Monday, October 30, 2017

BookReview - Karna's Celestial Armor by Surendra Nath

Last year when I saw Karna's Alter Ego, I added the book to my wish list. At that time, I was not aware that I will get the chance to read the sequel to that book. I would like to thank Surendra Nath for providing the copy of Karna's Celestial Armor in exchange for honest review.

Book blurb
We all know that in MAHABHARATA, Karna had, on his body, his Kavach-Kundal (set of armor and earrings) which rendered him invincible in battle against any foe.
That’s the back-story. After that, what did Indra do with the all-powerful Kavach-Kundal? Did he hide it somewhere? What if someone can find it today? That’s what this novel is about. Vasu, from the present time, sets off to find the set. The spirit of Karna guides him through the search.
Indra always knew someone would come looking for it. So he used all his ingenuity to hide it in the most impossible of places. That makes Vasu’s task so much more challenging. And he is not the only one who is interested in this quest. There are others trailing him.
Join Vasu in this thrilling adventure through mysterious locations in India to know why the armor was all that potent, and if it still is.
The book started with the quick recap of Karna's alter ego then it's focus shifted to the main theme of the story. We all know that Karna lost his celestial armor (Kavach and Kundal) to Indra by deceit. Karna never regretted losing it. We don't know what happened to Kavach and Kundal after that. Our story is based on the finding of these Kavach-Kundal. Our protagonist Vasu wanted to locate this magical parts and use it for the greater good. Vasu ventured out for this treasure hunt with Karna's spirit. Armour belongs to Mahabharata time so Vasu had to find the connection with that era. Chirangivis or Immortals became guiding stones for Vasu in his missing. He met few Chirangivis and learned good things from them. During his search, he found out that he was not the only person looking for Kavach-Kundal. There are few people who knew these facts and wanted Kavach-Kundal for their selfish purpose. Well, Vasu will succeed at the end directly or indirectly but how he will do it is all about the book. Read this book to know more.

The book is written in easy language and medium pace. Treasure hunt parts were written with slow pace & action thriller parts were written with the fast pace. Though I found minor drawbacks in mythological facts and plot, those were not a hindrance to flow. I was able to turn page after page without getting bored or disinterested even for a moment.

Apart from story part author has nicely discussed serious spiritual topics like immortality, longevity, and meditation. You will love this book if you are a fan of devotional or mythology based fictions.

Talking about ratings
  1. Cover - 2/5 (Need to work on this, it is too unattractive)
  2. Title - 3.5/5
  3. Concept - 3.5/5
  4. Content - 3.5/5
  5. Character - 4/5 (Especially for Vasu)
  6. Overall - 3.75/5
Book can be found at Amazon
Review from other readers can be found at GoodReads

Thursday, October 26, 2017

BookReview - The Resurrection of Evil by Neelabh Pratap Singh

I would like to thank Neelabh for sending this book review copy and like to thank Sheetal from HaloofBooks for connecting me with Neelabh. The Resurrection of Evil is a fantasy story based on Hindu mythological characters.

Book blurb
When an antique artefact is stolen from National Museum, Delhi, a reckless and stubborn police officer, ACP Aryan, is placed at the helm of the case. Uncovering each layer of the truth, Aryan discovers that the people on the hunt for the artefact are the descendants of those who are found only in the scriptures of Indian mythology- The Asuras.

From the gateway of Lord Vishnu- Haridwar to God's own country- Kerala, from fiery pursuits to narrow escapes, the mystery of the artefact draws Aryan into a lethal maze of vengeance, betrayal and dreadful secrets. With time slipping out of hands like sand, Aryan must unravel the secret motive of his adversaries. Else, this story of Good vs Ancient evil might not end with the victory of Good.
The main protagonist of our story is ACP Aryan. In Delhi, an artifact or ancient time (which was recently excavated a site near Haridwar). When local police tried to capture culprit, things went out of hand and 2-3 constables died on the spot. Being a Mumbai police ACP, he was sent to Delhi for a robbery case to save the image of police. On inquiring about the background of artifact - cauldron multiple mythological stories came out in front of Aryan. Various ancient banished clans were after pot. Many people lost their lives in this fight. The real story behind cauldron was revealed in the climax.

When I started reading first 20-30 pages, I was trying to relate things. Especially, murder case in beginning and turner's capturing event. Things were somewhat complex during this part. I have read more complex stories than this one and I know the best solution would keep reading. So my advice for beginners would be don't give up. It's a good story. 

