Monday, August 27, 2018

Book Review - Maha Vishnu Trilogy: Part I: The Code of Manavas

"The Code of Manavas" was on my wishlist for almost 3 months and by the time I decided to go for it, I found the book was off-the-shelf. I directly inquired author (Arpit Bakshi) for the same, he told me there was a good reason behind out of stock situation. Actually, the efforts and brilliance of Arpit's work were able to catch notice of well-known publishers. His book was going to be published by them and Arpit had promised me that he would get back once it would be out. Almost after a year, I got July release mail from Rupa publications and I found the book in the list. I instantly inquired Arpit for the same. He confirmed it. The new look of the cover was even more interesting than the previous one. So how could I not go for the book this time? In short, I got my hands on this book after a wait of almost 1 and a half year, so I took the book almost immediately.

Book Blurb
"The earth and the human race as we knew it have ceased to exist.
Bhoomidium, discovered by Krishna, healed the unstable core of Bhoomi during the last apocalypse. It has transformed Man to Manavas and Kali-Yug into Swarnim-Yug.
The year is 2050.2.0000001 and the Manavas are divided into two states, Madhavpur and Ayudhpur.
Krishna sees another apocalypse around the corner and he has a way out – an alternate universe, which can be reached by travelling through Omechta realm.
Can he save his race this time?"
So far I have discussed only my fanatics about the book. So let me give a basic plot of the book. In the year 2050, the earth we know got into oblivion kind of situation. I would say a Pralay. Only a few thousand humans survived. They called themselves as Manavas and they took an oath to follow codes of Manavas. These Manavas were able to defeat aging. They survived million years (same guys not their progeny). But change is always constant in nature. After a million years they are at the edge of next possible Pralay. Krishna is the only ray of hope for the citizen of Madhavpur (one of the two cities exists). Same Krishna saved Manavas and made them practically immortal during last Pralay. The savior Krishna himself was in dilemma and having many questions on top of extinction threat. They were being attacked by some unknown party discretely. Krishna wanted to solve both mysteries, he ventured into a restricted area with an adventurous lady. Read the book to know more. Sorry, Arpit if you think I have shared much but I think no spoilers were touched here.

Let's start with good points
  1. To the point narration - Straight narration style. No words out of place. Every event, character, scene is relevant to the story. 
  2. Easy to follow language usage.
  3. Amalgamation of high-fi sci-fi topics with spirituality
  4. Awesome cover art
  5. The naming of characters - Found it unique and relevant to the storyline
  6. On top of all, kudos to the author's imagination
Coming to point of improvements
  • The good point (narration style) is also accountable for too plain narration. It is super-duper fast once any event occurred and normal once things are normal. Maybe people like the reverse. I like to read more about those special events.
  • Though the story has twist and turns. The author has started two-three such incidents which have garnered a good amount of eagerness. But it was not able to satisfy my interest after reading. For example entry to another city, invasion of intruders. I would not have mind reading 50-100 pages more if he has elaborated further because I didn't find a single boring page in the book. 
Don't worry, the book is still wonderful even after giving improvement points. Ratings
  1. Cover - 5/5
  2. Characters - 4/5
  3. Concept - 5/5
  4. Content - 3/5
  5. Overall - 4/5
The book can be found at Amazon and Flipkart
Reviews from other readers can be found at GoodReads

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Book Review of - DareDreamers - India’s first Start-up of Superheroes

Father-Son duo (Ravi & Kartik) have developed a good page turner narration style. I have read their first book "The Quest of Sparrow". It was a spiritual fiction full of learning. I loved that book. So when I have checked their tweet about next book, I was attracted to it. Launch cost was around 100 INR for "DareDreamers - A Start-up of Superheroes" so it has entered in my cart.

