What is a better crime fiction novel where a crime revolves around not the detective who tries to fit pieces in a puzzle? A book that focuses on the crime, it’s after effects and the turmoil every individual involved goes through. Such is a book written by Suraj Laxminarayanan called Elephants in the Room.
Set in Chennai this book is the debut of Suraj Laxminarayanan in the world of crime fiction. The plot revolves around a bank heist that leads to the story of three gangs coming face to face as the events in this book unfold. A group of friends plans a bank robbery which they think to be foolproof. They get into every detail and leave nothing out of their blueprint. It is kind of an Oceans’ 11 but here only 5 members are the mastermind behind it. They try to start their careers as robbers by mugging pedestrians to get hands-on experience.
Things get interesting when another gang of robbers who have already established roots in the crime decides to rob the same bank on the same day with heavy weaponry. Bonds are developed among criminals but as they say, there is no honor among thieves, things get ugly.
The storyline is a long one, written in more 590 pages, it intelligently unfolds every event and the reason behind the action taken which helps a reader like me to develop perspective. This also keeps it interesting until the end. The theme does not only revolves around the crime that is committed but every emotion exposure each character go through which leads to a thrilling drama that is lightened by occasional comic moments.
I never expected this novel to be a thrilling one. The plot did sound interesting at the start and looking at the length of the book, I did wonder how the author will reach the conclusion of this tale which is full of twists and turns. He is imagination and construction of plot did exceed my expectations and so did his writing style. Written from a third person’s narrative there is not a single element I could find the can be said as a dragging one. He even provides insight into Chennai’s culture and its geography which I am nothing but unfamiliar. The characterization could have been better but I do not solely blame the author since there is a huge cast to manage.
This book is an attraction for crime readers as it does not follow a traditional path of the subgenre but tries to redefine the perspective both of the reader and the writer because of its highly appreciable and well-organized plot.
With a peculiar cover Manoj Jain, this is his 5th book release. I have read some of his work in the past and has expressed my views accordingly. I am on a firm belief that writer Manoj Jain’s work is mostly targeted to the length of a novella, he is definitely trying to accomplish something there.
The storyline of his latest novel revolves around the peculiar nature of a child and their parents. The theme of this novella is everything related to a childhood. The pain of growing up, teenage angst, role identities, and parenting. A spirit is constantly present guiding these children and oversees their journey in the beautiful fantasy land of Shambala, a kingdom where children start their travels and are protected and taken care of.
These children continue their journey, skipping along the path till they reach a dark forbidding gate, which like some powerful vacuum sucks them inside and into the next kingdom of Dystopia. The plot starts around the reunion of five friends where they recall the past wounds and a memory to resolve why a young girl had to kill herself at the age of eighteen.
The writing style is up to the mark here. What I liked about this whole storyline is how the author has used the spirit of Dystopia as an expression that closely resembles a parent as an adult who guides a child during their from the young age to their teenage years and helps them to emerge as adults. As a reader, one can clearly observe the psychology from this end. Next, the thing I like about this novella is how Manoj Jain engages a reader like me in his twisting and turning of the storyline.
I read this book in one go and I am sure you will enjoy reading it to. If you are a parent, this might turn on an internal debate with your subconscious mind for the good or the bad but beware, that the message this novella wants to spread, must be taken seriously.
Caina is a dark comedy thriller, a light-hearted novel written by Joseph Albanese. The story revolves around two siblings who are born only a few minutes apart. One is highly successful, the other is attracted towards trouble. This opposite nature of two brothers seems like a yin yang situation is what this book about.
Lee Tolan attracts trouble wherever he goes. In debt to multiple gang members, Lee is given a second chance in life to pay back his dues. After not seeing his twin brother for more than a decade, Lee is forced to overcome this strange nature of their relationship only to find that Grant, his twin brother dead but leaves a fortune behind. Soon Lee realizes that to claim this fortune, he has to turn into his brother for the DEA and fight the mob cleverly and do save a little for himself. From this point starts a dark comical thriller of the chase, sympathy, friendship, and love. During these events, Lee learns a lot about his brother and his dark secrets.
