NEVERMOOR-THE TRIALS OF MORRIGAN CROW

 

25025629_575913009417858_3323384146763448320_n(1)Author: Jessica Townsend

Paperback: 384 pages

Publisher: Orion book publishers

Rating: 4.2/5

An anonymous author has rightly said that one who does not believe in the power of magic will never find one. We as kids or adults secretly wish of disappearing into a magical world of talking trees and flying brooms filled with a gazillion adventures. Nevermoor: The trials of Morrigan Crow is one such book you must definitely not miss to read. Precisely belonging to children’s genre, even as adults this book keeps you captivated for varied reasons. Here is a small blurb of the book.

Having born on Eventide Morrigan Crow is a cursed child which means she is blamed for everything that goes wrong like local misfortunes, hailstorms or troubled health and so on. Morrigan being a cursed child to have born on the unluckiest day she is destined to die on her eleventh birthday. The tables however turn and she is rescued by Jupiter North while being chased by black-smoke hounds and shadowy hunters on horseback. Jupiter rescues Morrigan with an intent to give her a golden opportunity to be a part of the Wundrous society so as to keep her safe. For this Morrigan needs to pass through four difficult trials and emerge victorious. Each participant possesses a special talent to sail through the trials which Morrigan insists she does not have. In order to keep off her dark past she has to find a way to sail through these tests and become a member of the society.

For a true blue Harry Potter fans here comes another relishing book which is sure to take you on another magical ride. What sets apart this book from other books is the language and the crisp flow in which the story progresses. Right from the beginning to the end the books keeps you glued making you more curious with the turn of each page. To get some warmth on chilly winter nights all you need is a warm blanket and a book to give you some warm company. This book is sure to take your hibernation mode to the next level.

It also puts across a good message to not just kids but adults as well that you need to believe in your talents and power and refrain from the fear of failure. Each human has a past and rather than getting entangled in its shackles it is important to set free and deal with the trials of life with complete vigour. If you ace at reading between the lines you will understand the theoretically astute messages embedded within the story. It also speaks about the special bond shared by Morrigan and Jupiter who saves her from the dark hounds and lends her an opportunity to be a part of the Wundrous society.

At a time when she is rejected by her family, Jupiter acts as a fatherly figure and encourages her through the trials. For all those who suffered from bookish insomnia thanks to books like Alice in Wonderland, this book is another adventurous joyride into the world or magic. Hop aboard as you get set to rush down hollow walls, onto a rollercoaster ride of a lifetime. You are sure to fall in love with each character and somewhere or the other are able to relate to it.

Virtual genesis marks the crux of a successful magical tale and this book fulfils this fantasy. The author has managed to create and entire motion picture right before your eyes through her mesmerizing detailing. Both the protagonist and the antagonist have been characterized aptly compelling the readers to be glued till the end.

A highly recommended book for both kids and adults for its illustrative story angles and perfect characterization. This book sends across a message of believing in your hidden strength and reaching for your goals by overcoming failures and obstructions with blasting energy and courage. If you belong to the breed of people in love with some magical joyrides then grab a copy of this book before it vanishes off the shelves. On a scale of 5 will rate this book at 4.2.

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SHIKARI-THE HUNT

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Name of the book: Shikari: The Hunt

Author: Yashwant Chittal (Translated by Pratibha Umashankar-Nadiger)

Publisher: Penguin Random House India

Number of pages: 352 pages

What would you do if you are stuck right in the centre of an angry lava? What would you when you are backstabbed by the people you admire and believe the most? How do you deal with the politics in your life? Do you hunt or get hunted? If you do not find these questions intriguing nothing else will. Finding books that turn on the nail biting mode in you is quite difficult that too when they are translated from a different language. Written way back in 1979 one must bow down to the vision of Yashwant Chittal who even in that era could visualize a book that portrays the dirty games of underbelly politics and its effect on people who dedicatedly work for an organization. Following is an insight of the story.

The story revolves around Nagappa who works as a Senior Manager in an esteemed organization. He gets embroiled in an ugly crime which he has not committed and thus becomes a scapegoat of the corporate politics. An accidental fire at the company’s Hyderabad factory claims three lives and Nagappa is being accused for the accident. By the time Nagappa figures out that he has been wrongly framed he is neck down in the slush. Nagappa is stuck amidst a bunch of hungry sharks mus either swim or die.

