Friday, 31 October 2014

Gods, Kings & Slaves: The Siege of Madurai

Presenting Gods, Kings & Slaves: The Siege of Madurai by R. Venketesh.

Here is the summary of the book:

War is coming... An ancient kingdom will meet a devastating new enemy.

Peninsular India, fourteenth century. The Pandyan empire is at its peak, its enemies subdued and its people at peace. Having left behind his step-brother Sundar in the race to the throne, Crown Prince Veera Pandyan is set to rule from Madurai, reputed to be the richest city in the subcontinent. But invisible fractures within the kingdom threaten to destroy it, and a new enemy approaches, swifter than anyone can imagine.

In Delhi, Sultan Alauddin Khilji’s trusted general, the eunuch Malik Kafur, has trained his eyes on the distant south, fabled for its riches. A slave captured by the Khiljis, Kafur is renowned for his ambition and cunning. None, not even the mighty Mongols, have defeated him – no empire can withstand the trail of destruction he leaves in his wake. And all he wants is to see Madurai on its knees, its wealth pillaged, its temples destroyed.

As an ancient city combusts in flames of treachery, bloodlust and revenge, brother will battle brother, ambition will triumph over love, slaves will rise to rule, cities will be razed to dust, and the victor will be immortalized in history...

The majority of the Indian literature is basically filled with contemporary romance and historical fiction, with some fantasy thrown in. Historical Fiction is a personal favorite, this I approached Gods, Kings & Slave with exuberance. Rightly so, this is a book based on Southern Indian History. I know only the bare minimum details about Southern History and that too only the outlines.

With eager anticipations, I began reading. Based on the time of the Pandayan Empire, the author tells his story oscillating between the perspectives of Crown Prince Veera Pandayan of Madurai and Malik Kafur, Allaudin Khilji's trusted General who had his eyes on Madurai for quite some time. R. Venketesh had woven a strong plot, filled with deception, romance and power plays. Treachery and ambitious endeavors abound Gods, Kings..... caters to everyone's needs.

The only reason I gave it a 3 star would be because while the author did a great job plotting out all of the points in the story, highlighting every aspect. I lost interest in it after the third part began.It just didn't hold my interest anymore. Didn't resound with me. Maybe i'll pick it up again sometime later and see how it feels then.

"An intricate plot of South Indian History"

Genre :      Historical Fiction, Indian History

PublisherHachette India

Release Date: October, 2013

My CopyHachette India

Rate:              3/5 (Liked It)

Buy:           Amazon 

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

The Time Roads

Presenting The Time Roads by Beth Bernobich.

Here is the summary of the book:

A fantastical nineteenth century alternate historical steampunk romp from Beth Bernobich, the critically acclaimed author of the River of Souls trilogy.

Éire is one of the most powerful empires in the world. The Anglian Dependencies are a dusty backwater filled with resentful colonial subjects, Europe is a disjointed mess, and many look to Éire for stability and peace. In a series of braided stories, Beth Bernobich has created a tale about the brilliant Éireann scientists who have already bent the laws of nature for Man's benefit. And who now are striving to conquer the nature of time.

The Golden Octopus: Áine Lasairíona Devereaux, the young Queen of Éire, balances Court politics while pursing the Crown's goals of furthering scientific discovery. When those discoveries lead to the death and madness of those she loves, Áine must choose between her heart and her duty to her kingdom.

A Flight of Numbers Fantastique Strange: Síomón Madóc is desperately trying to discover who is killing the brightest of Éire's mathematicians. The key to saving lives lies in the future...and Síomón must figure out a way to get there.

Ars Memoriae: Éireann spymaster Aidrean Ó Deághaidh goes to the kingdom of Montenegro to investigate rumors of great unrest. But Ó Deághaidh is tormented by visions of a different timeline and suspects that someone in his own government is playing a double game….

The Time Roads: Éire stands on the brink of the modern age, but old troubles still plague the kingdom. An encounter with a mysterious stranger near death holds the clue to both the past and the future of the nation.

