Review of Aranghya and Jahar – Bandahar series part I

BLURB:

Evil Sorcerer or Tyrant? Mercenary or Warrior Prince? Songstress or Mythical Nymph? Three Protagonists conjoined by the wrath of a wasteland create an unprecedented history Only one thing stands between an evil sorcerer and his will to destroy a flourishing empire – Shikhanderi’s love for Ishanya Will Shikhanderi’s quest for his identity rock the very foundations of Bandahar? Will Shikhanderi and Ishanya’s love ever see light in the darkness that is Jahar? From a first time writer, comes a thrilling tale of adventure, myth, and fantasy.

MY REVIEW:

The plot involves many characters of whom Mithilesh is the King of Aranghya, part of Bandahar which comprises of seven kingdoms. He has been warned that he would be killed by a golden serpent. And also been warned by the dreamers that he would have to get rid of Kindgom else his entire dynasty would have to be wiped out of history.

Even after having all these thoughts in mind, the King wants to marry of his daughter Princess Binodhini to Prince Vikrant (Prince of Kingdom Dwadesh of Bandahar). But as a twist the prince is in love with Ishanya, the daughter of a sage and is someone who sings well. Her voice is known to be magical with mystical abilities. A love triangle exists between Binodhini, Vikrant and Ishanya.

The book begins with a scene which introduces the main Protagonist Shikanderi. The initial chapters give you an idea about the Kingdoms. There are too many plots involved like the Kind and his destiny, the relationship between the kingdoms, the prince and the princess. There is one more character, Karmachakra involved who wants to invade Bandahar and has ill intentions that he kidnaps women to satisfy his intentions. He is a great sorcerer.

What is the fate of the King Mithilesh, what happens to the kingdoms? Does the serpent kill the King? Does Karmachakra invade the kingdom? Whom does the Princess marry? Do Shikanderi and Ishanya unite is the rest of the story.

The narration seems a bit complicated to understand, but no worries you are provided with a glossary at the end. The too and fro between past and present, too many little plots make it a bit tough to continuously read.

The names of the characters and few serious sequences were worth mentioning.

The books cover shows open sky with some explosions which could have been better for a serious plot like this. But the cover does not reveal what the book actually holds.

Overall the book deserves its place in good one time read list.

BOOK DETAILS:

  • Format:Kindle Edition
  • File Size:2347 KB
  • Print Length:147 pages
  • Sold by:Amazon Asia-Pacific Holdings Private Limited
  • Language:English
  • ASIN:B07M6GG7GX

MY RATING: Cover: 3.5/5

Title: 4/5

plot: 3.5/5

Writing and Presentation: 3.5/5

Overall: 3.5/5

Review of Was it love

BLURB:

Leila Rajput is a young girl, struggling with life and relationships, dealing with the trauma of a past life-event. Unaware of her true potential, she has almost given up on life, till she meets this dynamic, near-perfect Vikrant Rao via internet. He identifies her potential and offers her a strange arrangement to be her mentor. He teaches her the basics of life, makes her realize her dreams and helps her in achieving them step by step. Under his guidance, she evolves into a confident and independent woman. They eventually fall in love and Vikrant relocates to her city, where he meets her friend Maya. While he solves Maya’s life conflicts and helps her elope with Shahan, he charges a fee none could ever imagine. Is Vikrant a villain or a victim of greed? Did he truly love Leila or was she just a puppet to reach his next victim? Was it Love? is a story of Leila’s journey through emotions, trials, betrayal and the devil called love.

MY REVIEW:

The book starts with childhood friends Leyla and Maya, on their way to attend an annual party of corporate Inc, which is where Leyla’s boyfriend Vikrant Rao works. Leyla and Maya are now 20, completing MBA and joining the same investment banking company. Maya fumes as she is not okay with Leyla’s rash driving. They end up reaching the party on time. They are received by Vikrant and Shahan(Maya’s boyfriend). Vikrant introduces his beautiful girlfriend to all his colleagues.

Leyla meets Vikrant over the internet( he stays in US), a few years back when she was in college. They started commenting on a blog platform and which in turn bloomed into daily ritual of talking to each other over voice chat. Leyla is insecure and is being mentored by Vikrant to be a better human being and refining her thought process. The mental relationship with Vikrant costs Leyla her relationship with family friend, Avi. He dumps her and she is broken. Vikrant molds and motivates her at this point where she fails in love with him.

They come to a point where they cannot be with each other. Vikrant relocates to Delhi. Leyla makes him meet her friend Maya and offer her some piece of advice since she is in a personal turmoil.

