Category Archives: Book Reviews

The Deviant – Book Review

The Deviant Book Cover The Deviant
Shankar S Padmanaban
Romance, young adult
Frog Books
Paperback
278

The blurb was a bit interesting on the lines of a novel based on friendship and a clumsy knot that throws the involved in a situation to get out from. The cover is not my favorite but suits the theme and story.

The protagonist - Sam. Nothing new about him. All the more an ordinary youngster who diligently follows what the movies had taught him - school, college, friends, love, love-failure. It was more like reading one’s diary. Other characters involved are also sketched neat, only that the character definition was not on par. It was more like same people with different names at some point. Could have been better. The character ‘Jenny’ is a saver, someone better of the lot.

The novel is about 280 pages that I found a tad difficult for the story. The author might have concentrated on giving a crispier deal for a story with scenes that we are so used to. Though, for a debutant, it is fair enough - I would only advise to keep it simple for the next. The language was decent - and there’s room to improve a lot more. The descriptions were fair enough, only if the author had some portions chunked.

The editor has done an excellent job with the novel. No glaring mistakes as such. But, a few words didn’t sit appropriately, and I thought, maybe, the common newbie syndrome to flaunt some vocabulary. Could have been avoided for the story’s sake.

Many parts fall under the ‘old wine’ category.

I was glad that the author kept in check with the locality, and the language and kind of dialogues between the characters were much real. There were books that I read with Indian premises but language as that of a different country. The author seems to be keen on delivering a good novel with real characters than draw something overdramatic to add more cheesy stuff to the story. Kudos!

I’d also appreciate the author for properly following geography throughout the novel. Familiar places, at least to me. Very native and fresh, it is rare to find down south in novels.

Might be of interest to college goers or those who just finished their college, as it didn’t clearly resonate enough with me, that is.

Expecting a better flick with your next - All the best Shankar.

Secret of God’s son

The Secret of God's Son Book Cover The Secret of God's Son
Pradyumna
Usha Narayanan
Mythology
Penguin
Paperback
272

The Secret of God's Son: That one book which brings together every little thing that I am in love with - Usha Narayanan, Penguin Publishers, A beautiful cover with a peacock feather, and a heartwarming story.

A quest to find the 'Secret of God's Son' and that would change the destiny of humanity -- said the blurb. What had happened?

The minute I started it took me back to good old days when my grandma would narrate stories from the Mahabharata. More than the novel, I love the 'writing' style and the language more. There are beautiful phrases that give goosebumps for the word choices.

The characters are strong, and of course, any would fall in love with Pradyumna quickly for Usha Narayan ma'am has weaved the entire novel with such brilliance. He is powerful, macho, heroic, and what not? Oh! his powers. 🙂 Other than Pradyumna, the character of Kali left an impact.

The dialogues were picture perfect and snappy, pushing the story forward.

The underlined philosophy and food-for-thoughts are a positive takeaway to hold on to - for life.

Pradyumna proves that what it takes is the mortal essence and the finish is picture perfect.

If you're an ardent reader of this genre - you'll love it, and if you're not - this book will be a perfect start!

 

Secretly yours – Book Review

I’ve not read any of Vikram Khanna’s previous books and hence, I thought I’d read one. The book is published by Penguin Books Limited and thats the only reason I picked this book. The title was not attractive, I didn’t like the cover as well but one thing that caught my attention was the blurb. I read this book with some basic expectations, but, surprisingly, the book didn’t satisfy the reader in me.
The plot was just another love story of a teenager built with a USP that the guy is capable of mind-reading. What I thought with the blurb and what the book offered was entirely different. There were obvious loopholes in the novel throughout, right from the murder parts to the age of the characters, there were mismatches from page one. The characters and the motivation behind each were not fleshed properly, a bit clumsy here. Could have been better though! 30295759
A penguin published book with editing flaws, mistakes, language, sentence structure errors etc.. So, it was disappointing!
Though cliched, a few parts were smile worthy and dialogues were good enough. Some parts were philosophical though. Not a great read, wouldn’t have picked if not for Penguin.
The sensitive topics should have been handled even better. Overall, I felt that a good plot was clumsified with cliched details.