Steampunk, time travel, alternate history, The Time Roads boosts off many a qualities. A braided story into four parts, each telling a one big story relevant in four different situations. Revolving around the Éire Empire, which is clearly Ireland (in that world), i.e., Éire seems to be on top of the world, with the scientist looking towards achieving the mastery over time/ While there are some great elements to this story and with its braided style it is structured well but the heart of the matter I lost interest in it.

The first thing that felt rather disconcerting was the time definition. The story ages in a single paragraph and sometimes on the same page too. Then, the presentation of the story. To change scenes spaces between paragraphs are used and it becomes tedious to sift after sometime since one story spans quite a big number of pages. It would have been so much better had they segregated each of the four stories into smaller chapters. Would have been loads better that way. Neater too.

The abrupt endings of each stories also fazes us. The character development too felt dismal. It starts strong with Áine. She felt like a strong character at first, then out of nowhere , her father, the King dies. She is crowned Queen. There is the possible romance, which happens just like that. You have to pause and recollect everything that happened. One minute it looks like Áine will get together with her head bodyguard, the next second she is making out with the scientist when he is showing her his time travel experiment. With no development in chemistry before at all.

Of course, the cover also doesn't seem plausible as well but if they were going for the 'father time' concept ,then well and good. It is a stunning one though. Then there is the part of time travel and the manipulation of time. Now this is the part, that was actually the well written part of the story. Each of the strands depict different scientific figures, who experiment and manipulate time. Be it to save a life, save a kingdom or worse yet to raze one such. Out of all the negatives, the elements pertaining to time were the only ones well written. The steampunk was too. Thus the author it seemed only focused on these two elements and somehow forgot to develop the other elements as well.

"A well braided steampunk, time travel story with some major chinks in its armour"

Genre :      Alternate History, Fantasy, Steampunk, Time Travel

PublisherTor Books

Release Date: 14th October, 2014

My Copy: publisher & netgalley

Rate:              2/5 (It was Ok)

Buy:           Amazon | Book Depository 

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Owl Post #19 [September & October, 2014]

This meme, called Owl Post is created by Brodie of Eleusinian Mysteries inspired by In My Mailbox by The Story Siren. Been meaning to do this since forever and I just love this idea. I'm being a Ravenclaw since at the age of eleven and couldn't seem to remember to do this....kudos to Brodie for thinking about this!

Before you all proceed further, let me make something clear:-

1. Just like my IMM posts, this will not be done every Sunday but on the last Sunday of each month... the reason why you'll see a lot more books in here than normal.
2. This Owl Post will have all the books that I received in September & October, 2014.
3. Also it will feature a list of recap link at the bottom of the page, which enlists all the review, interviews and tour posts I have done that particular month. Now I expect you all to visit each link and give out a comment here and there(would very much appreciate it) and you all can link your reviews too, i'd love to comment.
4. You are all welcome to share what you all got in the comment section below....i'd love to visit....

For Review



Birthday Haul

My Birthday falls on 30th September, so these are what i got that day..... :-)

Throne of Glass #3 Heir of Fire - Sarah J. Maas

Saturday, 25 October 2014

Doctor Who: The Crawling Terror

Presenting Doctor Who: The Crawling Terror by Mike Tucker.

Here is the summary of the book:

"Well, I doubt you'll ever see a bigger insect."

Gabby Nichols is putting her son to bed when she hears her daughter cry out. 'Mummy there's a daddy longlegs in my room!' Then the screaming starts... Alan Travers is heading home from the pub when something rushes his face — a spider's web. Then something huge and deadly lumbers from the shadows... Kevin Alperton is on his way to school when he is attacked by a mosquito. A big one. Then things get dangerous.

But it isn't the dead man cocooned inside a huge mass of web that worries the Doctor. It isn't the swarming, mutated insects that make him nervous. It isn't an old man's garbled memories of past dangers that intrigue him.

With the village cut off from the outside world, and the insects becoming more and more dangerous, the Doctor knows that no one is safe. Not unless he can decode the strange symbols engraved on an ancient stone circle, and unravel a mystery dating back to the Second World War.