She is in love with Shahan and there would be a religion problem if they come to seek parental consent for marriage. Shahan plans to move to US to pursue executive MBA. Vikrant advises gun to leave and makes a plan for Maya to pursue fashion design in the US so that she and Shahan can elope and live happily together.

Shahan and Maya were delighted on hearing the plan however Leyla is skeptical about it. She somehow notices a change in behavior of Vikrant. Shahan leaves to the US and Maya frequently visits Vikrant to discuss their plans. This goes on for a while until things are uninformed to Leyla and Vikrant starts to ignore her.

Leyla becomes disturbed which is noticed by her boss, Aman. He in turn decides to help her out. Leyla confesses the whole story. Aman, discovers a gruesome truth about Vikrant which leaves her shocking. Aman helps her with the situation and also confesses his love to her.

What happens to Maya? Does she reunite with Shahan? What is the truth about Vikrant? Why does he avoid Leyla and what are his intentions? What happens to Leyla, does she reunite with Vikrant ot she accepts Aman is the rest of the story.

The book is a short read. Initial chapters consist of the chat exchanges between Vikrant and Leyla, which was kind of monotonous. They have poetic exchanges which tends to slows down the pace of the story.

The character of Vikrant is very hard to predict. At one moment he seems to be too pleasing when he talks to Leyla, at a later point he looks to be behaving with a reason to accomplish something else. Leyla on the other hand is gentle, insecure and vulnerable.

The narration is good, except for the dialogues part which could have been minimized. The ending could have been better. I would not term this as a suspense read, since I found that element missing. It was overall a light and a quick read.

BOOK DETAILS:

  • Paperback:192 pages
  • Publisher:Srishti Publishers & Distributors; First edition (10 August 2018)
  • Language:English
  • ISBN-10:9789387022300
  • ISBN-13:978-9387022300
  • ASIN:9387022307

MY RATINGS:

Cover: 4.4/5

Title: 4/5

plot: 3.75/5

Writing and Presentation: 4/5

Overall: 4/5

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Neha Sultania belongs to a culturally rich Punjabi family that originally hails from undivided India, now Pakistan. After her post-graduation in Business Administration, she took up banking as her career choice. A creative bent of mind has made her inclination strongly towards storytelling and poetry. Interest in mysteries and mystical nature of the universe has also made her wander into the deep occult sciences, making her a student of Vedic astrology.

Review of Kaalkoot

BLURB:

January 1944 Holed up in a Himalayan hideout, freedom fighter Manohar Rai has to take a chilling decision – one that could mean life or death for millions of people. His only hope is a mysterious young man, who goes into hiding hours before Manohar is shot dead in cold blood. June 2018 A forgotten legend from the upper reaches of the Himalayas is rearing its ominous head. The world will be brought to its knees. KaalKoot will strike again. Only three people have a clue about the horrors that are about the unfold. The only hope for survival lies buried deep in the remotest corner of Himalayas. But a terrible fate awaits those who seek it. Is it already too late Is KaalKoot – the primordial plague – unstoppable.

MY REVIEW:

This is one book that made me regret my decision. No I did not mean it in a way that I regretted choosing the book. The book’s initial part did not make me glue to it. I read the book taking frequent breaks, but once the plot began racy, the breaks were gone far off and you wouldn’t believe starting I completed the book from part II till the end in one stretch. Such gripping and intriguing was the narration. It made me think what was next or who is next?

The story starts with an introduction to Manohar Rai who keeps a certain information a secret from the government. The story dates back to in the 1940s. But when he suspects that the secret would be sneaked out, he decides to confide it within a youngster. And then there was no information about what was confided and who the youngster was.

Professor Bani and few others are into research about this, gather so much information and a lot of background studies, come to know that the secret that was confided or a weapon that could have possibly been used in the past is to be put in use in the current future. HE along with Professor Hudson, Bavedkar and Steve are aware of it. There is an opponent group headed by Maestro or Doc as he is called; who rediscovered the weapon and is planning an attack with it, to make these professors come out with the secret.

The story starts with a series of disappearances, murders. Sameer is on the verge of losing his relationship with Ananya. This is when she is kidnapped, because she helped out Professor Bavedkar. Sameer tracks the clues left behind and has unknowingly put himself into the quest of solving the mystery of the weapon or “Kaalkoot’ as it’s been known widely.