Scarlet Nights by Mayur Patel – Book Review

First Impression: The title, cover, and the blurb is an instant attraction indeed. Pick-worthy novel with a winning plot. I love psychological thrillers and was so excited to read this book.
The story revolves around Malvika, just another Mumbai based businesswoman who is happy with her life. And, then Margrita happens! Read the novel to know more, because, I seldom spill spoilers.
Scarlet nights is a well-knitted novel, the alignment of scenes-chapters and the twin thread running along is commendable. A nail-biting experience precisely!  Author Mayur has done a great job with respect to the story which demands some brave attempts.
Wow Factors: 
  • Plot
  • Language, and diction
  • Editor has done a good job indeed
  • Fast-paced and well-knit chapters
Rating: 4/5
P.S I received a complimentary e-copy in exchange for a honest review.
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A Thousand Unspoken Words: Book Review

A book that I received some months back, I apologize for the late review. Genre being romance, I expected a girl-meet-boy, fall in love, fight, and get back on track types. Paulami Duttagupta presents a different shade of Romance novel which acutely states “Dude, you’ve read shit. This is romance. Now read on!” A Thousand Unspoken Words does talk a lot, a ride indeed.
The novel feeds my ego because the protogonist Tilottama falls in love with a writer. A writer named Musafir whom she had never met in life but just read his words. Musafir is not just another writer, he bleeds the issues and ends up running away. The way she talks about the author and his words are soothing and I felt so good about that. It is a dream for any author. So, the author Paulami gains a star from me for the setting and characters in here.
The story is based with a strong nerve lined on social and politcal issues which is different and is not dealt much on any romance genre.The characters are etched – Tilottama and Musafir (Riddhimaan) are fleshed beautifully. Both characters are strong and the motivation of their role is very well used. Other characters also look real to me. No hazel eyes, and curly hair type descriptions which makes the novel all the more real.
Language, grammar, diction were good. A decent novel to read. A bit of “tell” than “show” which didn’t really affect my reading spree.
Paulomi is indeed one author whom I expect to do well in the Indian Authors with this novel marking her on par.
If you like reading a novel that’s good and not just girl meet boy story – grab a copy.

 

6 Degrees – Game of Blogs: Book Review

I adore bloggers turned writers; I follow many a bloggers and adore a few. When I first heard about Blogadda and their #CelebrateBlogging campaign, I was thrilled. To know that Blogadda throws a few characters to them asking to knit a story as a team, judges being dignitaries like Ravi Subramanian Sir and Ashwin Sanghi, and to add more spice a few participants are bloggers whom I follow religiously quickened my interest to read this book. And, when Blogadda posted a call for reviews; I grabbed the opportunity. Click here to read about the birth of the concept.

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I don’t want to compare the 3 stories, so am reviewing each one by one.
  1. The Awakening – A sci-fi fiction in a matter of 150 pages. The opening scene was normal, nothing different from usual fiction but the end of the chapter is a good twist which makes you want to read more. At the end of each chapter there is a plot twist knit, and it was interesting. Good characters and detailed motivation behind each. Overall a good story! I follow Preethi Venugopala and she is one of the team members, so my expectations wrt The quality of writing, language, and diction are on par and commendable
Frown factors: The novel “Shows” than “Tell” – very descriptive. The pacing was not levelled; the chapters are slow from the beginning and at the end it picks speed, could have been done better types. The hype that the end of each chapter created didn’t justify the end of the novel.
  1. Entangled Lives – An exotic murder mystery. Very well-done! One of the best reads this year as I love mystery thrillers. The investigation part was handled properly without amiss. Interesting plot twists, one after the other. A real page-turner indeed. Loved the experience of reading this work. Kudos to the team! Am a fan of Srilakshmi’s lovebytes and I follow Sneha, good job! A fast paced novella with fleshy character traits and motivation. One cannot skim through this story; it has a lot of details in every line.
Frown factors: The world-building was a bit confusing in the middle.
  1. Missing – A journey within – The blurb talks about a child gone missing, I was afraid if that would fall under the lines of many thrillers I’ve read so far, surprisingly, it is not. A beautiful tale around LGBT and a man getting raped. The emotions are handled well, a very nice story around the plot with good conflicts knit throughout. Kudos to the team for working on this theme.
Frown factors: The guy’s interest towards another guy, and discovering his sexual orientation was not dealt properly.
Rating: 4/5
I received this book from blogadda for a video and blog review.

The Girl I used to be – April Henry

I was surfing through Goodreads and stumbled upon this book. The cover image was extremely attractive, and I loved the title next. The blurb was super interesting – The novel is about a girl named “Ariel” – her mom was killed and her father is the suspect, but after 14 years they find the jawbone of her father near the same place where her mom was killed and the murder case is re-opened. So if it was not her father, who else? Is the story!
The book was not within my usual budget, so I moved on surfing through a few other books. For 2-3 days the blurb, the cover, and the title kept running in my mind and then, I decided to give it a try.
This book kills you slowly, the pace is slow-medium without a change until you reach 80% of the novel. The story is beautiful – this is just an understatement. The novel deals with quite a lot of details.