This is my first reading experience with Peter Capaldi's 12th Doctor (or 13th Doctor?) and Clara. Now that we have a sizable exposure to this Doctor after so many episodes, so we have an impression of what his incarnation is like.And since the release of the new series coincided with these tie-in novels. So from my point of view, the author should be congratulated on being able to put the 12th Doctor to words. Almost.

 The plot on the other hand was very well constructed. Had a classic Doctor Who feel to it too. Giant, mutated insects, arachnids of the crawling creeping kind, mysterious cobwebs, the villagers drugged to be susceptible to suggestion, a ring-stone and an old WWII secret of the past and the present. A classic recipe for adventure to get the Doctor excited.

Thus, while on every account this is a great adventure. For sure the author did his best tying up loose ends and every particular element to his story together but somehow it looses its shine. In almost every Doctor Who episode today, we see a lot of different strands that come together to make one episode. Here though it bores me slightly. It does pick up speed when the action begins so there's that but 'The Crawling Terror' is definitely not my favorite.

"The Doctor & Clara's romp among the creeping crawlies"

Genre :      Fantasy, Sci-fi, Tv tie-in

PublisherBroadway Books

Release Date: 9th September, 2014

My Copy: publisher and edelweiss

Rate:              3/5 (Liked It)

Other Books on Doctor Who 
                        (review links)
Buy:           Amazon

Sherlock Holmes in A Study in Scarlet

Presenting Sherlock Holmes in A Study in Scarlet by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle & Gris Grimly (Illustrator).

Here is the summary of the book:

A classic mystery by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle; the first in the Sherlock Holmes series. See how Holmes and Watson met for the first time. A baffling murder with puzzling clues and evil villains takes place and the cocaine-addicted, cold and quirky detective, with his razor-sharp deductive mind and obsessive attention to detail, is on the case. Told from the journals of his faithful companion, Dr. John Watson, join us for a trip to 221B Baker Street and the beginning of the legend of Sherlock Holmes.

Who doesn't know Sherlock Holmes! Everyone knows who he is and his evergreen side-kick Dr. Watson. Scintillating, mind-boggling, hair-raising adventures of the duo from the pen of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. And not a media or print in the world that hadn't emulated their adventures. Be it graphic novels, re-tellings, movies or tv shows/ Notably the Robert Downey Jr. & Jude Law starrer 'Sherlock Holmes' movies and the Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman starrer BBC mini-series 'Sherlock'.

Thus in all of its maiden glory, 'Sherlock Holmes in A Study in Scarlet' is the latest offering in the category. An illustrated representation. Yo go alongwith the story and enjoying it in a new way. By Gris Grimly, known for his 'dark whimsical art'. Of course there is nothing to note about the story in particular. Holmes & Dr. Watson's maiden voyage, A Study in Scarlet was how they began.

And Gris Grimly brought new light to this adventure with his imagery. Its beautiful, its elegant, its imaginative but most of all its different and I liked every part of it. I read the e-arc version acquired through edelweiss, so imagine how beautiful it would be in print. So guys, I highly recommend, you won't be disappointed. Go for it.

"A new way to reacquaint ourselves with Holmes & Watson"

Genre :      Classic, Historical Fiction, Mystery, Crime


Release Date: 1st December, 2014

My Copy: publisher & edelweiss

Rate:              5/5 (It was Amazing)

Buy:           Amazon | Book Depository 

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

The Fall

Presenting The Fall by Bethany Griffin.

Here is the summary of the book:

Madeline Usher is doomed.

She has spent her life fighting fate, and she thought she was succeeding. Until she woke up in a coffin.

Ushers die young. Ushers are cursed. Ushers can never leave their house, a house that haunts and is haunted, a house that almost seems to have a mind of its own. Madeline’s life—revealed through short bursts of memory—has hinged around her desperate plan to escape, to save herself and her brother. Her only chance lies in destroying the house.

In the end, can Madeline keep her own sanity and bring the house down?The Fall is a literary psychological thriller, reimagining Edgar Allan Poe’s classic The Fall of the House of Usher.