Damini an agent with ACG, an investigative agency heads this operation guided by her chief. She along with Sameer set out on a journey of mysterious findings from a flashback being told by Professor Bani. Professor Bani, saddened by the sudden disappearance of Bavedkar and demise of Steve, is forced to talk about the ancient history of Kaalkoot.

Together when they plan to set out to rediscover the secrets that the youngster left, Damini is demoted and is cleared from handling the case. But she offers all help to Sameer to accomplish the task.

The British on knowing that the Japanese coming into power might also take over India, plan to destroy the evergreen lands to rubble. And to do this, they used a weapon. People are killed, leaving no evidence of existence. In order to save the richest of literature and artifacts of our nation, the youngster travelled the length and breadth of country and gathered them and secretly hid them in a place that nobody knows. The place also holds another secret, which I am not about to give out and will leave it for you to find out when you read the book.

After much struggles, does Sameer find out the secret hideout, does he discover the treasures of the nation? Does he reunite with Ananya? What happens to Damini and the opponent maestro is the rest of the story.

Though the book starts in slow pace, it gains momentum at the right place. The editing was perfect. I really appreciate the narration style of the author, not giving up the entire secret at one go and making your eagerness drop. Chapter by chapter, the need to find out increases which makes it an interesting need.

The book is divided into parts and in turn into chapters. The chapters also include simultaneous narrations from various scenes, which gives you a complete picture on what is happening is a reaction to the action in one scene.

A well thought out plot, executed perfectly.

I got the book as part of the review program in outset .

BOOK DETAILS:

  • Reading level:12+ years
  • Paperback:343 pages
  • Publisher:TreeShade Books (7 December 2018)
  • Language:English
  • ISBN-10:8193642457
  • ISBN-13:978-8193642450

MY RATINGS:

Cover: 4/5

Title: 4/5

plot: 4.5/5

Writing and Presentation: 4/5

Overall: 4/5

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Venkatesh wears many hats. In his roles as private equity investor, executive coach, business leader, entrepreneur and Board member, he has helped businesses thrive and grow. He has spent a significant part of his professional life in the stock markets with Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank and JP Morgan and continues to be an avid investor. Venkatesh has been keenly interested in Eastern philosophy and mysticism right from his college days at IIT Delhi and IIM Calcutta. He has found his inspiration to write in rather curious settings – while crawling through war tunnels in Vietnam, coming face-to-face with a bear in the Nilgiris, chancing upon an Indus Valley ruin while on a road trip, listening to “Madhushala,” or just drinking cutting chai by the roadside. He is passionate about self-discovery and the power of stories to inspire and transform.

Review of together forever to never

BLURB:

No one can love like you… if I lose you, I will be left with nothing’ So says Sariyanka, a girl from a small town, madly in love with Samar. Having lost true love once before, Samar too believes that Sariyanka is his other half whom Zeus, the Greek God had separated from him.. In a chance conversation with his friend Mayank, Samar discovers some shocking truths. As the story unravels, a series of events follow that forever change the meaning of love for Samar. Is Sariyanka the one Samar calls his ‘other half’? Will Samar get the love that he always longed for? This highly anticipated novel by Satish Goyal is an emotional roller coaster that bravely explores the highs and lows of love. It’s a story of love – unshaken and unquestioned; yet unfulfilled and unrequited. A saga of deceit served on a platter of lies. About the author: Satish Goyal is a finance professional and works at a US multinational company. Since his days at the university, he had dreamed of writing on subjects close to his heart, but had put those dreams on hold to focus on his family and career. He finally plucked up the courage to put pen to paper with his first novel ‘Together Forever To Never”. Satish believes that success cannot be measured in terms of wealth or titles. The true measure of success is happiness that one is able to achieve in life. Satish is now writing his second book, “The Coaster Series”.

MY REVIEW:

Samar and Monali, sweethearts at young age, married happily for ten years. Samar, the protagonist has everything in life-great career, a loving wife and an adorable son. If life is described as a fairytale, their story should definitely be one of the chapters.

While the story goes on happily, a tragedy struck. Monali exits their world and leaves Samar in deep sorrow. Human spirituality, psychiatrist’s advice, he embraced life again. There we have another entry. Sariyanka came into his life. That is when he realizes he has found his better half. They fell in love madly with each other.

One fine day, when he was conversing with his friend Mayank. He comes to know a shocking truth. The truth gets proved by a couple of evidences which raises a doubt of loyalty on Sariyanka. After deep thinking, he confronts her and gets shattered. He moves on after a long struggle. A very engaging tale that makes you enjoy the feeling of love.

