Varun Sayal’s Time Crawlers: Hextuple Delight


Blurb
Alien Invasion, Dark Artificial Intelligence, Time-Travel, High-Tech Mythology, Djinn Folklore, Telekinetics and life-consuming Cosmic Entities are some major themes in my book “Time Crawlers” which has 6 tightly-knit, fast-paced Sci-Fi stories. A quick look at the stories:
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** Nark-astra, The Hell Weapon: **
The weapons he possesses make him the destroyer of worlds, and he burns for revenge. A high-tech take on ancient Indian mythology.
** Death by Crowd: **
The dark desires of the masses; darknet websites fueled by a crypto-currency. What lurks in the background – an advanced artificial intelligence?
** Genie: **
He rubbed a lamp alright, but what he got was the shock of his life. An entirely sci-fi take on the djinn myth.
** Time Crawlers: **
There are individuals who existing in multiple time periods at once, and there are those who know about them….
** Eclipse: **
No attacks, no blood-shed, yet there was an invasion and a conquest. Who are these shapeshifter aliens being hounded by an eclipse?
** The Cave: **
The fate of an advanced imperial race hangs in balance as a dark celestial entity meets a legendary protector.
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Time Crawlers: The Book Review

I have been a voracious reader of science fiction but I have hardly come across any Indian English authors who have been able to stupefy ( Rowling effect) the readers to the core. Well, there is Samit Basu with his GameWorld Trilogy, Turbulence, Resistance among others and now Varun Sayal’s Time Crawlers leaves a deep impact with myriad themes and compelling storytelling.

It is a hextuple delight, well six stories in a book, so I took the liberty of using such bizarre word like a hextuple delight. One of the best features of this book is the style of narration. While in one of the stories the author uses the traditional storytelling, shifts to a drama like narration and amuses the readers with the interview technique. Keep it up, Mr Sayal.

Each of the six stories comes up with its unique charm. I am not going to divulge the plotlines, lol.

Almost all the stories have impressed me as a reader and a researcher in science fiction. Keeping apart  “Death by Crowd”, I would rate all the other pieces as excellent pieces of science fiction. Again there could be a separate post for this story alone, it raises few disturbing questions.

In order to be a writer, one needs to go through other works in the particular genre. I think ( entirely my point of view), Mr Sayal has been inspired by Issac  Asimov, Clive Barkers and Joseph Heller among others. The issues raised and the conflict conjured sums up to a unique reading experience.

Sayal believes in experimenting with narrative techniques and while doing so he never uses complex literary jargons in his narration. The simplicity is truly amazing and in the end, he creates a hullabaloo in the mind of the readers about the conflicts in the stories i.e. he raises some hard hitting questions. Well done, Mr Sayal.

 

Verdict : You need to buy this one. 4.5/5

Pros

The readers get to enjoy varieties of themes like mythology, time travelling, dark web, cosmic entities, artificial intelligence and parallel worlds among others in a single paperback.

The compelling storytelling by the author.

Impressive plot build up.

Gripping cover design, well covers are one of the most intriguing factors of a book’s selling point.

I enjoyed the nomenclature of a few characters like Trikalacharya, Jokie among others.

Cons

Death By Crowd could have been the best of the lot but it fades away in the end

The stories could have been a bit longer.

 

I have received a copy from the author in exchange of an honest review. Thank God, I accepted this one. I loved it.

 

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Author Bio:
VARUN SAYAL is an engineer and MBA from I.I.T. and I.S.B. (top schools in India), who has been involved in theatre as a playwright, actor, and director, and has also been an independent movie-maker. His genre of writing is predominantly science fiction blended with mythology and a sprinkle of the gruesome actualities of life. In his own words:
“I think of each story as a surreal, fast-paced narrative that pulls in the reader right from the beginning, takes them through a voyage into an alternate dystopian realm, bequeathing to them images etched permanently on their minds. I live by the quote, ‘a true art calms a disturbed mind and disturbs a calm mind.’”
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Website and Social Media Links: 
• Website: http://varunsayal.in/
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Buy Links
Images from the internet.
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Sundari Venkatraman’s Matsya: The First Avatar; A Book Review.


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Format: Kindle Edition

Print Length: 38 pages

Publisher: Flaming Sun (Indie published) (11 March 2018)

Sold by: Amazon Asia-Pacific Holdings Private Limited

Language: English

ASIN: B07BDN1Q87

Blurb

Lord Brahma is highly disturbed when the four vedas are stolen from him the moment he goes to sleep at the end of the kalpa. It’s Asura Hayagriva who’s gotten away with the sacred scriptures.
Lord Vishnu offers to go to the creator’s rescue and takes the guise of Matsya, the fish.
King Satyavrath lands up with a tiny gold fish when he’s offering prayers to the Sun God one morning. Is the fish all that it appears to be?