Bethany Griffin had done it again. After her stint with 'Masque of the Red Death', "The Fall" is another retelling of Edgar Allen Poe's famous "The Fall of the House of Usher". And brilliantly done too. Since I have not read the Poe original, so The Fall confused me at first but gradually I got the hang of things and was visibly intrigues by Griffin's haunting retelling of another classic.

The house of Usher is in one word haunted. Its haunting and it is haunted. With its malicious presence and its thralling powers the house keeps a tight leash on its residents. It is a cursed line, the Usher family. They don't live long. They can never leave the property and are slave to the enticement of the House. Madeline and her twin Roderick are the last of the Usher line and they do everything they can to be free. 

The mother favored the brother and the father favored the girl in his moments of lucidity. The brother got carted off to the boarding school but the sister was left behind. The brother then leaned towards logic and reason to explain the malady that affected the family. And Madeline who was firm believer choose to hear the House. Soon, Roderick's visits grew shorter and shorter and Madeline became a favorite to the House. At first she thought the haunted House only wanted to protect its residents but later came to realize the infernal malicious desires of the House and tried out ways to be free before it got her too.

Told primarily from Madeline Usher's perspective with a few in between voice of another relative named Lisbeth Usher. Short chapters ranging between ages 9 to 19 of Madeline. Bethany Griffin's flowing and fitting words bringing this haunting tale to existence. This is Madeline's struggle to freedom, to keep her sanity intact as she searches for ways to defeat the House, to escape the Doctors who do nothing but poke and prod and draw blood. The Fall chronicalizes not just her life but all of her inner-most thoughts and her insecurities. The effects of the House that creep upon her when she least expects it. At the end of the day though, she is the big sister and even if she envies the freedom afforded to her brother all she wants is to protect her brother.

Griffin's description of the House was just bone chilling. Riddled with twists and turns and creepiness. Every chapter produced new hair raising scenarios. Creeping us readers, showing us just how far the House would go beyond its limits just to get what it wants. You must have seen how I have been writing about the haunted House with a capital "H" instead of a small one because the place exerted its own presence throughout the book and the narrative is enough to pin-point just how important it is...... even if it creeped us into the next century. Marvelous job Bethany Griffin. *shivers*

"A hauntingly eerie tale of a cursed House and how the last Ushers defended themselves"

Genre :      Young Adult, Paranormal, Horror, Retelling, Gothic, Thriller

PublisherGreenwillow Books

Release Date: 7th October, 2014

My Copy: publisher & edelweiss

Rate:              4/5 (Really Liked It)

Other Books from the Author :
                               review links

Buy:           Amazon | Book Depository 

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Brokenhearted #2 The Invisble

Presenting Brokenhearted #2 The Invisble by Amelia Kahaney.

Here is the summary of the book:

In the riveting sequel to the reimagined superhero story The Brokenhearted, Anthem Fleet takes on a powerful new villain and makes some startling discoveries about her family and her past that will forever change her.

Taking up where The Brokenhearted ended, the sequel finds Anthem Fleet attempting to return to a normal life after an experimental surgery that left her with a bionic hummingbird heart and a terrifying new strength. But she can’t shake her suspicions about her father’s connection to the Syndicate and she can’t ignore the cries of help in the crime-ridden city of Bedlam. She finds new promise in her relationship with Ford, but after his lifesaving surgery, the Ford Anthem knew slips away.

When a mysterious new group called “The Invisible” starts attacking the privileged North Siders, Anthem has to step up and be the New Hope that Bedlam needs, or Bedlam will fall…once and for all.

Publishers Weekly called The Brokenhearted an “atmospheric, adventure-laced debut” with “graceful world-building, strong characterizations, and an enveloping plot.”

Following the events of the first book. Anthem Fleet is finally growing into her abilities. In the first book she had lost her human heart in an accident and got an experimental "chimera" heart transplanted by by Jax, the black market scientist. Her supposed boyfriend of last season, Gavin is very much dead. The syndicate is lying low after loosing their highest player (in the form of Gavin) and bidding their time. But Bedlam City is still a great cesspool of activity and another enemy rears their ugly head.

