Sunday, September 22, 2019

Book Review - Beast by Krishna Udayasankar

I have read & loved the first book in Govinda series by Krishan Udayasankar. By the time I finished it and wanted to buy the next books in the series they were off the shelf. Surprisingly only second-hand books are available currently. Even Kindly version is not available. So this time when the opportunity arose I grabbed it. I know I am a bit late to review Beast, but it is better late than never.

Book Blurb
It was always the same dream, a dream that began with darkness and blood.'
When Assistant Commissioner of Police Aditi Kashyap is called upon to solve a gruesome triple homicide in a Mumbai suburb, she is dragged into the terrifying world of the Saimhas-werelions-who have lived alongside humans, hiding amongst them, since ancient times.
Faced with the unbelievable, Aditi has no choice but to join hands with Prithvi, an Enforcer called in to hunt down this seemingly otherworldly murderer.
But can Prithvi overcome the nightmarish burdens of his dark and violent past to unravel the mystery hidden deep within this secret world of werelions? Can he be trusted to save lives, or will he choose to serve a different, more powerful, master?
Read on, as Aditi and Prithvi race through the dark underbelly of Mumbai-from quiet suburbs to gritty brothels, from forgotten colonial tunnels to the lights and glamour of the inner city-in search of a dangerous truth.
The protagonist of our story is Prithvi. He belonged to a supernatural race called Simhas (or werelions). For a human, they were ordinary persons. And Prithvi was one of the persons who worked around to make their kind hidden. The story started when a mysterious murder took place in Mumbai. Prithvi was called upon to find out the murderer. He found out the person related was linked with his part. This takes the story to his childhood and then his upbringing. Read the book to know more, how is the murderer is associated with Prithvi's past.

The tale is fast-paced in current times, but slow-paced in time during a flashback. The language used is simple. A good read for fantasy, action, thriller lover. I found flashback a little bit boring, it took me more time to finish that part. Overall a good read. I will give 3.5/5 for the book.

Book can be found at Amazon & Flipkart
Review from other readers can be found at GoodReads

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Chakravyuh - Through the Eyes of the Young Warrior by Aniket Sharma

With Chakravyuh I think I have added one more feather in our collection of mythological fiction based on Mahabharata only. I have around 25 books in the said category but our hunger for more has never seen an end. With Chakravyuha I got to read yet another dimension from none other than Abhimanyu's point of view.

Book Blog
CHAKRAVYUH is a modern adaptation of the greatest epic ever written in the history of humankind; MAHABHARATA. This is a retelling of a part of the epic from the perspective of a young warrior who was descendant of Kuru dynasty; born to lead; but destiny had some other plans for him. A loyal son, a loving brother, a caring husband, a disciplined disciple and a true warrior defied all the odds to be decorated in history for many generations to come. His skills and intellect were no less than his forefathers, but he was not bound to the dogmas followed by his ancestors. His judgement of situations was his own, and he didn’t follow the dynastic parlances. In many ways, he was ahead of his times and definitely more mature than his age.
Well, Chakravyuh in the title is meant for war strategy used by Kaurava in Mahabharata, so it is obvious that the protagonist of our story is Abhimanyu. The story started from Agyatvas (incognito exile) of Pandava. The end of the Agyatvas brought Abhimanyu in the story. His entry came with his marriage proposal. Unfortunately, the lad took part in the war soon after his marriage. Once the war started the author has focused on fight happened around Abhimanyu, how he made his first kill and victory over fearsome warriors, how their side collectively lost some great allies. One third or fourth of the portion covers the last day of his life, 13th day, which has made Abhimanyu hero for the years/millennia to come by. Read the book to know more.

Well, the book is written with either 3rd person or 1st person only for Abhimanyu. I got a little bit confused initially. Things are written in the present tense.

The writing style is simple and lucid. You can easily finish it Good book for beginners t increase or cultivate reading habit. The most attractive part is the cover design. With the look of semi hardcover, it looks posh. Only complain is font settings. They were not properly chosen. You may feel like reading report due to font selection.

I would like to thank "Author's Channel" for providing a review copy in exchange for an honest review.

