out what this book all about. Though title suggested some corporate fiction, it turned out different. The book was initially published in Hindi, this is the English edition.

Book Blurb
Shail, an ordinary village girl joins a government bank where she gets exposed to the glitterati of the world. It is at this point that she starts nurturing her dreams of becoming a trillionaire.Her quest for success begins on social media where she meets Olivia who is a nonagenarian British multibillionaire. Olivia is facing succession problems in her vast empire; to add to her woes she is challenged by Kran an unconventional scientist who is a major shareholder in Olivia's US business. Kran diverts Olivia's US business funds into his futuristic endeavours and coerce Olivia to divert her Asian and European business funds to his company, 'Near Earth Miners and Space Voyagers'. Back in India, Shail sternly refuses to conform to Bachcha Singh's suspicious financial transaction in the bank branch the bank branch where Shail works.This subsequently leads to her eventual kidnapping. During this ordeal, Bachcha Singh, Bachcha Singh notes her captive's high association with Olivia. Due to his perceived inability to handle the kidnapping, he transfers Shail to Musa Khan who is India's most wanted fugitive. Kidnapped Shail is kept in wretched conditions for several days in a river island in Eastern India and thereafter transferred to the western coast for further transfer abroad; Shail's condition deteriorates.
This book is about a girl Shail who went from nothing to everything in ways of money and family. She was brought up by her single mother Vanashree, her father died in an accident. Before Shail was born and Vanashree did not know that her husband had left his great heritage behind.  Shail started her first job at East India company, where she found out the illegal transactions of Bachhu Singh. That event eventually led to her kidnapping. Bachhu Singh found out that Shail was a granddaughter of a billionaire Olivia. Due to his inability to handle kidnapping, he transferred Shail to Mussa Khan a terrorist. Shail was rescued by her grandmother and her uncle Kran's efforts. She became the first trillionaire as she was the only heir of Olivia and Kran.

The story of this book is mysterious and interesting, but the writing style is bit poor. I presume Hindi version might be good, the translator was not able to give justice to original words. The story gets a little bit boring in middle but it catches up soon. Some of the characters' explanation is beyond need which gets boring, but the story held it together.

So, I wouldn't go as much to say I loved this book but I liked it.

Talking about ratings
  1. Cover : - 3/5
  2. Content : - 3.5/5
  3. Character : - 3.5/5
  4. Concept : - 4.5/5
  5. Overall : - 3.5 /5
Book can be found at Amazon & Flipkart
Review from other readers can be found at GoodReads

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

The Sixth - The Legend of Karna by Karan Vir - BookReview

I liked the book cover so much I directly approached publishers and I was lucky to get a review copy of the Sixth - the legend of Karna by Karan Vir in exchange for an honest review. Though I prefer English books less, I chose this book because of adorable cover art. 

Book Blurb
Karan vir Oberoi, a real-estate magnate living in New York has recurrent dreams of someone that looks like an ancient warrior clad in golden armour adorning golden earrings. He feels a deep bond with the warrior but the dreams remain a mystery to him. After miraculously surviving an assassination attempt, Oberoi is determined to seek answers. His quest for truth leads him back to his homeland India where his true destiny awaits him. 

Karna, the legendary hero from the Mahabharata is considered as one of the most valiant and generous kings of his era. He defied social customs and traditions to achieve immortal glory by his virtues and skills. He became a king and trusted friend of Duroyadhana - the crown prince of Hastinapur. 
Embark on a journey with Oberoi as the two worlds blend and as he seeks the answer to his existence. 
Will history repeat itself or will Oberoi choose to venture into an uncharted territory? Unravel the mystery. Read the legend! 
The book is divided into two parallels. The first one is obvious about Karna, the legend. The illegitimate son of Kunti has struggled the most among other characters in the Mahabharata. The book covers very nicely incidents from Karna's childhood to his training to his becoming King of Angha. In parallel, Karanvir Oberoi in current time is shown as real estate tycoon in New York. Everything in his life was in place, but his dreams were giving his disturbing thoughts at times. He kept having strange dreams about war/fighting scenes. Things changed completely when he found himself in between terrorist attack. Surprisingly he showed valor and fought those terrorists. During his fight, he used Sanskrit Shlokas - chants. Karan was confused about his strange reaction. Things ended up at an interesting turn, having high expectation for next part.

