Monday, 25 July 2016

Heaven Enough

Heaven Enough by [La Salle, Ken]
I love this story not just for what it is, but for what it made me. I read it the day I was down in the dumps and that one reading changed my whole viewpoint. Hence, if I sound biased, I am truly sorry.

The protagonist goes through the same pain I underwent a few years ago, hence it was easy for me to empathise. Life is difficult and everything turns topsy-turvy, but when you start realising that there was more to the person who went away, your world comes crashing down. There are so many facets a person can happen but maybe one gets so bogged down by mundane activities that these are often skipped; worst part, you start introspecting only after the person has gone.

Ken has a way with words. They don't strike a chord with the heart, they touch your soul. A very powerful writing style. It is not imageries they bring to mind but memories of days gone by in one's life that start running parallel to that of the protagonist. This book brings out emotions. I cried as I kept reading, first with pangs of pain in my heart and thereafter with a sense of hope. Maybe Heaven is not enough to know a person in one lifetime. 

The protagonist embarks on a journey of discovering his dead wife and on the way he re-discovers himself and alongside he takes me along too on my own journey of introspection. The way Ken has weaved other characters to cross their paths in his journey is beautiful. Each person has a role to play in shaping the life of the protagonist and influencing the reader alongside. 

To sum up, I can only say "thank you". This poignant story has touched my life in ways I cannot explain because it is exactly what I am going through right now. It helps you cope up with loss of dear ones and gives a hope that this life journey and continuous search for unanswered questions or unnoticed happenings is a way to self-discovery. 

P.S- Thank you Ken for teaching that the pain of separation and grief will be less if each person learns to notice more, appreciate more and live more. 

Sunday, 24 July 2016

October 32nd

October 32 by [Rodness, Larry]
Some stories have the ability to surprise you with a shock effect. This story was one amongst them. Loved the concept, the twists and turns....

Well, well, first things first. The plot revolves around a small town called Elora and its famous Halloween Fest. Right in the middle of the unexpected turn of events is an insurance agent and a woman labelled as a witch by the entire town. It makes you feel you are back into an era where single women who were not very social were termed so. Add to this missing children and the wrath of the residents. You can well imagine the harrowing experience the so-called 'witch' might be going through.

Larry has a flair to bring in twists and turns when they are least expected. But the best part is that they are never out of place. It is only a bit of mismatch due to slow tempo of the story line. However, this does not take away the fact that the story conjures up lovely visual imageries. There is an air of mystery and spookiness which acts as a magnet for the reader. If only the pace had been a bit more faster, the story would have not lost a star. Maybe patience on part of the reader would make it more comfortable to follow.

The protagonist is convincing as he essays the role of a misfit in an alien society. Narrated through his eyes, the other characters have their own flaws and misgivings, thereby adding to the spooky theme. There are ghosts, creepy images, but then, you need to read this to understand the nuances.

To sum up, I really enjoyed every bit of this book, though it did take me some time to get used to the slow pace. But the concept, the eeriness and the changing characters kept me hooked to it.

P.S- Read this book in July...but it has made me ponder what if there was an October 32!!! Thanks Larry.

Finding Sheba

Finding Sheba (Omar Zagouri Thriller) by [Moore, H.B.]

When I started reading the first thing that caught my attention was the shift in timelines. This book was not about a single story line. A very difficult concept to sustain. 

The plot is about finding Queen of Sheba. However, you have two major story lines taking the reader along as the search of her tomb progresses and a historical narration which leaves it to the imagination of the reader to interpret who the real Queen of Sheba was. The theme is not new, however the treatment to the story. The question whether Queen of Sheba really existed has intrigued many history enthusiasts. Yet, there has been no definite answer to it till date. The author has attempted to put forth a new perspective to answer this question.

The author has tried to question the existence of King Solomon, David and the Queen herself which may be against certain religions beliefs. Yet, the way he has narrated the entire story, any reader will get captivated. Each segment and each episode of transition is well-crafted. In fact, the story of Nicaula is so believable that at one point I started thinking it might be true. Sadly, the abrupt ending to this beautiful concept was a bit of a disappointment. Also, the characters act in a hurried fashion towards the end thereby spoiling the plot. But, this does not demean the fact that HB Moore is a master storyteller. His writing is powerful and almost converts you into thinking what he has stated is right. This art is very rare. Hats off to the author.

As said earlier, the Queen of Sheba is an exceptional character in this entire story. Her pain, her passion, her sense of duty, everything has been made to appear so believable. Wish the ending could have been more convincing. The others have a role to play, however, the contemporary characters needed to be more convincing.

To sum up, if I read this story again, it will be for Queen Nicaula for sure. Is the Queen a myth or a reality only time can tell. Till then, it is stories like this which will keep the interest alive. A must read at least once.

P.S- Dear author, would there be another story on King Solomon??? Would love to read that as well.