A group called "The Invisible" (coincidentally the title of the book) are the enemy number 1 and they seem to hold an iron-clad grudge against the Northsiders, and are engaging in 'deadly pranks' to met out their judgement. Flash-backs provide a look into Bedlam during the time of the "Hope", connecting the dots between that person and the "New Hope". How Bedlam City became so divided and the syndicate came into power.

Reading the first book had made me think of this series as nothing but a Gotham/Starling City spoof, and Anthem Fleet taking up the mantle of the heroine as nothing but the rip-off off Batman/Arrow. But since then the characters have grown on me. Anthem Fleet felt rather stupid first time round with her reasons of becoming the "New Hope" but not anymore. While she still relies on her speed to keep her identity a secret, she still trusts too readily. Well Rome wasn't built in a day so changes will be gradual.

The plot for the sequel is also well structured. The first time round it felt more like an experiment. A trial run. But "The Invisible" boosts a great plot, much better layered background development, evil villains, great action and better character development. And I must point out that the romance between Anthem and Ford was well done. Much better than how it was with Gavin. Come on can't even remember what happened then, details are still sketchy to me. Thus, out with the old, in with the new. But yes i'd say it again, I was hesitant about it at first but the sequel was a much better read than the first.

"A much better action packed sequel and even meaner villains to tackle"

Genre :      Young Adult, Urban Fantasy, Sci-fi, Superhero, Romance

PublisherHarper Teen

Release Date: 7th October, 2014

My Copy: publisher and edelweiss

Rate:              4/5 (Really Liked It)

Other Books in the series (review links):
                #1 The Brokenhearted 

Buy:           Amazon | Book Depository 

Friday, 17 October 2014

Heart of Dread #1 Frozen

Presenting Heart of Dread #1 Frozen by Melissa de la Cruz & Michael Johnston.

Here is the summary of the book:

From New York Times bestselling author Melissa de la Cruz and Michael Johnston comes this remarkable first book in a spellbinding new series about the dawn of a new kind of magic.

Welcome to New Vegas, a city once covered in bling, now blanketed in ice. Like much of the destroyed planet, the place knows only one temperature—freezing. But some things never change. The diamond in the ice desert is still a 24-hour hedonistic playground and nothing keeps the crowds away from the casino floors, never mind the rumors about sinister sorcery in its shadows.

At the heart of this city is Natasha Kestal, a young blackjack dealer looking for a way out. Like many, she's heard of a mythical land simply called “the Blue.” They say it’s a paradise, where the sun still shines and the waters are turquoise. More importantly, it’s a place where Nat won’t be persecuted, even if her darkest secret comes to light.

But passage to the Blue is treacherous, if not impossible, and her only shot is to bet on a ragtag crew of mercenaries led by a cocky runner named Ryan Wesson to take her there. Danger and deceit await on every corner, even as Nat and Wes find themselves inexorably drawn to each other. But can true love survive the lies? Fiery hearts collide in this fantastic tale of the evil men do and the awesome power within us all.

Heard a lot about Melissa de la Cruz but Heart of Dread series is my first foray into her writing. Also Michael Johnston is her husband. Thus this is another of their literary ventures together. A lot of authors publish stories they have written with their spouses but this is my first time with one. And for me it was an okay experience.

Frozen. Now the name always springs to mind Elsa, Anna, Kristoff, Olaf and Sven from Disney's Frozen. But that is not so. Melissa de la Cruz and Michael Johnston's Frozen is a post-apocalyptic dystopian world covered in ice from end to end. In this bleaker than though atmosphere, all manner of creatures have risen, Drakon, Zombies, Sylphs, Dwarfs and the like. And since everyone seems to have similar colored features, sot the ones that are different, particularly the eyes are the freaks. They are called the 'Marked'.

