Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Carrier #1 Carrier of the Mark

Fellow inkpoper....I applaud thee. Presenting Carrier #1 Carrier of the Mark by Leigh Fallon.

Here is the summary of the book:

Their love was meant to be. When Megan Rosenberg moves to Ireland, everything in her life seems to fall into place. After growing up in America, she's surprised to find herself feeling at home in her new school. She connects with a group of friends, and she is instantly drawn to darkly handsome Adam DeRÍs. But Megan is about to discover that her feelings for Adam are tied to a fate that was sealed long ago—and that the passion and power that brought them together could be their ultimate destruction.

I had joined Inkpop just before it collaborated and became Figment. Now i've only ever written one novella and that too I need to edit (GOD haven't had the time with reading so many books and so many tests and projects in college...bit I swear i'll start again soon)

Anyways when I heard Leigh Fallon's book was an inkpop find...I just knew I had to read it. I have to say it was a good book not amazing but good. Now this book was released when twilight was still in vogue so I daresay it draws a lot of parallels with that sparkly drama but very different I tell you. This is the story if Megan Rosenberg who just moved to Ireland with her dad. In a new place meeting new people and making new friends, things are just beginning to settle he feels attracted towards the mysterious Adam. He says he is dangerous and that Meghan shouldn't be with him. But as the days grow Meghan realizes that their's (Meghan & Adam) is a fate sealed long before their time.

An easy and a beautiful read. Very likeable. While again it draws parallels with Twilight, Meghan being the new girl and Adam and his family, with a dark and mysterious reputation. What I really liked about this book was the fact that the premise of the story are the elements....the basic building blocks of life, Earth, Fire, Water and Air. Ms. Fallon laid out a good ground to the story. The background is well placed and the rapport between the main characters is beautifully done.

The way she portrays the Irish landscape was just marvelous. I found myself transported inside the book with every page. The action is also very nicely played out.....very palpable. The one thing I didn't like was the fact that Meghan and Adam professed their love a little too quickly...while I did love the passion they share but it just happened a bit too soon.....Still I want to know what book 2 has in store for us.

"Elemental action and passionate love - you should try this book - you wouldn't be disappointed"

Genre :      Young Adult, Paranormal, Romance

Publisher: HarperTeen

Rate:             /5 (Really Liked It)

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

"A Post-Apocalyptic Birthday Giveaway" WINNER

Hey Folks,

We have the winner from my birthday giveaway.


Monday, 29 October 2012

The Shadow Throne

My third Indian literature by a modern author and this is the first I actually liked. Presenting The Shadow Throne by Aroon Roman.

Here is the summary of the book:

India faces nuclear armageddon. A mysterious murder at the Qutub Minar triggers a call to ace journalist Chandrasekhar from his cop acquaintance, Inspector Syed Ali Hassan. The victim is unlike anyone Chandra has ever seen: a white Caucasian male who has all the looks of a throwback to Greek antiquity. Soon after, Hassan calls in to report the case has been taken away from him – in all likelihood by RAW – the Research & Analysis Wing, the uber-agency of Indian intelligence. What began as a murder enquiry soon morphs into a deadly game of hide-and-seek within the shadowy world of Pakistan’s ISI and India’s RAW; and Chandra, his friend history professor Meenakshi Pirzada and Hassan find themselves in a race against time to avert a sub-continental nuclear holocaust. As the action moves to its hair-raising climax among the Hindu Kush Mountains of Afghanistan, Chandra must face up to the fact that Inspector Hassan is not all that he seems …

Out of all the modern literature i have read, I always had some problem or other with one of them but it is safe to say that I genuinely liked this book. This is a thriller genre....and a million things could go wrong with this but its safe to say that Mr. Raman presented things rather beautifully and managed to get us readers enthralled.

It all began as a strange and mysterious murder case at Qutub Minar. The inspector on case Syed Ali Hassan brings in his friend, an ace journalist Chandrashekar. The victim, a Caucasian male has the appearance of a throwback that predates the time of the ancient Greeks. Things escalate to new lights. Some thing more and much bigger is going on here. There is a mother of all conspiracy going on here and Hassan, Chandra and another accomplice Meenakshi are pooling every resources to put a stop to this madness before India faces Nuclear Armageddon.

Finally, trying to not divulge the story, it is safe to say that The Shadow Throne is an amazing read. While we have three main characters here but much of the attention is sure to be on Hassan and Chandra since they are the ones trekking throughout the book to stop the bad from happening. The perspective also changes a lot but very much balanced here. Also loved the way Mr. Raman wove the twist and turns and facts throughout. I confess though I did not feel connected with the characters, they were it felt just there. The plot was rather much more interesting than they were. My God was it an interesting read. A thumbs up for me!

Genre :      Thriller

Publisher: Pan Macmillan India

My Copy Publisher

Rate:              4/5 (Really Liked It)

Sunday, 28 October 2012

The Night Circus

Definitely a great reading week for me......another masterpiece this one is. My God! I still can't believe that book is that amazing. Presenting The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern.

