Posted in bookreview

The Love Song of Maya K and Other Stories

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Book : The Love Song of Maya K and Other Stories
Author : Shuma Raha
Pages : 216
Price : 379/-
Publication : Niyogi Books

The novel is a compilation of 13 not so short stories. I loved the cover, it’s all bright red and give us a feel of something related to female love in the title itself.
The title is chosen on the basis of a story among 13 other stories. Authoress Shuma has very beautifully narrated these 13 stories, the stories revolve around Female characters and are set in Delhi & Kolkata. Being a delihite, I could surely manage to imagine certain situations mentioned in the book. Kolkata stories, have so much of variety of FOOD (I loved it 😛 )

Each story is turned and twisted up in the end, if not middle, the title of the story is made clear in the end. Characters are given enough space, and reality to sink in for the story. Many characters were given next door neighbor characteristics, which made them easy to connect.

With all these things said above, I however, couldn’t connect much to stories. Character’s I could, but the stories were finished with a twist and sometimes I just have to read again parts of the story to understand the twist. This happened with me for 2-3 stories.

Short stories from Niyogi Books, always leave a mark on readers. And I am happy to read this, this definitely leaves a mark on me. But the impact is less than other short stories I read from same publishing house.

Final Note :

If you love reading short stories, and those which revolved around women. Then you should definitely read it.
If the characters and social situations attract you, you should give this one a try.

Cover: 3.5/5
Title: 3/5
Blurb: 3.5/5
Theme: 3.5/5
Story: 3/5
Characters: 3/5
Overall: 3.2/5

*Thanks to Niyogi Books for providing review copy in return of an honest review.*
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Posted in bookreview

A New Dawn

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Book : A New Dawn

Author : Kamini Kusum
Pages : 128
Price : 245/-
Publication : Half Baked Beans Publishing

Will remind you of 80’s era movies.

Story

A New Dawn is struggle story of Shravan, son of a rickshaw puller to become something worth for coming up to Mugdha’s father asking for Mugdha’s hand.
Simple enough ?
But no it is not, the story takes a roller coaster ride of their emotions, family status, and pulling them apart from each other for long to give book a good
content for a spicy story.

Will their love story be a success one ?
What’s the military background in Cover tells ? Who is it for ?
For all these you need to read the novel.

Writing

The story is what reminded me of movies that were made in late 80’s. A poor fellow loving a rich girl, making ends meet to prove her love and finally getting
unite. And it’s surely a hats off to the Authoress Kamini for taking such common plot, and writing on it.

The writing is what interested me in the book. Authoress has made sure that all the flavors are binded well in one single story. Emotions are expressed raw,
and there are many social issues like Family status “Matters” a lot while Loving one another, “Studies” are the only source for Income/ and good status.
I like it when there are subtle hints of such issues in a Novel. This gives a background of how flawed our characters are like people in real life.

Things I couldn’t ignore in the novel was, grammatical mistakes. There were a time, when same word was spelled three different ways on a page 😐 (yaa I am weird, I notice things)

The book name could have been something else may be, wasn’t happy with the tittle after reading book.

The end made my heart-break 😐 . Why it has to be like this ? *no spoiler* but why NO happy end ?

Things that worked out for me :

> Liked the cover is different and definitely strikes well with the story.
> Subtle hints of social issues that surely play in mind when read and remind us we should do something about it.

Things that didn’t worked for me :

> Story was predictable (except the end 😐 )
> Grammatical & spelling mistakes

Final Note :

If you are missing that 80’s era and want to revisit it via a written novel but still want a different end. Well go for it.

Cover: 3/5
Title: 2.5/5
Blurb: 2.5/5
Theme: 2/5
Story: 2/5
Characters: 3.5/5
Overall: 2.6/5

*Thanks to Half Baked Beans for providing review copy in return of an honest review.*


**Read this book as part of #3daysreadathon on Instagram**

 

Posted in bookreview

The Girl Who Changed My Life

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Book : The Girl Who Changed My Life
Author : Pawan Aditya
Pages : 178
Price : 185/-
Publication : Educreation Publishing

A young generation kind of Love story(ies).

Story

This is story of a boy named Aditya. The story starts from him being kid at college to a gentleman going to Office. And in between this journey he “kinda”
falls in love with not 1, not 2…. but 4 girls.