Things I liked
  • Fast-paced story
  • Author's imagination
  • Use of single fact - Kashyapa's wifes & their sons
Though at some places I found mythological facts jumbled up but that's okay from my point of view. A good fast paced read for young adults. Talking about ratings
  1. Cover - 3.5/5
  2. Title - 3/5
  3. Content - 3.5/5
  4. Concept - 3.5/5
  5. Characters - 3.5/5
  6. Overall - 3.5/5
Book can be found at Amazon
Review from other readers can be found at GoodReads

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

BookReview - The Strongman's Daughter by Madhuri Iyer

I picked up this book because of it's interesting and unique title "The Strongman's Daughter". 

Book Blurb
When feisty twenty-one-year old Aditi Narvekar refuses to carry forward the legacy of her corrupt politician father, all hell breaks loose. The mighty Vithalrao Narvekar, Chief Minister of Goa, retaliates with fury. He fixes her up with the scion of a wealthy mining family, and sets the wedding date.Rebellious and resourceful, Aditi tries to stay one step ahead of her wily parent. Along the way, she encounters the supercilious but sexy—Raj Dias, an activist who fights for a clean-and-green Goa. Although he dismisses Aditi as her father’s daughter, she’s determined to prove him wrong. Goa becomes an epic battleground where the clean brigade takes on dirty politics. Aditi must confront her own father, but will Raj support her cause?The Strongman’s Daughter is a nail-biting saga of a young girl’s clash against her father, in a battle of love, money-lust, and longing!
Talking about the plot, this book revolves around twenty-one years old Aditi Narvekar. After completing her studies from New York based college, she came back India. Her father Vithalrao Narvekar was the Chief Minister of Goa. Vithalrao Narvekar was a very manipulative politician and father. He gave Aditi two choices whether to carry on his legacy and became a politician or to get married. Aditi wanted neither of it. So her father was forcing her to get married. Along the way, she encountered supercilious and sexy Raj Dias, an activist who fights for clean and green Goa. He helped her ran her own marriage. At the end, Aditi confronted her own father & fall in love with Raj Dias.

Unfortunately, I was disappointed with the book. While reading the book, I felt like I was reading some sort of Bollywood script. I don't enjoy Bollywood that much, so maybe I liked the book less. But if you enjoy Bollywood than this book would be a definitely a good pick for you.

Talking about ratings:
  1. Cover : - 4/5
  2. Title - 4/5
  3. Content : - 1.5/5
  4. Character : - 2/5
  5. Concept : - 1.5/5
  6. Overall : - 2 /5
Book can be found at Amazon & Flipkart 
Review from other readers can be found at GoodReads

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Doing More with Less by Anthi Theipoulou

Another book I received under an impression of self-help and turned out as a full technical book. "Doing More with Less" is a managerial technical book focusing on organization learning science. Being an expert of OLSET, Anthi Theiopoulou has done a good job.

Book Blurb
A sustainable learning organization always has a competitive advantage, and organizational-learning tools can provide businesses of any size with the ability to achieve more with less. This innovation in management is based in science and backed by numerous successful applications.

Author Anthi Theiopoulou, MSc, conducted breakthrough research in organizational learning (OL) best practices and the operationalization of OL principles. As a leading international expert, she offers this guide for applying OL to any business and measuring the outcome.
This overview is for leaders and researchers from a range of backgrounds. It begins by reviewing management strategies and the most current research on OL. Part two covers each component of OL in greater depth to allow leaders to design and implement their own systems. Part three is a sample OL management system, which is highly customizable, uniquely scalable, and it includes the organizational learning self-evaluation tool-or OLSET-developed by the author at the University of Liverpool. This unique element of the methodology allows leaders to conduct an OL capacity audit.
The result of years of experience and research, Doing More with Less turns science into practice. These empirically based guidelines and techniques have the power to make organizations successful in any future.

Book covers following areas
  • What are OL and OLSET?
  • Why is it required?
  • How to strategize OLSET?
  • How to achieve & maintain it?
  • Reference for OLSET
Well, I skipped many pages but went through each section and got the basic idea.

The book can be really helpful to an organization for better knowledge management. It shows scientific approach to achieve better results.