The plot is well constructed due to the following reasons. There is a lot in the storyline going in 170 pages that keep the reader on the edge. With themes of dark comedy and crime, this novel is well suited to be read in a seating or two. The timing of the climax is on the mark. However, I did not see any subplot emerging from the shadows of the characters. A subplot could give a reader some breathing space and thinking time as to what will be the turning point. This book does not. As a reader, you keep following the series of events with a variety of characters.
The characterization in this novel is above par. Realistic enough to digest and well suited with the plot. I do like how novel starts and then from there the story builds up. The author does a great job of providing the background of the protagonist in the start. Though in between, I did lose interest due to same nature of events getting repeated. The multiple gang members due was not necessary in my opinion. One such occurrence could have been enough.
Inkredia: Luwan of Brida is the first book in the series of four. Written by Sarang Mahajan, it is a fast-paced fantasy novel. Written in the fashion of tell-tale fantasy, this book takes the reader on an adventure that has knights, magic, mystery, and questions that need to be answered.
From start to finish, the plot revolves around the two characters of both siblings. One is a seventeen-year-old Luwan and his sister Meg who live in the mountain village of Brida. Both of them are orphans since there is a little reference for their father or any other relative. The book cover might not seem an attractive one but believe as I started reading it, I could not keep my hands off it. The storyline unfolds at an interesting point. Luwan is facing a penalty, probably one that includes his death as he fails to pay the tax for the first time. He makes a daring choice to flee from the village along with his sister in a world that is full of danger.
His embarkment of the journey nearly gets them killed. Evil assassins called Ghork Riders are chasing him. He possesses a mysterious book given by his mother that is magical in nature. In the form of riddles, the magical book guides Luwan outside of his village where he comes across a drunkard name Kiliarn who is a merchant by profession. Now, I can tell you all about Kiliarn in this review since I found him the most likable character in this book, but I do not want to spoil anything for you. All I can say this, Kiliarn agrees to take responsibility to travel with them to The City in exchange for some silver coins. It is a thrilling adventure until the destination arrives.
The plot is well constructed and organized. There is so much suspense that surrounds these characters which makes it hard to keep an eye off them. A reader who is fond of traditional fantasies will be indulged in this book. Another thing I want to mention that both the storyline and Sarang’s creation of the world of its own seems closer to Tolkien’s Lord of The Rings rather than modern fantasy writers.
There are not many characters revealed in this edition. The character of Kiliarn is my favorite so far. I am sure, I can expect more interesting characters like this in the rest of this series. The author has taken the time to introduce us to the main cast as well as let few others develop along the adventure. Written in third person narrative style, the overall writing style is just amazing and professional.
This book, even though is a start in the series of Inkredia, seems to have a strong foundation established. I managed to finish this book in two sittings. I will definitely be looking out for the next part. Fantasy lovers and fans of Lord of the Rings check this out. I am sure you won’t be disappointed. Highly recommended!
I do not read many young adult novels these days for two reasons: I am out of touch from the world of young adults to get information about new books in this genre. The second being I do not get enough recommendations these days, so I am on my own. However, I got the chance to read Super Me by Jessica Dazzo. It is categorized in this genre and is the first book in a series that may constitute more.
Faye is not an ordinary teenager. She has a mom who likes someone to call her by her first name even from her own daughter. On Faye’s seventeenth birthday, her life becomes more extraordinary when she feels and hear things. She thinks her mind is going crazy and is making up the stuff in order to complete her own prophecy. She buys an old car for which she has saved every penny for a long time and drives it to her school but she meets an accident on the first day. She is unhurt, not even a single scratch or a wound on her body but there is blood. How? This is how extraordinary she is.