Marked with physical signs afford them unique abilities. Namely, telekinesis, elemental magics & illusionists. Nat is our protagonist and she is marked. A young blackjack dealer in New Vegas and like many before her wants to go in search of this mystical paradise 'the blue', which can only be accessed after traversing a treacherously impossible journey. And for that she needs the help of Wes and his ragtag group of mercenaries.

The premise sounds a lot like "Under the Never Sky" doesn't it? And while I liked Veronica Rossi's books, somehow Frozen bored me. The characters were okay. The plot had its merits and some of the elements sounded well put in. But on the other hand not much dept could be gauged from the characters and their background. This is technically an on the road story, so those kinds never held my interest. Editing also needed a bit of work.

While I mentioned that the characters did not  have a lot of dept in them. Some of them still had something to tell. Natasha Kestral is the reason for this story. She is the protagonist but I didn't think much of her. She has some mysterious powers. A voice inside her head but aside from that its really clear at first.

Boy-toy, Ryan Wesson on the other hand was explored in detail. Hardened yet quite a soft mercenary, he knows his way around this destroyed ice covered planet. Quite a smart aleck he brought a bit of zing to an otherwise frozen in boredom tale. And the fantasy part was what I loved the most. But the ending felt the worst. That was nothing but fishing out a minute plot element to latch onto for a sequel and I don't like when it happens. I am hesitant about the sequel but I want to check out how the authors carve out 'the blue'.

"A lukeworm beginning for me"

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

PublisherOrchard Books

Release Date: 2nd October, 2014

My Copy: publisher & netgalley

Rate:              2/5 (It was Ok)

Buy:           Amazon | Book Depository 

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

The Last Changeling #1 The Last Changeling

Presenting The Last Changeling #1 The Last Changeling by Chelsea Pitcher.

Here is the summary of the book:

A Kingdom at War . . .

Elora, the young princess of the Dark Faeries, plans to overthrow her tyrannical mother, the Dark Queen, and bring equality to faeriekind. All she has to do is convince her mother’s loathed enemy, the Bright Queen, to join her cause. But the Bright Queen demands an offering first: a human boy who is a “young leader of men.”

A Dark Princess In Disguise . . .

To steal a mortal, Elora must become a mortal—at least, by all appearances. And infiltrating a high school is surprisingly easy. When Elora meets Taylor, the seventeen-year-old who’s plotting to overthrow a ruthless bully, she thinks she’s found her offering . . . until she starts to fall in love.

Faeries, magic, danger and romance, Chelsea Pitcher's new Faeries Revolutions book 1, The Last Changeling, is the newest entry in the Faery category and visibly very different from others of the kind we may have come across and quite unique in its makeup. A fantastic and intriguing new YA series and sporting a vibrant plot just like its cover.

Elora and Taylor were clearly the focus to the story. With a much more mature feel and insta-love as well as, at the time gradually developing romance. The Last Changeling tells the story of a burgeoning revolution taking place at the Unseelie Court led by the Princess Elora who has decided to take matters into her hands and wants equality for both the Seelie and Unseelie courts.

But the Seelie Queen wants something in return, if she is to help. A human boy who is a 'young leader of men'. Thus, Elora in disguise goes to the mortal world to her quest and meets generous, caring and mature Taylor. She sees that even the humans have their problems. And she is not one to keep quiet about things and lets bullies go skoot free.

Taylor was just simply wonderful. He has been dealt a heavy hand by fate. His brother's death, neglect from his parents and the bullies at school but despite all this he is kind and generous. He makes a gamble meeting Elora and it turns out the best for him.

Their connection is instantaneous. Many would be turned down by such. Me too sometime but here it works wonders. The resulting development is slow and steady and I enjoyed every sleeping and waking moments Elora & Taylor spent together. Almost sensual if you believe. But it worked wonders not only for Taylor but also for Elora too.

Slow at first but picks up speed soon, The Last Changeling proved to be an enchanting read. never a dull moment neither a stop, the action seems to continue on and on. I wanted to read more about the courts instead of what we get at the end but i am hopeful the sequel will rectify that and the thriller and chills courtesy of Pitcher's eloquent penmanship is more than enough to keep us sated. This is a unique new tale and I hope you all will enjoy it as I did.