Here is the summary of the book:

The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night. But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway—a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them, this is a game in which only one can be left standing, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will. Despite themselves, however, Celia and Marco tumble headfirst into love—a deep, magical love that makes the lights flicker and the room grow warm whenever they so much as brush hands. True love or not, the game must play out, and the fates of everyone involved, from the cast of extraordinary circus per­formers to the patrons, hang in the balance, suspended as precariously as the daring acrobats overhead. Written in rich, seductive prose, this spell-casting novel is a feast for the senses and the heart.

Circus..there was a time when people used to anticipate the coming of a circus every year. Of the amazing animals there, the acrobats doing wondrous flips on ropes and jumps to the ohhs and ahhss of a rapt audience and the magician pulling out rabbits from their hats or getting a volunteer to apply their tricks on. That was the time when such simple acts would arouse such joy in the people but in this technological age the novelty of circus is somehow lost on us.

But Erin Morgenstern has done what many had failed to do so. She has painted a picture of the circus like no other. How well do you see the instruments, all the brain storming, all the planning that goes into the creation and proceedings of a circus. How well do you see the machination involved in the illusionist's act....we only see what is infront of us. Thus, this is where the book gets interesting. Ms. Morgenstern paints a picture like no other.

Le Cirque des Rêves, the circus of dreams, the night circus, for it opens just when the sun sets and closes when when dawn lights the skies. A circus like no other, formed of great-a-many tents instead of a single large tent and colored only in strips of black and white. Almost dreamlike and mystical. The author takes us on a tour that is sure edge its mark upon our memories. Acrobats, trained animals, illusionist, won't see a circus like no other. But at heart it is the battleground for two magicians Celia and Marco.

Both bound by their masters, Prospero & Mr. A.H. duel to best the other. Both being trained in ways different than the other. As the duel proceeds....the poor souls know nothing of what is asked of them. Rules were never specified. What is expected of them is never specified. They have no inclination of how the winner shall be selected. So, they go about erecting tents trying to impress the other. But then they meet each other and what began as a duel takes the shape of a love story, every tent they erect, a form of love letter to the other recipient. When worst comes to worst they realize what is actually asked of them, they take drastic steps in order to remain together.

Shelved as an 'adult fiction' it can be actually be a cross between an adult and a young adult fiction. Told in a circular fashion accentuating the concept of the circle of life and of the circus, one time it tells the story in the present, the next we get the flashbacks, another perspective shows us the outsiders looking in and another from the author's own giving us a tour of sorts. And this may be Celia and Marco's tale, where a bunch of other characters get entangled in the mess but at large the true hero of this story in the circus. Because it is the circus that is the battleground, it is the circus that sets the stage and it is the circus that connects them all.

"Mystical and dreamlike, Erin Morgentern paints a true picture of the circus never before seen with her cunning penmanship and a seductive prose"

Genre :      Adult Fiction, Paranormal

Publisher: Doubleday

Rate:             /5 (It was Awesome)

Thursday, 25 October 2012


A classic masterpiece. Another book that deserves your undivided attention. Presenting 1984 by George Orwell.

Here is the summary of the book:

Written in 1948, 1984 was George Orwell's chilling prophecy about the future. And while 1984 has come and gone, Orwell's narrative is timelier than ever. 1984 presents a startling and haunting vision of the world, so powerful that it is completely convincing from start to finish. No one can deny the power of this novel, its hold on the imaginations of multiple generations of readers, or the resiliency of its admonitions a legacy that seems only to grow with the passage of time.

This is the lord of all things dystopia. A relic of old if you will but definitely not a must read because not many have the patience to go through a classic novel and its long winding paragraphs. Now i'm not going to go in depth with this review because this is one book that you need to read yourself to understand the authors motifs and while all his predictions may not have come true for all....with a few exceptions to the rule but the Orwellian masterpiece is one you don't want to miss out on.

Thought crime, thought police or the concept of Big Brother, an entity that keeps a close eye on everything that is happening in the city. Well reading this you'll definitely understand where and how the concept of big brother and its adversary reality shows may have sprung up. Imagine a world where one single stray though can be detrimental to your safety. One single thought can be your undoing. 




Orwell really gives a new meaning to them with his penmanship. That famous chapter nine definitely cuts up a new, gives a new meaning to the hollow within. In a world overloaded by laws Winston maintains his illicit romance, the torture, the manipulation.....a raw power in the making.

"An Orwellian saga you don't want to miss out on if you are a Dystopia fan"

Genre :      Classic, Dystopia

Publisher: Signet Classics

Rate:             /5 (Really Liked It)

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Waiting on Wednesday #7

Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection :

The impossible was just the beginning. Now in their second year as superhuman government weapons-in-training at the Pentagonal Spire, Tom Raines and his friends are mid-level cadets in the elite combat corps known as the Intrasolar Forces. But as training intensifies and a moment arrives that could make or break his entire career, Tom’s loyalties are again put to the test.Encouraged to betray his ideals and friendships for the sake of his country, Tom is convinced there must be another way. And the more aware he becomes of the corruption surrounding him, the more determined he becomes to fight it, even if he sabotages his own future in the process.