I liked following things about the book
  • Action sequences
  • Characterization of Karna & Karanvir
  • Fast & fluid paced story
Talking about Ratings:
  1. Cover - 4.5/5
  2. Title – 4/5
  3. Content – 3.5/5
  4. Characters – 3.5/5
  5. Concept – 3.5/5
  6. Overall – 3.5/5
Book can be found at Amazon & Flipkart
Review from other readers can be found at GoodReads

We would like to thank Leadstart Publishers (Frog Books) for providing this opportunity to review book. Readers can check their wonderful collection of books by going through this link - Leadstart Books

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Meet Sonu Dabral - Author of Kool-5 Series

Once in a while reading a book from Middle-Grade genre gives you nostalgic feeling. The Phantom of Raymond Villa by Sonu Dabral is one such interesting book. Today we have Sonu with us to talk about her book.

Can you brief us about your educational and professional background?
I did my and then M.B.A (Majors in Human Resources). Life comes a full circle as it is ultimately the human bonds that I am exploring .I also have a B.ed degree. (I was running an Institute in NOIDA called Six Sigma student development and support center and thought that I should have a degree in the education field as well). I've also done a certified course in publishing from N.B.T ( National Book Trust).These are some of the formal qualifications I have, which to be honest I didn’t make much use of professionally, though the knowledge gained from them enhanced my horizons and outlook tremendously.
What were you like at school/college apart from studies?
I was good at academics and a district level debater as well as good at dramatics and elocution. I was also a good badminton player.
You could put me on the stage in front of a crowd and I could speak impromptu without any stage fear. I was quite outgoing and naughty as well.

What are some day jobs you have held?-
None. But have freelanced a bit. Done subtitles for a documentary movie, Translations and audio for websites, Taught in a school, volunteered for WAVE and for some N.G.Os.
Despite having quite a few degrees up my quiver, I’ve never get down to using these degrees professionally, instead I treaded into the alien fields of Education (running an Institute), teaching, translation, freelancing for a website, handling real estate projects, doing interiors and authoring books !!
And now, penning a fresh chapter, I embark upon a unique social entrepreneurship initiative on women empowerment with the theme ‘extraordinary ordinary women', thebitches ( an acronym for Beautiful Intelligent Talented Careerpersons & Homemeakers Empowerment Space)
Do check out the website !!!
Do you read much and if so who are your favorite authors? Which author inspire you the most?
I believe that good writers are also  good reader. I am an avid reader too. My favourite authors include Ashok Banker, Devdatta patnaik, Arun shourie,Enid Blyton,Jeffery Archer, Anant Neelkantan, and Paul Coelho.
I think one author I am completely enchanted by and in awe of is Ashok Banker. He’s not only reintroduced and brought back mythology and history into our lives but also given it a larger than life canvas. His style of story telling and his characters are simply phenomenal.

When did you start writing?
I think I was always good at writing but the first time I truly felt I could write well was when one of my essays was taken straight from my examination paper and published in the school magazine. Also I was good at writing debates and won many accolades for it.
When did you decide to become a writer?
Forever a story maker and storyteller I would regale my cousins even as a kid with my sometimes funny,sometimes crazy , thrilling stories. And then I would tell my children a story each night ( I still do to this day!)  I normally ask them to give me three words and then I weave a story around these random words impromptu giving birth to some very interesting stories.
It was my children who motivated and encouraged me to pen down  my first mystery series for Indian kids, with Indian characters who ate idlis instead of pies and spoke and behaved in a way they could relate with. And though only a handful of the stories I’ve worked on have been  published a whole sackful are waiting to be told.
What are your ambitions for your writing career?
I would like to continue writing for the young minds as also explore the adult fiction and mythological genre.
Do you have a special time to write, or how is your day structured to accommodate your writing?
There is no set time for writing. Whenever the ideas bubbling in my head’s cauldron begin to overflow I know it’s time to pick up the pen or rather the keyboard. I also jot down any interesting ideas that pop up in my head out of the blue for future reference.
What have you written so far?
Yes these two books in the kool 5 series are the first novels to be published. However I’ve written for newspapers and few of my short stories have been published there as well. Two of my short stories, “ Casa Gloria” and “ The Divine Quest” were selected as part of the competition organized by fundacao oriente for two consequetive years and published as an anthology of short stories in ‘ Coconut Fronds’ and  ‘Monsoon winds’. 
What genre are your books?
Mystery thriller and adventure stories for children and those young at heart.
Can you describe your current book in few lines? What’s it about?
The books are about five spunky youngsters who solve baffling and sometimes dangerous mysteries. They brainstorm over perplexing mysteries in their H.Q, an old abandoned junkyard of a garage near the Prudential Palms, the Housing Society where they live . They coin Kool new words such as ‘Bangry’ which means when you are angry and about to start banging things and ‘Bliar’ that means a beautiful liar and collect such kool words in their ‘Kesauras’ or Kool thesaurus.
The Kool five have Kool code names Maya, Munch, Dodo, Nano and Jinx, and each has their own peculiar trait.They embark on their first thrilling adventure when they unmask the scary phantom that haunts the Raymond Villa and scares the bejeebers out of anyone who sets foot inside the villa. He automagically materialises at different places simultaneously .Crashing chandeliers, strange voices, dancing lights, water turning to blood, threatening letters, the paint of the villa changing colour on it’s own are some of the strange happenings the kool five must investigate in their very first mystery,” Phantom Of The Raymond Villa’.
In their next exciting adventure” Mystery Of The Kungfu Panda’ the K-5 investigate the bizarre connection between a harmless innocent stuffed panda toy and a strange robbery and kidnapping.
Give us an insight into your main character(s)