The number of accusers, the legal letters and even the law are standing against him holding him responsible for the entire incident. In the middle of all this, when Nagappa decides to delve into the matter he understands that he has been framed by none other than the company’s Deputy Managing Director Mr.Phirooz Bandookwala. And thus begins the game of the hunter and the hunted. Nagappa has to play with all the risks possible to prove himself innocent.

Talking about characterization of the protagonist and antagonist, the author makes you feel sympathized for Nagappa as well as on the other hand makes you cringe for the evil notoriety of Bandookwala. Work place politics is something we face at one or the other level in our day today lives. However, talking about the same way back in 1979 is where the crux of the book lies. The author has created precise scenarios where in you are exposed to the world of underbelly corporate politics and the aftermath that follows with it.

The only breaking point of the book is it moves at an extremely slow pace compelling you into ditching chapters and shuffling a bit. The suspense of each scenario has been dragged thereby breaking contact with the reader. Overall Shikari gives you a feel of the 1979 era, at a time when the concept of corporate was still in its nascent stages. Very few books actually trigger that craving of what is going to happen next and Yashwant Chittal’s Shikari undoubtedly does it.

Taking a look at how corporate works today and the way people get entangled in its politics through the eye of Shikari is indeed amazing. It leaves you with shock and also gives you some food for thought. The changing face of corporate today takes you closer to the book where in you are able to relate with all the instances placed in the book. The way the story begins and proceeds further is something to surely lookout for in this book. For people who love mysteries and thrillers this is one book which must adorn your shelf. You easily relate to Nagappa and the way in which he fights against all odds and obstacles to set free from the shackles of lie and emerge as the winner.

Ignoring the slow pace of the book if asked to rate this book on a scale of 5 will rate this book with 3.9 stars. Time to be the hunter or the hunted!!

GHACHAR GHOCHAR

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Author: Vivek Shanbhag. Translated from the Kannada by Srinath Perur

Publisher: Harper Collins

Rating: 4.5/5

“I freeze. What is happening? What have I become entangled in? There must be some way out of all this…The words rush to my head of their own accord: ghachar ghochar.”

Hola Amigos. The aforementioned sentences sums up the turmoil we face in everyday life. I remember my granny telling me that a frog lives in a pond all his life and feels that he is the only one who has all the problems in the world knocking at his doorstep. We all too, in one way or the other are frogs of our own secluded life. Some books leave a seriously numbing effect on your mind and compel you into speculating your life and the incidents you face and how they bring about a change in your perspective towards life.

Ghachar Ghochar is one such book that left me numb and I desperately wished for the story to continue. An insight into the lives of each character in this book and we tend to relate with each one of it for their character traits. Following is a little sneak peek into this book.

‘It’s true what they say – it’s not we who control money, it’s the money that controls us. When there’s only a little, it behaves meekly; when it grows, it becomes brash and has its way with us.’ From a cramped, ant-infested house to a spacious bungalow, a family finds itself making a transition in many ways. The narrator, a sensitive young man, is numbed by the swirl around him. All he can do is flee every day to an old-world cafe, where he seeks solace from an oracular waiter. As members of the family realign their equations and desires, new strands are knotted, others come apart, and conflict brews dangerously in the background. Masterfully translated from the Kannada by Srinath Perur, Ghachar Ghochar is a suspenseful, playful and ultimately menacing story about the shifting consequences of success.

The narrator of the story takes you from a house in shambles to the posh localities of a metro city all because of a flourishing spice business under the banner of Sona Masala. The rise of spice business and the sudden rush of money showcase the way the life of each character changes and its effect on the other family members. Crisply plotted this book perfectly correlates the concept of spice both in the kitchen and in real life.

The subito influx of money brings with it a poison that shatters relations beyond repair. The term Ghachar Ghochar has no precise meaning as such but still leaves a deep impact on our mind. And if you wonder why does that term leave an impact on you is because our life and the situations we face eventually are Ghachar Ghochar. The narrator’s life is all knotted up with each person in his house and he is unable to find a way out of it.