Drawn into a power struggle more dramatic than he has ever faced before, Tom stays a hyperintelligent step ahead of everyone, like the exceptional gamer he is—or so he believes. But when he learns that he and his friends have unwittingly made the most grievous error imaginable, Tom must find a way to outwit an enemy so nefarious that victory seems hopeless. Will his idealism and bravado cost him everything—and everyone that matters to him?

Filled with action and intelligence, camaraderie and humor, the second book in S.J. Kincaid’s futuristic World War III Insignia trilogy continues to explore fascinating and timely questions about power, politics, technology, loyalty, and friendship.

Shadow of the Mark (Carrier Trilogy #2)

Life for Megan Rosenberg just got a lot more complicated.

While she evoked the air element, and her feelings for Adam intensified, a web of lies, deceit, and betrayal was spun around her. With the Order tightening its hold, and the reinstatement of the Mark Knights, Megan has more questions than answers as the Marked Ones grow in strength.

New people arouse suspicion, the DeRises start behaving strangely, and Megan begins to unravel a destiny shrouded in mystery. It’s a destiny the Order has struggled to hide, and a destiny someone from the past… far in the past, has already laid claim to.

Alliances will be made, and friends will be lost, as the Order’s dark secrets are revealed by the very thing they sought to destroy.

Gameboard of the Gods (Age of X #1)

In a futuristic world nearly destroyed by religious extremists, Justin March lives in exile after failing in his job as an investigator of religious groups and supernatural claims. But Justin is given a second chance when Mae Koskinen comes to bring him back to the Republic of United North America (RUNA). Raised in an aristocratic caste, Mae is now a member of the military’s most elite and terrifying tier, a soldier with enhanced reflexes and skills.

When Justin and Mae are assigned to work together to solve a string of ritualistic murders, they soon realize that their discoveries have exposed them to terrible danger. As their investigation races forward, unknown enemies and powers greater than they can imagine are gathering in the shadows, ready to reclaim the world in which humans are merely game pieces on their board.

Gameboard of the Gods, the first installment of Richelle Mead’s Age of X series, will have all the elements that have made her YA Vampire Academy and Bloodlines series such megasuccesses: sexy, irresistible characters; romantic and mythological intrigue; and relentless action and suspense.


Do check out my birthday INT giveaway folks, still 5 days left. Prize is a copy of Ashfall and Ashen Winter.

Thursday, 18 October 2012


Hey guys! I'm glad to present another new book to you guys - THE OLIGARCH: A THRILLER by G W Eccles.

From the author himself:-

The devil's in the detail 

One of the key problems an author has in setting a novel in Russia is that Russia is not like everywhere else. Of course, if you wander around the centre of Moscow and St Petersburg for a few days, the only apparent difference may seem to be the Cyrillic. But if you scratch below the surface, then you will find the way that the average Russian lives and behaves is very different. If you move out of the big cities in western Russia and cross the Volga into Siberia, where the heart of Russia lies, then you are most definitely entering a different world.

Of course, one can read about Russia, search the internet for photos of possible settings, or buy a travel book, but to be honest this doesn't get around the problem. The best novels set in Russia effectively turn Russia itself into one of the book's characters: as you read them, you feel they could be set nowhere else because, otherwise, one of the main characters would be lost. How does one achieve this? Well, it is not easy: the devil's in the detail. Let me give some examples to show what I mean.

Everyone has read about the political and business corruption in Russia, the questionable means by which some oligarchs amassed their fortunes, and the activities of the so-called Russian mafia. However, corruption in Russia runs much deeper than this and permeates right through its officialdom to the lowest levels. People expect to make bribes in Russia, it is part of their way of life. The traffic police, known colloquially as GAIs, operate outside the system of the mainstream police force and comprises simple people, very badly paid. They will stop cars at random, accuse the driver of speeding, dangerous driving, drinking or having deficient papers, and threaten to take the driver down to the station. As a matter of course, the driver will then make a bribe and be allowed to go about his business. As an expat, it is important to know how much to bribe: if you give too little, then you will be stopped by another GAI a little further on and be forced to go through the same procedure.

Getting your own goods in or out of Russia can be an ordeal in itself. For example, having lived in the Former Soviet Union for many years, I was finally leaving and made arrangements for my two dogs to be flown back to France. A few hours before the flight, my secretary received a call to say that the customs office's network had gone down, so they would not be able to process my dogs that evening. I asked my secretary to call them back and ask them how much it would cost for the network to start working again, and without any shame she was told $200.

