BOOK REVIEW: DARK BLOSSOM

Book: Dark Blossom

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Author: Neel Mullick

Genre: Thriller, Fiction

Published by: Rupa Publications

Number of pages: 212 pages

My Rating: 4/5

MY REVIEW: The author Neel Mullick kindly provided me with a copy of his book in exchange for an honest review. I was specially touched by the lovely handwritten message for me inscribed in the book.

The story is told in the first person by Cynthia, a psychologist/therapist who has just resumed working after a divorce. Cynthia lives with her surly teenage daughter Lily.

Cynthia has a new patient, Sam, who seeks recovery after the sudden deaths of his wife and teenage son in an accident. Cynthia tries to help Sam recover although she cannot help but suspect that Sam is hiding something from her.

Slowly, it appears that Sam is healing from his bereavement. Cynthia is progressing in her relationship with Lily as well. Sam also makes the transition from patient to friend of the family as he too becomes acquainted with Lily.

Just as everything appears to be going smoothly, Cynthia learns something that leaves her shaken! She is unsure whether she should share this knowledge with Sam or Lily as it will have an impact on both of them.

The end of the story, is extremely unexpected and was surely nothing that I anticipated!

I highly recommend “Dark Blossom”, as a highly enthralling and intriguing suspense thriller that will keep the reader guessing till the very end!

BOOK REVIEW: VANARA THE LEGEND OF BAALI, SUGREEVA AND TARA

Book: Vanara-The Legend of Baali, Sugreeva and Tara

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Author: Anand Neelakantan

Genre: Mythological Fiction

Published by: Penguin Books

Number of pages: 309 pages

My Rating: 4/5

MY REVIEW: I was provided with a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

I was happy to read and review this book as I enjoy reading mythology, especially Hindu mythology. Also, it made a refreshing change from the recent novels that I have read.

Before I started reading the book, I realised that I did not know much about Baali or Sugreeva beyond what stories I had read based on the Ramayana. I knew practically nothing about Tara.

The book begins with a detailed introduction by the author who shares various stories about the births of Baali and Sugreeva. The author also explains how myths and stories have evolved over generations.

The story begins with Baali and Sugreeva, the two brothers being raised in the ashram of Sage Gautama. As the brothers belong to the tribe of the Vanaras or the Vana Naras, they are shunned as monkeys and made to do the menial work of the ashram.

Sugreeva witnesses Ahalya, the wife of Sage Gautama, committing adultery with Lord Indra, which sparks off a series of incidents that force the brothers to run away from the ashram and seek refuge in the forest.

The brothers wish to reunite with their tribe, the Vana Naras but are not easily accepted by the tribe. It is only the eunuch Riksarajas, who takes in the brothers and becomes an adoptive father to them. He takes them to Mahabali, the Asura emperor to study.

Meanwhile, an interesting love triangle starts between the brothers and Tara, the beautiful daughter of Sushena, the Vaidya of the Vana Naras. This tension between the three of them continues throughout the story.

Baali with the help of Sugreeva and Tara establishes the city of Kishkinda and attempts to restore the pride of the Vana Naras.

The circumstances that lead to the rift between the brothers which results in Sugreeva seeking out Rama and Lakshmana and Baali’s death, are extremely fascinating to read.

The characters in the story are portrayed wonderfully: Baali as the alpha male, Sugreeva as the younger brother with a sly streak, Tara who is an extremely capable woman and even Hanuman, Ravana, Rama and Lakshmana.

Do read the book if you enjoy reading mythology. I recommend ‘Vanara-The Legend of Baali, Sugreeva and Tara’ to readers as enjoyable, interesting and informative.

BOOK REVIEW: SHADOWS OF THE NIGHT

Book: Shadows of the Night

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Author: Priyanka Lal

Genre: Fiction, Short Stories

Published by: Redgrab Books & Anybook

Number of pages: 160 pages

My Rating: 4/5

MY REVIEW: I was provided with a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

The book comprises of 13 short stories. I have always enjoyed reading short stories as so much is conveyed by the author in the short time the story is concluded. I thoroughly enjoyed reading each and every story in the book.

No two stories in the book are the same. They are on various topics such as a teenager falling in love with a photograph, a lady who falls in love with an amnesiac, business rivalry, a girl’s decision to donate the organs of her brain dead father and of course the spine chilling story, “Shadows of the Night” after whom the book is named.

This book can be easily carried along on a journey to read. I recommend this book as interesting and engaging.