From the mother trying to reign the kitchen, to the sister busy in her own world, to the uncle who runs the business, the father who is yet to recover from a setback, a wife who thoroughly believes in morals and ethics and the narrator who is trying to find a midway out of all is what Ghachar Ghochar all about. However, an on-off character actually plays a crucial role in the story. The character Vincent who works at a coffee house is quite oracular and sums up an incident in the narrator’s life in just a sentence. Vincent is witty and has his way with life as the narrator tries to find answers to his problems through Vincent’s answers.

A quick read this book has been plotted aptly without any unnecessary exaggeration which makes this book a MUST MUST read. On a scale of five I rate this book at 4.5 and would suggest each one of you to grab a copy ASAP. Till then Happy Reading!!

TRUST ME NOT

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Author: Ankita Verma Datta

Publisher: Jaico Publishing House

Ratings: 4/5

From the day I started taking interest in books, thrillers have always topped my chart. From the first line to the last, selected thrillers ensure to not just keep you engaged but also crave for what’s going to happen next. If you have been in a committed relationship with thrillers, then you would also agree that thrillers give you some serious adrenaline rush as well as give you some astonishing scream moments. I am yet to categorize this amazing book into a single genre for it has a mixture of everything. You have the perfect combo of romance, thriller, political whirlwinds and a lot more. Here is a little brusque of the story.

Rising corporate star Reeva Rai is offered a prestigious position in a top-notch PR agency. It is the opportunity of a lifetime. But working with Enigmatic Billionaire Kunaal Kabi was not going to be easy. Even as she develops feelings for him, she is determined to prove herself.

But when an activist friend turns to her for help with a real-estate scam, Reeva has to make a high-stakes choice. Can she retain the credibility of her prominent clients while helping hundreds save their homes? As she digs deeper to find solutions, a nefarious scheme unravels with unexpected connections. A no-holds-barred race ensues, blood is drawn and Reeva is trapped in the eye of a political thunderstorm. If she succeeds, powerful people will have much to answer.

Characters and plot setting are the prominent elements for a successful thriller. In this book, the author has refrained from entangling the story line and has given each character precise attention. The story built up is apt as you go on a thrilling roller coaster ride with Reeva and her story. The book aptly highlights varied human emotions like love, hate, animosity, vengeance, friendship and so on. This book got more and more intriguing with the turn of each page. To avoid unwanted spoilers all I would say is that the story has multitudinous angles all compelling you to question in the end say, “What’s next?”

It shows how the life of the female protagonist turn upside down for once when she decides to change her tracks. Some characters have a serious dark side adding up to the spice quotient. They rightly say that the lust for power is unending. With Reeva on the chase finding answers while imaginatively being a part of the story is what Trust me Not all about. Christmas is just a few days away so be your own Secret Santa and let this book give you some thrilling company.

 

AUSTENISTAN

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Author: Laleen Sukhera

Publisher: Bloomsbury India

Genre: Short stories

Rating: 3.2/5

So after a long hiatus, thanks to changing weather giving me surprise gifts in the form of cold and fever, I am back to writing another blog on a book that was massively spoken about. I am not much of a classic lover though; however I faintly remember reading Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice during my literature classes. Austenistan is a compilation of seven short stories talking about women indirectly attempting to shun the webs of hypocrisy and finding ways and means to fulfil their desires as well as enjoying their freedom.

Austenistan is inspired by the works of Jane Austen and begins with a foreword by Caroline Jane knight. In a society filled with all kinds of wrong perception towards women Austenistan showcases women characters who are breaking the shackles of monotony to strongly showcase their individuality. If you have read Jane Austen’s work then you will easily relate with this book.

It is rightly said that a woman has many faces as she moulds herself in each character with ease. The protagonist in each story is a woman who has a goes through a whirlwind of emotions in search of her identity, in search of her unfulfilled desires, in search of her fears and more importantly in search of love and freedom.

The stories are set across different cities in Pakistan and hence you can feel the warmth of the culture. Each story begins with a quote from Jane Austen’s book and hence you get a hang of what’s going to follow. However, I feel some stories stay static and some go a little overboard thereby breaking the link with the story. While some stories make you smirk with sarcasm some are overly dragged compelling you into moving over to the next chapter.

