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Title: Pandora Reborn
Author: John Coon
Genre: Horror, Fiction
Pages: 308
Publisher: John Coon Publishing

Rating: 3.9/5

Pandora Reborn  by John Coon is a supernatural thriller. As the title suggests, it is about a Pandora’s box opening (re-opening rather) that is the source of all troubles in the story.

I don’t usually read horror books but thought it would be a good change and hence decided to try this out. I must say, I was not disappointed.

Summary

In the small town of Deer Falls, supernatural stuff keep happening. Or so was told to Ron Olson who is a new student here and who rubbishes the idea. A Pandora’s box is re opened and when, one by one, his school mates meet fatal ends, Ron and his friends get suspicious and he is convinced there is something to this super natural vibe after all. What he witnesses is horrific and unbelievable and that’s when he realises what mortal danger his family and friends are in.

What I Liked

I liked the book. The narrative was smooth, crisp and fast paced – apt for this genre. It never got boring.  The plot was well set and descriptions were perfect for the setting.

Although this is a horror story, the author didn’t go overboard with the gross detailing. It was a relief for me as I simply cannot handle squeamish details. All in all, it was a serious horror story focusing on creating fear rather than disgust. Thumbs up from me!

What I Did Not Like

Now, this isn’t a negative. The book is interesting but more suited for young adults, in my opinion.

Other Details

This is a standalone and would be best enjoyed alone at bedtime.

Would I Recommend It?

Of course, especially if you enjoy the YA genre.

Buy Your Copy here

Amazon IN|  Amazon US  | Amazon UK

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Title: Son of the Moon (The Time for Alexander #3)
Author: Jennifer Macaire
Genre: Historical Fiction
Pages: 244
Publisher: Accent Press Ltd.

Rating: 4/5

Son of the Moon by author Jennifer Macaire is the third book in the Time for Alexander series. I have read and reviewed the previous book – Legends of Persia on this blog, if you want to check that out, click here.

In this book, the story continues from where it was paused last and the adventure with Alexander continues.

Summary

Alexander reaches the sacred valley along with Ashley to find Paul. But is he successful? Ashley has to make a very difficult decision. As the journey continues forward to the Indus river, Roxanne joins them and Ashley is not too happy about it. Alexander engages in the epic battle with Porus and the result is catastrophic.

All the while Ashley knows that his end is nearing and when Alex is fatally wounded in the battle, Ashley’s only resort is to pray he lives on.

What I Liked

Son of the Moon is the next installment in the series. The writing style is impressive, as was with the previous book. So much so that I hadn’t realized I had reached the end of the book when I did. Not one dull moment in the story.

The flow of the story is so smooth that I just got carried away. As I had mentioned in my previous review, the emotional Alexander is what makes him human. Here too, it is evident and that’s what makes this read so touching and relatable.

What I Did Not Like

I don’t think I disliked anything in the book.

Other Details

Son of the Moon is not a standalone, so one must begin from the beginning. I will be reviewing the next book too, so watch this space for the upcoming review.

Would I Recommend It?

Yes, yes and yes! I was hooked on right from the start. It is an interesting and exciting historical read that is brilliantly written. If you’re interested in such books, then you should definitely pick this up.

Review of the previous book in the series – Legends of Persia

Buy Your Copy here

Amazon IN|  Amazon US  | Amazon UK

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Title: The Inside City
Author: Anita Mir
Genre: Fiction, Literature
Pages: 368
Publisher: Unbound Digital

Rating: 3.8/5

This is the first time I’m reading the author’s work and I must day, it has been a unique experience. I usually stick to books within my comfort zone, but I decided it was time I moved on. And I’m glad I did that with this book.

The Inside City by Anita Mir is a story of Lahore, pre and post partition, and many political events make appearances within it. Let me begin with a short summary and then move on to the review.

Summary

The book begins in the 1919s with the story of a family in the Inside City in Lahore. Dar and Khurshid are raising a family and Khurshid is told by a pir that her son, Awais, is destined for great things. And thus begins her obsession. When Awais discovers the lost gate, Khurshid is sure the prophecy is coming true. Among expectations and ambitions, relationships and losses, the inside city has a tale to tell that is both emotional and practical at the same time.

What I Liked

Straight off, I am super impressed by the writing style of the author. I found it unusual but gripping.  Unusual because at some places it took me some time to piece the goings on together but nevertheless, it was interesting and kept me going.