It is perhaps instances like these that has helped bring about the mistrust most Russians have towards officials. In particular, the horrors of the Soviet system significantly affects the way older people behave: if you are walking along a main street, for instance, you will be struck by the way that older people look steadfastly ahead of them or stare at the pavement, reluctant to catch a stranger's eye. This goes back to the days when acknowledging someone who might be 'under investigation', albeit accidentally, was a dangerous practice. On one occasion in mid-winter, the temperature about -20C, I watched from my car window pedestrian stepping over a drunk lying unconscious on a centre traffic island and in severe danger of dying of hypothermia. No one would risk helping a stranger.

Rich people have bodyguards - often not just one, but half-a-dozen. They will drive around in their four-wheel drive with blackened windows accompanied by the bodyguards in similar cars in front and behind of them. Neither drivers nor bodyguards ever wear uniform, but tend to be scruffy and look like 'hoods'. On one occasion, a friend of mine was stuck in a traffic jam in Tverskaya (Moscow's main street) when such a car behind him began hooting repeatedly. After a few minutes, my friend got out and walked back towards the car. On reaching it, the car window opened to reveal a gun appeared aimed at my friend, who walked resignedly back towards his car, discretion being definitely the best part of valour.

The first sight of a their allocated accommodation is normally a shock to most Westerners when they first arrive in Russia. Of course, there are now many modern apartment blocks in Moscow and St Petersburg, normally somewhat flashier than in the west, but with all mod-cons. However, these don't exist in Siberia at all, and even in the main western Russian cities ex-pats will tend to live in apartment blocks which were formally communal flats (apartments which would be shared by four or five families). While the apartments will have been subject to an expensive 'remont' (the Russian world for renovation), many of the other apartments in the same block will still be communal flats. Westerners are normally horrified by: first, the entrances to the blocks, which often stench of urine from passing down-and-outs who have sought shelter under the stairs ; second, the walls of communal area being literally covered with obscene graffiti; and finally, the fact that no amount of rent-a-kill will manage to eliminate the cockroaches from the walls their apartments. Some of your neighbours might be somewhat dubious too: one day soon after I moved into an apartment not far from the Kremlin, my young son drew my attention to a man in his vest sitting on the balcony across the courtyard cleaning his guns.

Shopping is another activity which is different for most Russians. The oligarchs and their wives may drop in and out of Tiffany or Gucci, but in Siberia (and elsewhere) the average Russians do most of their shopping in their local open-air market. There is no formal structure to these markets, just rows of makeshift stalls, manned by elderly men and women but operated by a local criminal cartel. Food, clothes, second-hand electrical goods, spares for cars or televisions and so on occupy stall after stall in a very haphazard fashions, and the aisles stream with shoppers barging their way through the crowds. Much of the food looks almost inedible to Western eyes. Every now and then there will be a young man selling branded electrical goods (almost certainly either fake or 'fallen of the back of a lorry') from the open back of a van.

Restaurants in Siberia, in particular, have hardly moved on from the Soviet days. They tend to occupy enormous, garishly painted, unatmospheric rooms with very high ceilings. In winter the heating will be totally inadequate. Do not be fooled by the long menu a surly waitress might toss down on your table: most of the dishes listed will not be available, and those that are may well be inedible. I can remember being confronted, inter alia, with a whole tongue with protruding veins clearly visible, horsemeat, raw fish soaked in strong vinegar and raw onions, and 'white caviar' (little bubbles that popped in the mouth excreting a sour, smelly liquid). Stick to the soups which are often bland, but normally edible, as you listen to the obligatory local pop group miming to very loud taped music and watch groups of local Russian women dancing with one another.

In The Oligarch: A Thriller I worked very hard to get all the detail as accurate as possible. I was helped enormously in this task by my wife who lived with me in Russia and Central Asia for ten years. I am sure we didn't get everything right, but I made every effort to ensure that this thriller is one of the most authentic. As I said at the beginning, if you are going to set a novel in Russia, then Russia itself has to be one of the main characters. I hope I have achieved this.

The Book:-

THE OLIGARCH: A THRILLER is available from Foyles, Amazon, Barnes & Noble and all other major online book stores. Links to these stores can be found on the novel's website: .

\Synopsis: Following his controversial election for a third term amid widespread protests and allegations of vote rigging, the Russian President is determined to destroy the oligarchs before they destroy him. When the global economic meltdown decimates their wealth, the President seizes this chance to demolish their power base. His greatest opponent - Anton Blok, owner of the mighty Tyndersk Kombinat - has a secret agenda and faces far more than just financial ruin as his empire threatens to fall apart, and the President knows that his old enemy will stop at nothing to avoid catastrophe. With battlelines drawn, he turns to Alex Leksin, a business troubleshooter of Russian descent, to thwart Blok's plans. Against the challenge of hostile Arctic conditions, Leksin must tread a dangerous path through a labyrinth of corruption, terrorism and obfuscation until the exciting and unexpected denouement takes place in Russia’s northernmost seaport. Set in Moscow, Ingushetia (Chechnya’s neighbour), and Tyndersk, a Siberian mining town inside the Arctic Circle and geographically cut off from the rest of Russia, the plot twists and turns within an authentic and disturbing background.