Humiliated by her crazy stuff and now her mother is making her life more miserable, Faye goes through emotional ups and downs in the life of a regular teenager. Then she meets Lucan, who is like her, a bit not so ordinary teenage boy. The series of events unfold in a supernatural manner as Faye and Lucan try to come together. The climax is amazing and it will answer all yours and Faye’s answers that exist form page one.
This book is in first person narrative with a writing style that deserves a high appreciation from any reader. It also uses the element of confusing a reader or put them off track which is popularised by Gillian Flynn and Paula Hawkins in this book. There are little signs of supernatural happenings with Faye. However, it is not revealed until the end. The suspense makes this book a page-turner, and it is what kept me going.
This characterization is fully developed, I could not find any underdeveloped character in this novel. Each character has their own persona which makes it enjoyable. The plot is well organized and if you are into the genres of young adult or supernatural/paranormal, this book is for you. You will complete it in no time.
When I came across Peng Shepherd’s debut work, I was foremost attracted by the mysteriousness of the cover of her book. There is no drug that can give you that much high than a book’s beautifully designed cover on which you set your skeptical eyes.
Imagine if you lose your shadow today, somehow. How will you respond to that? What will be your reaction? Will you overreact? Will you have thought that you have lost something close to you? The storyline of this dystopian novel toys with the idea of human beings losing shadow due to some vibe. This doesn’t sound creepy and weird at all, does it?
After losing the shadow, an individual’s memory starts to fade. For some, it takes weeks to be completely reborn in their mind for some, it happens overnight. I found this concept fascinating and dark enough if you think about it. The storyline revolves around multiple characters majorly Max and Ory, a wife and her husband who are trying to escape the Forgetting disease. Yes, they have the name for it. Heights of creativity! This Forgetting disease is spreading out like the plague and wiping the memory of all those who are affected. Until one day, Max’s shadow disappears.
Knowing that she will forget everything, Max runs away Ory refuses to give up on her and tries everything in his possession to find her before her memory completely disappears. The adventure starts and a series of events unfold. The history of the disease Forgetting is told to us, about its origin, whom it affected first and how it is related to elephants. Ory’s attempt to find Max is another adventure in itself that runs parallel to the background of the theme.
There’s a difference between when the mind forgets and the heart does. #BookReview The Book of M (Peng Shepherd Click To Tweet
Written from multiple POVs the book shows feelings and emotions of a being so intense that it gave me goosebumps in between. The overall theme of the book makes it interesting to dwell but the characterization is the core of this book. Everything revolves around them. The start, the ending and even the MAJOR climax in the book.
The writing style is mesmerizing and surreal. The genre of dystopia is well displayed here. The organization of the novel along with ever-changing narration is perfect. Various perceptions make it more thrilling and chilling at the same time. There are twists and turns that caught me off the guard and I am sure, on reading it, you will experience them too.
I read this book in two sittings in one day. I could not keep my hands off it. It is gripping, surreal and a delight for fantasy/urban fantasy/dystopian audience. The reason I am giving it 4 stars is that it could have been more mysterious. Sounded like Mad Max in the end.
Keeping up with Kaneda is Gaurav Sharma’s debut in the world of fiction. It is a short novella, the published work being only 130 pages long.
The plot is about the author’s experience in Canada where he went as a student. Living in a different country that is not your native land can be an amazing experience but it does come with some hardships. These hardships are not speaking the native language, finding work, expenses and money, food, etc. To overcome these hardships, the narrator of the story picks on a few part-time jobs in the process of residing there. Thus, the story tries to explore a deeper meaning in all these, a theme that few writers try to do in Indian literature.
The theme of the book comes with occasional humor. It is written in first person narrative style and uses a simple, curt language. I did not like the occasional “Hinglish”, not why it is there, but the context it has been put in. The reason I mentioned curtly is the in between the author shifts from narrating the story to a dialogue formation between two or three characters. This is rare to be seen in present-day fiction.
Speaking of characters, I think they are all well-formed. There is not much into that I can tell you without spoiling the rest of the novel. After reading it, I did realize that there are different layers to this novella, and if only it could have been written from a bit different perspective.