BOOK REVIEW: THE DAY THAT NOTHING HAPPENED

Book: The Day that Nothing Happened

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Author: Sonal Sehgal

Genre: Science Fiction

Published by: Destiny Media LLP

Number of pages: 148 pages

My Rating: 4/5

MY REVIEW: I was provided with a copy of the book by the author in exchange for an honest review.

19th June 2019 is going to be an unusual day in history: in order to adjust the calendar, it is going to be an unaccounted for day! What can be done on a day like that? The possibilities are endless….

Veer and Samara have been in a relationship that ended when Veer moved to the US to advance his career. Veer, an astrophysicist has researched in depth about Parallel Universes. He wants to know how his relationship with Samara would have been if it had not ended in a Parallel Universe. He is aware that on 19th June 2019, a portal will open that will enable him and Samara to know how their relationship turned out.

On the other hand, there is Dev who prefers to astro-project himself rather than to engage in lasting relationships in the real world. He meets Desiree in the astral world and they feel an immediate connection to each other that goes back several lifetimes.

So what happens on 19th June 2019? Will Veer and Samara get a glimpse into the Parallel Universe? What will they get to see? The reader needs to read the book to find that out.

I recommend this book to readers as extremely engaging and intriguing.

BOOK REVIEW: IN LOVE WITH SIMRAN

Book: In Love With Simran

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Author: Kulpreet Yadav

Genre: Romance Fiction, Thriller

Published by: Srishti Publishers

Number of pages: 220 pages

My Rating: 3.5/5

MY REVIEW: I was provided with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Sanjana and Simran are best friends. Simran is in love with a rich businessman named Nik Sethi but is found brutally murdered. The autopsy reveals that Simran was pregnant when she was murdered.

Sanjana is certain that Simran was killed by Nik. Devastated by her friend’s death and determined to avenge it, Sanjana launches a plot to get close to Nik.

However Sanjana doesn’t plan on falling in love with Nik nor does she account for various people that appear to be out to get her. More people start dying around Sanjana and she finds herself on the run, fighting for her life.

Is Nik actually guilty of the murders or is it someone else? Will Sanjana and Nik be able to find happiness? The reader needs to read the book to find that out.

I recommend this book to readers as a fast paced romantic thriller that will leave the reader turning the pages of the book to find out the identity of the murderer.

BOOK REVIEW: VOLCANIC MOMENTS

Book: Volcanic Moments

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Author: Mona Mohanty

Genre: Fiction, Short Stories

Published by: Authors Press

Number of pages: 144 pages

My Rating: 4/5

MY REVIEW: I was provided with a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

It is very difficult for me to review this book without giving away the plot, but I will try to do so.

The book comprises of 25 short stories. There is no common theme running through the book except for the fact that each story has a twist in the tale. I found myself racing through each story eagerly waiting for the climax.

The stories in the book are as diverse as a landlord desperate for tenants to a strange ill-fated tattoo and a girl who has lost her mother in childhood to a successful but childless doctor couple.

No reader will be bored reading this book. I recommend this book as interesting and riveting.

BOOK REVIEW: THE CONQUEST OF THE EAST

Book: The Conquest of the East

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Author: R. Durgadoss

Genre: Historical, Fiction

Published by: Rupa Publications

Number of pages: 226 pages

My Rating: 4/5

MY REVIEW: I was provided with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

This story is about the Chola dynasty, and is set during the reigns of Raja Raja Chola and Emperor Rajendra Chola. Though the Cholas have defeated the Pandyas, they have failed to recover the royal crown and the other jewels.

The story begins with the birth of Surya, in none other than a jail, as his mother is incarcerated there. Surya is born with a unique birthmark on his chest. Though his mother rejects him and his father is unknown, he is taken in by a family who then decide to adopt him.

Surya is blessed with unique abilities concerning water, he is able to stay underwater for a long time without breathing along with other abilities! As his adopted father is a commander in the Chola navy, Surya’s talents are noticed at a very early age and nurtured.

After helping the Crown Prince on an important mission, Surya is sent to the Chola Royal Army School where his talents are honed to the utmost.

Surya goes on to play a vital role in helping Emperor Rajendra Chola to recover the royal crown and jewels. This quest for the jewels takes him to the kingdom of Srivijaya, where he falls in love with and marries a princess.

But fate still decrees that Surya serve his Emperor and he goes back to his home to protect the Emperor against his enemies. Does Surya ever meet his biological parents? Does he succeed in serving the Emperor and doing his duty? The reader will have to read the book to find out.

I highly recommend “The Conquest of the East”, as an extremely interesting story that will appeal to readers who love old historical/mythological stories.