I loved the way it was printed the quality of paper used. Being a debut novel, it was written well and sequences placed at the right points. The narration was good and the character portrayal was really good.

Love makes you blindly trust people, that makes you forget everything. But falling in love with the right person makes the difference.

I just loved the way the cover is designed, that makes you want to pick it up and read it right away.

BOOK DETAILS:

  • Paperback: 188 pages
  • Publisher: Paper Towns Publishers; 1 edition (15 December 2018)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B07LDVQL3J

MY RATINGS:

Cover: 4.5/5

Title: 4/5

plot: 4.5/5

Writing and Presentation: 4.5/5

Overall: 4.5/5

Review of Endurer – a rape story

BLURB:

Life was a fun fed roller coaster: New found love, drugs, cat-fights, patch ups, crushes, night hangouts, and unplanned trips. Like any girl, not in the wildest dream, Palak could imagine that after attending a Rave Party, she will wake up to the horror of finding herself raped. In traumatic conditions and struggle between sanity and hallucinations, she is compelled by the circumstances to leave her world. Already fighting a war within, her stances take a toll witnessing horrifying tales of women and girls. Little did she know that this catastrophe was not enough for one lifetime, and a storm – was just cooling its heels. Will she be able to carve her path while facing the rapists, her tyrant father, appearances of her passed away mother? Should Palak let her life to be decided by people, society, and taboos? Would justice return her life or revenge lend her peace? A heart-rending story of a girl, whose beliefs and honor has been battered, stands up to make choices, rediscovering the meaning of life.

MY REVIEW:

After Nirbaya, the word ‘rape’ brings in a chill whenever we hear. Though we have several acts, security for women, the crime is happening at some corner of this country.

This book brings out one such case. The book initially describes the high-fi lifestyle, rich kids, parties, drugs, alcohol. The protagonist Palak stays in the hostel with her friends. They enjoy life at the fullest. High-fi car rides, drinks and what not.

At one such instance the friends plan to attend a rave party which is considered illegal. Initially they had fun, but as time goes on they do not realize what is happening due to the amounts of intake. On Awakening, Palak realizes she’s been raped. Unaware of who did it, they all zero in on Rohin who seems to be missing post the party. A porn video of Palak being raped in on circulation which adds to her depression, as she starts getting panic attacks frequently.But the twist is Rohin later comes into picture and takes Palak to his hometown to heal her from depression. He proposes her when he goes to hometown. There Palak meets Sethani and Meethi, the women in Rohin’s family. These women were also subject to harassment and rape in younger age.

Palak is showered with love and affection by them both. Meanwhile, her friends also arrive there to see how she cope up. That is when Rohin makes a plan to find out the culprit. What happens then? Who is Sethani ? How is she related to Meethi and ROhin? Do they find out the culprit and male them pay for the cruel crime? is the rest of the story.

The pace of the narration is apt for the plot. The characterization is brilliant, especially that of Rohin and Palak. There are a lot of emotions conveyed, that make you feel since the book is being narrated in first person.

The front cover looks so intriguing, the design makes you go aww and conveys a lot of emotions. Rohin is not very outspoken but is a secret admirer of Palak. Jahan on the other hand openly expresses his liking.

I really appreciate the author for taking up a bold subject and handled it in a great manner.

BOOK DETAILS:

  • Paperback:224 pages
  • Publisher:Write India Publishers; First edition (16 September 2018)
  • Language:English
  • ISBN-10:8193653572
  • ISBN-13:978-8193653579

MY RATINGS:

Cover: 4.5/5

Title: 4/5

plot: 4.5/5

Writing and Presentation: 4.5/5

Overall: 4.5/5

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Kapil Raj is an author and a professional based at New Delhi, India. His writing reflects the understanding of the social functioning and human psychology.With the heart of a philosopher, mind of a realist, and a deep-rooted non-conformist, he lives many lives, yet stealing the time for the most precious thing which matters to him: crafting plots, playing with characters and weaving the stories with inscribed messages.He actively runs a Facebook, Twitter, Instagram/realistespresso reflecting the other interests like photography and poetry.

Review of All you need is love

BLURB:

Neil and Gauri have made it big and are enjoying life with their doting daughter Neilakshi. Holidaying in Cuba, little do they know that the selfie they send back to their daughter in India will be their last, as they are attacked by mysterious men. They cannot be traced and there are rumors of murder. The governments of both the nations jointly investigate and try to find them at war footing level. Their friends wonder why someone is hell-bent on breaking the lovers apart, this time forever. Who it could be – Rachel, Neil’s hostile lover? or Arya, his college time girlfriend? or is it something much bigger than they could have ever imagined.