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Crewel World #1 Crewel

This has been one of the best weeks of my reading history i'm getting to read all sorts of amazing books....that literally needs you to be present in both body and mind to understand what it is about.....Crewel was one such book. Presenting Crewel World #1 Crewel by Gennifer Albin.

Here is the summary of the book:

Incapable. Awkward. Artless. That’s what the other girls whisper behind her back. But sixteen year-old Adelice Lewys has a secret: she wants to fail. Gifted with the ability to weave time with matter, she’s exactly what the Guild is looking for, and in the world of Arras, being chosen as a Spinster is everything a girl could want. It means privilege, eternal beauty, and being something other than a secretary. It also means the power to embroider the very fabric of life. But if controlling what people eat, where they live and how many children they have is the price of having it all, Adelice isn’t interested. Not that her feelings matter, because she slipped and wove a moment at testing, and they’re coming for her—tonight. Now she has one hour to eat her mom’s overcooked pot roast. One hour to listen to her sister’s academy gossip and laugh at her Dad’s stupid jokes. One hour to pretend everything’s okay. And one hour to escape. Because once you become a Spinster, there’s no turning back.

I am SPEECHLESS.....literally in awe of this book. This book....its much bigger than any other dystopia released to date. YOU ALL MARK MY WORDS....CREWEL WORLD is much more than the HUNGER GAMES EVER WAS....MARK MY WORDS ALL OF YOU!! (Also i read the Faber and Faber imprint of the book but i'm using the US cover because I like this one much better than that).

OK! You all saw me up there in the above paragraph....many of you are thinking I'm just exaggerating but i'm really is bigger, better and more dangerous than THG...Come on having the power to control time and matter, the ability to alter or raze entire space and time to put rebels to stop in an instant...that is much more dangerous than pitting children against each other in a murderous game.

Fascinatingly crafted and extremely fresh out of the box...this is the story of Aras, a world under the jurisdiction of the Guild. A ministry of sorts, the ruling party. Going so far as to rule over every aspects of life....over the seams of time. That is what the Coventry exists for. (GOD this is another book that is so good that i'm finding it very hard to review....but i'll try and hope you all are with me). The Coventry controls the fabrics of time and matter, a group of spinsters...working the looms, weaving the strands of time and matter around them. Everything in their hands, each life, each element....if they are commanded to remove something or someone....remove entire towns....all they need to do is to cut the string and it happens.....and there is no going back from there. The assailant (against the government) can make all the noises they want....but at the end they just stand by, unable to do anything.

This is the story of Adelice....chosen by the Guild during the testing period to serve Aras as a spinster at the Coventry but under the severe tutelage of her parents...she rebels from the start.....pushed into a world she barely understood, a dangerous every turn facing for her instant death or the threat of losing her only family forces her to somewhat submit. The Spinsters, it seems are the actual rulers, wielding the power of time but Adelice soon understands that it is the deceptive and manipulative men, the Guild rulers who are the real threat. But Aras is built upon secrets, secrets that have the power to shake its foundation.....and as the noose tightens around Adelice to submit to the Guild fully, she must find her footing before she becomes the perfect marionette. Dancing to the wimp of the Guild and loose all she holds dear.

Again I say Gennifer Albin has left me speechless. The level of creativity, the perfectly astounding world building, the narrative and the idea to use Crewel work (a form of embroidery) as the way the spinsters control the elements around them. Now a story it seems is always incomplete without romance, but while a love triangle begins to form it takes a back seat and instead focuses on Adelice getting her baring. I definitely liked the evident growth of Adelice as a strong character throughout it all. At first she rebels.....that's all does but as the story progresses she learns the know-how of the world and turns out to be a decisive heroine worthy of consideration.

It is actually very interesting how the authors are constantly pushing the boundaries of this genre with their heightened imagination always coming out with such new and fresh ideas that have never been attempted before. Time and matter are the basic building blocks of life....control over them may well translate into it being the ultimate form of dystopia, no free will, never knowing what may happen to you the minute you start having conflicting thoughts. I absolutely loved it. While there is no news of the name of the next book.....but seeing the explosive ending of this book.....i'm definitely creweling with anticipation about what danger it would bring.....I definitely want to see this book made in a movie.

"Truly, bigger, better and much more dangerous  than the Hunger Games" 

Genre :      Young Adult, Sci-fi, Dystopia

Publisher: Faber and Faber

My Copy Publisher and Netgalley

Rate:              5/5 (It was Amazing)

The Tattooed Fakir

Good concept.....but a dis-balanced output. Presenting my views on The Tattooed fakir by Biman Nath.