Book Blurb
India’s first start-up of superheroes with a mission of saving lives is here to kick ass.
Rasiq is riding the highs of life thanks to his successes as an investment banker. But his arrogance soon gets the better of him and he ends up losing everything he holds dear. Managing to salvage only his grit from the wreckage, Rasiq reboots his life and teams up with five uniquely talented superheroes to start a rescue venture
- DareDreamers.
These superheroes Nick: a crazy inventor; Halka: an inhumanly strong man; Arjun: a champion shooter; Natasha: a Bollywood stunt-double; Dr. Vyom, a medical Sherlock Holmes; and, of course, Rasiq: the mastermind combine their unique talents to deliver spectacular rescue operations. Their skyrocketing success, however, comes at a price an enemy hell bent on tearing down their fame and reputation.
Will DareDreamers defeat its wily adversary? Or will it become yet another failed start-up?
Treachery, action and adventure come alive to make DareDreamers a page-turner. 
The story is divided into three parts. Each part has a common character, which is our protagonist Rasiq. He was IIT-IIM grad working in one of the best investment banking firms, earning a hell lot of money. In exchange, he has rented his life to the company. (As per Rasiq) He was so stressed out due to continuous slogging, he just cannot continue the job. On top of it, his personal life ruined after his breakup. He went to hometown and there he got the idea of a startup through a life-changing experience. The second part covers how he and his teammate established a company called DareDreamers. The story needed an antagonist which came as a shrewd established competitor to their company. He ruined their lives for a good long time. Read the book to know more.

Now coming to my personal feeling, the first part seems Chatan Bhagat styled story. I am glad it was switched faster. The second part was more of a superhero rescues, you will be thrilled to read them. Not to forget, you may find it less realistic, but I promise you will find them entertaining. The last part is the mixed-match of police and mystery case.

The interesting part was the character built up. You have Rancho (a tech nerd) in form of Nick, you have Dr. House of House MD (Medical Nerd) in form of Vyom. You have a sharpshooter, a body double (lady) and a bodybuilder. A perfect team of freaks (for the normal world) but unique for the purpose at the hand.

The narration style is simple and straightforward like "The Quest of Sparrows". I finished the book in 3-4 sittings. The language usage is also easy to normal one. Accidents mentioned (first 2-3 one) will bring smile on your face. The stunt narrated are also full throttle . They are conceptualised like an action movie. You can imagine a Bollywood/Tollywood movie based on the story. I would suggest not to apply much logic and let your mind flow with the book, then you would love it. Don't criticize based on your analytical mind.

Overall a nice read. Ideal for the age group of 16-40. Talking about ratings
  1. Cover - 4/5
  2. Concept - 4/5
  3. Characters - 4.5/5
  4. Overall - 4/5
The book can be found at Amazon and Flipkart
Reviews from other readers can be found at GoodReads

Monday, August 20, 2018

Book Review - Yama’s Lieutenant and the Stone Witch by Anuja Chandramouli

Before I start let me thank Anuja Chandramouli for providing the review copy in exchange for the honest review. I would like to apologize Anuja for delaying review beyond her consideration. The wrong delivery of the book has somehow put the book in the farthest corner of my shelf. Being a fan of Anuja's book I was well aware of what kind of mood her books needed to read, I took the book when I would be able to read with the needed attention.

Book Blurb
As Yama's Lieutenant, Agni Prakash, has diligently been tracking down demons and spirits that threaten peace on earth and dispatching them to his lord's thousand hells. Danger is a constant in his job, but this time an apocalypse threatens his entire world. Agni must go up against a terrifying sorceress-adept in the ancient art of stone magic-and her bestial army of demoniacal creatures who used to be humans before they were transformed into willing killing machines. The witch has a nightmarish vision for a new world that involves large scale culling of the humans-and it falls to Agni to stop her. He must find the Samayakalas, the mysterious keepers of time and reset the clock before all life is destroyed. However, any contact with the Samayakalas is forbidden to mortal and immortal alike and those who flout the ancient decree risk incurring punishment far worse than death. The price asked of him is an impossible one, but Yama's Lieutenant does not have a choice. Enlisting the help of old friends, he must submit to being borne across an ocean of death and destruction to find the Samayakalas before darkness engulfs them all.
"Yama’s Lieutenant and the Stone Witch" is the second book in the series of Yama's Lieutenant. The story started with a few pages of the re-cape. Agni the protagonist of our story, the Yama's Lieutenant, was up against a sinister witch. Along with the main story, Agni's sister's (Varu's) story/letter written for Agni also continued in this part. Now coming to the antagonist of our story Nayima was the stone witch. A precious gem she possessed had given her unparallel power. She dreamed of a perfect society. But just like Thanos of Avenger, the stone witch also had an idea of destroying current order before procreating ideal world through her selected humans. Her army was the harbinger of death, where ever they went; death, chaos, and carnage followed them. Even Agni had only one option to approach and take help of an unapproachable GGodess. He had some new comrade to help him out. Read the book to know more. Don't worry I haven't revealed much.