There is a college crush, and how Aditya’s feeling are crushed in between.
There is a tuition crush, and how he falls trap in the orthodox family and their believes.
There is a “childhood” Bro-Sister crush/love, & how the EX returns.
Last but not the least, the office crush, more mature but also more issues.

You got to read the book to know which one of these GIRL is talked about in the tittle.

Writing

Writing is simple, and no complex roundbouts are talked about. The writing made me think of different Indian Author’s who write love stories.

It’s just a love story, but somehow covers some of very typical issues. And I kinda felt the author has shown girls in bad light A LOT. And such a story will
be liked by teenagers who love having love stories in their life, who do that “Alle Babu, Shona” all that.

I liked how author moved the story from different phases, and showed us some social good cause happening. And didn’t compromise on the social cause just to
get along with the Love Story happening at that particular time.

Having His Holiness Dalai Lama in the story really worked me up. Dalai Lama is one people who I look up on and only his mention was enough to sooth me. ❤

Things that worked out for me :

> I liked BookCover color, Blue-Black ❤
> Loved how the author has shown Mother’s nature. We all will agree, our mothers knows exactly when something GOOD happens to us before even saying.
> Quiet liked how author merged social cause like KEEPING CITY CLEAN and stood by that accompanying story brilliantly.

Things that didn’t worked for me :

> The girls(friends) weren’t shown in good light. The feminist in me didn’t like it.
> There were scene’s/dialogue which I felt weren’t necessary and was just done to downgrade girls/women.
> How can someone FALL IN LOVE with ANY GIRL HE MEETS ? I can’t understand this.

Final Note :

If you are looking for a young teen love-love-love-love story, go for it.

Cover: 3/5
Title: 2.5/5
Blurb: 2.5/5
Theme: 2.5/5
Story: 2/5
Characters: 2/5
Overall: 2.4/5

*Thanks to Author for providing review copy in return of an honest review.*
Posted in Author Interview

Author Interview – Biju Anthony

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People who follow me, know that I Loved Shadows Lie by Biju Anthony. And I surely recommend it to everyone. In spotlight today is author Biju Anthony himself, talking to us of how the Shadows Lie came into existence and about himself as a writer.

Do check the review here Shadows Lie

Thanks to author for being part of the blog by agreeing to get interviewed.

About Author

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Biju Anthony is a banker turned film producer based in the Middle East. He cofounded one of the first Equity Crowdfunded film production company in India – FineCut Entertainments. Currently on sabbatical from corporate life, he spends time writing, travelling and managing film projects. Currently Biju lives in Dubai

Q/A

Q. A Banker turned into a writer that too a thriller novel, now that’s interesting. Tell us something about it?

Life cannot be planned just like the stories we write. My stories have no ending when I begin to write. It’s an organic process. Likewise it just so happened that one day in 2010 I decided to write a longer version of a short story I had written in 2001. I was based in Kuwait then and wrote a few chapters and left it. Later, I quit banking and got into film production. That’s when I completed the book. The story is set in a quaint village in Kerala where I grew up and is loosely based on an incident that happened in my family. It was interesting and a challenge to fit in a thriller genre in a story that unfolds in an island home inhabited by ordinary people.

Q. What is the greatest challenge in writing a book?

When I started, the biggest challenge was to write; to keep writing every day. It is a discipline you acquire over time. Now I am into my third book and writing whenever I want to; it is not a challenge anymore.

Q. Ever had Writer’s block? How do you deal with writer’s block?

I have not faced any so-called ‘blocks’ till now. Shadows Lie was a lot personal to me. It was about the places and people I kind of knew. So the writing process was without any real interruptions. My second work, which is completed now is a fictionalized account of a character’s life from Mahabharata. Even that was completed as per plan. May be when you keep writing, there might be a point when you struggle not to be repetitive in style and also to keep your story telling techniques relevant.

Q. Shadows Lie give a beautiful description of Plackal Bungalow with water coast and other unique things. How such location did came into your mind for this novel?

The house and the island that plays a crucial character in the story is actually real. The island was owned by my great grand father and the house had its walls polished with hundred’s of egg whites, as told in the story. It’s a beautiful island surrounded by green waters. The world of Bhadra was my creation though and it was a conscious attempt to create a realm that was so different from that of the island.