Here is the summary of the book:

Northern Bengal; late eighteenth century. The new colonial rulers face an unlikely army of fakirs and sannyasis. At the same time, a few indigo plantations have come up in the countryside. The French keep a low profile, and even indulge in indigo trade espionage. A young woman – Roshanara – is kidnapped by the village zamindar. The British sahib, owner of the indigo plantation, intervenes, but then takes her as his own mistress. She is not, however, any local woman – she is a fakir’s daughter. Her fakir father and her husband Asif go to Majnu Shah’s band of fakirs to plead for help in getting her back. Asif feels nothing is left for him in the village and joins the fakirs, training in the use of weapons and ammunition, skirmishing with them up and down the country, but pining, always, for his Roshanara. Years later, in an oddly fated rescue mission he ends up, not with her, but with her son – Roshan – who evolves into a ferocious fakir soldier, tattooed and insecure about his identity. A spare, elegant rendition of an era from the margins of history, The Tattooed Fakir underlines helplessness and rage, of the powerful and the powerless alike.

My second Indian lit by modern writer - my first ever signed copy I won from a contest by the publishers and i'm sorely disappointed. I'm saddened by the fact that it is evident that the authors come up with such great concepts but when the time comes to execute that idea they miss by a major hiccup. That is the case of  how this book suffers big time and I definitely did not expect it from an acclaimed author like Mr. Nath (sorry I don't want to sound harsh but I endeavor to present it all honestly; will contain spoilers though)

Divided into three parts and set in the time of the early periods of the British rule in northern Bengal. This is the story of Asif whose is taken to the Indigo estate to safeguard her against the evil eyes of the village zamindar....but things go downhill when the Indigo planter, an English man, MacLean intervenes and takes her as his mistress. So no idea where to go and get help from Asif joins the fakirs in a bid to revolt and somehow rescue his wife. And that is where it begins to deteriorate for the story.

I'll say it again the only positive point of this book is it concept and the way the author depicts the notions of exile, revolt against the British, and the segregation of society into the rural and the urban folks. But let me now point out he factors that deteriorate the story. It should have been a revenge specific story. Asif's wife is taken but after a few initial chapters it all goes stale and drag. Asif lacks the vigor, sure he is a lowly farmer but should have shown much more determination instead he joins the fakirs, delaying the inevitable....even goes far as being sent to Tipu Sultan to learn rocket tech. Then there is the constant POV changes, alternating so much could have sustained a balanced; there are many books out there that use alternating POVs but still managed a balance. The characterization is also done badly.

Last and the most important the title itself. This book is titled Tattooed Fakir....but their is no sign of the titular character until the final divide of this book. Which is the biggest negative point of the book. Either you expect the titular character the illegitimate child of Roshanara and MacLean to be present since the beginning, maybe appear almost midway but he becomes the focus at the end and even he is lack luster. The tattoed fakir should have at least attained a strong presence (physical, ethereal .... or whatever) but sadly it missed on that front too. Finally the ending itself was just hurried as if the author just somehow needed a way to end it. I'm truly sorry but I didn't like it at all.

"Honestly this book needs a well deserved polish"

Genre :      Historical Fiction

Publisher: Pan Macmillan India

My Copy Courtesy of Pan Macmillan India's "Take Action Week" contest.

Rate:              1/5 (Didn't Like It)

Thursday, 11 October 2012

The Iron Legends

No questions asked just read ahead folk. Presenting The Iron Fey #1.5, 3.5, 4.5 The Iron Legends by Julie Kagawa.

Here is the summary of the book:

Enter the world of the internationally bestselling Iron Fey series. Dangerous faeries. Heartbreaking romance. Thrilling action and limitless adventure. The world of the fey has never been so powerful. This collection includes three novellas set in the world of the Iron Fey plus the Guide to the Iron Fey with exclusive information about Julie Kagawa's unforgettable world of Faery.

Winter's Passage

Never make a promise to a faery. They always come to collect. Now Meghan Chase must fulfill her promise to Prince Ash of the Winter Court and embark upon a dangerous journey into the heart of enemy territory—while being pursued by a relentless new foe and guarding her own foolish heart.

Summer's Crossing

What can turn enemies into reluctant allies? A call from the Exile Queen, Leanansidhe, ties legendary prankster Puck to his archenemy, Prince Ash, on a journey that may end in betrayal and will set them both on an irreversible path.

Iron's Prophecy

Before she ever knew what she might become, Iron Queen Meghan Chase was warned by the oracle that her firstborn child would bring nothing but grief. And even as Meghan and Ash celebrate their long-awaited union, the prophecy stirs.…

Three Iron Fey novellas for the first time in print!

Since I don't want to repeat it again. This is an anthology of all the iron fey novellas released to date -  Winter's Passage, Summer's Crossing and Iron Prophecy. Summer, Winter and Iron together at last. Along with a few other goodies.

I had already read and reviewed Winter's Passage and Summer's Crossing, so i won't be getting into it again, but got to say it was marvelous to read it again. You all can find my reviews of -

Winter's Passage review - here
Summer's Crossing review - here

Moving on to what I really want to show you guys is the latest novella released in the series, Iron Prophecy. Happens sometimes after the Iron Knight ended. The oracle appears at the Elysium this time held in Tir Na Nog, and warns the Iron Queen about the destructive future wrought by her child in the future.....oh a little spoiler here (only this once) you might want to read this particular short before you tackle The Lost Prince, helps you big time.....