Now coming to good points
  • A complete combo of action, thriller, and horror. Better than 1st part
  • Language usage is brought down to a simple one compared to 1st part
  • Awesome cover art
  • Ignoring the initial 50 pages even pace is also improved
Things that took time for me.
  • Anuja has magic in her words when she writes all the characters (no matter how minute or sidelined it would be) given a great depth. While reading you will feel them important characters, but they would not be. Many such descriptions have added some percentage of bored-ness in the reading experience. For me, without them, the book might be 50-60 pages lighter.
  • The bar of the first 50 pages. The slow-paced of first 50 pages were like a never-ending wall for me. It took extra efforts from me.
Overall a wonderful story. Better than part one. Talking about ratings
  1. Cover - 4/5
  2. Characters - 4.5/5
  3. Concept - 3.5/5
  4. Content - 3.5/5
  5. Overall - 4/5
The book can be found at Amazon and Flipkart
Reviews from other readers can be found at GoodReads

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Hounds of Shiva by Preetha Rajah Kannan

I know "Hound" means "Hunting dogs" but don't go by the literal mean. As cover, blurb, and prologue suggest here Preetha has taken stories of Shivagana or famously known as Gana or Bhutgana. This the third book in Siva series by Preetha. Though she or publisher have never claimed these books as series you can easily categorize them under one. The first book was "Shiva in the city of Nectar" which was based on Shiva's stories in and around Madurai. The second book was "Son of Shiva" which was based on Shiva and Karthikeya. And this book is based on Shiva again. 

Book Blurb
As its mahout goaded the mammoth royal elephant to the open space where Navukkarasu was held, the beast trumpeted in fury, knocking down walls and ornamental arches in wanton aggression. The earth shook under its tread and the crowd surged back in fear.
Navukkarasu fearlessly stood his ground asserting, “The Cosmic Dancer who wears a garment of elephant hide will protect me.”
The animal charged forward - only to stop short before the saint. In an instant, all aggression leached out of the beast. As docile as a lamb, the elephant circumambulated Navukkarasu, clumsily fell to its knees, and raised its trunk in homage to him. Lumbering to its feet, it then carefully backed away from its intended victim.
Hounds of Shiva is a treasure house of tales with impassioned, heroic acts of sacrifice, devotion and service in the lives and times of the Nayanmars – the sixty-three Shaivite saints who were exemplars of bhakti. Kannappa gouges out his eye to heal Shiva’s wound; Punitavati renounces her youth and beauty to follow the Lord as an emaciated ghoul; Siruthondar sacrifices his own son at Shiva’s command; Iyarpahai gifts his beloved wife to another man; Samandhar raises a boy from the dead; Poosal builds an intricate Shiva temple in his heart.
But the book’s hero is Lord Shiva, who assumes myriad disguises to sport with his devotees, blessing and testing them. Filled with astounding miracles, Hounds of Shiva is an untold tale of the Blue-throated Lord and a feast for the mind and soul.
Preetha Rajah Kannan is the author of Shiva in the City of Nectar, an enthralling collection of stories based on the revered Tamil text, Thiruvilayaadal Puranam. She is also the editor of Navagraha Purana, a translation of the eponymous Telugu work on the mythology of the nine planets, by celebrated author V. S. Rao. Kannan has contributed extensively to newspapers and magazines, such as The New Indian Express and The Express School Magazine. A homemaker and a mother of two boys, she lives with her family in Madurai, Tamil Nadu.
The difference between 1st and 3rd book (Hounds of Shiva) is the central them. The 3rd book is dedicated to solely devotees of Shiva. Thirty-seven stories covered are of such staunch devotees of Lord. Shiva has directly/indirectly tested their devotion. Their devotion and love towards Shiva undaunted by difficult tests of Lord. They were blessed moksha and given place in Shivaloka among Lord's Gana.

