Posted in Book Reviews, Tamil Bookss

Semmaari (Tamil) – Book Review


Title: Semmaari (Tamil)
Author: Samura
Total No. of Pages: 284
Format: Paperback
Genre: Fiction

Note: I received this book in exchange for an unbiased review from the Author. 

When I received the copy of the book from the Author and the tagline said ஆறறிவு ஆடு (A Goat with Six senses) and I thought it must be a Tamil Science fiction for which I was very much excited because the last Sci-Fi in Tamil I read was Jeeno duology by Sujatha. When I read the blurb it was evident that the book is dealt with a game Aadu Puli aatam which as a guy from a small town of Tamilnadu I am very much aware of it.

Semmaari, a shepherd with his nomad family reaches Chandiranaadu which is ruled by Puthirasekran. A king obsessed with Architecture plans to build a great hall full of architectural excellence. Thus he appoints Sadayudhar, who happens to be the best Architect in the entire kingdom. Nagalan, one of the best apprentice of Sadayudhar is in charge for this project. Kodari is more like the head of labourers is one among the major characters in the plot. Sadayudhar teaches a game Aadu Puli Aatam (A game of lambs and Tigers) to his fellow architects, which in turn entertains them during their free time. Semmaari a curious kid shows interest in learning the game sneaks in learns by observing. Over a period Semmaari happens to play with Nagalan who is considered to be the best in this game and wins. There comes a day when Nagalan was put in a tough spot with a stranger in a contest and Semmaari helps him out to win the game. Which in turn puts Semmaari, his family and his girlfriend in the life-threatening situation. Did Semmaari manage to escape that situation? Who is that Stranger? and Why that event put Semmaari in a life-threatening situation? All these questions will be answered in this book.

First of all the premise of the plot is really interesting. The Author could have stopped from explaining the story is based on the game which is a huge turn-off. I really request the Author to consider the readers as intelligent beings instead of Spoon-feeding us. It is really annoying over a period of time to read like that. The Author decides to name the characters and places with respective professions but decided to explain detailed to us readers.

I personally felt the narration of the book was really loooooong. The Editors could have trimmed it and brought down the page count to at least 180 to 200. Dear Author, if you really wanted to tell stories in Tamil but couldn’t find a good editor I request you search for one. First of all in Tamil we need not add so many commas unnecessarily. The words itself give enough pauses for us to understand. Then there are so many grammatical, spelling mistakes. Reading Tamil book so many grammatical mistakes really pains.

I see a lot of cons in the book than the pros. Except for a good plot, there is nothing great about this book and I am still wondering How this book got 4.48 stars in Goodreads. Think I must stop complaining and enjoy the book henceforth.

Do I recommend this book? I really don’t if you are an ardent Tamil novel reader. Others decide at your own risk.

Happy Reading.

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Posted in Book Reviews, Comics and Graphic Novels

Theatrics by Neil Gibson


Title: Theatrics
Author: Neil Gibson and Art by Leonardo Gonzalez
Total No. of Pages: 132
Format: eBook
Type: Graphic Novel, Drama

Note: I received a free copy from NetGalley in return for an honest Review.

Boy! O! Boy! I never knew there were lots of individual comic book writers and Artists apart from the Studio ones until I came across this and the other series of Comics recently. Well, I know Cyanide and Happiness and other comics are there but I’m not sure How they make money, this is a serious business I must say.

Theatrics is a Graphic Novel about Rudy Burns a Broadway actor in 1920’s who has everything one could ask for but a robbery goes wrong and the man is disfigured. When the Broadway is all about good looks what would a once-successful actor do to revive his life? The story is more of a rag to riches but we are left with a cliffhanger because only half the book is released and I’m already waiting to read the rest.

First of all, this Graphic novel is wonderful, the artwork is mind-blowing and it is a Studio quality. With regards to the story for a comic, it is completely new and different. Such a pleasant read it was and Neil Gibson must have a lot in his kitty to offer. Looking forward to reading the second Graphic novel which would give us a closure. The story was pretty easy for me to get in and start reading. Rudy seems to be a very mysterious man. We do not know What’s on his mind and that keeps the readers hooked to the Graphic novel.  Let’s wait and see What Neil Gibson and the team has to offer in the future publications.