Talking about ratings
  1. Cover - 3/5 
  2. Title - 2.5/5 (It deceived me)
  3. Content - 4/5
  4. Overall - 3/5
Book can be found at Amazon 
Review from other readers can be found at GoodReads

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Meet Hosein Author of Project Bodi

We have recently reviewed Project Bodi. Today we have Hosein Kouros Mehr author of the book with us. 

So Hosein can you brief our readers about your educational and professional background?
Though I'm a physician-scientist by training, I've had an interest in writing fiction from a young age, and "Project Bodi" is my second novel.  I've been inspired by Orwell, Hemingway, and Steinbeck and more recently by Ramez Naaam and Jhumpa Lahiri.
Do tell us about your writing career.
"Project Bodi" is my second novel and I was inspired to write it one day when I was driving to San Diego.  I suddenly had an idea for a new type of meditation (the last figure in the book) and knew it could form the basis for a book.  I used the same technique for harnessing innovation described in the book to write the book itself.  As a result, I wrote the book in only 8 weeks.
Let's talk about your latest book: Project Bodi
"Project Bodi" is intended to be a fun read about the development of AR smartglasses, a technology that is on the horizon.  The main topic of the book is how to harness the mind's innate ability to innovate.  One of the characters, Austin Sanders, is an intelligent programmer but his distractions from his smartphone, Facebook, alcohol, and other substances hinder his mind's abilities.  He learns a method to liberate himself and awaken his mind's innovation, transforming him into the leader he's meant to be. 
Links for your book readers

  • Website:
  • Facebook:
  • Amazon Author Page:
  • Goodreads:

Sunday, October 15, 2017

BookReview - Project Bodi: Awaken the Power of Insight

"Project Body - Awaken The Power of Insight" - after reading the blurb and checking cover design can give you an impression of the futuristic sci-fi novel. Though it is futuristic fiction, it is more targeted towards learning. I appreciate author Hosein's creativity to write a boring considered (by youth) in such a wonderful strong format. This book reminded me of Goal by Goldratt who has delivered complex concepts of the supply chain in a nice story.

Book Blurb
In 2029, Google is the most dominant company in the world. Dr. Bethany Andrews heads the company’s Artificial Intelligence Department and leads Project Bodi, the world’s most advanced Augmented Reality smartglasses that will one day revolutionize the tech space. Her lead programmer is Austin Sanders, a 26-year-old psychonaut who loves Burning Man and electronic dance music. Together they embark on a life-changing journey to design the product of the decade, and along the way they discover the mind’s inner source of insight and innovation.
The book is written in the year 2029 where AI has taken a considerable role in human life. Google has taken the first position leaving back Apple and other mobile manufacturers. Our story starts on Google campus. Our main protagonist is Austin Sanders. Austin was a young programmer at Google. Austin was lost in his own world of Music, Booz, and Drugs. His life was shaken when he was transferred to probation period due to his negligence and irresponsibilities towards his job. His boss Dr. Beth introduced him a mindfulness - mental peace application for his betterment. Using this app, Austin was introduced to meditation and power of the subconscious mind. He started garnering his new learning. Apart from Austin, CEO of the company Mr. Shiv Patel and Dr. Beth also played a good role in the story. Shiv was worried about the future generation's mental peace, their use of social media and drug abuse. He was preparing a book to guide such people through the power of the mind.

As I mentioned earlier one can easily identify flow in two segments
  1. Pure Self-learning Material - Shiv's Book Progress
  2. Learning Via Story - Austin's Part.
Each part is properly arranged wonderfully to keep user stick to the book. I liked following things about book
  • Mind Peach Exercise
  • Google Vision's Futuristic Features
  • Social Issues Discussed due to technology
A good read for people above 15+ age. Talking about ratings
  1. Cover - 4/5 (Lot better than previous edition's cover)
  2. Title - 3.5/5
  3. Content - 4/5 (For exercise part)
  4. Characters - 3.5/5
  5. Overall - 4/5
Book can be found at Amazon 
Review from other readers can be found at GoodReads

Sunday, October 8, 2017

BookReview - Shiva in the City of Nectar by Preetha

I personally requested author Preetha Rajah Kannan for the review copy of the "Shiva in the City of Nectar" and she fulfilled my wish. I would like to thank her for this wonderful gift. I have taken this book after 3 months of arrival and I would like to apologize author for the delay. Green color background with Shiva-Sati-Karthikeya image gives elegant look to this book.

