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: 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 STALKER

Book: The Stalker

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Author: Sandeep Sharma

Genre: Thriller, Fiction

Published by: Redgrab Books

Number of pages: 135 pages

My Rating: 3.5/5

MY REVIEW: The author Sandeep Sharma kindly provided me with a copy of his book in exchange for an honest review.

Randhir Kamat is the CEO of USB (Un-social Bastards), one of the top companies in the field of entertainment. Randhir’s life appears to be settled, his company is at the top, he has a lovely girlfriend Rupali and a loyal friend and colleague Devendra.

However, Randhir has a stalker: Deepali. She stalks him incessantly on social media and professes her love for him. At first, Randhir enjoys the attention. But when the publicity affects his business and also his girlfriend Rupali, Randhir finally decides to go to the police to put an end to the stalking.

The matter is entrusted to Inspector Suraj Pant. When Inspector Suraj is assigned the case, it is in the middle of preparations for his daughter’s wedding. However, he investigates the matter with diligence.

Several questions arise in the course of his investigation. Who is Deepali in reality and why is she stalking Randhir? Is Randhir as innocent as he pretends to be? What is the actual connection between Rupali and Mayank, the head of Natak Company, one of the biggest competitors of USB?

The author has managed to spin an intricate tale of double cross, betrayal and suspense and has brought the story to an extremely unexpected conclusion. The story is only marred by bad grammar, especially involving the use of the past tense. The book would have benefitted greatly with better editing and proof reading.

However, ‘The Stalker’ is a quick and interesting read for lovers of that genre, i.e. suspense thrillers.

BOOK REVIEW: YODDHA THE DYNASTY OF SAMUDRAGUPTA

Book: Yoddha The Dynasty of Samudragupta

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Author: Rajat Pillai

Genre: Historical, Fiction

Published by: Jaico Books

Number of pages: 316 pages

My Rating: 5/5

MY REVIEW: The author Rajat Pillai provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Chandragupta Vikramaditya of the Gupta dynasty of course is one of the greatest kings in Indian history.

The story begins showing Samudragupta, Chandragupta’s father at the peak of power and slowly beginning to show the signs of old age. Chandragupta has been raised in a village by a foster mother and does not know who Samurdragupta really is. He only knows Samudragupta as a benevolent relative who visits him and his mother from time to time. It is only when his foster mother is on her deathbed that Chandragupta comes to know that he is actually Samudragupta’s son and a prince of Magadha.

Chandragupta arrives in the capital, meets his father and assumes his rightful place as a member of the royal family. He is soon engaged twice, once as a political match and once out of love. He is also reunited with his brother Ramagupta.

Life in the royal palace is not what it appears to be as there is a deadly assassin on the loose as well as numerous conspiracies and rivalries afoot. Chandragupta finds himself in an asylum weak and in ill health, branded mentally unstable after a series of events.

Will Chandragupta be able to get himself out of this mess and will he stake a claim on the throne of Magadha? Will the assassin be caught? Who has hired the assassin? Who is the mysterious prisoner who is being held in the dungeons of the palace? The reader will have to read the story to find out.

It will remain to be seen whether the author will take the story forward in a sequel. I highly recommend “Yoddha”, as an extremely interesting story that will leave the reader hooked to the very end!

BOOK REVIEW: THE HIDDEN CHILDREN THE LOST GRIMOIRE

Book: The Hidden Children The Lost Grimoire

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Author: Reshma K. Barshikar

Genre: Fantasy, Fiction

Published by: Two Ravens

Number of pages: 401 pages

My Rating: 5/5

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

The main character of the book is Shayamukthy or Shui as she is commonly known as. She is a teenager in high school, who plays basketball and loves to hang out with her best friends Nallini and Jai. Shui is not as normal as she appears to be, as she has been diagnosed with dyslexia. She used to live in the US with her family but they moved to India three years ago.

Shui’s life is disrupted with the arrival of a new girl in their class, Anya. Nallini takes an instant dislike to Anya but Shui is drawn to her for some strange reason.

Anya shows Shui how to summon butterflies using magic and just like that Shui finds herself sucked into the world of the Witana. Shui attempts to discover whether she has magical powers. Anya reveals to Shui that the grimoire belonging to Anya’s deceased mother is lost and that Anya is desperate to find it.

The story is very fast paced as the characters zip all around Mumbai. Does Anya have a hidden agenda beyond looking for the grimoire? Does Shui really have any magical powers? The reader will have to read the story to find out.

I highly recommend “The Hidden Children”, as an extremely interesting story that has left me awaiting the sequel!