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What I loved about the book?
Remorse – The deep regret and extreme guilt of Ariel and the folks around when they learn that her father is not the real murderer is just amazing. The pain is dealt so beautifully! For people who thoroughly hated someone for a reason so wrong, when they learn and wriggle around for taking such a bad decision was indeed knit right.
Olivia – The small girl “Ariel” the protagonist who is actually “Olivia” goes to a foster home post her parent’s death. We all travel along with her from her POV. A deep, strong and unshakeable character indeed!
Scenes – The scene where Olivia recollects how her mom fell down when she was killed, the scene where she walks into her home after fourteen years and recollects the window where she’d hide herself behind the curtains, her foster home memories, and many more were so touching and killed me slowly.
Diction – Fantastic!
A few lines from the novel:
“The air is filled with the trills and chirps of birds, punctuated with the occasional caw of a blue jay.”
The scene where Olivia recollects and explains her mom getting killed by someone – “Her arms slice through the air, windmilling as they do when we put on music and dance in the living room.” … “Then I know it’s raining blood, pock-marking the snow”
Why would I recommend this book?
  • Because the book is something more than what I first thought it would be
  • I love the diction, vocabulary, microscopic details, and sentence structures
  • This novel helps to understand how to knit a slow mystery novel that’s enticing
April Henry is in the list of my favorite authors now, and I bought 2 of her novels now. Would read and review soon!
 

Hell to Pay (What Doesn’t Kill You, #7)

First Impression: Interesting title, simple cover design and a blurb that took me three reads to get the glitch. I kick started reading to quench my diction thirst, and yes, it paid off.
Overall Impression: A romantic mystery is indeed one of the hardest, because there are times where I read a few of those sorts where I skipped romance parts and read only the mystery. I always felt that romance in a mystery is speed breakers, but Pamela proved me wrong aligning the scenes on par with excellence.
What did I love about this book?
  • Expect the unexpected type of a story that intrigued me instantly
  • As I said, the diction peppered
  • Strong plot, pace so right and characters so believable
  • Humor trials did work out really well
There are no frown factors as such; I just loved the novel’s pace. It worked out so wonderfully, though initially it is tough to get the glitch, Pamela has done a great job with this novel so that it makes sense even as a standalone. Any who reads this book would want to read the previous set of the series, just like me.
Am just holding enough from spilling the beans about the mystery, it is indeed a must read and I would give 4/5 ratings for this nail-biting novel.

A Road Not Traveled : Book Review

First Impression:
The blurb of this novel was so good that I wanted to try this book, it was on a different lane altogether. The cover so good, and title pretty attractive just makes one flip the pages right away.
Overall Impression:
I was terrified with the choice of names in the beginning, it is pretty unusual for an Indie author to pick names that are not familiar in this region. The author just bags ratings because the concept he deals in this novel is amusing, different, and new. The author’s vision, creativity, and uniqueness would amaze the readers in the first go.

 

What did I like in the book?
  • Concept
  • The underlined motivating and inspiring vision knitted through
  • Humor peppered that makes us giggle at places
  • Characters were fleshed out enough, and just enough that would suit the novel. It was not over done unlike a few novels that I have read. Thanks to Alchem
  • It deals a lot of emotions throughout
Frown Factors:
  • Editing was good, but could have been much better. Grammatical errors and redundant words were disturbing the flow to an extent, but yes, pretty negligible though
Rating: 4/5

Wrong Means Right Ends : Book Review

First Impression: The cover of the novel conveys a confused pair in a trouble, and that matches the blurb. The blurb prompts a question, asking us to read to know what they lead does to get rid of a confusing complication that mushroomed.
Overall Impression: There are different characters, each of a kind which is properly fleshed out in this novel.  This novel makes room for romance and the author has used the space pretty well. A tinge of humor is peppered throughout to lighten the novel, and I would say it did work.
What did I like?
  • This book has fewer errors when compared to the previous release of the author.
  • I was worried about the regional language used in the previous book, and in this book, it has reduced to an extent. Makes the book a better read!
  • Lucid language used throughout – makes it a good read!
Frown Factors:
  • Predictable enough, that makes the reader skim than read
  • Reality takes a miss at some points and drama creeps in
Overall a decent read!
Rating: 3/5