Happy reading 🙂

Posted in Book Reviews, English Books

Warjuna: Mrithasu Rising – Book Review


Title: Warjuna (Book 1: Mrithasu Rising)
Author: Krishnaraj
Total No. of Pages: 302
Format: Paperback
Genre: Mythological Fiction

Note: I received a free copy of this book in return for an Honest Review.

Re-writing and re-telling the Indian Mythologies to suit the audiences of certain culture have been there for a long time in India. When Indian English Authors decided to retell Indian Mythology in their own way or retelling the life story of a Character has given some really good results. Some of them succeeded in doing so starting from Ashok. K .Banker’s retelling of Ramayana or Anand Neelakantan’ Asura gave a, even more, spin to Ravana’s life and relationship with Sita. They really did a great job in that. But Amish’s humanising of god and putting them in a state to achieve their greater destiny gave a great reach which also became Bestseller of all times. Thus started mushrooming of retelling Mythology or Mythology Spin-Offs.There is always a knack to hook the audiences with the Author’s imagination but only a few succeed in doing so. Mythological fiction these days have become more like the Horror-Comedy line of movies in Tamil Cinema, few fare, well but many fail miserably.

Warjuna by Krishnaraj is one such take on the Indian Mythological world. I wouldn’t call it a miserable attempt nor a great one but the book stands somewhere inbetween. The Prince Arjuna of Wagharr is on the run from the invading Hayacree forces along with women and children to a place called Himavan. Later, he seems to have been transported somewhere to the Southern part of Bharata. We are as blank and delusional as him. Thus starts the journey of Prince Arjuna with the intent to save Bharata from the mysterious Mrithasu and its allied Hyacree forces. Who are these Hyacree forces? Who is Mrithasu? Did Arjuna save his people and Bharata from the great danger?What is his part on this big game? Warjuna has answers to all these for you.

The Author tried to do a Worldbuilding with few Mahabharata characters like Kanha, Draupati and Garuda with them playing a significant part in this plot while there are others who played smaller roles. The major problem I had with this book was the Author was busy in Worldbuilding and setting up a Universe of his own but with too many characters it was really hard to keep up. Most of these characters felt disconnected even after completing the book. Instead of jumping to various parts of the Bharata, the Author could have slowly paced to that Anti-climax. Readers could have felt even more connected that way. Another small issue was there were minor grammatical and editing errors wish that could be avoided in the future books.

Even though with these flaws, the book was quite captivating. The Storyline seems to have great potential in becoming a series of books. Hope the Author doesn’t screw up with the forthcoming books. Character building for few was done really well and I could still remember How Arjuna or Kanha would think in certain situations? The narrative style is great and the flow is smooth.

In a Nutshell: As a whole, this book has a lot of potentials to become a great series but in worldbuilding, process the Author lost his way somewhere. Otherwise, the book is a great read and there seems nothing unnecessary in the book with regards to each character. They serve some purpose for the story to move forward.

Do I recommend this book? I definitely do.

You can buy the book here.

Happy Reading 🙂

Posted in Book Reviews, English Books

Waterboarding – Book Review


Title: Waterboarding
Author: Bragadeesh Prasanna
No. of Pages: 292
Genre: Fiction – Romance

Waterboarding is the second Novel by Bragadeesh Prasanna. His first novel 300 days came as a surprise to me because I read it without much expectation and the characters still linger in my head very profoundly. Such is the detailing he gives to his characters who would stay in your memories forever. You might have come across some of them in your life. Choosing his characters one among us is what I loved in his previous novel and with so much expectation I got Waterboarding on the day of Book launch.

Ved meets with a terrible accident and when he wakes up he realises that he has lost parts of his memory. He could remember few of his friends and his parents but nothing more. Sara one of his friends tries to help him recollect his memory but Why is she doing that? Who is that mysterious Maya and why no one seems to know about her? Well, read the novel to find these answers for yourself.