But enough now..... i'd like to finally say.....

Winter's Passage (Iron Fey, #1.5)  Summer's Crossing (Iron Fey, #3.5)  Iron's Prophecy (The Iron Fey, #4.5)
Explosively marvelous as always Ms. Kagawa. This particular novella (Iron Prophecy) brings out the changes in Ash after his sojourn with Puck, Grim and some unexpected allies to the end of the world and back to gain a soul. He is much more kinder and compassionate now and is able to openly show his feelings now that he is no longer the Winter prince (exiled from the winter court). I specially loved this new side of Ash that he only reserves for Meghan. Puck and Grim make an appearance as always.... In short as always a job well done. Hope we will get to see more shorts like this.

"Summer, Winter and Iron - Perfect & Magically fantabulous keeper edition"

Genre :      Young Adult, Paranormal, Anthology

Publisher: Harlequin Teen

Rate:             /5 (It was Amazing)

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Interview with L.B. Schulman


Look whose visiting our blog today, L.B. Schulman, the author of LEAGUE OF STRAYS....lets see what she tells us.

Q: What is the best part of writing for you?

The excitement I feel when I know something is going well. My writing has finally gotten to the point where I can re-read what I wrote the day before and think, "Hey, this isn't too bad!" When the writing flows, it's an amazing experience. The characters take over and practically write the book for me sometimes and those are the moments that give me chills.

Q: How do you research a book before you begin the writing process?

Every book is different. Some require more research than others. I try to research as I write rather than before, because it's easy for me to get caught up in the research and spend too much time doing that, in part, because I'm afraid to actually start the project. So now I typically write the first draft and put notes in the document to research the facts later on.

Q: How would you describe your book in 5 words? Also for yourself too.

Dark, intense, honest, thought-provoking thriller. (Okay, that's six, but the hyphen allows me to cheat, right?)

For me? Kind, funny, quirky, persevering, and dependable.

Q: Describe Kade and Charlotte in 5 words?

Kade: Psychopath, intense, arrogant, manipulative, leader.

Charlotte: Naive, accepting, friendly, lonely, potential.

Q: The cover of the book is really awesome. Did you have any input on it while it was at its conception stage?

I think the cover captures Charlotte's desire to be with Kade but also her sense of fear. The way she is looking away, while Kade looks directly into the camera is also telling. He looks manipulative but he also doesn't shy away from it. I also liked the position of him behind her, holding onto her from the back. It reminds of the attack position in martial arts where someone grabs you from behind and you then get to flip him over the shoulder. Charlotte should to that, for sure. It's definitely a cover that makes you wonder....I got to vote on the cover models, but usually, authors don't get to have a lot of input on the design.

Q: Share your thoughts for budding authors.

Write for at least an hour every day. Join a critique group; they are very important. Also, read, read, and read some more. Study the young adult genre and find out what works for you and why and you will soon be able to write more smoothly and have some technique under your belt. Finally, be persistent. Query agents every week when you are ready and don't let rejection slow you down ever. Just keep revising and submitting. I wrote this book in a year and a half but it took another eight to find the right agent, the right publisher and to revise it 1,000 times in between.

CHECK OUT HER BOOK HERE(click on the cover to check out the description)

Also don't forget to check out my review of LEAGUE OF STRAYS here -
Click Here

Monday, 8 October 2012

League of Strays

That cover is sure a twilight-ish and paranormal-ish impression ...WAIT THATS WHERE YOU ARE WRONG .... came as a wonderful surprise and a marvelous read. I present before you all League of Strays by L.B. Schulman.

Here is the summary of the book:

This suspenseful debut follows a group of teenage misfits in their delicious quest for revenge on those who have wronged them at their high school. When a mysterious note appears in Charlotte’s mailbox inviting her to join the League of Strays, she’s hopeful it will lead to making friends. What she discovers is a motley crew of loners and an alluring, manipulative ringleader named Kade. Kade convinces the group that they need one another both for friendship and to get back at the classmates and teachers who have betrayed them. But Kade has a bigger agenda. In addition to vandalizing their school and causing fights between other students, Kade’s real intention is a dangerous plot that will threaten lives and force Charlotte to choose between her loyalty to the League and her own conscience.

Beautiful cover....gorgeous cover models. A very inviting cover this is too. This book is one of the cases where I look at the cover, be at awe at the excellence of it all and without finding out what the synopsis says get the start have the feeling that I shouldn't have gotten but as soon as I go to the middle I become speechless at the sheer magnificence of the book. Oh! I so loves it.

This is one story a lot of us can relate to. We have all gone through that, the time of life where you just want to fit in somewhere. And there are some who gravitate towards dangerous things just to make a mark and fit in. This is the idea that bases the book. Taken in by the mysterious, charming and the gorgeous looks of one Kade Harlin, four innocent students, form the League of Strays. A group designed to look out for its own. A group that dances to the tune of Harlin. But commenceth the acts of is upto the other inmates to learn to say 'NO'.