"A thrilling and unique new YA series by Chelsea Pitcher"

Genre :      Young Adult, Paranormal, Romance, Urban Fantasy


Release Date: 8th November, 2013

My Copy: publisher & netgalley

Rate:              4/5 (Really Liked It)

Buy:           Amazon | Book Depository 

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Stoker & Holmes #2 The Spiritglass Charade

Presenting Stoker & Holmes #2 The Spiritglass Charade by Colleen Gleason.

Here is the summary of the book:

After the Affair of the Clockwork Scarab, Evaline Stoker and Mina Holmes are eager to help Princess Alix with a new case. Seventeen-year-old Willa Aston is obsessed with spiritual mediums, convinced she is speaking with her mother from beyond the grave. What seems like a case of spiritualist fraud quickly devolves into something far more menacing: someone is trying to make Willa "appear lunatic," using an innocent-looking spiritglass to control her. The list of clues piles up: an unexpected murder, a gang of pickpockets, and the return of vampires to London. But are these events connected? As Uncle Sherlock would say, "there are no coincidences." It will take all of Mina's wit and Evaline's muscle to keep London's sinister underground at bay.

Stoker & Holmes are back and more than ready to tackle a new case. Eveline Stoker & Mina Holmes. Reluctant partners and polar opposites. And are more than ready to see what Princess Alix has for them. After Egyptology, The Spiritglass Charade garners a study of the spirits as this next generation dynamic duo looks onto young Willa Ashton, who is dabbling into spirit mediums, believing to be communicating with the spirit of her late mother, if she and the medium are to be understood.

The game is afoot and crack on they go. The two sleuths going about it in their own way as they find the perpetrator and get to the bottom of the case. One prefers cold hard facts and reasons, the other is much more attuned to hunting for answers and asking later. Mina and Eve go about it their own way and while one doesn't like the other, they respect each other enough. Of course what started as a simple case turns deadly as more and more twists and turns are unearthed, and secrets come to light.

The time-traveler Dylan, Inspector Grayling, the notoriously handsome thief, Pix make their appearance noted. Sherlock Holmes, Dr. Watson and Bram Stoker do too and the author must be credited in her technique to take history, fiction and steampunk and masterfully concoct a well compact tale. As Uncle Sherlock says 'there are no coincidences', thus it is not coincidence alone that Mina and Eve got paired up together. As it is going to take the Holmes' wit and the Stoker muscle to tackle the dark and dreary reaches of London underground.

"An exhilarating and exciting romp for Stoker & Holmes"

Genre :      Young Adult, Thriller, Steampunk, Paranormal, Historical Fantasy

PublisherChronicle Books

Release Date: 7th October, 2014

My Copy: publisher and edelweiss

Rate:              5/5 (It was Amazing)

Other Books in the series (review links):
                #1 The Clockwork Scarab 

Buy:           Amazon | Book Depository 

Monday, 13 October 2014

Robert Langdon #4 Inferno

Presenting Robert Langdon #4 Inferno by Dan Brown.

Here is the summary of the book:

In his international blockbusters The Da Vinci Code, Angels & Demons, and The Lost Symbol, Dan Brown masterfully fused history, art, codes, and symbols. In this riveting new thriller, Brown returns to his element and has crafted his highest-stakes novel to date.

In the heart of Italy, Harvard professor of symbology Robert Langdon is drawn into a harrowing world centered on one of history’s most enduring and mysterious literary masterpieces . . . Dante’s Inferno.

Against this backdrop, Langdon battles a chilling adversary and grapples with an ingenious riddle that pulls him into a landscape of classic art, secret passageways, and futuristic science. Drawing from Dante’s dark epic poem, Langdon races to find answers and decide whom to trust . . . before the world is irrevocably altered.