What works for me in this novel is the narrative style and the Author chose to narrate the story with three different perspectives of the three major characters, which takes place at different timelines. Such a difficult style of narration and there are chances the reader might get confused but the Author brilliantly connects every dots and makes us get glued to the book from start to end.

Few small characters really came as a surprise to me because I felt like I know them, especially the Doctor character. The book didn’t get too technical nor too cheesy but it stood to a point where it tried to focus on the Romance and the psychological effects of an accident. I personally don’t find any flaws in the book.

Do I recommend this book? I absolutely do and am really waiting to read more of his works in the future. Do pick up this book and Thank me later.

A request: Knowing the Author personally to an extent and reading his blogs regularly for a while now, it would really be great if the Author writes a novel in Tamil. Hoping that he would read my blog post and the message would reach him.

Happy Reading 🙂

Posted in Book Reviews, English Books

Promises of a Firefly by Anupam Patra – Book Review


Note: I received a Free copy of the book from the Publisher in return for an honest review.

Yay! Finally, I get to finish this book. No, not because of the book but, for me Short stories take a long time to finish. This is the first ever Short story work I completed, others are half-read and waiting for me to finish.

Given a fact that this is a debut book for the author, he has indeed done a great job in weaving beautiful 11 Short stories into a bundle. The narration was flawless. He definitely struck a chord with every short story.

Motherhood which explores the yearning of a mother to meet her daughter and the ending was really painful. Lily explores the discrimination faced by many girls in our country. I could relate myself with few and with others I felt like peeping into my neighbours’ homes and feeling sad for their sufferings.

I personally feel a collection of Short stories is a space for one to explore various emotions but for some reason, I felt the Author took death, misery and few other sad feelings as a theme for his book. Except for The Stranger Short story, I felt others revolved around death or sorrow. I would like to know why? Reading few stories depressed me actually. Again such feelings are completely subjective.

Nonetheless, I loved the book and I request the author and the publisher to please read the complete manuscript before printing it. There are few minor grammatical mistakes which I found and a re-read from Authors or publishers would definitely have been avoided such errors. I as a person read books to learn something from them but not find faults which indeed is a turn-off for me. Hope, the Author take my suggestion into consideration.

In a nutshell: This book is great. Give it a try and I assure you won’t regret it.

Happy Reading 🙂

Posted in Book Reviews, English Books

Claire by Poornima Baskar – Book Review


Claire – A good daughter, a wife any man wants to get married to and a very nice human being who has(d) a small friends circle with no enemies or that is what many thought until the Police department found her body in the lake. She died due to an accident but Detective Bracken thinks otherwise. He takes us with him on the Journey of a twisted yet interesting crime tale.

I would call this a brilliant short Murder mystery novel, which built the curiosity within the first 10 pages itself. Along with Bracken we are also left dumbfounded and lost in finding justice to the dead.

What I liked about this book was that the language was so easy to catch up on, though it was set-up in the fictional town of the West. The narration is flawless. Another interesting part is the way every character was built. Though I wish Hailey had a bigger part in this tale instead of Bracken alone carrying it on his shoulders.

If only most of the debut Authors could write such brilliant novels I would be happy to experiment with them. This is the third book of a debut author whose characters I couldn’t take my mind off. I am sure the characters and the plot are going to stay with me and run in my head for a long time.

This review is the shortest one because I don’t want to give away too many details which would spoil the fun of reading this book. I recommend this book to everyone. Let you be a murder mystery fan or a new reader or even exploring genres do give it a try and you wouldn’t regret.

Happy Reading.

You can also buy the book on Amazon.com Kindle: goo.gl/GvEzRk
Amazon.com Paperback: goo.gl/t1ggr6

Posted in Book Reviews, English Books

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone – Book Review


I, being a huge fan of Harry Potter Movie franchise (Potterheads would kill me for this:P) didn’t get a chance to read the book. In fact, I was introduced to HP only after the movie was released, back then I wasn’t a reader. But… but when I started reading books; somewhere deep down I always want to read the whole series and finally, I did start.

