Book : Unsettled

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unsettled

Click on the image to find “unsettled” on Amazon

Book : Unsettled

Author : Neelima Vinod

This is a gripping story of a love thirsty Yakshi. Yes, you read it right. This yakshi is slightly different from the Yakshis that we grew up hearing stories about. The kind that attracts young men with their white sari and long beautiful hair and drank their blood in cold blood.

The image the word Yakshi beings into my mind is the reason I agreed to review this book. I am not afraid of Yakshis you see. They don’t want the blood of beautiful(ahem) young (ahem ahem) women somehow. Prejudice at its best. But then there is the story of Gandharvas. The ones who come to the earth to prey on the love of beautiful women. Here , giving into the Gandharvas desire, spells death for the young lady. But this death by love is not in cold blood.

Both these stories find a place in this folklore themed novella. The characters are well portrayed, the situations are well created, the narrative is good. But the story is a bit weak at some points. You keep flipping pages until you know what actually happened. Although deep down, you do know what is in store for you at the end of the book.

In this book, you will find a mixture of all the stories related to supernatural phenomenons that our grandmothers take pride in telling us about. The author says so herself at the beginning of the book. Being a Malayalee myself, I can relate to it completely.

Although well paced and well written, there are parts of the book that I wish wasn’t so well written. I love simplicity. Replacing simple sentences with complex literature doesn’t go down well with me. Especially if the narrative doesn’t call for it. The Big House with 101 rooms could have been given a better name in my opinion. 

The story is about Raghav and Divya who are facing marital issues five years into their marriage. The reason is Raghav’s childhood friend Anu and Divya’s suspicious nature. When the issues between them go beyond control, they decide to get a doctor’s help. The doc, having heard both sides of the story,  recommends that they go to Divya’s village Cherakad in Kerala, looking for the “scrolls of love” hidden in the The Big House opposite Divya’s ancestral home.

How they find each other’s love and how passion gets rekindled in the presence of the love thirsty Yakshi is what is described in this book. And yes of course, Thathri, the Yakshi has a story of her own to tell too.

It is a short read, which can be finished in one sitting. I would recommend the read to anyone who is interested in folklore and enjoys a good Yakshi story.

I would go with 3 out of 5 stars for the attempt at reviving the folklore form of story telling.

Happy Reading Folks!

Book : Sirens Spell Danger

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Book: Siren Spell Danger

Authors :  Suresh Chandrasekaran, Radha Sawana, Karthik L

This is not the first time I am reading a book authored by fellow bloggers. I enjoyed the Dork series immensely. Even though I never read the blog of the author of that book before, the narration caught my interest. It was written in the language that we generally speak in. Just like we do in blogging.

But when we are dealing with the mystery or thriller genre, the language that we use for general conversation is not much acceptable. This is one of the drawbacks of the first and the third stories in this book. There is too much stress on the feelings and thoughts of the protagonist than on the plot or the narrative. The use of too many idioms is a turn off too.

Story one, Femme Fatale,  talks about how a soon to be police officer ,Vicky, gets caught up in a terrorist operation. The characters are good, the plot is well created, the characterisation is done well. But the narrative could have been better.

Story two, Bella Dona, is a gripping tale of murder and revenge. The author follows the Dan Brown style of using symbolism to keep the readers on the edge and turning pages with a frenzy to know what happens next. A beautifully written and researched work this one is. The effect of which will remain with me for a while. But there is something that I didn’t understand about a missing murder. Or maybe it was just me who wants everything to fall into place perfectly.

Story three, Bellary, started off with a lot of promise in the form of Jay, an Intelligence agent ,who gets assigned a kidnapping case. A CBI agent agent gets kidnapped during his mission in Bellary, Karnataka. And it is Jay’s job to find him. He is suspicious of it from the beginning itself as he thinks the case has some political aspirations behind it. The story fades as it takes an entirely different turn pretty quickly.

All in all, it is an interesting read. I would have gone with 2.5 out of 5. But because I thoroughly enjoyed the second story, I am giving it  3 out of 5.

Happy Reading Folks!

A Christmas Gift

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If I don’t post this in 2013 itself, it will be a shame. So even though I am on a forced blogging break till the second week the next year, here I am boasting about being a part of a wonderful group of writers and friends and hence becoming a part of our First ever Write Tribe Anthology Book.

Our friend Vidya , who has compiled and edited the book with the help of Vaisakh and Corrine, has brilliantly explained how the book came into being in her post. Please do read it to understand the importance of this book in our lives.

I hope you do take the time out to download and read The Write Tribe Anthology Book 1. It is a compilation of the bestest posts from the blogs of us 36 write tribers. I hope you enjoy reading it. If you do, then please do share it too. 😀

The-Write-Tribe-Anthology-Book-1

The-Write-Tribe-Anthology-Book-1

7x7x7x7 writing prompt at Write Tribe.

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This is for the 7 x 7 x 7 x 7 writing prompt at the Write Tribe.

7X7X7X7 writing prompt at Write Tribe.

7X7X7X7 writing prompt at Write Tribe.

‘What’s happened?’ boomed Howard’s voice, with a slightly tinny edge; Miles had put him on speakerphone for Samantha’s benefit.