MY REVIEW:

Phew! It was one thrilling read that went back and forth between the past and the present. The pace was so racy that it makes you want to think “What’s next? What’s Next?”

This is one of the books in the Trilogy written by the author.

The plot starts with the billionaire couple Neil and Gauri riding their car in extreme speed after attending a concert. They have some romantic exchanges after stopping for a while. Gauri decides to click a few pictures and send them over to Tom, with whom they have left their daughter Neilakshi.

Once they start their ride, there is a volley of gunshots heard and the car skids, hits a tree trunk and is hanging down a cliff. There was no blood spill, since it was all washed out in the heavy downpour, Gauri was never to be seen.

This is where the pace kicks. Sreedhar and Alicia who were Neil and Gauri’s host, panic, since Neil and Gauri haven’t returned after the concert. They decide to keep Tom and Mehr informed. Tom blasts Sreedhar for being so passive and urges him to act immediately. Soon, the news is all over the media and a search for the two begins.

Meanwhile, the story goes back and forth on how Neil establishes the company and the possible suspects who would have planned the crime. Who planned the attack? What is the background that led to this? DO Neil and Gauri survive? What happens to their daughter is the rest of the plot.

A number of characters are involved, so makes it a bit difficult to quickly recollect who is who. A brilliantly thought out plot put into flawless writing.

The narration is easy to understand and crisp for a complex plot. I loved the character of Gauri. The kind of love that she has for Neil and the way it is portrayed throughout is simply commendable.

The cover design is mention worthy, applause for that which is one more reason for you to pick the book.

BOOK DETAILS:

  • Paperback:176 pages
  • Publisher:Srishti Publishers and Distributors; First edition (10 November 2018)
  • Language:English
  • ISBN-10:9387022420
  • ISBN-13:978-9387022423

MY RATINGS:

Cover: 4/5

Title: 4/5

plot: 4.5/5

Writing and Presentation: 4/5

Overall: 4/5

ABOUT AUTHOR:

Arvind Parashar is the bestselling author of three romantic thrillers. All You Need Is Love is the final part of the ‘Messed Up!’ trilogy. Apart from writing, he is also an artist, a well-known motivational speaker and the face of many prestigious literary festivals. He manages his passion of writing novels along with working as a Vice President in a large corporate firm.

Review of Magic square

BLURB:

Amudha is a Ph.D. scholar, practically living in her research lab, leading an uneventful life. Amudha’s life takes an adventurous turn, when she finds a puzzle in an old Mathematics book. Surprisingly, the puzzle has nothing to do with Mathematics. Amudha embarks on a journey to solve the enigma. Every twist and turn in her journey is filled with suspense and surprises. The journey challenges and threatens Amudha. Whenever Amudha solves a part of the puzzle, a new one presents itself. Will Amudha solve the puzzle? How far does the rabbit hole go? What awaits her at the end of it? Will Amudha be the same person if she comes out of it? Read on Magic Square for answers.

MY REVIEW:

Well, if you are looking for a short read with an intriguing mystery to be unveiled, you can definitely give this a try. Magic square is a debut Novella by Salini, but stands out good with very minimal characters. As the name sounds, it isn’t deep into mathematical knowledge or concepts but mathematics does play a role.

Amudha the protagonist is a PH.D scholar. After being rejected by umpteen interview panels. She finally decides that Ph.D is the destiny for her. And she also made it to the list of candidates chosen by Prof. Murthy. She practically starts living in the lab, since she feels ignored at home between an elder sister and a younger brother who take away all the attention from here. Dheeraj is also one of the research candidates, but has practically been longer in Murthy’s lab than Amudha.

Amudha had gotten used to being with Dheeraj that she is confused if she is in love or it was just like how she was attached to every table and chair. Dheeraj hopes on every submission that he would be called by the professor to intimate that he would graduate the next year, but it just doesn’t seem to happen. One fine day hes given a list of problems to be solved. HE together with Amudha search google in all possible ways but couldn’t find even those questions online.

That’s when Amudha decides to take Dheeraj to her favorite place next to lab, an old library. The place is not organized with books lying around on all corners. She tells Dheeraj to help himself to find the solutions to the problems and not to divert himself to other areas.