How can Satyavrath help the fish?
Read more to find out the reason for Lord Vishnu taking the avatar on earth as Matsya.
This is a straightforward story of the first avatar of Mahavishnu, retold in simple English just the way it’s written over the ages. The target audience is the youngsters, children, who don’t know all that much about Indian mythology. It’s also for those parents who are keen to read aloud stories to their children and are looking for suitable books on mythology.

Know the author
This is the first foray into the mythology genre for the author and also the first book that she’s written for children.
Sundari Venkatraman is an indie author who has 28 titles to her name, all Top 100 Bestsellers on Amazon India, Amazon USA, Amazon UK, Amazon Canada and Amazon Australia in both romance as well as Asian Drama categories. Her latest hot romances have all been on #1Bestseller slot in Amazon India for over a month.
Even as a kid, Sundari absolutely loved the ‘lived happily ever after’ syndrome as she grew up reading all the fairy tales she could lay her hands on, Phantom comics, Mandrake comics and the like. It was always about good triumphing over evil and a happy end.
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Soon, into her teens, Sundari switched her attention from fairy tales to Mills & Boon. While she loved reading both of these, she kept visualising what would have happened if there were similar situations happening in India; to a local hero and heroine. Her imagination took flight and she always lived in a rosy cocoon of romance over the years.
Then came the writing – a true bolt out of the blue! And Sundari Venkatraman has never looked back.

The Review

Sundari Venkatraman knows her craft and most importantly  she is aware of the target audience. In the year 1996 , I was travelling to Madras for an eye check up in Shankar Netralaya and kid sitting opposite to me in Coromondal Express , handed over a copy of Amar Chitra Katha , that was an unique feeling and while going through this book , I felt it once again.

In an age of over the top animated films on Indian Mythology , this book comes up as an delightful experience. The story focuses upon Vishnu’s first avatar as Matsya(fish) upon this earth and the narrative follows the exploits of Fish Avatar. Sundari Venkatraman keeps the narration simple with tight editing and perfect chapterization. Kids and the young teenagers will love it. I was waiting to read the prequel of Kurma: The Second Avatar , while it focused upon Samudra Manthan , this too deals with a crisis where the best resort for help is Lord Vishnu. He incarnates as a Fish and helps the Devas from the ultimate crisis i.e. the loss of Vedas.

The story shifts from Devalok to the Martyalok and Vishnu’s takes the form of a small gold fish and the amazing story in the palace of the Satyavrath unveils. What follows next, is up-to the readers to find out. Experience the fantastic tale of Vishnu Puran in the global language and the craftsmanship of Sundari Venkatraman. Unlike the successor, which I believed to be a great take on re-telling of Indian Mythology , this one is much better. I’m waiting for the third one of the series.

 

Pros 

Cover Design

The Characterisation of Hayagriva and Satyavrath

The simple plot-line and crispy editing

Cons

Nothing.

Ratings- 8.5/10

Buying Link

Sundari Venkatraman’s Kurma:The Second Avatar , A Book Review.


Print Length: 34 pages
Publisher: Flaming Sun (Indie published)
Publication Date: April 22, 2018
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
Language: English
Available on Kindle Unlimited
Genre: Mythology, Short Story, Kidlit
Blurb
Sage Durvasa’s curse makes not just Indra, the Deva king, but also all the other Devas, lose their powers.
The completely shaken Devas rush to Lord Vishnu for help. The Blue Lord suggests that they churn the ocean of milk for Amrut, a divine potion, that would help them get back their lost powers and more.
For this, the Devas seek the help of their strong half-brothers, the evil Asuras. With Mount Mandara as the churning rod and the serpent king Vasuki as the rope, the Devas and Asuras begin the churning of the ocean.
When the mountain sinks into the ocean without support, it’s Lord Vishnu to the rescue as Kurma, the tortoise.
Read the story of Samudra Manthan to know about all the avatars Lord Vishnu takes in this segment to save the situation.
Know the author
This is the first foray into the mythology genre for the author and also the first book that she’s written for children.
Sundari Venkatraman is an indie author who has 28 titles to her name, all Top 100 Bestsellers on Amazon India, Amazon USA, Amazon UK, Amazon Canada and Amazon Australia in both romance as well as Asian Drama categories. Her latest hot romances have all been on #1Bestseller slot in Amazon India for over a month.
Even as a kid, Sundari absolutely loved the ‘lived happily ever after’ syndrome as she grew up reading all the fairy tales she could lay her hands on, Phantom comics, Mandrake comics and the like. It was always about good triumphing over evil and a happy end.
Soon, into her teens, Sundari switched her attention from fairy tales to Mills & Boon. While she loved reading both of these, she kept visualising what would have happened if there were similar situations happening in India; to a local hero and heroine. Her imagination took flight and she always lived in a rosy cocoon of romance over the years.
Then came the writing – a true bolt out of the blue! And Sundari Venkatraman has never looked back.