Book Blurb
Throbbing with non-stop excitement, Shiva in the City of Nectar sweeps across Heaven, Earth and the Underworld, narrating the exploits of the mysterious and powerful blue-throated god. One after another, the tales unfold the follies of ancient devas, asuras, sages, men and mythical beasts. And through them all, Shiva blithely takes on the guise of beggar, saint, monarch, merchant, fisherman, hunter, warrior and woodcutter; walking through the three worlds to slay rampaging demons, perform his Dance of Bliss and embrace good and bad alike.
Shiva is portrayed in all his multi-faceted mystique – the tender lover who woos and weds Goddess Meenakshi; the eternal Guru who dispenses wisdom; the fierce avenger whose third eye flashes fire; the generous benefactor who showers blessings on his devotees; and, above all, the gentle prankster who embodies the essence of Vedic faith.
As blurb suggests the book is a collection of 54 short stories on Shiva. One may say that "We have heard thousands of stories of Shiva then how this book is different from other books." Well, the book is themed on stories of Shiva around City of Nector which is better known as Madurai. Initial stories start with how temple and Shivalingam came into existence. Then stories shifted to some mythological stories around Devi Meenakshi and Shundarar. Next round of stories covers avatar of Karthikeya. Remaining stories (30+) were of Pandian era kings. Each story shows devotion of various characters and miracle of Shiva towrads those characters.

The best part of the book would be
  • Short & Sweet Stories
  • Nice Cover Design
  • Good for any age
  • Can be used as bedtime stories for kids
I have next book "Son of Shiva" is series with me, and I have high expectation for  the book

Talking about ratings
  1. Cover - 4.5/5
  2. Title - 4/5
  3. Content - 4/5
  4. Characters - 4.5/5
  5. Overall - 4/5
Book can be found at Amazon - In English & In Tamil
Review from other readers can be found at GoodReads

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Meet Pankaj Upadhyay Author of Homecoming

Today we would like to welcome Pankaj Upadhyay the author of Homecoming. We will have a quick round of Q&A with Pankaj to know more about his latest book.

Can you tell us about your educational background?
M. A. In English Literature And Pg Diploma In Journalism 
What were you like at school/college apart from studies?
I was always a fun-loving guy. I loved singing, writing poetry and stories, participating in various debates etc. I was heavily into 90s Bollywood music.  
What are some day jobs you have held?
Teaching and Journalism.
Do you read much and if so who are your favorite authors? Which author inspire you the most?
I read anything that interests me. Any story which gets me curious or brings a smile on my face becomes a must read. RK Narayan has been the one author who has inspired me for his simplicity in writing.
When did you start writing?
Since I was in the fifth standard. 
When did you decide to become a writer?
After covering Muzaffarnagar Riots.
What are your ambitions for your writing career?
I will write a few more stories that will have the insider’s view on Journalism and the reporting world followed by a collection of short stories and then I will embark on my most ambitious project which is a mythological drama. 
Do you have a special time to write, or how is your day structured to accommodate your writing?
Whenever inspiration strikes
Is this your debut work?
This is my first novel though as a journalist I have been writing all my stories for over the last decade.
What genre are your books?
It is a fiction drama.
Can you describe your current book in few lines? What’s it about?
It’s a story about three childhood friends from Nainital who dream of making it big in their lives. As they grow up and enter college they lie to their parents and leave for the city of dreams. In Mumbai there comes a point when they manage to save their lives from the jaws of death and then begins the journey of self-discovery.
Give us an insight into your main character(s)
PRASHANT: Principled, committed and a mature guy for whom loyalty is an attitude to live by. 

RAHUL: A fun loving and adventure seeking guy. He’s a ladie’s man
GAURAV: A born leader who breaks the norms and charts his own path.
Where did you get idea for this book?
Drew inspiration from my own life experiences. Only I know what is fact and what is fiction in the book:)
How much research did you do for this book?
The material was close to my heart. I just refreshed my memory. 
Who is your favorite character in your book and why? (If applicable)
Ghantiwala – the jalebi maker is my favourite character. He is the one who has the biggest influence in the life of the three friends. Hardened through experience he gives life lessons to the three kids. 
Release date. 
The book was released in July 2017
What are you working on at the minute?
Editing my new fiction.
What are your thoughts on writing a book series?
Never thought of.
How was your experience with Publishing house (Lead Start)?
This is my first association with Leadstart. I hope that we will have a mutually benefiting relationship for the future endeavours.
What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Keep writing.
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

BookReview - Pushing Limits: From West Point to Berkeley & Beyond by Ted Hill

I have received this book almost 8 months back but I was not able to read it on time. The representative from American Mathematical Society didn't convey at that time what this book was. I was under impression that this must be some maths or stats related book. But it was an autobiography or memoir of Ted Hill.