Inferno marks the return of author Dan Brown with another Robert Langdon thriller, masterfully created with the mixture of artistic symbolism and scientific learning. Based on as the name suggests on Dante Alighieri's epic poem 'The Divine Comedy' (Inferno, Purgatorio, Paradiso) taking us through the streets of Italy and Istanbul. And into a modern hell we go as Langdon races against time to prevent a trans-humanist movement from coming to fruition with some unique twists and turns and spins to the tale.

Langdon has amnesia. He doesn't know what happened to him. He doesn't know why he is in a Florentine Hospital. Assassin's are after him and he doesn't have a clue as who he had upset to merit such results. Nobody is trustworthy in the state he seems to have found himself in. He in a fit of desperation flees with the beautiful British Doctor to safety. With a clue found on his person and recurring vividly horrifying nightmares are just what he has to solve this mystery and possibly avert the apocalypse.

He may have misplaced his recent memories but hard earned knowledge of so many years still remains and Langdon soon realizes that Dante's Inferno is involved and with his knowledge of history and of symbolism, soon starts to make sense of this madness. As Langdon puts his knowledge to the test he finds himself taking from Dante's work and pieces together this new problem.

The author did quite the work here. Connecting history and fiction. Referencing the part to their future and just maintain the mystery of it all. We are figuring things along as Langdon does it. Many authors lay out the whole story and then take their sweet time figuring things out but Brown as always does things in his own way. If Langdon ii surprised, deceived or enlightened then we feel the same alongside him.

Focusing on over population, Brown without going off on a tangent and inflicting the ire of religious communities, tells a larger than life story, dealing with the issue taking the scientific route. Jam-packed with action & exhilarating adventure and some many flashbacks to help the story forward, Dan Brown's Inferno raises a lot of questions and completely undoing the damage done by The Lost Symbol.

Very interested to see how this translates to a movie now and the TV series they seem to be developing on Brown's another work 'Digital Fortress'.

"Hook, Line & Sinker. Dan Brown's Inferno has it all"

Genre :      Mystery, Suspense, Thriller


Release Date: 13th May, 2013

My Copy: bought (ebook)

Rate:              4/5 (Really Liked It)

Buy:           Amazon | Book Depository 

Saturday, 11 October 2014

3rd Blogoversary & Birthday Giveaway [INT,US & INDIA only]

Ends : 20th November, 2014

Looking towards technicality then these are the dates we are looking towards....

3rd blogoversary - 26th September, 2014


Birthday - 30th September

I would have done separate giveaway but I wanted to something big and extra so I decided to join the two together since they are falling at around the dates close to each other..

But stuffs happened.

I got shipment of some of the prizes quite late......

I am from India, and I am a Bengali and this year Dussehra/Durga Puja fell around these such important dates and since I am an active participant on the first day of the festival so I decided to post it when I had all the prizes with me.....

And third, would be because I wasted a lot of time with a particular book I found okay but definitely not okay, which offed my reading mood and at the last moment I realized I had 3 books left to read and they release on the same date. Edelweiss policy means that unless stated otherwise the e-arc is only readable till its release date..... and I hate when that happens....


So these are my 3 excuses.

See here for some of my Birthday clicks, what I got for presents.....

Yummy Yum Eggless Blackforest cake

My presents

And since everything is cleared and out of the way.







#1 Author Donated Goodies & books [US & INT]

So I mentioned I put a lot of effort into this....

Well these 3 of my favorite authors accepted and they donated some wonderful prizes

1 - Michelle Madow (author of Transcend Time Saga & Secret Diamond Sisters series)

 ~~Signed bookmark and Rhinestone diamond Sticker (US)~~

2 - Marissa Meyer (author of The Lunar Chronicles) 

~~A Lunar Chronicles Swag Pack (INT)~~

3 - Gennifer Albin (author of Crewel World & Good Girls Don't series) 

~~A signed Paperback (US)~~

#2 The Cormoran Strike (books #1 & #2) Paperback Giveaway [INDIA only]

~~1 winners gets these two books~~

#3 The Tom Hoyle Giveaway [INDIA only]

~~5 winners get one each~~

#4 The EBook Giveaway [INT]

~~3 winners get 2 ebooks of choice each~~


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