 

The Review 

Sundari Venkatraman’s objective is clear , she tells a story in a very simple way. Her plot-line is neatly woven and the language is crispy like the finger chips in Beer bar , perfectly salted to suit the taste of the reader. I’ve missed the prequel of Kurma: The Second Avatar, but it didn’t interfere the joy of reading this tale from Indian Mythology.

Sundari Venkatraman didn’t interfere with the original story written in Sanskrit. She knows the craft of storytelling and more importantly , she understands the pulse of both the reader. Thus , from the first page , she brings up the conflict and the rest of the narrative deals with the resolving of the same conflict.

Sage Durvasa  gets angry over Devraj Indra ,  King of Devas and he provides a terrible curse. Vishnu is the only one to provide a solution. We all know the story in an haphazard manner , Venkatraman presents it with proper introduction , beginning and the end. The book is well researched and neatly presented .

The churning of the Ocean provides so much data about the credibility of Vishnu, as the supreme God. The different forms of avatar , the concept of multiple existence and the treasures of Samudra Manthan were nicely presented in the book . Revisit the story of Indian mythology in English , without the literary jargons.

Pros

Who is your editor ? One of the best editors you have.

Simple Plot-line and Language

Lovely Cover Design and the index at the back

Cons

It ended , I was expecting more episodes of Mohini , Kamdhenu , Rahu and Neelkanth.

Ratings – 8/10

Get the book ..

Another Vishnu story is on the way.

 

 

A Book Review of Dr. Kanaklata Tiwari’s Pintoo’s First Bite


 

Title –  Pintoo’s First Bite

Author – Dr. Kanaklata Tiwari

Format: Kindle Edition

Print Length: 38 pages

Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited

Sold by: Amazon Asia-Pacific Holdings Private Limited

Language: English

ASIN: B077BQWKMY

 

Review

Pintoo’s First Bite is a collection of tiny tales authored by Dr. Kanaklata Tiwari. The author revisits the folk tales and pop culture of the children and narrates the century old stories with a pinch of modern storytelling of her own. The age old tradition of  grandparents reading out stories for the toddlers is back with a boom in this collection.

The narrative is simple and endearing without any complexities of the adult mind . Dr. Tiwari has voraciously used the literary device of personification , where the animals have got voices and they speak out in almost every short story of this collection . The human beings have received a mixed treatment in this collection ; some being kind while others are bit greyish. The storytelling is linear in structure and sometimes end with a morale. The influence of Aesop’s fable is visible throughout the book  but the author creates her own little word where the human kingdom lives happily ever after with the animals.The author provides some funny and relate able nomenclature for the characters like Pintoo , Chunchu , Gabru , Aalo , Bhalo , Thumb Singh etc.My personal favourite is Thumb Singh became the king. The editing could have been much better and it acts as a bit of roadblock in the smooth ride of the book. No doubt the author comes up with a good package….

Hurry up buy the book for the kids in the house and for you to revisit the childhood.

Buying Link :  https://www.amazon.in/Pintoos-first-bite-Kanak-Tiwari-ebook/dp/B077BQWKMY

 

Pros

Lovable characterization

Simple plot structures

Adorable usage of personifications

Honest story telling

Cons

Choppy editing

Excessive usage of watermarked images

Know the Author :

Dr. Kanak Lata Tiwari

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Contact no 9819220411,

E mail :kanaklatatiwari@yahoo.co.in

Asst professor in KJSCE, Ph D in English Literature, Weekly Columnist In THE NEWSBAND, presented many papers in international conferences in Dubai,Athens<Bangkok etc. Pubblished many research papers in reputed journals.

ACHIEVEMENTS AND AWARDS

Recipient of Unnao Garav Award From U P Government

 Recipient of Rishi Shankar Dixit Award for her book “Mere Maun Ka Mukhar” from Kolkata Kanya Kubj Sabha

 Recipient of Kahani Pratiyogita award from Delhi Press

 Recipient of Women of The Year ASHMITA Award 2014

 A prolific writer in Hindi& English, many articles and stories published in various reputed magazines and dailies like Hindi Femina ,Vama,Sakhi Jagran etc.  Compilation of poetry “ Mere Maun Ka Mukhar” “Atm katha jo Atm Katha nahi hai and “The Novels Of Thomas Hardy and R.K.Narayan ” “ Alice walker ,a compilation” have been published.

 A collection of stories (in Hindi UNSULAJHE PRASHN) Published .It is her sixth book.

 

 

 

 

 

Paulami DuttaGupta’s A Thousand Unspoken Words : A Book Review


 

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Authored by Paulami DuttaGupta
Published by Readomania
ISBN: 978-81-929975-9-9
Genre: Fiction / Political Romance

Book Review

A few months ago, I was a part of literature conference in Pune’s Bharati Vidyapeeth University, where the main debate revolved around great literature and popular literature. The key note speaker concluded that popular literature gives you pleasure for few moments but great literature makes you a worried man i.e. it makes you think.Well, Paulami DuttaGupta’s fiction A Thousand Unspoken Words is one such bright example of contemporary classics. I must congratulate the author for taking up such a politically charged plot line and executing it in such a fine manner.