Q. Do you Read? Who are your favorite author, or books?

I am a slow reader and take a lot of time to finish a book. I keep buying a lot of books but read very few. My all time favourite writer is Gabriel Marques. I also admire Arundhathi Roy a lot.

Q. Do you prefer old ways for handwriting your stories or new generation writing on laptop?

I type them away on my laptop. I find it quite practical when it comes to editing and redrafting. It’s nothing to do with old way or new way – it’s convenient.

Q. A birdie told me that novel is in talks to be made into a movie, if you had the choice to pick, whom would you pick to play the role of Edward, Bhadra & Ely?

It’s still in the planning stages and too early to talk about casting. A lot of factors come into play when you consider casting – availability, suitability and budgets. It’s a murder mystery set in the 1950s. The cast should fit in the period too. Hope to do justice to the story and get an ensemble cast too.

Q. How did you come up with the title of your book? (I kind off know this as I have read book, but for my followers)

Shadows Lie was the working title when I began writing and I had plans to find another name. But then I couldn’t come up with a better name and so decided to keep it. The title “Shadows Lie” encapsulates the essence of the story and narrative style. There are too many lies, beautiful and mysterious lies that masks the past of the characters. And these lies like shadows follow the truth almost camouflaging it.

Q. Give some advantages/disadvantages of being an Indian writer? (in respect of writing, getting published, or getting large audience)

The market for English writing in India is big now. We have a large market for English books but of course not as big as that for books published in UK or US. There are no disadvantages being an Indian writer in English. It’s an opportunity to connect with a larger audience within India.

Q. If you got to rewrite one specific thing in your novel, what would that be?

I would perhaps write more about Bhadra. I feel Bhadra didn’t get enough chapter space. Or may be it’s a good thing. Her mystery lingers on, because of that – I would never know.

Q. What does your writing space look like? (A photo, if possible)

I have a writing-table. But I hardly write there. In fact I don’t have a specific writing place. I like busy places like café’s or malls. I can’t be alone while writing. Even if am in the company of strangers, it helps.

Q. Working on something currently? If yes, will it thriller too?

My second work is a fictionalized account of a female character’s life from Mahabharata. It’s a mixture of genres – mythology, erotica and thriller.

Impressed yet ?

Want to read and review Shadows lie ?
Get a copy in return of honest review (Limited)
Fill Form : Shadows Lie

 

Posted in bookreview

Shadows Lie

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Book : Shadows Lie
Author : Biju Anthony
Pages : 274
Price : 269/-
Publication : Leadstart Corp Ltd.

Mystery, Murders, Conspiracies, Politics, Love, Lust, Passion – Novel has it ALL

Story

Few lines of Prologue and you already want to know why Isabella got poisoned milk. Who gave it to her ?
Prologue is beautifully made, to keep reader at the edge for the story that is to be unraveled in these remaining 270 pages.

I can’t write story without giving away *spoilers*

The story revolves around (mostly) in Kollam, within people living in Plackal Bungalow. 3 Murders, conspiracies and Politics of Indo-Norwegian project, Extra martial Love, Lust that can have ill effect, a place called Nambiar Illam considered as bad omen and a Mystery to solve by Crime Inspector Madhav.

Not only the novel, but the epilogue too unravels some mystery. DON’T READ IT, until you are OK to SPOIL THE STORY.

 

Writing

Biju has successfully delivered something deep and more than a novel in these pages. The writing is intriguing at many points. Characters are given absolute space to grow and come live in your senses when you read about them.
The people we take easy and don’t think about have been used well in the story for example maids, Ely and Mariakutti play very special role in the novel.
The story is written in past-present time gaps,and jumps at quiet often. But the transition of time is taken well care off. 28 chapters are named perfectly describing what the chapter will have (off course we wouldn’t connect until we read the chapter). I love finding editing mistakes :P, and in Shadows lie there is a Chapter whose heading doesn’t match with the page heading of consecutive pages.

Prologue and Epilogue have an amazing effect once the reader is through with the novel.

Story is set in Kollam, and author has taken the best advantage of using places and food revolving around that place.
Details of certain events, or a place like Nambiar Illam surely paints a rough picture in mind where the whole thing is happening.