The marriage was over and nothing Howard could do or say would change that. Maybe if Miles had seen it coming, he would persuaded Samantha to stay on in the marriage. But she had been suffering in this loveless marriage quietly for a long time now while Miles had been living in the past. A love that should have died with Annie, still lingered on in his heart. And now it threatened to end his marriage with Samantha too.  Howard, who had graduated from high school and was away at college now, wasn’t surprised  at all.

**** I am so impressed with this 7x7x7x7 writing prompt at Write Tribe that I actually pointed to the 7th sentence in the 7th page of the 7th book and wrote 7 sentences on it *****

For the Write Tribe Prompt here:

Write Tribe Prompt

 

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Why I write

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Why I write ?

Writing

Writing

I am not too sure why I write anymore. If the topic was about why I blog, that answer is quite simple.

Creating a diary entry will only give you the satisfaction of having noted down an incident in life. Nobody reads it, hence nobody connects with it and nobody comments on it. This becomes a one way communication. Blogging breaks all those barriers. It gives a voice to your thoughts and lets that voice be heard by any and many and with it the wrath or the warmth of the reader’s reactions.

I write because my diary doesn’t understand me or speak to me. Like every writer, I am sure, I too started my writing habit with a diary entry. On the front page of that diary was a poem. A poem in which I described what I intend to write in the diary. What followed in the pages after that were prose, quotes and poems. I believe that, if you don’t consider yourself a good writer, the chances are that nobody else will either.

Being blessed with a good vocabulary and the knowledge of the correct usage of words is only the second factor in making someone want to write more. The first factor is the want itself. Some people prefer to talk their feelings out. Hence their work will be more self deprecating or even sarcastical. Journalists try and get their facts right, hence they are rarely bothered about the emotions involved. The prose and poetry type of writers use the medium of words to carve an imagination for the reader. They don’t just state facts, they recreate those facts in the mind of a reader.

That according to me is the power of a writer. Being able to captivate the reader in first 500- 1000 words of a book or a story is what gets the reader to read ahead and enjoy the experience. Fifty percent of what we read reflects on what we write. I love humour, romance, thrillers, suspense and sometimes even a drama. So these find a way into my writings too. I don’t read self help or motivational books, and hence these never show up in my writing.

I write because I want to know if my 100 or 500 or 1000 words can captivate a reader and make them live that experience in that short span of time. If this is accomplished, then I want to work on my language. When I think I have mastered the language , I want to write more words into a story. Then I would want to add chapters into that story. After which I would love to be able to finish the book. The end product would be the result of years of hard work, hundreds of insults, thousands of rejections and hence the sweetest of successes. I intend to achieve that success and with that the happiness of having lived a dream. The power of words colliding with the power of my imagination and creating a world of enchantment for the reader. This is why I write.

Write Tribe Prompt

As part of the Write Tribe and Thursday Blog Hop.

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BOOK – Inferno

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I like the way Dan Brown writes. Simple to read and easy to understand. His books keep you hooked no matter what people say about the same kind of story line he comes up with. He does good research for the books and it shows clearly in his work.

I have read and liked his Da Vinci Code and the Lost Symbol. The latter one got a bit too difficult to digest towards the end. But then it is after all fiction. This one is similar yet a bit more realistic.

Inferno-cover

From the start of the book (or the 24 hr day) , he manages to instill a fear in the reader. It is based on Dante’s books of poetry collectively termed as “The Divine Comedy“. If you don’t know anything about it, don’t worry. The book explains it again and again and again till you are not able to forget it ever!

Yes, this is a flaw I found in this book. I don’t really see the need to repeat things so often. It was helpful for people like me who haven’t heard about Dante or his work till now. The amnesia  has rendered an additional thrill factor to the story. The organization that is mentioned in the book, is said to exist in real life and this is what scared me most about the book. Not the gruesome explanations of painting of 9 layers of hell based on Dante’s Inferno.

I will never be able to forget this book for two reasons. Firstly because , I have  been to the place where the climax of this book occurs. His previous books were based on places I hadn’t seen before. So when in the final chapters he mentions the Sea of Marmara, I was thrilled at being able to identify the place. I have walked through all the places mentioned and felt similarly while looking at the huge structures and learning their enchanting history. Secondly because , during the initial chapters when they were describing a place (which would finally be the place where the climax occurs) , I had picturized the very same place in my mind! That was a coincidence and a wonderful surprise!

When I had vacationed in the place in Dec 2012, this particular attraction was visited totally by chance on the last day of our trip. While I was in it, I had wondered why nobody has based a thriller on the place. It was creepy, eerie, quiet, and oozed of mystery and enchantment. If I were a writer, I would have definitely written a book about it. I had photographed all the things he mentions in the book. It was like being there again.

The book managed to keep me hooked till the end. Somewhere in the middle, it dragged on for a chapter or two. Other than that I couldn’t put the book down. The outcome is that I stayed up to finish the book the day before yesterday and ended up with a terrible headache yesterday. But it is all worth it! Loved the book! Please do read it too.

Almost the entire story is already on Wikipedia. I am so glad I didn’t search online for anything regarding the book before reading it. I hate it when there are spoilers in them. So if you want to keep the mystery alive, please don’t read any reviews! It renders the suspense of the book entirely useless.

My Copy of Inferno

My Copy of Inferno