Dheeraj while going through random piles of books uncovers a discrete mathematics textbook from the year 1965. It belonged to L V Sreenivasan. The book had solutions to all the problems he was puzzled with. HE began to worship this unknown person. Amudha also takes time to see the book where she notices a tamil poem of few lines written to a person named Harini.

While Dheeraj goes to spend his Christmas vacation in north India, Amudha decides to go in search of L V Sreenivasan. Thanks to the name of the college written on the book, she first calls the reception, then to the records department; only to know that she has to go in person to Chennai; to meet the registrar to gather that information.

Does Amudha find the unknown L V Sreenivasan immediately or what are the situations she is put through, does Dheeraj help her is the rest of the story.

A wonderful gripping read, I finished the book at one go. The writing style is simple. Characterizations are given very much importance. With just few characters each doing a critical part does give the plot a heads up. I found few editing mistakes at places. For a debut novel the choice of plot and writing style is appreciable.

BOOK DETAILS:

  • Format:Kindle Edition
  • File Size:4432 KB
  • Print Length:62 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage:Unlimited
  • Sold by:Amazon Asia-Pacific Holdings Private Limited
  • Language:English
  • ASIN:B07KSHCVQL

MY RATINGS:

Cover: 4/5

Title: 4/5

plot: 4.5/5

Writing and Presentation: 3.5/5

Overall: 3.5/5

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

The Author an Indian-English writer who lives in Bangalore, India. This is her debut English fiction novella. She is an engineer by profession but she enjoys writing stories and travelogues. She has recently quit her job to start full time writing. She can be reached at sasidharan.salini@gmail.com

Review of Once upon an IAS exam

BLURB:

Vishy’s worst nightmare-failing the UPSC’s Civil Services exam-has come true. He is plagued by insecurity, fear and doubts. The mother of all competitive examinations has rejected him and he needs a reason to live. So, what does he do? He tells his best friend Rithika, ‘I love you. Will you marry me?’

In Once Upon an IAS Exam, twenty-five-year-old Vishy tries to overcome the uncertainty and confusion about his future and figure out ways of convincing Rithika to marry him. Things turn even more interesting, funny and emotional as Vishy reattempts to conquer ‘Mount IAS’. As he tries to take his academic and love life towards safety, he seeks refuge in the world of IAS coaching centres.

Set in the bustling Civil Services exam coaching hub of Anna Nagar in Chennai, this book is a hilarious account of the actuality, stress and struggle faced by millions of candidates who prepare year after year for one of India’s toughest exams. Join Vishy as he sets out to prove his mettle to the world-and himself. Will Rithika accept the love of her best friend? Will Vishy overcome his sense of failure? Will there be a happily ever after?

MY REVIEW:

Once upon an IAS exam is a hilarious, motivating read by Dr. Vijayakarthikeyan. It tells us the struggles of a UPSC exam aspirant and the hardships they go through to achieve success. The protagonist Vishy alias Vishwanathan is introduced as a person who is in serious search hunt for a good UPSC coaching center after having flunked the prelims. He goes about the streets of Annanagar,one by one of each coaching center and finally settles to getting admitted to one- Great minds run by husband and wife duo Geetha and Natarajan.

They are themselves staffs who handle one of the optional subjects in the coaching center. He also confesses his feeling to his long time BFF from school Rithika. Rithika is a typical girl next door kind of character, who seeks a time out to think of and decide if she’s in love with him. They part ways and continue with their own life. Time and again their thoughts cross each other but respect each other’s privacy and understand their primary goal and stay away. Rithika took up the usual job in one of the top MNCs in the city.

Vishy became friends with Vinod and Ashok who are also IAS aspirants from the same coaching center. Ashok and Vinod stay in the hostel sharing room, which is primarily a storehouse for their books and they actually spend a lot of time in terrace. All three spend a great deal of time with each other having fun and also study together. Vinod is love with Neena from the neighboring coaching center which is at arm’s reach from their classrooms. After constant support and courage from Vishy and Ashok , Vinod finally opens up his feelings in a hilarious and silly way to Neena

Rithika, on the other hand has a bunch of friends- Sid, badri, harini and dharini who makes her workplace fun. There comes a corporate singing competition where in all of them except Sid participate. It’s also the time Vishy loses track of where he kept his hall ticket for UPSC prelims. Rithika though is one of the finalists for the competition leaves it and makes sure she finds his hall ticket and helps him reach the examination venue with peaceful mind. Rithika not only stops here but also does another wonder, which takes everyone by surprise. At one point where everyone is cursing her, she blurts out the surprise leaving everyone awestruck.