Preetha's writing style is magical. She writes short stories with full conviction. You can feel her devotion towards Shiva through her words. Each story starts with a place, a devotee and a beautiful narration. the author set the stage and deliver a wonderful story in just 4-6 pages. If you are fed up with Mytho-fictional made up stories those are hitting market currently, then check this book. It has maintained the same touch of our old religious stories. Instead of criticising lord like current trend, stories here show his importance.

This book can be gifted to middle graders to people in their eighties or nineties, due to the simplicity of language, narration, and subject.

A worthy read. Talking about ratings
  1. Cover - 4/5
  2. Content - 3.5/5
  3. Concept - 3.5/5
  4. Overall - 4/5
The book can be found at Amazon and Flipkart
Reviews from other readers can be found at GoodReads

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Book Review - The Myth of Hastinapur by Rahul Rai

The Epic Mahabharata was written after Pandavas won the battle of Kurukshetra. Have you ever thought how gory stories would be if it was written by a completely neutral party? Both parties had a black spot but recount incidents and tell me which side got a bigger spot. I have read "Rise of Kali" by Anand Neelakantan and it made me question those events.

The Myth of Hastinapur by Rahul Rai is one such trial where the author has given perspectives of various characters at the different time of the grand event. 2-3 stories were kind of repeat for me, but remaining were really engaging. Like
  • The struggle of Drona and Ashwatthama - A completely new perspective for me
  • Two friends from two neighboring villages fighting from different sides
  • The last speech of Karna - the insistence of being known as Sootputr/Radheya
The narration style is simple. The author has focused more on story than detailing. For me, that is plus point. Language is straight and suitable for new learner or kids between 12 to 18 age. As the stories are in respect to different character, you will find randomness in order. For some, it may look jump from one timeline to another.

Final or one-liner review could be "A worthy read." Talking about ratings
  1. Cover - 4/5
  2. Concept - 3.5/5
  3. Characters - 4.5/5 (Especially for Karna and Ashwatthama)
  4. Overall - 4/5
The book can be found at Amazon
Reviews from other readers can be found at GoodReads

Saturday, August 11, 2018

A must read - Into the Great Heart by Kamla K. Kapur

Recently all the spiritual, business and/or selfhelp books that I have read, Jaico had an upper hand from the content point of view. "Into the Great Heart - Legends and Adventures of Guru Angad the second Sikh Guru" by Kamla K. Kapur is a unique combinational master peice. I haven't read the first book so I was not aware of the beauty of Kamla Kapur's writing. The book is amalgumation of biography, fiction, philosophy, and spirituality. You will not notice when you will be taking a turn in the subject. After reading the first 30 pages I have added the first book in the series on my wishlist.

Book Blurb
From the bestselling author of Classic Tales from Mystic India, The Singing Guru and Rumi: Tales to Live By, comes the second book in the Sikh saga series about Bhai Lehna’s journey from being Guru Nanak’s constant disciple to becoming Guru Angad (1504 – 1552), his successor and the second Sikh Guru. 