While most of the Indian English writer prefers to highlight the negative aspects of the Hindi Film industry , Paulami DuttaGupta actually borrows( read inspired) the pseudonym of a writer(in the book) from a Bhatiyali inspired tune of S.D Burman , which was featured in the  highly praised Bollywood  film , Guide (1965). Very few authors can create a mood, Dutta Gupta provides such everlasting moments throughout the novel. Chetan Anand’s Guide was based on R.K Narayan’s novel of the same name and like the novel this book provides an open ended climax, it is up to the readers to decide what to choose? Sequel ..ah Haan.

The novel is about one of the most miserable ideologies of the era, yep Communism. Bengal witnessed the advent of communism and its considerable decay over the time and across the decades. Dutta Gupta criticized the hypocrisy of Leftist bureaucracy of Bengal.  The book exposes the political crimes brainwashing in Bengal. However, they are never loud but yes as a sensitive reader it hits you really hard.

I have always loved resilient characterization in novels. This one has Tilottoma and Riddhiman. You will enjoy the conversation between the characters, their dormant traits and the duality. Musafir appears as a robust political writer with a considerable amount of fiery fans. Tillotomma is the bravest and the brightest among them all. I have never revealed the plot line, but yes I can give you a hint-this one is a romance but not a coochie cool one. This book traces the emotional journey of the characters, their struggle with ideologies and of course the constant struggle ( read battling inner demons). This one is psychic and yet simple. Paulami DuttaGupta didn’t fall prey to the pseudo-intellectual mode and bombard the readers with out of the context sequences and GRE’s vocabulary. The book makes you reflect upon the ideologies of the society and it raises questions like the pen which propagate such ideologies, do they follow it by themselves? One who looks like an idealist turns out to be something else in the end and as a reader, it might crush you. The story is not about two persons falling in love but it is about surviving through it and discovering new aspects throughout the journey. The author did a decent job in providing the readers with realistic characters and in reality, people are selfish as hell. I must say, the author has chosen most of the rasas to deal with the art of characterization. The protagonists fall in love only to depart and the story is all about the pent of emotions which are yet to be exchanged i.e. those thousand unspoken words.

This book has got a heart at its right place and the read was indeed soulful. Ah, classic after a very long time. I’m going to read all other works by the author and I dare you to miss this one. Go get a copy of A Thousand Unspoken Words.Mani Ratnam might enjoy adapting this classic on the silver screen.

Pros

Kick ass Plot line( Bashes up the Commies, hits the Inqilab Zindabad mouthing Jack ass  idealists of Jadavpur University and Presidency University who are communist until they get rich ..take that.)

Hard Hitting Characters who are like us and still exclusive in their own accord.

No mushy romance and steamy (unwanted) love making episodes

The last phrase “She smiled sadly”, is engrossing.

Good cover design.

Cons

Ah, none.

Ratings – 10/10

Buying Link

 

The Author
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Paulami DuttaGupta is a novelist and screenwriter. She shuttles between Kolkata and Shillong. She has worked as a radio artist, copywriter, journalist and a television analyst at various stages of her life, having been associated with AIR Shillong, The Times of India— Guwahati, Shillong Plus, ETV Bangla, The Shillong Times, Akash Bangla and Sony Aath.As an author, her short stories have appeared in various anthologies and literary magazines. A Thousand Unspoken Words is her fourth book. Paulami also writes on politics, social issues and cinema. Her articles have appeared in Swarajya, The Forthright and NElive.
Paulami is associated with cinema and her first film, Ri-Homeland of Uncertainty received the National Award for the Best Khasi Film. Her second film Onaatah—Of the Earth is at post production stage and will release in 2016. She is currently working on her third screenplay. A short film tentatively titled ‘Patjhar’ is also in the pipeline.
Paulami is a complete foodie and is almost obsessed with watching one film every day. She also loves reading—political and social commentaries are her favourite genre. Literature classics and books on cricket are also a part of her library, apart from a huge collection of romances. Jane Austen’s fictional character Mr. Darcy is her lifelong companion. She is an ardent fan of Rahul Dravid and has been following all news about him for almost twenty years now.

 

 

When God Bribed A Sailor : A Book Review


Blurb

 

Corruption is a crime, and criminals deserve punishment. But what happens when Godhimself bribes a Sailor? Why does he do this, and for what?Kishaant is an aspiring cadet in Merchant Navy, but his life is ruined on-board his ship by a person whom he trusted the most. He loses his father, his girl-friend, his pride and even his sleep owing to this one single incident.But would this bribe change his life once again and bring it on track? Or is this bribe a gate away made by God to make the beautiful Tasha enter his life? Un-decipher the mysteries as you flow through the pages and unveil a true story of a Sailor, now sailing somewhere in a deep ocean.