There are some ‘lust’ depicting scenes (which I personally don’t like reading), but author has made sure the scenes is just a paragraph long and it surely has a big effect on some or other characters from the novel.
Believe me NOTHING IS WRITTEN JUST FOR THE SAKE OF WRITING. Pay very carefully attention towards what’s happening. and may be , just may be you might find out something cool/thriller sooner than the End. STILL do read the Epilogue !! It was surely a WHATTT ?? Reaction 😀

ONLY thing that didn’t worked out with me in starting was, TO MANY NAMES to remember :-/
I don’t like when so many characters are introduced in just 2 pages. I literally had to mark the Names & who they are/related to with pencil in book. But as soon as I reached second chapter I knew, I already remember who who was.

The COVER is absolutely GOREGOUS !! It’s like Abstract Art, which you can’t pin point on what is working but there is something that works for your eyes. The Cover also gives a “spoiler”, because I was just second person to read it on Bookstagram I couldn’t decode it. May be you have already read by now. But please don’t give it more thought, because it’s gonna spoil the reading….

Final Note :

If like me you think not much good about Indian Authors writing thriller/mystery, Read this to CHANGE your thinking.
If you wanna see a movie actually animating in your mind, as the pages turn. Read this.
If you have a false believe that Too many characters can spoil the story, Read this to change it.

Cover: 5/5
Title: 5/5
Blurb: 4.5/5
Theme: 5/5
Story: 5/5
Characters: 4.5/5
Overall: 4.8/5

If you are interested what you read above and willing to read review the book. Make sure you fill in the details in Google Form

Also make sure, you are following the blog. Because soon enough Author Biju Anthony himself will be interviewed here 🙂

 Do check Author Interview HERE
Posted in bookreview

Legends Over Generations

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Book : Legends over Generations
Author : Ashraf Haggag
Pages : 228
Price : 349/-
Publication : Blue Rose Publishers

Legends over Generations is a set of collective biographies of Legends we had from past to present times. Author talks about Legends according to the their self established fields. And these are divided in 4 parts :

> Human Rights
> Science
> Politics Over History
> Art & Literature

The chapters are evenly distributed, and properly aligned as giving first quiet a description of the field. Followed by life of some legends in that field, which includes their Early life & education , giving brief about what all they achieved in the field followed by their Legacy they left for us to follow.
I appreciate the author for keeping it well structured & not loading with extra information. As legends can have a lot to provide with them. Legend’s chapter started with their signature (well we can consider this book as signed book by Legends (**) ), and ended with great quotes by these great people.

However, this book reminded me more of my history lessons where we used to read about great people, learn about their life.

I loved most to read about Dalai Lama, Nelson Mandela, Alexandar Graham Bell, Charles Dicken, Ernest Hemingway, William Shakespeare.
Also I would have loved to see more of Female Legends, who has done so much in the fields as differentiated by Author.

Also Conclusion;Key Features, gives us variety of traits for these Legends that we can apply in our daily life.

Quotes

Nobody can hurt me without my permission

– Mahatma Gandhi

Let us pick up our books and our pens, they are the most powerful weapons.

– Malala Yousafzai

Little science takes you away from God, but more of it takes you to Him.

– Louis Pasteur

Flee the country where a lone man holds all power: It is a nation of slaves.

– Simon Bolivar

When words fail, Music speaks.

– William Shakespeare

Final Note :

If you haven’t read any non-fiction, and want to try your hand on first ever non-fiction. I will surely recommend this, as this is light and informative. Gives you boost about people and motivate you too at the same time.


Cover: 3.5/5
Title: 3.5/5
Blurb: 3/5
Theme: 3/5
Story: 3.5/5
Overall: 3.3/5★

**Thank you publishers for providing the review copy, in return of an honest review.**

 

Posted in bookreview

A Trunk Full of Sunshine

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Book : A Trunk Full of Sunshine
Author : Sapna Dhyani Devrani
Pages : 137
Price : 150/-
Publication : Frog Books (imprint of LeadstartPublishing)

The book is a memoir for life of military wife, which she has gone through for 13 years. 27 short reflections of how a family is affected by one person’s job.
The book is an easy read, and can be relatable in some manner. We all have the trunks we keep in for memory purposes, I remember having a separate carton for things that I did never unpacked. It was always used to pack things when I moved from one pg to another pg. That secret carton had many little memories of the room I was leaving and moving ahead. In same case Authoress Sapna, has opened a trunk of memories with us to share the emotions, situations she has gone through all this time.