Into the Great Heart carries forward and concludes the stories of Guru Nanak and Bhai Mardana, his favourite minstrel, from the first volume of the Sikh saga, The Singing Guru. History, legend and fiction merge to populate this book with fascinating personalities from Sikh history. Pivotal to this narrative are forgotten female luminaries such as Guru Nanak’s wife, Mata Sulakhni, his sister, Bebe Nanaki, Bhai Lehna’s wife, Khivi and daughter Amro. Brought to the foreground, their wisdom and insights as they overcome obstacles to spiritual growth embody the basic tenets of Sikhism in everyday living. They enhance Guru Nanak and Bhai Lehna’s tale with their diverse approach to life. 
Filled with captivating characters that enrich the tapestry of this compelling narrative, Into the Great Heart is a must-read for anyone who loves a rich story about human nature in its search for spiritual awareness.
The story or the book is written on Guru Angad succession over Guru Nanak. A priest of Maa Durga Temple came to Kirtarpur just to see Guru Nanak out of curiosity. His name was Bhai Lehna and he had herd one of the Poem composed by Baba. When he met Baba, both came to know that they were bound to meet. The first half of the book covers how the selfless act of Bhai Lehna and his devotion towards Baba Nanak had won Baba's heart. Baba had already decided that only Bhai Lehna could take the place of the successor after him. But Baba's family was against it, so Baba had to send Bhai Lehna away till the time was proper. That is the 1st part of the book. It was pretty well maintained with medium pace.

The second part started rather slow. Even the story part reduced by 30-40% in the first 50 pages of the second part. But slowly the story part picked up. The starting events of the second part were rather sad. This part ended with Guru Nanak announcement of Bhai Lehna as his heir (as Guru Angad) followed by Baba's demise.

All the characters in the book are painted with the brush of reality. You can feel their mind as if they are your closed one. The devotion of Bhai Lehna, Wisdom of Guru Nanak, Grasping and understanding of Bhai Buddha, the Inner turmoil of most of the women won my heart. Each page is filled with wisdom and spirituality without affecting interest quotient. In just 280 pages you can learn so many things. Those incidents of Baba's journey with Bhai Mardana, the hidden message behind Baba's statements or reactions, the conversation of Buddha with Bhai Mardana and family. There are so many things that made me love this book, I have listed only a few here.

A must read. Just go for it. I am not eligible enough to rate this book anything below 5/5.

The book can be found at Amazon & Flipkart
Reviews from other readers can be found at GoodReads

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Book Review - 31 Miles: Can we ever win against ourselves? by Vinita Bakshi

The lines on the cover "Can we ever win against ourselves?" was the thing that got my attention when I first saw "31 Miles" by Vinita Bakshi on Vimmy's bookshelf. Though I took the book a few months back, it took me some time to come back to it. I wanted to read this book for quite a time but one thing or another kept coming in the way.

Book Blurb
Mansa has the perfect family life—a husband, two daughters and a big house. But she feels that something is missing. After shifting to a major city, she decides to take the reins of her life in her own hands, she decides to step out and seek a career.
While enjoying the new-found freedom and confidence, she completely immerses herself in her work and her new life. Till one fateful day when she finds herself embroiled in a passionate affair—with an online lover. And then everything falls apart!
31 Miles is the story of a woman who rediscovers herself after marriage, and works towards self-emancipation. Will she give it all up for the elusive mirage created by the stranger? What turn will her life take next?

The protagonist of this book is a married woman with a child and a perfect husband. She herself was a good housewife. To change the course of her life, she decided to make her career in cooking. She got in touch with new technology and online social network. She started chatting with another man living on another continent of the world and the chatting soon became intimate. Though having a perfect husband and belonging to a pretty conservative family background, she fell in love with this guy. And this guy stopped talking to her as soon as she insisted on meeting. This experience made her shattered inside. These incidents had some past life connections, which I am not gonna tell you. To find out you've got to read this. Cause what's the fun if I tell you everything, right?

Overall this book is good but not what I have expected. From the cover and the description, this book has had a very spiritual vibe which is not there up to the mark. Only the second half of the book is spiritual in some manner. What kept me going was the poems and Shayaris. I also liked quotation those are given at the beginning of each chapter.

To summarize it, don't read this book having expectations of spiritual experience, you may be disappointed. Also, have some patience till the second half of book cause it gets better there.

  1. Cover : - 3/5
  2. Content : - 3/5
  3. Character : -3/5
  4. Concept : - 3/5
  5. Overall : - 3/5
The book can be found at Amazon & Flipkart
Reviews from other readers can be found at GoodReads

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Book Review - The Silent Reformer: A Biographical Novel on the Life of Revered Pandurang Shastri Athavale

My wife was interested in reading "Shri Pandurang Shastri Athavale". So she requested "Kaya Bani Chandan" Gujarati translation of original Marathi work by Rajendra Kher. But by mistake, we got English edition. So responsibility came to me to finish the review. Though I have read biographies of a few personalities, spiritual leaders' biographies are not my forte. Still I too the challenge.