Where did you get idea for this book?
As a ritual I have to tell bedtime stories to my children who want to hear mom’s original never ever heard before stories. And they often give me key words around which the story must be strung. Strangely the plots of both the novels came up in this fashion ! and I developed on them later.
How much research did you do for this book?
I had to put in a lot of research to get the names of the locations and places in right, revise my chemistry and knowledge of gadgets, surveillance and how electronic things work.
Who is your favorite character in your book and why? (If applicable)
LUKI, The Gabbar. I just love his whole persona and the comic relief he provides. He is seriously hilarious and entertaining. He’s a simpleton who has many layers to his character which makes him very popular with the five Koolers who love to play pranks on him.
What was the toughest thing about writing your latest book?
I’m not a very technical person and for this particular novel I had to do a lot of research to understand the complexities of technology.
What are you working on at the minute?
Right now I’m busy with my initiative on women empowerment thebitches. The website is live and is also complemented with offline events , both have got a tremendous response. I am writing blogs and sharing my thoughts and reflections on the website as well.
What are your thoughts on writing a book series?
Two of the novels in the Kool-5 series have already been published and hopefully we shall have a third mystery in the series as well soon.
How was your experience with Publishing house - Lead Start?
It was a great experience. Their policy of least interference gives a free hand and creative liberty to the authors inspiring them to give their best.  
Would you like to narrate some interesting things that might have happen during your publishers’ meeting or book promotions?

  • My high point as a writer was getting the soft launch of my books done by my childhood hero, Mr. Ruskin Bond. To this date I have to pinch myself to believe that he actually did the honours.
  • And the next defining moment was when Shri. Bharat Vir Wanchoo,( the ex Governor of Goa) an extremely erudite an amazing person launched my books as well. 
  • Smt. Mridula Sinha( the current Governor of Goa), a writer par excellence and witty beyond words launched the anthology of short stories ‘ Coconut Fronds’.  A memory I hold very close to my heart. 
What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Don’t just keep waiting, the time will never be perfectly right ..Ever. To ‘Finish’ you must ‘Start’ first. Remember you don’t get there by wishing but by working towards your goals. 
Is there anything else you would like to add that I haven’t included?
I believe the questionnaire is very well etched out and comprehensive.
Links for your book readers
We would like to thank Leadstart Publishers (Frog Books) for providing this opportunity to connect the author. Readers can check their wonderful collection of books by going through this link - Leadstart Books

Friday, November 17, 2017

Enter into the World of Mythological Fantasy - Rankshetram - Demise of the Demon Kind

I have seen the review of Rankshetram on Halo of Books. I inquired Sheetal from Halo of Books to connect me to Utkarsh Shrivastava, the author of the book. And Utkarsh has happily provided me the copy of the book in exchange for an honest review. The book was first published in Hindi and then in English. Luckily I have the copy of both editions.

