Monday, 19 September 2016

The Story Of Lucius Cane

An awesome piece of writing but way too short!!! If only it had been longer, it was a sure shot unputdownable kind of book.

The plot revolves around a vampire who is not into harming humans. Its a different treatment given to typical vampire stories. 

The narrative is gripping. Vanya writing style makes one want to read more but sadly the story ends fast. The choice of words give way to beautiful imageries. The mental pictures are accompanied by sound effects. However, the length of the story is a big spoiler. 

The protagonist is a typical antihero and not the cliched vampire. The other characters, a human and a voice do add on to the suspense, but sadly, their presence makes one wish for bit more descriptions and due to the short length the story ends without elaborations.

To sum up, the story ends with a promise of a sequel. The only major drawback in this story is its length. But for it, the plot has everything it takes to make a bestseller. The book is a quick read, in fact one of the quickest read. There are questions unanswered that would keep lingering in your head once you finish reading. I am sure, the next in this series will help in finding the answers. Do read for the wonderful writing. I guarantee you won't regret it.

P.S - Vanya, I sincerely hope the next in the series is longer. looking forward to reading more about Lucius Kane.

Causality: The Crisis In Zelan

If you mesh science fiction with fantasy you would get a story like Causality. The plot is the quintessential good versus evil. However, the treatment meted out to this story is very different.

The plot revolves around an angel on the run who turns saviour on a mortal planet. There are vampires, dragons and black magicians. There is magic and dark humour. But there is also sufficient violence which makes this book not suitable for all ages. In fact its a mix of two genres and one needs to develop a taste for such writing.

Zam has used simple language while describing familiar celestial beings and magical creatures, However, there are a few scenes wherein which the violence and gore was a bit more for me to handle. Yet, even writing about graphic violence is an art and Zam does have the flair to write in this genre. The narration is gripping once it catches up pace after the first ten percent. It is dark and has elements of horror, supernatural and suspense. As said earlier, the story line is very interesting and the imageries it evokes is extremely vivid. Its like watching a mental movie. The descriptions are praiseworthy.

There are many characters who appear and disappear in this story besides the protagonist and other main characters. Yet, they all do form an integral part of the story. Zam aptly brings out the internal conflicts that one tends to undergo when there is a clash between ideologies and principles. Emotions, especially revenge, anger, frustration, hope, salvation are all well brought out through the characters.

To sum up, if you really want to try a new genre that treats the good versus evil battle in a different manner, you should pick up this book. The three stars are based on my personal reading choice, maybe this book is your kind. Do give it a try.Besides, this book is just the beginning of a gripping series.

P.S- Dear Zam, you are a wonderful writer because your writing forced me to read the story till the last page inspite of the violence. I cant handle violence against children. I am sure your next story in the series would be having something for readers like me as well.

Sunday, 18 September 2016

Chergui's Child

Loved this book. In fact this is the second book by the author that I have read. And yes, there is a complete different treatment. 

The plot explores the bond shared by a mother and her daughter akin to Daughters of the Lake. But the similarity ends there. The essence of this poignant story is the journey a mother undertakes to find her lost child, a child whose existence was kept hidden by her own mother. I wish I could say more but that would mean spoiling a beautiful narrative. Read it to believe it.

Jane's narration is really powerful in this story. She has brought out the yearning of a mother for her lost child in a manner that would tug your heart strings. I cried with the protagonist, I laughed with her and in the end felt really happy for her. The imageries are as powerful as the narrative. It was as if  I was part of a story where I could do nothing except be a mute spectator. Felt really desperate. Hats off to you Jane for a writing that made me be a part of it.

The story belongs to Olivia and her journey of self-discovery, her journey as a mother. Love has lots of variations but the love of a mother for her child surpasses all kinds. Add to it the pain and sense of loss and you have an emotion that is beyond expression in simple language. At the same time, the reasoning put forth by Olivia's mother for hiding the truth has a familiar ring to it. There are many mothers who would do so to protect their unmarried pregnant daughter from societal ridicule. The antagonist in this story is actually circumstances and motives.

To sum up, my journey along with Olivia to find the Chergui's child has been a beautiful reading experience. It is one that I will revert back to when I feel low because it is filled with hope. Hope for a better tomorrow, hope that there is always a silver lining on a dark cloud. A truly must read.