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Review

 

There are good books, there are great books and then there are some which makes you believe in Life and love. Shalabh Bansal’s  When God Bribed a Sailor is one such book which restores your faith upon humanity. Some books should not be judged on parameters but should be enjoyed and most importantly it should be fondled from depth of your heart.

The cover design is unique where a God (in blue) is seen handling over a coin to sailor. It intrigues the reader to explore the narrative. Blue God is either Shiva , Krishna or is it something else? You have to find it out by yourself.

I have never revealed the plot elements in my review and it will be continued with this one also. However I can offer you an outline, this novel speaks about Kishaant – a sailor and this is not his sail diary but his story of his life and his final triumph in the end. Sea is full of terror and obstacles , so is Kishaant’s life. You will be amazed how the author in his first person narrative has lived the life of Kishaant in When God bribed a Sailor. It is the story of spiritual healing and finding the way to live your life again.The readers will feel the adrenaline rush when the God arrives and hand over a suitcase to the protagonist. What is there inside the suitcase? Is Kishaant going to use it ? Well you have to read it and be ready to enjoy the twists and rapid turns in the plot.

The characterization is one of the strong points of the novel, especially the main protagonist and Tasha. I am very thankful to the author for bringing up such a layered woman character. Kishaant is a hardworking young man who dreams big but fate played a game and the narrative is about how Kishaant fights back and rises like a Phoenix from the dark abyss of Shipping industry. Look out for Sister Catherine and Sanchi.

The first person narrative is simple and easily relatable to most of the readers. However there are some portions where thoughts and feelings of the characters have flown like a raging stream. One might find it bit obscure to decipher it and label it as a fault in the narration. Well , this technique is known as stream of consciousness technique and it is one of the most challenging way to describe the psychology of the characters.Saurabh Bansal have succeeded in delivering stream of consciousness in a gripping manner.

Full marks to Mr. Bansal for such a brilliant conception and execution. The book scores high on characterization, writing technique, cover design and flawless plot presenation. Extra brownie points for out if the way nomenclature of the chapters. It would be wonderful to witness this book on 70mm.

You want to experience romance, go for it. Do you need some thrilling moments and suspense? You have this one. Lastly , do you need some spiritual awakening?  Well, you know the answer. This is a must buy and it will remain with you for long.

Pros

Unique concept.

Gripping plot and Bansal is a master story-teller.

Engaging Cover Design.

Simple approach to a complex story.

Characterisation  in the narrative , look out for Tasha and Kishaant.

 

Cons

The editing could have been better.

Nothing more

 

Ratings-9/10.

Buying Link 

goo.gl/2keXTi

Author’s Info

Shalabh Bansal”, a successful 1st Engineering Officer in Merchant Navy, was born inMeerut on 30th May 1986. After sailing round the world, he finally decided to pen down his thoughts and experiences in the black and white format. He is already an author of two novels, namely “The Dreams Book” and “A Pluperfect Gift”. The latter one, i.e. “A Pluperfect Gift” got a massive response from the readers and was a good hit in the market.Some famous celebrities like “LUCKY ALI” and “ABHIJEET BHATTACHARYA” also liked the book and promoted it on their social pages. Even the great producer/director“Mr.MAHESH BHATT” also picked up the book for a read and praised it in front of a mass.The facebook page scored over 25000 likes gradually. Subsequently he was invited by the“DainikJagran” newspaper for guest articles and also by the “MERI” magazine for seafares for a column in their magazine.The author was termed as the “BEST UPCOMING AUTHOR” at a ceremony by the very famous “SAILORS TODAY” magazine. The magazine is circulated in India as well as many European companies with a tie up with Video-Tel( in Europe).Apart from this, he is also a photographer and many of his photographs have received critical acclamation.( like the erupting volcano, the midway rain, sharks and dolphins, etc)

Shalabh Bansal is still sailing and enjoys seeing the sunrise and the sunset over the bluewaters every single day. He also received an invitation lately to become one of the social moderator and co-ordinator of the “AAM AADMI PARTY” team, but he declined theinvitation due to his job pressure, which demands quiet a lot of time out of India.While doing his schooling from the very famous “ST. MARYS ACADEMY” Meerut, hiswriting skills were recognised by the teachers and they mentored them to dexterity. He graduated as a Marine Engineer from BITS PILANI, under the elite “TOLANI MARITIME INSTITUTE”, Pune in 2008.

 

The Mahabharata Code : The Book Review


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The Book Review

Yada yada hi dharmasya glanirbhavati bharata

Abhythanamadharmasya tadatmanam srijamyaham

 

Paritranaya sadhunang vinashay cha dushkritam

Dharmasangsthapanarthay sambhabami yuge yuge

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 4 ,Verse 7-8.