Book Blurb
It is said that after the banishment of Lord Mahabli to Patallok, and demise of the Demon king Ravana by Lord Rama. The Asuras lost their domination over humans. But it was unbearable for the Demons' mentor Bhairavnath. When he noticed that a capable scion of King Bali, has taken over the throne as the Demon king, Bhairavnath played such a machinations due to which the Demon King Markesh,( the scion of Lord MahaBali ) turned against the entire human race. Thereafter, four fierce warriors - Akhand, Tejasvi, Suryam and Yugandhar - took over the responsibility to destroy him. The spirit of vengeance were present equally in both Tejasvi and Markesh. Markesh wanted to avenge his wife's death, who was actually a human lady. And Tejasvi's weapons were eager to blow off Markeshs's head to avenge his close ones. These flames of vengeance lead to the five days war among humans, demons and nagas. 
As mentioned in the blurb, the story covers fight against mighty Rakshasha- the Demon Clan.  The main protagonist of our story are Vikramaditya, Tejasvi, Akhand. The main antagonists are Markesh- his brothers, Bhanusen and Bhairavnath. I cannot and do not want to give a brief of the story as it is filled with the so many adventures and wars that other authors can write more than one series out of this book.

I am providing my feedback considering the book two genres separately. If I consider age group of “10-16” years reading this book, they will like continuous action and secrets being revealed page after page. Kids will like this kind of content.

If an adult 18+ reading this book, he may not find it that interesting due to following flows:
  • Though it is an action thriller – not a single action scene properly written. Every fight has 2-3 lines. “They started fighting like this, this, this. They fought for one or two hours. One guy won.” Well, this is not what reader would want from action book.
  • Those who have watch Mahabharata can closely relate final fights with Mahabharata. 
  • Every now and then characters go for weapon hunting.
  • Well, I should not apply logic in fantasy books but in every invasion opposing army appears in battle within few minutes!?
  • So many stories and adventures written in one book.
Advice for Utkarsh - Take a breath, spend some time divide it into parts and give some efforts.

Even with all negative points book can be a good read for following reasons:
  • Want to learn Hindi/English
  • Like Indian fantasy genre
  • Likes kids stories
Talking about Ratings:
  1. Cover - 4/5 (for new edition)
  2. Title – 3/5
  3. Content – 2.5/5
  4. Characters – 2.5/5
  5. Concept – 2.5/5
  6. Overall – 2.5/5
Book can be found at Amazon & Flipkart
Review from other readers can be found at GoodReads

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

BookReview - Brahmaputra - The Story of Lachit Barphukan

When I read some mediocre book published by big publishing houses. I would like to suggest them book like the Brahmaputra and would want to tell them to give chance to books like this which are great in content and importance hidden due to lack of promotion. Those who didn't get my statement, I would like to say "Go for this book". Wonderful piece of work on the less known hero of India "Lachit Barphukan". A historical fiction that can make you a fan of wartime historical fictions.

Book blurb
The year is 1661, and Aurangzeb has sent two of his best warriors – Mir Jumla and Diler Khan to conquer Assam. The Mughal empire already spreads from Kabul to Bengal on the border of Assam .The distant land, being ruled by the Ahom dynasty, is in disarray at the time. Mir Jumla swiftly sweeps across the hilly banks of the Brahmaputra, and annexes more than half the kingdom to the Mughal empire, including the prized city of Guwahati. Their villages and cities stand destroyed, their temples and places of burial are defiled and the Ahom princess is forcefully taken to the Mughal harem. The Ahom king, Chakradhwaj Singha, resolves to remove the stain of this insult to his land and people by waging war against the Mughals. He reposes his faith in a newly appointed commander – Lachit Barphukan. A long drawn campaign begins to oust the invaders from Assam….. This is the heroic tale of the Assamese and their leader Lachit Barphukan, who inspired his men to face the Mughal empire,. A story of the basic human desire for freedom, and the people’s struggle to achieve it. A tale of valour and sacrifice. At the same time, far away in the Deccan, the Marathas are also fighting for swarajya from the Mughals. Thus, linking the far flung lands with a common love of freedom and swarajya and the will to fight for it.
During Aurangzeb era, Mughal army was able to penetrate impregnable Ahom dynasty shacking its history of 500 years of freedom. The king Chakradhwaj Singha of Ahom dynasty didn't lose hope. Slowly and steadily he built up an army with able general Lachit and minister Atan Buragohain. With cunningness and bravery, they were able to get back Guwahati from the Mughal's hand once again. But Lachit knew that was not an end but the beginning of a long war against Mughal. Aurangzeb sent Raja of Ajmer Ram Singh to get back Assam in Mughal's hand. Apart from this book also covers fractions of Shivaji's rebel against Mughals. But that covers less than 20% of the book.