Book Blurb
Pushing Limits: From West Point to Berkeley and Beyond challenges the myth that mathematicians lead dull and ascetic lives. It recounts the unique odyssey of a noted mathematician who overcame military hurdles at West Point, Army Ranger School and the Vietnam War, and survived many civilian escapades—hitchhiking in third-world hotspots, fending off sharks in Bahamian reefs, and camping deep behind the forbidding Iron Curtain. From ultra-conservative West Point in the ’60s to ultra-radical Berkeley in the ’70s, and ultimately to genteel Georgia Tech in the ’80s, this is the tale of an academic career as noteworthy for its offbeat adventures as for its teaching and research accomplishments. It brings to life the struggles and risks underlying mathematical research, the unparalleled thrill of making scientific breakthroughs, and the joy of sharing those discoveries around the world. Hill's book is packed with energy, humor, and suspense, both physical and intellectual. Anyone who is curious about how one maverick mathematician thinks, who wants to relive the zanier side of the ’60s and ’70s, who wants an armchair journey into the third world, or who seeks an unconventional view of several of society's iconic institutions, will be drawn to this book
The book starts with Mr. Hill or I should say Dr. Hill's childhood in parallel to his earlier days in military training.His struggle during training made his a strong character. Then it covers parts of his early postings, Vietnam war and returns phase. Next part covers his journey of being a notable mathematician. His Ph.D. thesis to first Ph.D. student to early retirement to volunteering professor in other countries. Ted has never compromised his personal front for his professional front. Sports and adventure were never out of his life.

I accept that I skipped many pages as I have recently read Vietnam war memoir and I don't know why but I was not able to read those sections again. Some suggestions for publishers design it like a novel, currently, length and width of the book gives an impression of some technical or educational book.

An okay read for normal readers but memoir readers will like this book. Talking about ratings
  1. Cover - 3/5
  2. Title - 2/5
  3. Content - 3/5
  4. Overall - 1/5
Book can be found at - Amazon India & Amazon USA
Review from other readers can be found at GoodReads

Monday, October 2, 2017

BookReview - Avishi - Vishpala of Rig Veda Reimagined

I am in close contact with Sai Swaroopa ever since I reviewed Abhaya. I liked Abhaya so much, I decided to read Sai's future books. She gave me brief of Avishi almost a year back and I was eagerly waiting for print. I wanted to have printed edition of Avishi because I had very high hopes. Well, I didn't get printed version as the author is planning the same early next year and I cannot wait that long. I got an early review copy. I think I was one of the reviewers who got the copy when the book was just entered into Goodreads. I could have claimed the first review but missed the chance. 

Book blurb
Long before the times of Draupadi and Sita 
Immortalised in the hymns of Rig Veda 
But forgotten to the memory of India 
The Warrior Queen with an iron leg, Vishpala 
Brought up in the pristine forest school of Naimisha, Avishi reaches the republic of Ashtagani in search of her destiny. When Khela, the oppressive King of the neighbouring Vrishabhavati begins to overwhelm and invade Ashtagani, Avishi rises to protect her settlement, but at a high cost. 
Separated from her love, her settlement broken, with a brutal injury needing amputation of her leg, can Avishi overcome Khela? 
If stories about ancient India, especially those with strong women characters interest you, then Avishi is a story you must read! 
Talking about the story, our main protagonist is Avishi. A girl whose father was conspired in king's murder. She was attacked by assassins. She was taken to Naimisha, knowledge/power center of Jambudwipa from where any religious or social decision was taken. Avishi became a warrior under able guidance. She was sent to Ashtagani to seek her destiny. A fate was waiting for her in Ashtagani. Things changed drastically since the arrival of Avishi in Ashtagani. For more, I would request you to read the book.

Sai Swaroopa writes a story around strong female characters. Her stories show more female-centered characters than normal stories. Abhaya and Avishi both were different from the era they belong to. Avishi is shown as a woman fighting for a cause. Era was pictured when weddings were still under conceptualization, coins were yet to be introduced, barter was standard protocols between settlements. People had different priorities in that times. Sai has shown it wonderfully in very simple writing style. The best part about her books is to the point story with normal language. A good recommendation for any age group. 

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