It becomes a ritual that Vishy’s father unknowingly gets hurt every time before his exam and which proves successful for him, that is something like a lucky charm. What his father does when he is about to turn up for an interview is a wonderful gesture.

The book has its elements of humor, pace, seriousness, friendship, bromance, romance and perseverance being portrayed in a beautiful manner. The characterization of everyone including the protagonist is etched to perfection. Vishy would now stand as an inspiration of person who had never ending belief to achieve success. Ashok, never shows out that he is the son of business magnet, leads a simple life and also aspires to clear UPSC. Babu(you will know once you read) will definitely be a role model for every UPSC aspirant.

The writing style is crisp and clear and couldn’t find any mistakes in editing. The author has made the serious subject of clearing UPSC a wonderful read by mixing elements of romance and humor in it.

BOOK DETAILS:

  • Paperback:142 pages
  • Publisher:Rupa Publications India (20 October 2018)
  • Language:English
  • ISBN-10:9353045959
  • ISBN-13:978-9353045951

MY RATINGS:

Cover: 3.5/5

Title: 4/5

plot: 4/5

Writing and Presentation: 4/5

Overall: 4/5

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

The author is the current Commissioner of Coimbatore Corporation, who has drawn from his experiences of becoming a civil servant. He has authored three Tamil bestsellers, Ettum Dhoorathil IAS, Adhuvum Idhuvum and Orey Kallil 13 Maangai.

Review of City of nine gates

BLURB:

An atheistic millionaire is forced to find and help his long lost friend achieve self-realization in a mystical City of Nine Gates known only to the Gods and the wisest sages of the Advait and the Sankhya. Assisted by other friends in the City, he leads the City on an inward enlightening journey, only to realize at the end who his friend is, what actually the City of Nine Gates is and who is that beyond all regions knowing which one never comes back … “When the Gods descend to devastate, When Kalyuga meets Apocalypse, Out of a Billion, Only one strives, Of those who strive, Only one achieves, What those sages realized, and you still haven’t, knowing which, one never comes back. Rise O’ Cities! It’s time to liberate, It’s time, to realize…”

MY REVIEW:
The city of nine gates takes you on a spiritual journey. The book is filled with verses in Sanskrit then and there which at times makes you forget that you are reading a novel.
The story is about protagonist Gyan who is a multi-millionaire but also an atheist. But his real interest is archeology. One fine day Gyan and his friend discover a structure carved from a single stone resembling that of a fort. The fort underneath a hidden city. Not just that he realizes that there is something more than just the fort and the city. And what does he discover? A temple.
The city is cursed and who will help the city come of out of it, none other than Gyan. He is helped by the magic fabric which helps him note the various information he gathers.
Gyan notices inimitable features Leading him to way into a temple from the pillars of fort. But the combination of five elements of nature is the only way to have the pillar open and lead way to the temple. The temple is protected by 12 priests in deep penance which is disturbed due to alien presence. Thus realizing his importance to unlock the secret and uplift the curse and release the souls, Gyan sets into action.
The book is enriched with truths of self-realization and the almighty, anon to mankind.
The book takes you on a spiritual journey no don’t get me wrong this is interesting to even young readers.
Gyan’s journey set amidst spiritual elements, archeology, mythology makes this a wonderful read. The background research done for the novel is very evident when you complete it.
The glossary at the back is indeed of great help to make you understand the terms in Sanskrit used by the author. For someone who is well versed in Sanskrit or already very good with spiritual or religious terms the reading of this book is a cakewalk.
I loved reading the book, since it was a new genre for me to review. The experience was just wonderful just taking your own time to get all the details absorbed, jumping to the glossary and the story back and forth to understand the terms. This made me wonder the effort that the author would have put in to research the plot and the vedic verses to support the plot.
It was a challenging mission that Gyan set out on with Parth to lift the curse on supernatural city. During the course of the quest he comes to know how the human mind comes into captivity, how the imbalance of feelings, mind, actions can create disruption to human soul.
Gyan’s charcter was thought out perfectly and in no place you see exaggeration, or him jumping to conclusions of what he finds out.
On the whole the book is a wonderful read, when you have all the time to sit in peace and read.