(The English Translation)

Whenever there is a decay in righteousness,

And there is exaltation of unrighteousness, then I , Myself come forth ;

 

For the defense of the good, for the demolition of evil-doers,

For the sake of firmly establishing righteousness, I am born from age to age.

 

This sloka has been my cult favourite since the days of  B R Chopra’s Mahabharat. Books based on Mahabharat have always intrigued me .But most of them nowadays are about the spinning of that same wheel, except Devdutt Pattanaik’s Jaya and Shashi Tharoor’s The Great Indian Novel.

I have been conducting my Mphil thesis on Indian Science Fiction ,thus I am bit acquainted with most of the writings on this genre.Rao’s The Mahabharata Code has been running out of supply owing to its high demand. I wanted to go through it.

The book begins with lots ambiguity and like a master storyteller Karthik Rao unravel the complex mesh of the plot..well it gets much more interesting onwards.

The cover design has been an elegant masterpiece.I have an weakness for such brilliant piece of art.The narration has been reasonably fast paced and Rao manages to keep his readers to the edge.The anecdotes are top notch and the philosophy are never too loud to digest.You will relish the book with a witty smile on your lips. Rao provides the setting of science fiction and transport all the readers to the world of a Nasa Scientist Narayan Rao . The plot thickens with the encounter of  Narayan with a mysterious Gandalf styled person who wants to recreate the Mahabaharat.

The characters have been skillfully carved out of the ancient discourse of the great Indian epic and moulded  into a futuristic  setting  of  space science fiction. Special mention about the schemer and the scripter of the epic Ved Vyasa. I have always thought that Ved Vyasa remained only a partial character in the epic ,but here he is in full authority of the novel.

You cannot ignore his brilliance as a master conniver. You will feel allied to characters like Shrishti and Holy Hades. Krishna in Tharoor’s narration was a Keralian youth and one of the most weakest in the novel .I was bit skeptical about Rao’s characterization of Krishna ,well you have to go through the book to find out whether he is as mighty as the Gudakesh of the original Mahabharat ,who promises to appear again and again where there will be the domination of evil upon earth or he is just a mere wager in the great plan of Vyasa ?(refer to the sloka at the top)

Watch out for the brilliant scientific conceptualization about the impotency of Arjun and well you cannot ignore the game of dice..(sssh the dice can operate only through the voice command of our favourite Shakuni Mama ).You have read the epics and come across many uncomfortable questions..well the authors provide some witty explanation.

I am waiting for somewhat different piece of Science Fiction from the talented author  Karthik Rao.Keep it up Mr Rao.Well after Samit Basu , I can see a master story teller of Science Fiction in Indian English Literature.

Pros

1.Perfect Cover design

2.Awesome characterization.

3.Excellent plot execution.

4.Nirbhaya Shot and Electronic Dice.

5.The modern setting.

6.Krishna and Ved Vyasa were top notch creations.

7.Simple and hilarious.

Cons

1.Those boring conversation between Narayan and Shrishti.

2.Time to delve into something more innovative.

Rating – 4.5 out of 5

 

 

 

 

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THE MAHABHARATA CODE

by

KARTHIK K.B.RAO

 

Blurb

 

“The Mahabharata Code is a personal account of the main protagonist Narayan Rao (NR), who claims to be an astronomer with NASA. NR and a few other crew members agree to take part in the NASA mission to visit this mystery planet from which they had received mysterious signals. Here, they meet a man with a long flowing white beard, and he introduces himself as Vyasa. He reveals that he has a crazy plan in mind and seeks NR and his members’ help in implementing this plan. He intends to recreate the entire Mahabharata on this planet to restore the faith of the primitive simpletons here.

 

As the Mahabharata incidents start unfolding, NR realizes that Vyasa intends to recreate them page by page here, if not paragraph by paragraph. Also NR begins to realize that his son, Krishna, who is being groomed by Vyasa as Vishnu’s avatar, is nothing more than a pawn in Vyasa’s scheme of things. Other incidents of Mahabharata also unfold according to the original epic. Pandavas and Kauravas grow up hating each other and finally the restaging plan culminates with both the warring sets of cousins facing each other in the battlefield of Kurukshetra.

 

Inexplicably, like the original epic, Arjuna develops cold feet seeing his own cousins, teachers and relatives on the opposite side. He seeks Krishna’s divine intervention. Is the brainwashed “alien” Krishna prepared for this intervention?”

 

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About the author

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Karthik K.B. Rao

 

Karthik Rao is a 32-year-old software professional based in Bangalore. He lives with his wife Sushma, parents and two little sons Kaustubh Krishna and Raghav Krishna aged 4 and 1, respectively. He says, he gets to meditate close to 3 hours every day on his bike thanks to the notorious Bangalore traffic. His hobbies include following cricket, Indian politics on the social media and Indian mythology. He also plays plastic ball cricket with his sons.