Recommended only for those who are looking for short fiction, novellas, or humor.
Giri Sharma’s latest novella Flaming Forties: A Journey Which Changed Their Lives has a lively theme with all the modern elements one can think of. The book is based in Mumbai, India, where four childhood friends dwell together on a journey. The story of these four friends is an interesting reflection of life.
The plot starts with the journey to Manali and Shimla from Mumbai. All of the friends are in their forties and happily married or recently widowed. They are meeting after a long time and haven’t been in contact for 28 years. The plot covers two themes simultaneously and succeeds in doing so. These two themes, friendship, and marriage are rarely seen together in one book. The storyline is eventful with some twists in between.
The characterization in the novel is above par and I think since the length of the novella is only 80 pages, there isn’t enough time given for the characters to mature to the highest possible extent. Third person narrative voice is used in this novella to describe the events. It is written with simplicity. A better editing or a little expansion of the plot could have done better though. This book did feel too short to read. The themes, the thing I most adore about this book could have then been reflected more in depth but that might not be the intention of the author.
Nonetheless, if you are looking to read something short and crisp, something that you can read in one sitting, this is for you. I will be looking forward to more and a bigger (in length) work from Giri Sharma, the author.
Kristy Mackmurdie’s latest trilogy, The Inheritants, an urban fantasy, is her debut work. The book is divided into three parts namely: The Funeral March, Invisible Man and The Offering. I recently got the chance to read all three parts.
My experience as a reader with urban fantasy is limited and I am glad I could get my hands on The Inheritants Trilogy. The plot revolves around Meredith Earl who is an Inheritant orphan. Her lover is recently found dead and now his corpse is missing. Meredith is recently feeling lonely after his death and gets obsessed to find the dead body. She embarks in the journey of cruelty, backstabbing, loss and a struggle that needs constant sacrifices from herself. Moreover, her is past is explored and many secrets are revealed.
The storyline in this book starts on a slow note. We are introduced to the main set of characters in the first part and a mystery starts to loom. However, the mystery can soon be solved by the reader as the events inside the novel advances and then starts a journey of a chase and run and hide and revenge. This adventure picks up speed and we as a reader get more insight into the lives of different characters, especially the Meredith and her lover Sloane.
The writing style in this trilogy is excellent and is flawless. The narrative voice sometimes did get in my head comfortably and made me realize that it might leave an impact at the end of it. The main characterization is deeply explored and is given proper time for the reader to absorb the information. Another thing I like about this novel and want to point out is that the constant back flashes provide immense details about these characters. There is R rated content and that upon completing the trilogy, I think to define the nature of some characters is important and also fulfills the nature of a modern day fantasy writing style. I could not find any drag elements that are just there to fill up the pages and a common practice in this genre but I do think supporting characters could have been a bit better.
If you are into fantasy reading or its subgenre urban fantasy or have never read one, this can be a great start.
Bhawana Somaaya is a journalist and an author of 14 books. Her latest book, Keshava – A Magnificent Obsession. Lord Krishna is one of the many gods in Hindu religion. He can be identified in various forms and his identity is spread in a variety of cultures all across the nation. That said, he has been a significant part of Indian Mythology.
This book does not have a significant plot that concentrates on character building with twists and turns. This book is something altogether different. It is divided into nine different chapters in which the lord is himself represented as different entities. These entities vary from being an obsession, lord of knowledge, cows and trees, love, guardian to royalty, and other materialistic things. The fascinating fact I learned from reading this book is the popularity of Lord Krishna among different cultures and he is recognized in them through more than hundreds of names.
There is no wonder why his popularity resides outside the boundaries of Indian culture over the past few decades. In each chapter, he is representing himself and telling tales or observations from the different point of views. The writing style is smooth, clear and I appreciate the author’s effort in creating them out of nowhere.
Though the absolute religious mythology is not for me I will still recommend this book to various mythology lovers out there.