The language used was easy to understand and narration was first person. Authoress husband being an Infantry officer when she met him, and how she has been moved to places, met new people, adapted to the life of being a military life was shown very nicely.

The stories are very short, sometimes a page, or sometimes 4 pages. To be honest, when it started I didn’t like the flow. Narration was supposed to be witty, but I couldn’t find my funny bone to laugh on it. As the middle part came, where author covered some emotional phases of her life was the best of all. Ending stories were again okaish kind, the composure of middle part reading where reader were kept in a grip was taken off the hook.

The book lasted few hours, but it surely has my eye to it. Because somewhere in the middle I had fallen for the grief and pain a military wife go through when the men are out guarding us(mango people).

Final Note :

Pick this one, if you are good to go for a story that last just a page or 3 pages. If you have any army/military background I guess this will be relatable to you.

(I wish to give it more, but it was an oka-ish read)
Overall: 2.5/5★

**Thank you publishers for providing the review copy, in return of an honest review.**

 

Posted in Challenges, June Challenges

June Challenges

 

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So June is almost here, already we have come halfway through the year. Yeey!! That we have survived with the hope of words, love and happiness.

Challenges are another great way to keep posting, and on Instagram there are every month, or sometimes every week different challenges.

So here I am gonna talk about the
challenges I am very much interested in, and will be doing one of them.

1. PrideReadathon #pridereadathon

This readathon is all about the #pridemonth , and Host Sai aka zanyanomaly and Dhruv aka theperksofbeingdhruv wish to read DIVERSE BOOKS and post about them in this month of June.
Diverse books can have characters of different Sexuality, nationalities, disabilities, races etc.

So go look at your book shelves and come up with books for pridereadathon, you can off course re-read your favorites. Don’t forget to update your reading with the tag #pridereadathon & #diversereadathon

Here I mention some of fellow bookstagramers TBR for prideredathon for your choices. (Feel free to comment down any more)
Anupama aka b0rn_2_read

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Also don’t forget to check the Ten Diverse Books…. by Simant aka Flippingthruthepages

2. #INFLAMESLIT

This is a Photo Challenge Organized by Maressabookish, embookish autumnalreader

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All you have to do is, click pictures according to the prompt given for the day and you are doing great.
The biggest advantage of participating in this one is, the more you participate the more your name is entered to the Giveaway list which host’s will be doing after this PhotoChallenge.

*I will try to do this photochallenge, as I am not a regular poster on Instagram it’s gonna be difficult. But surely will try to post on as many days*

3. Mini-Readathon-2018

So this readathon challenge is coming from Goodreads Indian Readers Group that I am part of.

In this there is a mini readathon that will be held in June and participants have to be in pair. And they will challenge each other with 10 (non mandatory books) and 2 Mandatory books for the challenge.

After month ends, the Person who read the more between the two wins.!! YEeeyy!!

I and Gitanshi (my partner in mini readathon) have taken part in this.
And below are our TBR’s for this readathon..!!

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Feel free to JOIN in any of it, or comment down Challenges you are taking in June 2018.

Posted in blog tour, Excerpt

The Last April by Belinda Kroll


Spontaneous, fifteen-year-old Gretchen vows to help heal the nation from the recently ended Civil War. On the morning of President Lincoln’s death, Gretchen finds an amnesiac Confederate in her garden and believes this is her chance for civic goodwill.

But reconciliation is not as simple as Gretchen assumed. When her mother returns from the market with news that a Confederate murdered the president, Gretchen wonders if she caught the killer. Tensions between her aunt and mother rise as Gretchen nurses her Confederate prisoner, revealing secrets from their past that make Gretchen question everything she knows about loyalty, honor, and trust.

The Last April is an entertaining, thoughtful novella of Ohio after the Civil War, meant to encourage readers to reflect on themes of fear and hope in uncertain political times.

Buy on Amazon

Read an Excerpt –

Everyone else would remember that Saturday as the day President Lincoln died. Gretchen Miller would remember it as the day the ragged man collapsed at her feet.