Book Blurb
English translation of best-selling Marathi biographical novel on the life of Revered Pandurang Shastri Athavale, founder of Swadhyay Parivar, who introduced universal way of life, way of worship and way of thinking to achieve spiritual height. Revered Pandurang Shastri (Dadaji) was an activist philosopher who formed the family (parwar) of millions of Swadhayees World-wide. He was recipient of 100s of awards including Magsaysay award, Templeton Award, Gandhi award, Tilak award etc. This novel is entirely based on his life, thoughts and work. Mr. Kher had personal interviews with Rev. Dada ji within the period of 3 & half years and then and then he wrote this novel. Hence, this book presents firsthand information about Rev. Dada ji and has become historical document of Rev. Pandurang Shastri's life and work
I read this book at a snail's pace. I was reading around 35-40 pages a week. Yes just 5-6 pages per day and it took more than 3 months for me to finish this book. It is not a boring book, but due to the depth of the subject that made my pace slow. The author has done a detailed research of Shastriji's life, it took him 3 and a half year of interview rounds face to face with Shartiji. So there is nothing else to comment on the profundity of the subject.

A serious work which requires serious efforts from readers. If the translation is as good as this book I may think about giving it to my elders as well.

English edition can be found at Amazon & Flipkart
Gujarati edition can be found at Amazon & Flipkart
Review from other readers can be found at GoodReads

Monday, August 6, 2018

Book Review - Asian Herbs & Culinary Herbs by Sudhir Ahluwalia

Sudhir Ahluwalia has a unique style of writing, You will never know when he will be switching between storytelling to botany. A moment back you are reading fact-filled narration of ancient/current incidents & importance of herbs. And the next moment you are reading references for botanical studies.

Asian herbs like Holy Herbs started with the importance of herbs in history. How silk route or any other sea routes were explored in search of herb trades. As the name suggests herbs discussed in this book are from two major subcontinents of Asia i.e. India and China. Flow goes like this: the author will pick up a herb; will talk about the historic/religious importance of it. Then come some botanical part, followed by herb usage in the kitchen of the region. The last would be medicinal importance with articles/research background. Last 50 pages are just bibliography of references used in this book.

It is a semi-technical and semi non-fiction book for people who would like to know more about various herbs and plants.

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

This is my third book by Sudhir Ahluwalia and his books have a different style. Just one complaint, all three books have almost 90% commonalities in beginning, for me, it was repetition for the first-time reader it is required. The herbs discussed are used commonly in culinary throughout the globe.

Around 11 herbs with usage and botanical background are discussed. The flow is the same, the herb will start with historical and religious importance. Then other parts of the plant that are used for culinary. Then come benefits. Not to forget botanical facts.

Removing initial repetition, this book I liked the most among 3 books by Sudhir Ahluwalia.

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

Conversation with Varun about his book - Time Crawlers

Rarely you will find a sci-fi book by an Indian author and among them, it is even rare that you will find that work worthy enough to spend some time reading them. Varun Sayal has done a commendable job in "Time Crawlers". If you have missed our review of the book, do check here. Today we got the chance to interview Varun on our blog. So without waiting, I will take you through our conversation.

