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Book Review - Seductive Affair (✩✩.5)

(I got the book as a part of the review program by the author.)

What I expected when I read the title and the blurb and saw the cover: An out and out thriller with a touch of seduction and dark romance and a surreptitious affair.
What I got: A light and breezy read with mostly forbidden romance as the highlight.

The blurb: The blurb does not do justice to the book.
The desperation and urgency and the thrill in the blurb does not translate to the pages of the book. Prisha (if I were writing the blurb) is a girl-next door who 'thinks' she is ambitious and career driven, but is more romantic than pragmatic in her approach to life. (How else would explain her risking her first 'dream job' for a supposed investigative story and/or for a fiery romance that sets her loins on fire every time she thinks of it.)

The story that Rajesh is trying to hide from the editor, Priya, is far from investigative. In fact, the entire plot of the book is based around this supposedly front-pag…
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Book Review - The Last Attractor of Chaos (✩✩✩.5)

I got the book as a part of the review program in Outset. To know more, click:

The Last Attractor of Chaos is a sci-fi thriller, very different from what I have usually read and definitely a first in this genre by an Indian author, and I must congratulate the author for doing a good job of it.

In short - The prestigious and supremely powerful Kali.x has gone missing and the prime suspect is Shruti Rathore, an officer with a dark past, who is on a run from the Government agencies for a 'crime' she did not commit. Guiding her on a different dimension is her dead husband, Ashwin Rathore, who was killed in an attempt actually targeted at Shruti. Through a series of twists and turns, the mystery unfolds.

Language: The language of the book is fluid. One can easily read it in one go, if time permits. The scientific theories have been explained in detail and (should be) easily understood by a person with no background in science. (I cannot be complete…

Book Review - A Closetful of Skeletons (✩✩.5)

Two stars: It was ok.

The book is not bad. It is a decent one time read. But the entire onus of making a thriller/murder mystery a good one is on the climax, which failed to satisfy me. The end comes as a surprise, and I do not say that in a good way.

The story revolves around the murder of Ramola, a yesteryear's star, who decided to ruffle feathers of a bunch of (crooks) people from her extremely dramatic and tabloid-worthy past by announcing her autobiography in their presence on her 40th birthday. 

I'll go over the things that worked for me first:

1. The plot: It is simple yet interesting. The locked-room whodunit mystery with a bunch of characters related to the victim in convoluted ways added a flavour of drama to the book, and I quite liked it.
2. The treatment of characters: Most of the characters, in my opinion, were well sketched. I am particularly happy with the author's decision of placing the murder much after the initial character-building of the book has taken pla…

Book Review - The Last Chai (✩✩✩✩✩)

I seldom give books five stars, but this one deserves a six!

The story is set in 2019 India, right before the elections. The author has named the main political leaders inspired by our leaders today, making the story more relatable.
The book is an eye-opener for everyone, and makes you question everything you know and wonder how much of it is it that you have absolutely no idea about.
Ripe with conspiracy theories that make so much sense, I read most of this book in one sitting, unable to keep it down once I was 50 pages into it.
At times, the book gave me a very 'Ek tha Tiger' feel, but I say that in the best way possible. The missions, the plans, the foiling of plans and overthrowing downright selfish aspirations of other countries and the role played by 'Rohingyas' (you'll know why I have put this in quotes once you read the book) are the highlights of the book.
For most part, I was curious about the character of Poorvi Acharya, the ruthless journalist out to get the…

Book Review - The Temple Bar Woman (✩✩✩)

Received this review copy from Writers Melon.

This book had all the qualities of being a 4 star, save the ending.
But I will get to that later.

The Temple Bar Woman is a story of a young, innocent Radha aka Rani aka Radhika Chaudhary who struggles to avenge her honour by punishing her rapist - Vikram Pratap Singh, a young politician and a spoilt brat - and his friends who gang-raped her for standing up to their shenanigans. The narrative traces the protagonist's journey from 1999, when she was just another girl ready to embrace life with open arms, till 2017, when she has become the Chief minister of Agria Pradesh.

Radha, a teacher in her father's school, is brutally gang-raped by three men and thrown at the mercy of Habiba Bi, the wicked and shrewd 'malkin' of the brothel - The Temple Bar. What follows is a series of incidents which makes Habiba Bi and Radha/Rani come together as an unparalleled force to overthrow their common enemy, Vikram Singh, and his father, Bharat S…

Book Review - 8 Hours (✩✩)

(Review Copy received from Writers Melon.)

Disclaimer: The views presented are only my own perspective of the book and should not discourage anyone from reading it. You may prefer apples, I may like oranges. Doesn't say much about the fruits, only about our choices.

8 Hours is officially my most difficult read of 2018 (yet). I could not, for the life of me, get through this book. Every chapter seemed repetitive, every hour felt like a lifetime. In fact, even though I was buddy-reading this with two of my other bookstagrammer buddies, none of us could motivate the other. Much contrary to that, I think we all just pulled each other down. This book, no matter how much I tried, just did not work for me.

The story explores the fate of a family-owned company, Arya, on the verge of its demise and the protagonist, a shareholder in the company and the daughter of the founder, Aratrika, is on a mission to save it anyhow. The book is titled 8 Hours, which is reflective of the last 8 hours of th…

Book Review - Hell! No Saints in Paradise (✩✩✩✩)

Received this review copy from Writers Melon.

I was very confused about this book in the last 24 hours, so much so that I couldn't commit to giving it 4 stars, but 3 seemed too less and hence I have decided to stick to 4.

The story, set in 2050, is of a 30 year old Ismael, a Pakistani-American doing his thesis on Hell and Paradise (or rather aiming to refute the existence of both through his study). In a chance meeting with a girl named Petra, Ismael is convinced to try the hallucinogen Ayahuasca, which will set him on the path to discover the secrets unknown to the real world.

What follows is a divine intervention in a drug-induced state that further convinces Ismael to take an unplanned trip to Pakistan, reunite with his estranged father and convince him that he is a 'firm believer', and help the 'higher beings' in their 'mission'. Unknown to the level of his mission, Ismael lands in Pakistan and finds it in a condition that shocks the soul out of his livin…