P.S - Jane, loved this story as it helped me embark on a journey of self-discovery as well...way to go girl!!!

Daughters Of The Lake

Families can be complicated and the lesser said about dysfunctional families the better. Yet, in the end, it is families that really matter.

The story revolves around a dysfunctional family of a lady named Madalena living in Switzerland. She has planned a reunion at home with her middle aged children joining in. Why dysfunctional? Because each one has a personal battle to fight. For the what, why and how, you really need to read this book. What really caught my attention was Madalena, the mother.  The story line brings out an important message through her character and that is to live life. Times may be trying and circumstances may change. However, what really matters is the fact that one learns to live. Madalena learns to let go, learns to love and wishes the same for her children.

The language is simple and Jane has beautifully brought out the subtle undercurrents that exist between the siblings. Women are known to be the best example for emotions. Through the daughters and their mother, the author has narrated the twists and turmoils many women feel at various stages of their life. There are imageries but as one reads through, its like being a mute spectator to a family drama that silently unfolds. There are a few moments where there seems to be a disconnect in the narration. It could be my perception. Maybe too many complicated situations and complexities in the lives of the daughters are the reason. However, the surprise twist in the end more than makes up for it.

Though Madalena is not the main protagonist, she is the binding element between her children, especially daughters. As far as the other characters are concerned, they emote, they express feelings and are as human as can be. They may not be like you and me but they have their own persona etched out. Through them Jane has aptly portrayed the strong yet vulnerable side of women of all ages. The bond, the conflicts, the relationship that these women share is the essence of this story.

To sum up, this book is about complexities of human life set amidst the pristine climes of Switzerland. Read this book if you value family relationships. Read it if you believe that all is well that ends well. Read it if you are an optimist who has learnt to let go and believe in happy endings.

P.S - Jane, a really lovely story of family relationships and bonding. Your daughters of the lake took me back to my daughters and reminded me of my role as a daughter as well.

Friday, 2 September 2016

Jonathon Goode, Honorary Witch: The Crystals of Aztlan

The first thing that caught my eye was the title of this book. Men and boys were supposed to be wizards right? How could Jonathan Goode, a boy be an honorary witch? 

The plot is really interesting. Its about a boy and his transformations. The story line shifts between realms of reality and fantasy. And, the transition is so subtle and smooth that the story narration remains unaffected. sometimes, strange things happen when they are least expected and the plot simply reflects this statement. This book takes you on a magical journey.

The narration is fast paced and can keep you engrossed till the end. The writing takes a reader into a world of unicorns, elves, dwarves and centaurs. On the whole, a perfect treat for visualisations. Michael has used a language that is appropriate for children to read this book as well. Hence this book has a universal appeal.

The characters are apt and have a role to play in the story line. They exhibit emotions that any person in their shoes would feel. The protagonist Jonathon is a perfect replica of a young boy who is nervous, curious and courageous.

To sum up, I loved the imageries that this book presented. A book that can be read by the young and old alike. This book promises a sequel.

P.S- Thank you Kim of SBPRA for an interesting book in exchange of an honest review...

Second Nature

It goes without saying that people take refuge in worlds of fantasy whenever they need a break. it is like second nature.

This book is set in an imaginary world where Queens can control elements of Nature and there are antagonists desirous of disrupting the delicate balance. For a start, the concept is unique. At least I have not read a book based on elements till now. Hence for me, the concept was interesting. The story line can be best understood when the book is read. But trust me, there is a little bit for every reader.

Lauren writes from the heart and at times even heart tends to get repetitive. Notwithstanding that, narrative is simple. It has the right blend of fantasy and reality. The terms are not complicated and lucidly explained. Yes, there is no dearth of imageries. As one reads, the story unfolds like a visual movie. 

The characters are well etched. The protagonist and the antagonist have an enigma associated with them. You will love to love and/ or hate whatever the case may be. Though some characters are well defined in comparison to the others, yet, it does not affect the plot or story line much.

To sum up, the book is worth reading for a unique concept. There is a need for fine tuning but this is the author's first book. The best part about this book is that it promises a sequel. Lauren is a promising author. Her subsequent books are bound to take care of the minor issues.

P.S- In case fantasies are your second nature, then this book is a must read.