Lets start with your introduction. Can you please tell us about your educational and professional background?
  • Educational Background - B.Tech from IIT Delhi, Class of 2007. M.B.A. from I.S.B. Hyderabad, Class of 2012
  • Professional Background - Working with Amazon as Manager of Data Science
What were you like at school/college apart from studies?
I was a sincere student but also participated in a lot of theatre as an actor, director, especially during my 4 years at IIT Delhi. I organized and directed various play productions, which were immensely well received.
Which author inspire you the most?
I don’t read as much as I did and as much as I want to owing to my day job and my own efforts in the writing space. But I was immensely inspired by Isaac Asimov, because of the sense of realism he brought into his Science Fiction Stories.
When did you start writing?
I have been writing since I was a kid, but I wrote much less frequently at that time. I won an inter school competition in poetry when I was in 6th standard. I still remember writing a short story was I was in class 10th. During my bachelors, I was writing a lot of poetry on my blog, some of it I will be re-vitalizing on I wrote a lot of playscripts as part of Dance and Dramatics Club at IIT Delhi.
When did you decide to become a writer?
I started serious writing around five years back when I started to write stories on word documents, I had no idea what to do with them at that point of time. At times I published short fiction on small blogs, wrote satire on few websites. But around eight to nine months back I decided that I should aim to publish formally in order to reach wider audiences within India and abroad. Which is when these Time Crawlers and other stories started taking shape.
What are your ambitions for your writing career?
With my books, I aim to bring a few new stories in this world, tales which are not just ornate descriptions that enable readers to pass time, but each of these stories should make the reader put down the book for a second and think about what would happen if that story were real. If I am able to do that I would consider my writing endeavors a success.
Do you have a special time to write, or how is your day structured to accommodate your writing?
At times if the flow of ideas is strong then I have written at night but, I usually prefer to write in the mornings between 08:00 to 10:00 AM because that’s the time when brilliant ideas flow in quickly with a fresh perspective. I usually sit on a comfortable chair with a proper back-rest, with my legs on the table, a fresh cup of piping hot tea or coffee on my side, a soft pillow on my lap and a laptop comfortably resting on it while my fingers clack on the keyboard bringing new realms and worlds to life. 
Is this your debut work?
Yes this is my debut published work. I have been writing on blogs, and on medium for some time now, but never formally published a book before “Time Crawlers”.

What genre are your books?
I majorly love to write Science Fiction and Fantasy, with a hint of paranormal.

 Can you describe your current book in few lines? What’s it about?
Alien Invasion, Dark Artificial Intelligence, Time-Travel, High-Tech Hindu Mythology, Djinn Folklore, Telekinetics and life-consuming Cosmic Entities are some major themes in my book which has 6 tightly-knit, fast-paced Sci-Fi stories.
Give us an insight into your main character(s)
Each story has their main characters, for “Nark-astra” it’s Prayaschakit, for “The Cave” it’s Kaaljeevi, for “Death by Crowd” it’s SS
Where did you get idea for this book?
I had been writing a lot of short stories on various themes, and had been getting feedback from various friends around them. One find day I decided that some of these stories need to be read by wider audiences. I chose the top six stories out of my bunch and complied them into this book.
How much research did you do for this book?
I keep reading around scientific advancements and controversy-theories, watching videos around them, that is a part of my ongoing research.
Do you have a trailer for your own book? 

When was your book released?
15th June 2018
What are you working on at the minute?
I have already written the story summary of my next book which is going to be a novel, now I have to do the main task of executing it with some smart words to captivate the readers. It will be a full prose novel with elements from Time Travel, multiple dimensions, parallel universes and some themes from ancient Indian Mythology. I may include some paranormal characters and situations if they make the story more intriguing.
What are your thoughts on writing a book series?
I am not averse to writing a series, if in future I feel any of my books needs a sequel, I would definitely pen it down.
What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Two pieces of advice I would like to share with aspiring writers, firstly “Write something down”. Don’t wait for a perfect Eureka idea because it may never come. Write something, review it later, improve it, add more elements, add more story. Easiest way to get over writer’s block is to write. At times sparks don’t lead to words but words lead to sparks. Secondly build good relations within the reading community. Read other reviews, like them, interact with reviewers, compliment them where you feel they have done a commendable job. You finishing a book one day and then coming down raining on the whole reader community with review requests will not do you any good.
Links for your book readers

Saturday, August 4, 2018

A Book Review - Survival Sandstorm: The Journey that Changed the Course of World War II

"Survival Sandstorm" - If Mehul, a 12-year boy, can write this book then adult authors should seriously think about upgrading their skills. Frankly speaking, odd-looking cover, minimalistic blurb and 12-year-old author, I actually made bet on my gut feeling while selecting the book. And I was lucky to get this amazing story in my collection.