Kade, Charlotte, Richie, Zoe & Nora form the league of strays. While the five member team has some good scenes it is evident enough that Kade and Charlotte form the protagonist quota of the book. Kade Harlin, gorgeous, charming, mysterious, dangerous and manipulative.....oh there is so much more I want to name for him but it would give up the story. He is the leader...definitely a manipulative leader. He sure knows how to play up on the emotions of others, twist them to suit his own purpose. Do anything for his need for revenge. Then there is Charlotte, naive and rather too meek. I definitely hated her at first, because she was out to do everything Kade asked her to do, a girl with issues regarded mixing up with others, the perpetual wallflower. But as the story progresses she grows to be more confident and much more independent and I liked that.

Alongwith these two, the other three felt somewhat well rounded and very natural. Also a little slow at first, the book does pick up speed as it picks up speed and I very much liked that Schulman maintained the suspense tone till everything began to unravel. The book could have been a bit better but it was a very good read. Good work by the author L.B. Schulman. It was a sure thrilling ride.

"Dark, twisted, manipulative and suspenseful, Schulman's work takes us through the halls of high school to the hearts of those lonely and looking to do anything to change that"

Genre :      Young Adult, Contemporary

Publisher: Abrams

My Copy Publisher and Netgalley

Rate:              5/5 (It was Amazing)

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Gone with the Respiration #1 Dearly, Departed

Its another Dystopia(my favorite kind), another twilight wannabe? DEFINITELY NOT....but hilarious and a new outlook to life? DEFINITELY YES. Presenting Gone with the Respiration #1 Dearly, Departed by Lia Habel.

Here is the summary of the book:

Love can never die. Love conquers all, so they say. But can Cupid’s arrow pierce the hearts of the living and the dead—or rather, the undead? Can a proper young Victorian lady find true love in the arms of a dashing zombie? In Dearly, Departed, romance meets walking-dead thriller, spawning a madly imaginative novel of rip-roaring adventure, spine-tingling suspense, and macabre comedy that forever redefines the concept of undying love.

Its dystopic, with the romantic backdrop in a mortally divided new world. Okay that may have gotten a bit over the top but let me try to explain it again, a post apocalyptic world, a future where all the known cities or cultures, Britain, America or the other....they are no longer there but instead survivors have banded together to create New Victoria, reverted back to the victorian beliefs with advance sciences and then there are the Punks who believe in what the nature provides them with.

I was a bit skeptical at first about this, decided to take it up for a train journey...but let tell you all this book surprised me. At first this sounded just like another Twilight wannabe....but IT TOTALLY WASN'T. OH I TOTALLY LOVE THIS BOOK. This is one amazing rendition with a dystopic future, new Victorian society, Zombies, steampunk and the evolving romance between the two protagonists Nora and Bram. Again this is another book that i am finding a bit hard to review because the book was so good.

Nora Dearly is a New Victoria girl, much more interested in warfare, machinery and political affairs, definitely not something a refined young girl needs to be interested in. Nora is smart, has a good head on her shoulders, and knows right from wrong but is also very impulsive sometimes. Living in mourning for her dead scientist father, Nora has a wary personality but doesn't shy away from the truth....not one bit i tell you. Then she gets kidnapped by the undead and her life does a complete u-turn. She begins to understand the world around her with a new perspective, about her father's work, about the truth that the government hid from them.

Then there is Bram, he is well........he is the zombie here. But that is where the story gets interesting and fresh. There are two different types of zombies, one that are classic type, the mindless-flesh eating ones and the other category is the ones who still regain a semblance of life and are able to keep their heads thorough it all. The second category is the one Bram belongs to. Charming, witty and considerate Bram has all the qualities of a leading man and just like Nora, the strength to fight for what is right.

With the story being told from 5 POVs..yup you heard it right, I said five. It was refreshing and entertaining to hear what Nora and Bram think of each other at first. It all changes as she Nora starts to adapt to her new world and much better and falls for Bram. All Nora sees at first is a zombie, that shouldn't be allowed to live and all Bram sees is just a human girl who they need to protect. For the first time i'm rooting for a you even hear me speaking. I'm simply speechless at the intensity and the passion that Bram and Nora have come to share. The one bonus factor about this book, no love triangle...thank God!

Lia Habel...I am adding you to my list of favorite authors now. This is another must read. Messing cross-over genres, Habel has created a self-sustained saga, there is action, drama, suspense, the ever-present zombies, war, and romance. Every page spring up the action as it is happening just before our eyes. She has turned me into a zombie lover and that's saying something.

"A Dystopic romance in a war-torn tribal society. A hilarious and intense new turn of events to the zombie genres"

Genre :      Young Adult, Paranormal, Dystopia, Post-Apocalyptic, Romance, Stempunk

Publisher: Del Ray

Rate:              5/5 (It was Amazing)

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