The story that I personally loved with was EMAAN EVER AFTER. Nevertheless, this book is a treat for Jane Austen fans, however, refrain from comparing with the classic. If you are in for some sassy women and some serious witty remarks then Austenistan is here to give you some company.

DECIPHER THE CONUNDRUM

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Book: Betrayals and Paybacks

Author: Sana Shetty

Publisher: Write India Publishers

Rating: 3.9/5

A shadow lingering in the dark, timid footsteps, an incomplete sentence, choked voices…if mystery runs in your blood and if you master at connecting the dots then Betrayals and Paybacks is a perfect book for you. I picked up a thriller after a really long time and I must say I am highly impressed. ‘How far would you go to protect your loved one?’ is one question that keeps you vigilant till the end. Before I come down to the review here is a blurb of the book.

How far would you go to protect your loved one? Would you even condone murder? Eight years ago Vedant Birajdar fled Tamara, a small nondescript village on the banks of the river Kaveri, after a wild night out with his best friend Jay Varma, turned disastrous. Now he is back and Jay is dead, Misha, the love of his life is engaged to another man and his older brother, Tarun, is missing. All he is left with is a strange message Jay leaves on his answering machine, before his death. Misha does not believe her brother, Jay, committed suicide. Yet, she has no reason to believe otherwise. Not until Vedant turns up at her doorstep, bleeding and seeking her help. Together they have to figure out what really happened and they have to do it quick, before the body count goes up.But can Misha trust Vedant? He had already betrayed her once before, after all.

If you ask me what is so gripping about the novel is its very own first chapter. The first scene of the story ends on a cryptic tone making you crave to know what is going to happen next. Each character has been carved perfectly and it keeps you wondering till the end as to who is the culprit. Another good feature of the writer is that each scene of the story has been carefully dramatized to keep the reader engaged and follow the author through the story. You lose the track of time the moment you begin reading this book. You doubt each character till the end which is the hitting point of the book.

There are some points where you can predict what’s gonna happen next but overall this book is a good read. People for whom thrillers are bae, this quick read is a good choice. It was a little difficult for me to believe that this is the author’s first book taking into account the fine flare of the story. On a scale of 5 I would surely rate this book with 3.9 stars.

THE GOAT THIEF

Author: Perumal Murugan

Publisher: Juggernaut

Ratings: 4/5

If you are a crackerjack at what it means to read between the lines then this book is sure to be one of your favourites. After Wise and Otherwise by Sudha Murty, this is my second book in line to be a compilation of short stories highlighting exemplary situations. While the stories in Wise and Otherwise were quite easy to understand, here, in this book you need to put a little stress on your brain nerves.

The most magical thing about this book is that, the moment you get connected with one story and its characters, you instantly move to another chapter showcasing a different place, time zone, characters and so on. This book speaks about human relations, human behaviour, love, envy, anger through its stories. In one way or other we instantly connect with one or the other character virtues.

There are stories that make you feel guilty or at times they take us back in time and activate your thought process. Some stories hit you like poisoned sarcasm while some make you laugh till you cry. The metaphor used in these stories is hard hitting and takes you deep inside your own soul to evaluate your perception about people and the world.

What’s more in store are the different characters and how a story perfectly revolves around them. For example in MUSICAL CHAIRS, the characters are obsessed over a chair and how their relationship faces the highs and lows with the mere presence of the chair. It reveals the fact as to how we as humans are mean in life and how we keep relations at stake for things that mean nothing.

While in THE WELL, you try to relate to the adversaries a human faces in various mediums of life. Whether that be societal pressure, caste, creed, religion and how it has deteriorated the very virtue of humanity. The most alluring part of the book is its quirky language and a unique way of story narration. The secret is always behind the curtain till you reach the end. As a reader you are constantly surprised with the turn of each page.

Very few translated books actually impress me but this book has instantly reached the top of my book list. For people who love to unravel the mysteries of human world with utmost simplicity then this is a highly recommended book. If you bump into this master piece anywhere, do not like JUST DO NOT think twice before picking it up.