My review would have some movie comparisons which obviously I can’t control. I have watched the movies multiple times. After reading the book I wished I could go back in time, read the books first before watching those movies. Name any characters first thing comes on top of my head are the Movie characters. These movies are imagination killers.

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The narration, the description of incidents and people felt fresh for me. I would definitely call it the best Children’s novel for keeping the language simple. Now, I understand why there are so many Potterheads. Although the movie has only slightly deviated from this book. I really wish they could have roped in Peevees. He was the funniest character all over.

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The magical universe which J.K Rowling tried to create is great and unique. Some of the intriguing ones for me are the names; those unique names Gringotts, Muggles, Quidditch etc., were very intriguing.  That being said I really enjoyed the book more, still I feel the first movie have done enough justice to this book and I wouldn’t complain. If not completely at least to some extent Director Chris Colombus did a fantastic job in giving a decent Children’s movie. J.K.Rowling has created a world and she sure has stolen many hearts. It is time for me to grab the copy of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.

Happy Reading 🙂

Posted in Book Reviews, English Books

Ananta Sesha Naga – Book Review


Title: Ananta Sesha Naga – Rise of Demon Prince
Author: Sanjeev K. Sharma
No.of Pages: 279
Genre: Mythology-Fiction

Boy! O! boy! This book easily is the worst I have ever read in my life. Well, you might guess Why does anyone want to start with a bad impression about a book? Well, this book frustrated me to an extent where I couldn’t continue more than 100 pages. I took so much pain and time to cross those 100 pages. Well, this explains it all. A Wise man once said “Our life is too precious to waste on a bad book” hence, I ditched it with 140 pages and couldn’t go any further.

Overview:

A Sarpini who should get the Sarpamani of the five kings among the Seven of Paataal Loka. So, that the demon Sarpas who follow the orders of a demon queen could take over the three lokas by defeating Devas, humans, Asuras and their own Naga clan. The Demon queen sends a seductress whose only job is to mate with those kings, get their sperms and Nagamani’s in her belly. (Don’t get confused seeing Sarpamani and Nagamani. Both are same and even the Author was confused which one to name :P)

What is wrong with the Book?

Everything. I would say. This book should have been trashed instead of sending it to Print. First of all Story Mirror, you should stop publicising books altogether or at-least recruit good Editors to read the Manuscripts and correct them. Right from the Excerpt printed behind the book to Epilogue the spelling mistakes, mismatches in the spelling of names, grammatical errors and so many cringe-worthy mistakes all through out the book.

Right from the Introduction of the Characters, the Author kept repeating the same four lines for the next 30 or so pages. Over a point, I really felt irritated to read the same damn lines. There are repetitive words and Why on earth the description of the sex scene same? Did the Author lack imagination? 😛

I really couldn’t help but the description of the different regions of Paataal Loka was missing all throughout out the book and the Author’s major focus was to spit crass sex scene in his book along with casteism, racism, moral policing and much more cringe-worthy stuff.

Verdict:

Indian Literary scene is already in a downfall and out of 10 only three or four read books. Now, with such bad publications, the quality of content is stooping down from bad to worse. There was a golden time when very few books were published and the quality of the content was good but with growing number of Authors and Publishing houses the number of books is huge but the Quality of them are pathetic. I strongly suggest Story Mirror, to stop publishing worst books and ruin their reputation. I wouldn’t recommend this book to anyone. *Running to find a good book* :/

P.S: This is an honest review in return for the free copy of this book received from Story Mirror.

Posted in Book Reviews, Tamil Bookss

Maadhorubaagan (Tamil) – Book Review


Title: Maadhorubaagan (One Part Woman)

Author: Perumal Murugan

No. of Pages: 190

Format: Paperback

All the controversies surrounded this book made impossible for me to acquire it for a long time because it was banned in Tamilnadu for various reasons and the major one being caste. Though the Author claims this work to be a faction, we are unsure of such event took place. We don’t have any proofs of such event nor the author found any. Though I fail to see a reason for pushing a writer to Write his own obituary on a Newspaper. Well, that set a dramatic stage for Author, his supports and the opposers. It is disheartening to see people who are still stuck with their casteist ideas and considering it above all.