BOOK DETAILS:
Paperback:300 pages
Publisher:Notion Press; 1 edition (11 July 2014)
Language:English
ISBN-10:9384049646
ISBN-13:978-9384049645

MY RATINGS:
Cover: 4/5
Title: 4/5
plot: 4/5
Writing and Presentation: 4/5
Overall: 4/5

This book review is a part of The Readers Cosmos Book Review Program and Blog Tours. For details check: http://www.thereaderscosmos.com/

Review of Shillong times

BLURB:
A delightful novel about growing up in Shillong in the 1980s by the bestselling author of Bali and the Ocean of Milk and The Case of the Secretive SisterWhen fourteen-year-old Debojit Dutta meets the slightly older Clint Eastwood Lyngdoh in his maths tuition classes, he is wary of his cigarette-smoking, whisky-swilling ways. Besides, Debu has only recently escaped a bunch of local ruffians who wanted him to ‘go back home to Bangladesh’.But Debu is unable to resist being friends with Clint. For, in return for doing his maths homework, Clint introduces him to a completely new life: the heady charms of Kalsang, the Chinese restaurant forbidden by Debu’s mother; the revolutionary sounds of Pink Floyd; and most importantly, the coolest, prettiest girl in town—Audrey Pariat. Audrey loves maths and detective stories, just like Debu, and does not make him feel awkward or exotic. Together, the three of them look set to embark on many adventures. But when tensions between the Khasi and Bengali communities boil over, Shillong becomes a battlefield—old neighbours become outsiders and the limits of friendship are challenged.With crackling energy, Nilanjan P. Choudhury immerses us in the tumultuous lives of Debu, his friends and his family, and their attempts to find love and belonging. Written with uncommon warmth, humour and a delightful evocation of place, Shillong Times is an exhilarating coming-of-age story—showing us how friendship can eclipse the hardened enmities of adulthood.

MY REVIEW:
Shillong times is a book that brings you nostalgic moments of life in 80s. The story is set in Shillong, yes that’s where it gets the name. Debojit is a Bengali teenager who along with his parents lives in Shillong.
The story starts with Debojit returning home from school on a lonely path where he encounters few guys from local tribe, khasis. This tribe is against any foreign community living in their area and there are few harsh exchanges between them and Debu. He manages to escape from them. He narrates the entire episode to his parents which is when his father lectures him about the ancestors and why they settled in Shillong.
Debu’s mother started advising him to study well and look for a great career outside Shillong and get away from there. She wants him to pursue IAS and wants him to take up necessary competitive exams inorder to achieve the same. She decides to make him join tutions taken by Professor Bose who is deemed to be extremely strict.
Debu gets to know Clint in one of Bose’s tution sessions. He takes Debu to the forbidden Chinese restaurant Kalsang , introduces him to Pink Floyd music and most important of all makes him meet Audrey Pariat. Clint says shes exactly like him – likes detective stories and maths. Debu takes an instant liking on her during their first meet.
Debu’s mom gets to know about his acquaintance with Clint and warns him of dangers since he’s a Khasi himself. She utters stories from past which sends shivers inside Debu. But inspite of all that he still wishes to continue being friends with Clint. Clint also saves Debu from punishments at school from a teacher. The teacher later reveals to Debu that Clint is not good company and its better he stays away from him. Though now the number of people who are against Clint is two, Debu still is not convinced to sacrifice his friendship.
As the story progresses the tension between Bengalis and Khasis boils over, which makes Shillong a battlefield.
The language is simple and lucid. The author has brought out the beauty of Shillong also known as Scotland of the east so well in narration.
The characterization is perfect. Debu’s mom is of the typical Indian parent who wants the child to concentrate on studies and take up competitive exams. She is very strict and at the same time concerned about him, very much indeed. The pace is just the right amount for the elements for friendship, love and tension.

BOOK DETAILS:
Paperback:248 pages
Publisher:Speaking Tiger Publishing Private Limited (10 September 2018)
Language:English
ISBN-10:938807047X
ISBN-13:978-9388070478

MY RATINGS:
Cover: 4/5
Title: 4/5
plot: 3.8/5
Writing and Presentation: 4/5
Overall: 4/5

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Nilanjan P. Choudhury’s debut novel, a mythological thriller titled Bali and the Ocean of Milk, was a (very) brief bestseller. His subsequent writings include The Case of the Secretive Sister, a detective caper set in Bangalore, and The Square Root of a Sonnet, a pioneering play on the history and science of black holes; both of which received wide critical acclaim. He confesses to having studied at IIM Ahmedabad and IIT Kanpur, and hopes that this will not be held against him. He grew up in Shillong and now lives in Bangalore with his family. He can be reached at http://www.nilanjan.net.
This book review is a part of The Readers Cosmos Book Review Program and Blog Tours. For details check:

http://www.thereaderscosmos.com