Book Blurb
Aboard the plane that battles the devilish storm over the great Sahara are three hostages from Nazi Germany, three hostages who can change the course of World War II if they reach their destination.
Can Ivsker Vodkech, the best pilot in the Soviet Union, battle against all odds to deliver the three hostages into allied hands? Can he uncover the horrific organisation operating in Africa? Can he survive?
The story starts with 3 Soviet soldiers and 3 Nazi hostages. Ivsker soviet soldier was a lucky pilot who had survived 2 deadliest accidents earlier. He was selected for a top secret mission of delivering hostages to allied forces. Being a pilot he was responsible for their air travel. He ignored sandstorm warning and brought everyone's life at risk. The sandstorm had destroyed their engine and they crashed in a desolated dessert of Sahara. They survived the crash but a deadly group of slavers had captured them. Read more to know what happened next.

It took me 3 chapters to understand writing style. Actually, the author has written every chapter in the first person narration but each chapter has a different character from the first person. I have encountered this style first time. And I found that experiment has worked. It was able to engage my mind on the topic. Talking about the narration of dessert and people's situation the author has done good research on it. You will find it as realistic as possible. I have read many works where such things were taken as merely granted.

Some good point of the books
  • Narration style - a Unique point about the book. I have already discussed it.
  • Language - Simple language usage made it easy to follow page after page.
  • Interest Building - Some author uses plain narration where events are simply sequential. This mostly makes story predictable. Instead, Mehul has aptly taken the support of 2-3 plots and character narration.
  • Action & Suspense Thriller - I liked quotient of action and suspense.
Some points of improvements
  • I am not sure about the timeline but I feel some events and technologies are misplaced. But can be ignored. Because It was not breaking the flow of interest.
  • Less content - I felt like it was ended abruptly. After reading the book, I wanted more. Now I need to wait for the next part. Actually, 150 pages are too short. :(
  • Cover - I am not sure, But the cover has given me mixed feelings. It could be better.
Overall a wonderful read. Ratings
  1. Cover - 3/5
  2. Concept - 4.5/5
  3. Content - 3/5
  4. Characters - 4/5
  5. Overall - 4/5
Book can be found at Amazon and Flipkart
Review from other readers can be found at GoodReads

Friday, August 3, 2018

Book Review - The Diamond Crown

Once in a while, we give chance completely new person to review the book. We have got this book reviewed in the same way. The book is read and reviewed by one of my husband's colleague's daughter and to my surprise, she has done a good job as her first trial. We are publishing her review as it is.

Book Blurb
Lakhs of devotees have gathered at the ashram to celebrate Swamiji’s shashtipoorti, his completing sixty years of age. Arrangements are in place for the many followers from all over the world who come to seek blessings, as also for those crooks who come with hopes of stealing the diamond crown – a gift of love from a wealthy devotee.
Balaram, Kumkum and their allies have waited for this day with bated breath. The crown would change their lives and give them a chance to start afresh.
Will everyone stick to the plan? Does greed for more let them succeed?
When despite strict vigil the diamond crown is stolen, and all clues lead to a dead end, the police officials call out to the man they trust the most – detective Tempo. With a sharp insight and a knack for noticing the unusual in the most mundane of things and people, he is the man who takes it upon himself to find the crown.
Will Tempo catch up with the thieves or are the culprits always a step ahead?
The diamond crown by V. S. Rao is a classic suspense story. The story gets a kick when Balaram, Kumkum, Parabrahma Rao and his allies planned to steal the diamond crown, amounting two crores which, was to be presented to Swamiji on his Shasthipoorti day. Loot of diamond crown and replace it with fake one was planned strategically. Would plan go as expected?

Improvement point for the author would be the way crime case was solved by Detective Tempo. He came in the midpoint of the story. And he solved the case in one day, that was too quick for crime fiction story. Its like he knew what had happened and what criminal's possible next step was. I was expecting action and some drama.

The narration of the story is simple. It was an average crime fiction story and not as expected thrilling.

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



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