BOOK REVIEW: DECEPTIONS OF TOMORROW

Book: Deceptions of Tomorrow

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Author: Kumar L.

Genre: Science Fiction, Short Stories

Published by: Red Knight Books

Number of pages: 70 pages

My Rating: 4/5

MY REVIEW: The author graciously provided me with a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

The book comprises of 11 short stories. These stories are all based on Artificial Intelligence (A.I.), black holes and time travel.

I was introduced to Asimov’s Three Laws of Robotics by way of this book. Many of the stories in this book are based on the Three Laws.

So what are the stories in the book all about? They range from topics as diverse as the thief who steals a star, a robot couple who long for their own child, a time travel zealot who decides to travel back in time to kill his grandfathers in order to solve the time travel paradox and a fun excursion to a black hole that goes wrong.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading these science fiction stories and that too from an Indian author! You do not have to be a lover of science fiction to enjoy this book. I am sure that every reader will enjoy reading this book. I recommend this book as interesting and convenient to carry along on a journey.

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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: THE GLASS HOUSE A YEAR OF OUR DAYS

Book: The Glass House A Year of Our Days

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Author: Chanchal Sanyal

Genre: Fiction

Published by: Rupa Publications

Number of pages: 184 pages

My Rating: 4/5

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

The story is told in the first person by the protagonist referred to only as M.B. and ‘Bungali Saab’. M.B., a history professor and his wife Roshni, a designer have always dreamed of owning their own home and accordingly invest in an upcoming scheme in Gurgaon.

However the development runs into a multitude of problems and construction is stalled. This leads to the unravelling of M.B. and Roshni’s marriage and creates many more problems.

There are many characters in the story that have been wonderfully portrayed by the author. The Punjabi and Bengali culture and their eccentricities too have been depicted well. The characters of M.B. and Roshni’s landlord Mr. Khanna, his gym freak son Rocky, M.B’s successful older brother Tubluda and M.B.’s colleague Malati have been so well etched out that they greatly add to the story.

One cannot help but empathise with M.B. as the struggles that he goes through to own a flat are those that every middle class Indian experiences. The story is well written and extremely interesting. Does the story have a happy ending? The reader needs to read the book to find that out.

I will certainly recommend this book to you. People of all ages can certainly understand and enjoy the book.

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: HONEY & THE MOON

Book: Honey & the Moon

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Author: Kamini Kusum

Genre: Romance Fiction

Published by: Redgrab Books & Anybook

Number of pages: 152 pages

My Rating: 3.5/5

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

The story is extremely contemporary and relevant, as these days many marriages face the same issues as those described in the book.

Srishti is a single, attractive woman in her thirties living in Delhi. She is successful in her work and enjoys her single life. She is also a fitness enthusiast.

She meets Atharv Mathur who is a new colleague and is drawn to him. Slowly, but surely, they start to interact more and more frequently, until Srishti feels that she is in love with him. Atharv proposes marriage to her.

Srishti’s mother has misgivings about the match as Atharv comes from a large family and she doubts if Sristhti will feel comfortable in Atharv’s home. However, Srishti is sure about her love for Atharv and the two of them proceed to get married.

Issues start to crop up for Srishti as she feels that Atharv is too extravagant with his money and shells out too much money for his family instead of saving for the future. As Atharv does not like Srishti saying anything against his family, Srishti starts to withdraw from him and starts to focus more and more on her career.

Unfortunately, Srishti also seeks solace elsewhere and finds herself involved with another man.

So of course the question raised in the story is whether Srishti is able to overcome various hurdles and work out her marital problems. The reader needs to read the book to find out.

I recommend “Honey & the Moon” to readers who like to read realistic, contemporary romance fiction.

BOOK REVIEW: INELIGIBLE

Book: Ineligible

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Author: Bijaya Kumar Mishra

Genre: Romance Fiction

Published by: Invincible Publishers

Number of pages: 173 pages

My Rating: 3.5/5

MY REVIEW: I received a copy of “Ineligible” by Bijaya Kumar Mishra in exchange for an honest review.

Saahil and Varsha are very much in love and want to get married. However, in true Bollywood fashion, Saahil is a penniless, unemployed orphan while Varsha comes from a very wealthy family.

To take the comparison to Bollywood further, Varsha’s brother Dev sets down conditions for Saahil if he wants to marry Varsha: he must own a house, a car, have a monthly income of one lakh rupees and a bank balance of ten lakh rupees!

Saahil starts rushing to meet these impossible targets. On the other hand Dev fixes Varsha’s marriage to a stranger, making the situation even more difficult for Saahil and Varsha.

Saahil learns lots of lessons on his journey to earn money. Varsha ably assists him in achieving his targets. They are also aided by an assortment of friends and people they meet who become their friends.

Whether Saahil achieves his target and whether the love story has a happy ending, is obviously part of the suspense of the story and should not be revealed by me!

“Ineligible” is a fun filled and quirky romance that will certainly appeal to readers who love that particular genre.