We have studied a lot about Gandhi, Nehru, and Sardar. We have heard about Shivaji and some other great freedom fighters from central, western and northern India. But we are completely unaware of heroism of east, especially north-east states. The author has brought out one such fearsome hero with a struggle of Ahom dynasty. War strategies, tactics, and bravado of those people were wonderfully portrayed. Though written solely around war book can easily create a liking for another genre as well. Apart from war scenes, the author was able to capture characters and ongoing politics between various kings, tribes, mansabdars etc. I would like to apologize Aneesh for delaying this great read. It deserves another screening with the publishing house. I think if properly promoted and supported this book can reach a good number.

Talking about ratings
  1. Cover - 3.5/5
  2. Title - 3.5/5
  3. Content - 4.5/5
  4. Concept - 4/5
  5. Characters - 4.5/5
  6. Overall - 4.25/5
Book can be found at Amazon
Review from other readers can be found at GoodReads

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Children's Day Special - Check Out Review of Trust

I applied for all books of Blue Orb and Notion Press on Goodreads giveaway. Though I wanted the whole series, I considered myself lucky when I won Trust - The Hen's Eggs and The Trusting Friends. I loved the book, the moment I received the copy. I am adding all the books in this series to my wishlist.

Book Blurb
The Hen's mother was not well. She wanted to visit her. The only problem was that she had recently laid twelve eggs and she needed somebody to look after them. To her relief, her neighbour the Snake offered to guard the eggs till they returned. Feeling happy, both Hen and Rooster went to visit the Hen's mother. When they returned in the evening, the Hen felt that some of her eggs were missing. Were her eggs actually missing? What had happened to her eggs?
Penguin, Reindeer and Fox were good friends. One day, the Penguin and Reindeer found a stack of fruits. They shared their secret with the Fox. Being a bigmouth, The Fox told all the other animals about the stack of fruits. Angry at this, the Penguin and Reindeer shared another secret with the Fox. Did the Fox tell everybody about their secret this time too? Or had he learnt his lesson?

Trust has two stories. The first story is about Hen's Egg where snake broken trust of hen couple. When mother hen found something fishie, she replaced eggs with stone. And she was right, next day snake found dead with the stone in his stomach. The second story is about big mouth fox. For fox, gossiping is bigger than his friends. He broke their trust and got thrashing of other animals.

Stories are simple but kids book should contain learning that can help them build a good character. This book is written with 'trust' as a core learning for kids. It shows what is the importance of trust, how trust will be built over time and how easily it can be broken. It also shows that if trust is broken then it will hamper over life.

Another important thing about kids book is artwork. And this book has eye-catching artwork. My kid liked the book and its artwork the moment he saw it. Definitely an awesome gift for kids
  1. Title - 3.5/5
  2. Cover - 4/5
  3. Content - 3/5
  4. Artwork - 4/5
  5. Overall - 4/5
Book can be found at Amazon and Flipkart
Review from other readers can be found at GoodReads

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Check Out Daren Martin's Books - Beached Whale & The Sink - Book Review

I got "Beached Whale" and "The Sink" in one mail from the author - Daren Martin in the exchange of the honest review. I accepted both books but didn't download that time. I completely forgot about books after that. Last week, while checking emails I found the mail and instantly downloaded book to Kindle app. I finished both books within an hour. Yes, both books in an hour because both are just hardly 20-30 pages long.

Blurb of Beached Whale
Companies and the leaders within them struggle to achieve results. With the advances in technology companies are either running successfully into this new world, or failing to keep up. Is your company beached? Stranded on the sands of past success? Slow and steady no longer wins the race.

Beached Whale will equip you to evaluate if your company has become beached. Do you have a coordinated enterprise company, or do you have a company mired down in bureaucracy? You could be a Beached Whale company. There is only one way to find out.

Blurb of The Sink
Ever met a stranger who changed your view of life forever? Could one sentence change the way you look at relationships? Work? Maybe even your world? There are many day to day interactions that we brush off as unimportant. What if we saw more? What if we left the world better, in each moment, than it was when we arrived? Even if that meant doing hard things. What would that look like? What would that mean for your job, for your family, for your life? Consider what could happen if we took responsibility for not just our mess, but cleaned up found messes, even if it isn't ours. What could this mean for a company? What if you taught your employees to take initiative to leave the world and the things around them better than they found them? The Sink is the story of the small moments that make the biggest impact in our lives and our business, if only we pay attention. All it takes is one moment to transform and shift our perspective. Like the book Who Moved My Cheese, The Sink will ignite individuals, employees, leaders, and CEOs in organizations across the world to give more, pay attention to the details, and achieve results by leaving everything better than the way they found it.
Beached Whale - Here, the author quoted an example of a whale stuck on the beach. It is so gigantic in size nothing can be done. Slowly, it will die. Same way the author has talked about corporate giants like blue whales who don't understand that they are beached and they would end up dying slowly. The author has shows ways to identify a beached company and how to unbeach them.