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No Safe Zone by Adite Banerjie : A Book Review


Paperback : 200 pages

Publisher: Harlequin

Genre – Romantic Thriller

Blurb

Qiara Rana will do anything to save her mentor and their non-government organization from ruin. Even if it means visiting the city she had vowed never to return to. But within a few hours of landing in New Delhi, she is being chased by a gunman and is a potential suspect in the murder of a high-profile businessman. The only person she can turn to for help is Kabir Shorey, the man who stood her up ten years ago. Past and present collide in a deadly plot of crime and greed that moves from the cosmopolitan streets of Delhi to the bazaars and villages of Rajasthan

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Adite Banerjie

The Book Review

Adite Banerjie’s work  is all about engaging plot and smart execution of the same.She doesn’t let you get bored even for the slightest moment.I was bit sad ,after having a look at the cover picture of the book.I thought  “Oh No ..another Chick Flick”..but it is said never ever judge a book by its cover.

I am not against Romance but given a choice it will always be my second option.The word thriller in itself can arouse lots of apprehension and Banerjie makes it a point to keep you at the edge . While I was reading her  Trouble Has  A New Name  ..I was having expressions like AWW.. How Sweet.But this time it was Oh No .Run Qiara..Whoa what a thrill ..cumm on Kabir ..Yeah.

The plot is fast paced with a proper beginning , middle and a climax . The romantic involvement is served like a dessert and an apetizer with a nail biting thriller as the main course.The author provides numerous twists and turns at regular intervals and it  adds up to a fine reading experience.

The episodes in the state  Rajasthan  provides a royal touch and an exotic experience at the same time.Kabir as the romantic partner of Qiara is very matched and their chemistry is to die for. Aditie Banerjie provides a hot sizzler on the plate with Qiara and Kabir.

However the story is not that simple … Madam Banerjie serves a complex mesh of events and misunderstandings to the readers and when she decides to unravel the knots in the complex mesh ,the result is very pleasing.

The romantic duo exposes the scam and the criminal syndicate and thus provides a perfect conclusion to a romantic thriller.

No Safe Zone is an attarctive read and beileve me..you are going to enjoy every bit of it.

Verdict- 8/10

Pros

Plot is enaging

Storytelling is highly matured.

Vocabulary is just wow.

Great Characterization.

Thriller element is really good.

Sexy , smart Heroine and a dashing Hero

Setting  in the bylanes of Delhi to the royal Palace of Rajasthan has been  well blended to the plot.

Cons 

I was looking for a great negative character.

 

 

Never Again : A Book Review


 

 

Never Again by Shreyan Laha

Blurb : One terrorist organisation, seven lives, two nations… Everything revolves around a charcoal smeared diary titled “The Stranded Legend” in which Nazi soldier Kasper Hartmann claimed that he once visited India during the World War 2. But… in the current times of corrupt and anti-national politics, a common man possessing such a controversial diary is no less than a danger. There has to be someone who would seek to eliminate the truth… Never Again reveals about the legend of a Nazi soldier and a labyrinth of current-day shocking conspiracies which opens up one after another. Never Again reveals about the legend of a Nazi soldier and a labyrinth of current-day shocking conspiracies which opens up one after another.

Book Review

Hey people have you ever seen a Spidey web ? What about a mesh of such things ? It will be highly complex situation..and there lies the fun to decipher it.Shreyan Laha’s second novel is an intricate historical thriller.

The plot is about a missing (read fictional) Nazi officer  wiped out from the pages of history. In one word the plot is good..but the most important thing in this novel is the mode of narration.It constantly shifts between first person narrative to third person narrative.Laha have managed to grip the readers to the core. Occasionally the narrator provides the reader with doses of World war history..but it never crosses it’s limit.The novel boasts some interesting characterization like Aarav,Saira,the talented Historian and the Legend Kasper itself.However what make this novel a dear piece of historical fiction is the ability of the author to teleport you into the war torn Europe of 1940s.

Now as a critic I would say the episode of Kasper’s love life,his psychological war and spiritual angle deserve a separate story of its own. Two of the most important historical characters who could and always challenged the mighty(it was crumbling) Union Jack appears in the novel.Laha tackled one of the most controversial issue (the disappearance of His Majesty’s Opponent) with effortless narrative style.There have been great deal of research about the story and it is visible everywhere.However these subplots never envelope the major one.

The constant shift between the past and present is highly commendable,so is the translation of the German Diary.Keep it up Mr Laha with your study of language and culture.

The book comes up with few moments of philosophy and I would like to quote one of them

“People do not change. The changed self is always within us, unknown to us.”

In English Literature, we have a genre known as Bildungsroman ,which traces the formation of character from childhood till the end.Never Again very aptly portrays the genre and in the process make you feel the character.

The character sketch of Kasper is highly noteworthy,so his childhood,his love life ,his gore filled Nazi career and that terrifying end….ah man loved it.The scenes in the German concentration camp and the death of a near one is heartbreaking and full of thrills.