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

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

The Hidden Children: The Lost Grimoire by Reshma K. Barshikar

I was getting The Hidden Children: The Lost Grimoire's reviews on my Twitter, Instagram and Goodreads timeline multiple times. Though I was knee-deep in the commitment of review work, my inner mind was not ready to miss the chance to read the book. I would like to thank AuthorsChannel for providing us a review copy in exchange for an honest review. What made me select this book
  • Wonderful cover
  • Interesting promising title
  • Chance to be the part of another wonderful book series
Book Blurb
Shayamukthy cruises through life: shooting hoops, daydreaming and listening to her favourite books. Even moving from the US to India, to a new school, a new culture, hasn't really rattled her. But something isn't right anymore and it begins when a New Girl joins the school.
She pulls Shui into a world of magic and wonderment, a world she has been hidden from all her life. What starts as a quest to look for a lost book, hurtles Shui into a world where people live in trees, talk to the dead and speak to butterflies.
But like all power, magic comes at a steep price and under all things wondrous lie demons waiting to crawl out. The more Shui learns, the more she doubts everything and everyone around her.
Will she be able to master her powers, or will they devour her and everyone she loves?
The protagonist of the story is Shyamukthy (Shui), a dyslexia girl of early teenage, who had only two friends in class or I would say in her life. The book is divided into two parts. The first one covers her life filled with problems and introduction with Ananya. This part shows how an introvert, shy girl with just 2 friends met new entrant and later on became the point of attraction. The second part covers mystical things where she could listen to animals and insects. This part is really interesting and makes your reading pace fast. I wish I could tell you to jump to this part directly, but how can I, when both are interlinked.

If you read regularly then you must have encounter books being damn interesting after going through first/introductory boring part, just like those movies which become interesting after intermission. That is what happened to me, after reading the first part, I went to Goodreads and checked what others are saying. Review of many people gave me an indication that if I had left it DNF I would have missed the main fun, so I continued.

A good YA concept and a good read. I will give
  1. Concept - 4/5
  2. Cover - 4/5
  3. Character  - 3/5
  4. Content - 2/5 (Deducted due to first boring portion)
  5. Overall - 3.75/5

Book can be found at Amazon & Flipkart
Review from other readers can be found at GoodReads

Friday, September 6, 2019

Mutual Fund Investment by Salaried Investors: Identifying the Determinants

I do trading as well as investment in various mutual funds but usually I see risk (volatility) and 3 years return for investment. Never did I thought how volatility derived or how to see beyond 3 years return. But the recent issues arose in MF markets where the most secured considered category defaulted, I thought of going through detailed understanding of the backside scene. Being a salaried person I wanted to best utilise whatever small portion of amount I am investing in MF be it SIP or lumpsum. For the same purpose, I selected "Mutual Fund Investment by Salaried Investors: Identifying the Determinants" along with another book. 

Book Blurb
“Mutual fund investment by salaried investors: Identifying the determinants” is a book which attempts to throw light upon the determinants of mutual fund investment among the salaried investors. It is well-known fact that salaried class in India posses some unique characteristics which place them in a different category than that of other investors. This book address the issues directly associated with the salaried investors. Of late, a lot of research work is going on in the field of behavioural finance. This book is simply an extension of the work in the field of behavioural finance especially the areas which deal with respect to investment in mutual fund.
Studies in the area of behavioural finance especially related to the mutual fund investment, is gaining momentum in India and hence teaching, and research in this field is also increasing. There is dearth of good book on this issue. This book is expected to fill up that gap. The book is expected to make the lives of teachers, students, and researchers relatively easier. The knowledge received from this book will go a long way in shaping the future of education of behavioural finance in India.
This book was selected in the second position because of the serious look it has. Unlike the normal book, this one was designed more like an academic book. Content-wise book is proper technical with its detailed narrations. Starting with normal ROI to complex methods to analyze fund, the author has given with mathematical formula. I won't lie, but it took me a month to read this book. I also took the help of my CA friend for some concepts.

I would say the book is a technical one, and a normal person may need to give efforts to understand it. Language is academic and use of algebra and maths make is a serious read. You cannot just read it casually. I suggest take a pen & paper or excel sheet if you want to understand it.

Rating wise I am giving 3 out of 5 to this book.