The Sink - This book is written with very simple yet powerful quote. "It's not a bad idea to leave things a little better than how you found them." The author has shown ways to apply this quote in life.

Both these books are nicely narrated with proper examples. The author knew how to make self-help books interesting. He kept interest intact until last paragraph.

Talking about rating of Beached Whale
  1. Title - 4/5 (Meaningful title)
  2. Cover - 3/5
  3. Context & Content - 3/5
  4. Concept - 3/5
  5. Overall - 3/5
Rating of "The Sink"
  1. Title - 3/5
  2. Cover - 3/5
  3. Content & Context - 2.5/5
  4. Concept - 3/5 (All marks for the quotation)
  5. Overall - 3/5
Beached Whale can be found on Amazon US & Amazon India
The Sink can be found on Amazon US & Amazon India
Goodread Links - "Beached Whale" and "The Sink"

Thursday, November 9, 2017

BookReview - Dansh - Hindi Novel By Laxman Rao

Dansh is my first Hindi read, so it has its own importance. This book was part of my Kindle book for more than a year but I was reluctant to take Hindi books. Last month, I took this book and found it a light read.

Book Blurb
Paramjeet comes to Pune for higher education all the way from Punjab. Here he meets Lata who also belongs to Punjab. Nandini, younger sister of Lata, is partially paralyzed and needs to regularly visit therapy centre. Lata requests Paramjeet to accompany Nandini to therapy centre.

When Paramjeet begins to take Nandini to the therapy centre, she asks the taxi driver to stop in front of a house and gazed towards that house for bit long. She laughed, cried and sometimes went emotional. Then she also stops by in front of a wrecked house situated little far from the previous house and reacted the same way. This continued for several days.
Gradually Paramjeet realized that there must have been a tragic incidence in Nandini’s life due to which she is suffering from paralysis today. That incidence must be the biggest blow of Nandini’s life.
Hence, Paramjeet decides to delve what has happened in the past so that he could help Nandini overcome her ailment.
Blurb may give you the impact of some serious social topic book, but the story is not that serious. :) A guy from Punjab came to Pune for higher studies. Being a poor family fellow he knew he had to work. He found a part-time job. Through his job, he found a group of money lender guys. He joined them to earn extra money. Through that group, he met a girl. He helped the girl and her family. As usual, they fall in love with each other. And then happily lived after.

Though the book was simple, due to its blurb I was expecting some twist/turn of events. Nothing so extraordinary happened throughout the story. The boy was very lucky; where ever he went he earned money and respect. Read it if you like family drama or would like to improve your Hindi.

Talking about ratings
  1. Cover - 2.5/5
  2. Title - 2/5 (I didn't find strongly related title)
  3. Content - 3/5
  4. Characters - 3/5
  5. Concept - 2/5
  6. Overall - 2.5/5
Book can be found at Amazon and Flipkart
Review from other readers can be found at GoodReads

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

The Matsya Curse - An Anantya Tantrist Mystery by Shweta Taneja

I was following Shweta Taneja's her books on Twitter and Amazon. Her books seem one of its kind at least in the Indian context. One fine day I got her mail to review her upcoming book. I haven't read the first book - Cult of Chaos in Anatya Tantrist series but I took the risk to go for the second book - The Matsya Curse directly. And I am glad that I tried. The series was really interesting. After reading this book I have added all Shweta's books in my YA-to-Read wishlist. I would also like to point out, it took some extra efforts from my side to finish this book. If I have read the first part, it may have been an easy ride.

Book Blurb
Tantrik detective Anantya Tantrist is back, smart-ass comments, dark mantras and all.