Gretchen was tugging at weeds and swatting at gnats when a thud made her whip around. The war was over, but Confederate supporters were everywhere. They lingered after General Lee’s surrender, and President Lincoln’s reconciliation speech, and in pro-Union Columbus.

Gretchen swung from her hunched position to lean back on her barefoot heels. Her skirts puffed out with the movement. She slapped them down, annoyed.

Sharp sunlight made it difficult to see. Gretchen thought she saw a collapsed man just yards from her hem. She adjusted her straw hat so it shaded her eyes.

The man was sprawled across the oak tree roots. Gretchen could not tell his age or condition from where she crouched. His back was to her, his dark head resting on his outstretched arm. He was not moving.

“May the angels have charge of me,” Gretchen whispered. She patted the revolver in her skirt pocket.

His leg twitched.

Gretchen’s heart leaped. That dark, matted hair gave her a turn. Maybe it was her brother Werner, returned from war at last. A hundred men from the Grove City area had answered President Lincoln’s call for soldiers. Everyone was afraid of the number that would return.

Gretchen grabbed her skirts as she scrambled to standing. She flailed her arms at the log farmhouse she called home. She could not shout, in case the man had faked his injury and was waiting for an excuse to attack.

Her aunt, Tante Klegg, stuck her head out the kitchen door. “What is it?” Tante Klegg’s heavy German accent was strident in the quiet morning. It matched the severity of her hair braided and twisted tight against her head.

Gretchen put her finger to her lips. She cupped her hands around her mouth so her whisper would carry. “There is a man.” She waved at her aunt to come outside.

Tante Klegg tiptoed across the rocks Gretchen had overturned gardening. She held her skirt layers high above her ankles.

The man remained quiet, only his twitching foot letting them know he lived. Gretchen did not know if that meant he was dangerous or that he was too injured to move.

Gretchen brushed a strand of reddish hair from her mouth as the breeze picked up. Though it was April, the humidity was heavy and stifling. The wind still carried the scent of cooling bonfires from yesterday’s elaborate celebrations.

Last night, Gretchen had danced until her feet ached and sung until her voice was hoarse. She had been ready to do anything to help her country heal. She held onto the president’s words of reconciliation that she read in the newspaper. She hoped everyone could see the Confederates as prodigal brothers and sisters. She hoped the Confederates would be humble and welcomed home.

With a stranger at her feet, Gretchen realized such things were easier said than done. She gripped the revolver hidden in her pocket and held out her other hand to stop her aunt from advancing. Holding her breath, she crept closer.

The man perhaps could have been her brother, once upon a time. His body was gaunt, worn thin by trials Gretchen suspected she would never understand. His left hand did not bear Werner’s distinctive strawberry-shaped birthmark.

This was not her brother.

Belinda Kroll is the author of Victorian fiction for kids and teens. She grew up in a home where reading was encouraged and Jeopardy! was on every weeknight. Both activities fostered her love of history. Some of her titles include Catching the Rose, Haunting Miss Trentwood, short story Haunting Miss Trentwood: The Seance, and contemporary short story Mad Maxine. She lives in Central Ohio with her husband and two step-dogs. Go Bucks!

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BelindaKrollFans
Twitter: https://twitter.com/worderella
Author Site: http://worderella.com/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4189553.Belinda_Kroll

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Posted in bookreview

The Aryabhata Clan

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Book : The Aryabhata Clan
Author : Sudipto Das
Pages : 476
Price : 444/-
Publication : Niyogi Books

Gripping tale of finding the secret behind 1000 years old carpets.

Story

The story starts a girl named Kubha trapped & rapped in a place called Eight Heaven. Later we find out, three murders have been successfully done and people are collecting information about specific ‘carpets’.

21-year-old Kubha is the daughter of a linguistic paleontologist, Afsar and Kratu. Her maternal grandfather, Faraz Fareedi owned a business of sourcing oriental carpets from Asia and selling them worldwide. Soon the illustration on carpet are being noticed by many, and who ever gets to discover the secret behind are in high danger.
Kubha is the only one who can save the disaster to happen.