The ongoing terrorist problem and the illegal immigration is a threat to our nation and it is visible throughout the plot,at last some fiction dealt with the issue of illegal immigration.

This work is a pure evil…. which means kickass.Go for it..This one is highly enjoyable pacy thriller without any kind of ornamental English word.Hey People…get up and order your copy from Amazon or go to nearby Bookshop.Enjoy

Pros

1.Gripping Plot.

2.Lively Characterization.

3.Smart special appearences of Historical Characters.

4.Thorough research.

5.Subtle romantic escapades.

6.Horror and Terror never overlapped each other.

7.Cool Philosophical Gyan.

8.It raises many questions.

9.The starting paragraph in itself is a sure winner.

Cons

1.Horrible Editing.

  1. Petra died too quickly.

3.You could have stretched the climax a bit further.

4.Fuhrer deserves more lines 😛

5.Cover Picture could have been much more detailed.

Rating – 4.5/5

 

 

Book Review : AN AUTOGRAPH FOR ANJALI


Book Review
An Autograph For Anjali comes with a gory murder narrative wrapped up by a bold love story. Venkatraman provides great characters and a smart plot for her latest venture.
First of all the novel boasts some well built characters like Parth Bharadwaj,Anjali,Jayant and Arjun.Even minor characters like Nalini and Seema stands out. Venkatraman’s character build up has been very strong in An Autograph For Anjali.To create an impact over the readers with the action of the fictitious character is not an easy job,but the author passes with flying colours.
The author has been very tactful to keep a simple plotline.Few months ago I was having a gala time at Meluha in Hiranandani Powai…when I recieved three sample chapters of An Autograph For Anjali from the author itself,since she has been a very encouraging blogger(she always takes the trouble to visit my blog)and a smart storyteller..I read the three chapters at a go.I thought this was going to be another lovestory only to discover that it dealt with a high society murder in Hiranandani itself.
Now the novel presents a plotline dealing with marital dicord and extramarital affairs in an affluent Mumbai society.
The murder mystery fades after few pages and a love lorn housewife takes over the narrative.It narrates the story of those (not everyone) married couples in India,where the husband takes the wife for granted and consider them to be just a serving hand in the domestic affairs of the house.While some of the wives consider this phenomenon to be quite natural,some of them try to break out of the cage called Sansaar and establish them in different world.The story of Anjali is about those Great Indian Women who can create a niche for themselves and who deserves to be loved.
You have to check out this novel to find out whether she is successful is setting her spirit free from the claustrophic paws of her husband.
Nonetheless we have a saying that behind successful man there is an woman,here you come across such a situation where the man brings out the best from the woman(brownie point for that).
The concept of legal separation and divorce have been handled with utmost care by the author.While you will enjoy the extramarital affair on one hand ,you will also hate another illicit affair to the core.
The relationship between son and mother is one of the highlight of the book but the highlight of this text is the platonic friendship between Parth and Anjali and how this friendship slowly turns into a reverential darling affair sways over everything in the book.So there is a highly demanding husband (businessman)who is more sensitive towards business policy than the feelings of his wife,and lovelorn but dutiful wife,a cheerful son , a highly efficacious author(a gentleman in every sense) and yes a murder mystery.Do you need more ?
Pros
1.Cover Design.(apt)
2.Characterization and Story Line(well planned)
3.Usage of Tennysonian allegory(The Lotos Eater)
4.Lovemaking Episodes..(very exciting)
Cons
1.Seema’s episode wraps up very quickly.

Verdict- 8/10
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AN AUTOGRAPH FOR ANJALI
by
Sundari Venkatraman
 
 
Blurb
Jayant Mathur is found murdered in his bed, shot at point-blank range with his own revolver. Though she’s extremely disturbed by his death, Jayant’s wife Anjali is way more upset about something else. Who stands to gain by killing the multi-millionaire businessman?
Parth Bhardwaj is a friend and neighbour of the Mathurs. Parth is an author who goes by a pseudonym. He appears more than a friend to Anjali; while he’s also on good terms with her son Arjun who lives and studies in the UK. What role does he play in Anjali’s life? Jayant’s relatives are curious to know.
Jayant’s brother-in-law Rana is convinced that Parth and Anjali are the murderers. But Inspector Phadke has his own doubts about this theory. In comes Samrat, the private detective who appears as quiet as a mouse. Will he be able to find the murderer?
Will Anjali find happiness and peace?

 

 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
 
 
In 2014, Sundari self-published The Malhotra Bride (2nd Edition); Meghna; The Runaway Bridegroom; Flaming Sun Collection 1: Happily Ever Afters From India (Box Set) and Matches Made In Heaven (a collection of romantic short stories).
2015 brought yet another opportunity. Readomania came forward to traditionally publish this book – The Madras Affair – a mature romance set in Madras.
An Autograph for Anjali, a romance with a touch of suspense, is also a self-published novel. Going a step further, the author has published the paperback version through Notion Press.

 

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