In Banaras, Bhairava, a black tantrik, sets out to win control of life through mass murder, aided by an army of pretas. In Delhi, a tribal supernatural melts to death in a five-star hotel on the same night that an ancient demonologist is murdered. All this while, the government and the Central Association of Tantriks choose to look the other way and gods, demi-gods, immortals and rakshasas all join Bhairava’s army.
All that stands between the murdering bosses and the hapless masses is unofficial detective Anantya Tantrist, armed with a boneblade, a tote of mandalas and a cocky attitude. Just as she begins to see a pattern between a goddess who is selling art, a miracle-producing minister, an undead mob attacking a rock concert and her immortal friend throwing a tantrum, Anantya faces her most personal hell: her ex-boyfriend Neel has come back from the dead and is trying to kill her. He’s not the only one, of course. A powerful rakshasi wants her head, a pair of demi-gods wants her blood and the trolls are trying to squash her to pulp.
She cannot even sleep off the exhaustion, because each time she drops off, Bhairava invades her mind, trying to consume it. Join Anantya as she faces her most formidable enemy yet in the ultimate battle for her mind and her city.
Talking about the story, our protagonist Anantya Tantrist found a strange case of Nishada girls' death. Being tantric, she tried twice to prevent girls but she failed. She also found out that ancient immortals were kidnapped or taken to another world. She found many powerful people behind the scene. Neel, her long-lost boyfriend appeared in front of her to make her life more difficult. And yes, how can I forget strange dreams & vission she had about near death experience. Read the book to know more.

I liked the darkness around which story and various characters evolved. It took me some time to engage with the story. The way Anantya's character was defined is awesome. A badass courageous tantric fighting with big shots of the dark world with bare minimum help. The series properly promoted and filmed can create a big fan following because it has its own magical creatures, charms, ingredients, places and what not. A good series to follow for 18+ guys and girls. 

Talking about rating
  1. Title 3.5/5
  2. Cover - 4/5
  3. Characters - 4/5
  4. Content - 3.5/5
  5. Concept - 4/5
  6. Overall - 4/5
Book can be found at Amazon and Flipkart
Review from other readers can be found at GoodReads

Monday, November 6, 2017

The Legend of Ramm - The Great War of Hind by Vaibhav Anand

There are some books which make you desperate for it the moment you see covers and/or title. Being a big fan of mythological historical fiction, I always hunt for books in this genre. The legend of Ramm was gifted to me by author Vaibhav Anand in exchange for an honest review. In series of "The Legend of Ramm" by Vaibhav, "The Great War of Hind" is the first installment. Like Amrish who is re-portraying Ramayana with his own fictional work, Vaibhav has started his own version of Ramayana.

Book blurb
"In the beginning, there was no such thing as heaven or hell. All that there was then, was earth… There are raconteurs and mischief-mongers in our ranks and I have no doubt they shall pervert the truth with their self-serving versions. The events of history – this history of our land – shall thus inevitably have many versions, doubtless. But, I was there with General Ramm, I fought by his side…" -Sanjaay, official chronicler of General Ramm

Around 12000 B.C., Hindustan (or Hind) as we know it today, comprised five kingdoms of man, sandwiched between Parbat – the kingdom of the Gods in the north, and Lunka – the kingdom of the demons in the south. The ‘Legend of Ramm’ unravels the story of the military general called Ramm in the kingdom of Ayodh and how his actions came to define our world as we know it today.
The story is written with 12000 BC timeline, where Hind was divided into six human kingdoms, 1 God kingdom, and 1 demon kingdom. Ayosh was the biggest and richest kingdom among human kingdoms. And our protagonist Ram was general (not a king or prince) in Ayodh army serving under king Vikramaditya. This part has covered the first battle of General Ramm against Persis king. Knowing prowess of Ayodh militia king of Persis used all wicked ways to bring Ayodh down. But the farsightedness of Hanohman along with the strategic planning of Ramm had countered tricks of Persis. Along with this war, something more interesting going on in the kingdom of Gods - Parbat. To know more check out this interesting book.

I loved the way character of Ram was built up through the story.   The whole story is built upon war and author has given enough emphasis on strategic planning of war. Author has also used different ways to mention units of time, distance etc. 170-page long power pack action book is a perfect companion for a short trip or train journey. I have finished this book in a single sitting.

The author could have given more efforts on the map of Hind. 

Talking about ratings
  1. Cover - 4/5
  2. Title - 4/5
  3. Content - 3.5/5
  4. Concept - 4/5
  5. Character - 4/5
  6. Overall - 3.75/5
Book can be found at Amazon and Flipkart
Review from other readers can be found at GoodReads