Her parents devastated by her kidnap, will ever make it to understand the reason behind all this ?
What is the secret of Khushawari rugs ?
Why the book is named on the great Mathematician Aryabhata ?
How politics in India make it weak and let other religion take India over ?
Is Taj Mahal is really an Indian Shivo Mahalay ?

For all this answers, you need to read and explore through this journey of Kubha, Afsar, Kratu, Fazal, Parush, Shamshur. Together they make one mystery sometimes nail biting thriller.

Writing

Kudos to author Sudipto for choosing such an interesting plot, that works around many topics, the Islamic state taking over , Taj Mahal’s famous myth being a Shiva Temple (Tejo Mahalay), unraveling secret of rugs that were 1000 years old, politician drawbacks of not being unite.

The writing was crisp, and narration was beautiful. The characters are shows and given enough time to build story around them and are uniquely differentiated from each other.
I loved how author have used images/diagram to portray and unravel the mystery of rugs and everything else (saved you from spoiler 😛 ). The amount of research and fact building author has done is overwhelming.
The fact that I don’t like Mathematics and I loved a book named around famous mathematician Aryabhata, clearly shows that the book has an impact that will linger.
I loved the variety of encryption/cryptic things where used in story. The rugs were obvious but then there were cryptic song, cryptic watch timings. This kept me glued to learn about them. But then I am sure a person with great music background will be able to understand them well.

Even though I loved it all most every point, few things that didn’t worked for me was when Afsar and Kratu abruptly came to decision of decrypting certain things in certain manner. The amount of background for so many different languages are given was difficult to keep in mind. The diagrams/illustration were very handy for such things. Moving places and topics made me confused sometimes, like when Fazal story came up I was confused in the starting later when it was connected I felt ok so that was that.
First chapter one was difficult for me, it was unsettling to read a rape scene in just few pages down, and the apt-Nance of it happened in Eight Heaven made my mind link it so much with recent Asifa’s case. It was strange for me to calm down after I ended first chapter, the similarity was so much. I almost stopped book at that point for a day, and came back later when I was ready to read ahead.

This review will be incomplete if I don’t talk about characters.
Kubha our protagonist, a girl that is gang raped and still has the urge to save India. In all the midst of what has happened with her, she definitely is shown strong to stand up again and do what she wants to do. In such cases, a regular person will surely be out of mind, but Kubha shows her intelligence when she delivers a secret message to her parents when she sings.

Afsar Fareedi, mother of Kubha . We have seen Robert Landon in so many movies doing and solving difficult symbols, decryption hidden motives. And we will surely appreciate what Afsar did. She is a way ahead of this century, she has knowledge and the way she uses it is amazing. I loved how Afsar had kept it all together even after seeing her daughter in such a state. May be Kubha got this trait from her mother.

Kratu Sen, father of Kubha. I loved him more than Afsar, he was the one with clear head more times and connected the dots that Afsar abruptly left. His ability to come up with different programs that helped Afsar to decode the hidden message is what I became a fan of.

Parush is another person whose age I am still confused of. May be he his like dad-age to Kubha , but the relationship they share is pure, and a bit weird because that can’t happen in our ‘society’. Moreover, he is the cop that always saves the day, he has his trusted men, and multi tasks and thinks ahead of the villain of any century.

This was my first read of author Sudipto Das, but I surely willing to read Ekkos Clan for such a journey.

Things that worked out for me :

> Character building and helping each other to solve this mystery.
> Amount of research author has done to write this, has definitely paid off in this novel.
> Multiple issues were given equal importance.
> The ways to encrypt message is what I felt like learning after this.
> Taking a real event like Taj Mahal named as Tejo Mahalay and building story around it. is Commendable.
> Women in book are shown so much strong head and heart wise.

Things that didn’t worked for me :

> The story sometimes when into to much depth, & descriptive. I was unable to follow it.
> Starting a book with uneventful scene make me leave this book for a day until I was all prep for it.
> Sometimes there were places and time traveling which confused me.

 

Final Note :

If you are looking for a novel which has base on 1000 years old contents. This is for you.
If you love reading in descriptive form, and amount of information gives you kicks. This is for you.

Cover: 3.5/5
Title: 3.5/5
Blurb: 3.5/5
Theme: 4/5
Story: 4/5
Characters: 5/5
Overall: 3.9/5

**Book was provided by Author, in return of an honest review.**