Overview

The Novel starts with Kali visiting his in-law’s house along with his wife Ponna for a yearly famous 14 days festival and the 14th day of festival plays the pre-climax portion in the book. Perumal Murugan set the stage there and went backwards to explain the actual reason for Ponna visiting her parents and Kali visiting his in-law’s. He touched upon Villages, their customs, Agriculture, food behaviour and most important of all people their narrow mindedness and openness. A stark contrast in the characters.

What I liked

I adore the plot for deep and psychological point of a couple for their inability to have a child. When society and people ridicule them equally on various stages of life the mental stress and agony they go through were clearly captured by the Author. Nallupayan chithappa the one character who is rationale, a jerk but always knocks some sense into Kali.

It is completely a new experience for me to read a novel in one of the regional dialects Kongu Thamizh. For some, it might be hard to read through and certain intricacies with the Kongu dialect and the words used. I didn’t find it hard because I lived in that region for half a decade.Perumal Murugan gets brownie points for painting the scene and landscape with words.

What I didn’t like

The book was very lengthy for the premise it chose and half the book was about their yearning for the inability to have a child. People ridiculing this couple and various other incidences.

Verdict

I wouldn’t mention this as an amazing novel nor it is mediocre but definitely, this novel would make you think and question various aspects of our society. Controversies and alternate ideas are always intriguing. I can’t agree with the author about certain practices he mentioned in the book because of insufficient or no proofs, but we might assume such things could also have happened. I personally liked the idea of ending this book with question marks and the Author wrote two other books with two alternate endings. An intriguing book which was translated in English and recently won “Sahitya Academy award” well a round of applause for that. I call it a Maadhorubaagan Trilogy and this is the review of Book 1.

Happy reading.

Posted in Book Reviews

The Highway Man by J.Alchem – Book Review


Title: The Highway Man

Author: J. Alchem

No.of Pages: 46

Genre: Short Stories

Format: Digital

I got this book for free to be reviewed on various platforms and here I am sharing my thoughts about The Highway man which is a collection of 3 Short Stories: Catherine, Sidzy for a day and The Highway Man.

This book is the shortest read I’ve ever come across and the Author is completely new to me as well. It isn’t new for me to read books of an unknown Author and that’s How I started my journey into reading books. If you are a serious reader I wouldn’t recommend this book because it is completely flawed. No, I am not going to give a positive review just because I got it for free and that ain’t my code but this book carries few good things too.

What I liked:

  • Acknowledgement part in this book was different from What I’ve come across all these years. Starting with a shocking statement it moves to a different spectrum and you understand it at least at the end of it.
  • All these three short stories had a message some real good message to take away.

What I disliked:

  • Lots and lots of Grammatical errors, punctuation errors, bad sentence formation.
  • Narration style was very sloppy and there is a lot of room for the author to grow as a Writer and I personally believe he should stop publishing books and go back to improvise his writing skills. We already have enough Chetan Bhagats, Ravinder Singhs and Preeti Shenoy’s.
  • All the three stories were way too cheesy and too lengthy especially Sidzy for a day. It was way too stereotypical for portraying the girl with just cheesy dialogues and the same old “I am gifted to have you in my life” type of dialogues.

If you want to kill some time pick this book or else I wouldn’t recommend this book at all. Again I ain’t good with my writing skills but I believe I have improved a lot in the recent past. I am no one to stop anyone from publishing books but all I expect is some quality in the content. I can compromise on the grammar part, heck most of them are not perfect but when the Author fails to communicate the story it turns me off from picking up his/her future books. Hope this reaches the Author and to be Authors. I believe most of the Bibliophiles would share the same thought as I am.

Cheers… 🙂