As the story moves on, the reader is sucked into this exotic city filled with tales and experiences from yesteryear. The story is about Awais and his family along with his close acquaintances. Starting from his childhood, the character of Awais (and many others in the book) share their lives with you.

What I Did Not Like

Now this is my first time reading a book written with such flamboyant style. Hence, I may have felt different than other readers, but nevertheless, this is my honest opinion.

I thought the many deviations from the main story made it difficult for me to follow the story line – I was left confused, at times. Also, there are some conclusions left unsaid (or rather left to the reader’s imagination). I’m not complaining about it, it is just an observation.

I also noticed that some characters were not given enough description, whether deliberately or not, I don’t know. But I couldn’t shake off the feeling that they should have been rounded off better.

Other Details

The Inside City is the debut book by Anita Mir and I must applaud her story telling and writing skills. Splendid!

Would I Recommend It?

Yes, definitely. If you’re in the lookout for something new and unique, then do pick this up. You’ll not be disappointed.

Buy Your Copy here

Amazon IN|  Amazon US  | Amazon UK

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Title: A Year of Wednesdays
Author: Sonia Bahl
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Pages: 280
Publisher: Fingerprint! Publishing

Rating: 4/5

A Year of Wednesdays by Sonia Bahl is a humorous but touching story. I know it sounds like a oxymoron, but it is the kind of unique read that you don’t forget easily. It will always remain with you. And probably you’ll end up reminiscing its references sometime during you daily hustle bustle.

Let me start with a summary and then get down to a more detailed review.

Summary

Two strangers meet in an airplane when travelling from India to the US. Seat 7A is this wall street hotshot, who knows how to live the high life and that’s exactly what he aspires to do for the rest of his life. Seat 7B, with a toddler in hand, likes to believe in the simplicity of life and adjust-ability that comes with it. Both start a conversation that lasts the entire journey. At their destination they part, not knowing their names or any other details but still feel like they have known each other for a lifetime.

What I Liked

The book is a poignant story that explores the layers of human emotions. The narrative was casually modern and humorous.

I loved the language used by the author. Very impressed. She has experience in writing and that clearly shows throughout the book. It is but commendable how she has expressed herself.

The characters were as real as could be. Sophisticated and domineering in their own unique ways, the path the characters take in the story is rather interesting.

The ending was short but perfect, in my opinion. A nice little twist to the undeviating story line.

What I Did Not Like

There was this place towards the end where I felt a slight (and I mean slight) drag in the pace of the story. Otherwise, it was all good.

Other Details

The author, Sonia Bahl, has been into writing ads, movies etc., and as mentioned earlier, it shows in the flamboyant language used by her.

Would I Recommend It?

Definitely. If you’re bored with your usual reads, then pick this up. It is something quite different.

Buy Your Copy here

Amazon IN|  Amazon US  | Amazon UK

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Title: The Mirror Crack’d From Side to Side
Author: Agatha Christie
Genre: Murder, Mystery
Pages: 224
Publisher: Harper Collins

Rating: 4.5/5

The Mirror Crack’d from Side to Side by Agatha Christie is this month’s book for the reading challenge set by @maidensofmurder. This is my second time reading this book but that did not take away from the suspense at all. Trust me, the story is not what you’d expect it to be.

Summary

The movie star Marina Gregg has moved to St Mary’s Mead and is creating quite a buzz with a charity event held at her home. Among her numerous fans is Heather Badcock (no seriously, that’s her name), who excitedly rambles on to Marina but then immediately after, Heather dies. But who would want to poison the naive Mrs. Badcock? Or was the poison intended for Marina? A few people did notice her ‘frozen’ look at the party.

While the police are investigating, the ever curious Miss Marple takes a different approach to her own little inquiry.

What I Liked

No matter how much I read the author’s work, I still get easily whisked away into the story. EVERY TIME. She does have a magical way with words. What a thinker and observer she was! Absolutely mind-boggling!

The story keeps a good pace right from the start and it gets even thrilling as you go further into it. With her impeccable writing style, the author keeps the reader guessing, leaving bits of clues here and there. But it all comes together as a package in the end, neatly tied with a conclusive bow.

A straight forward story with a clean but absolutely unexpected climax!

What I Did Not Like

Please!

Other Details

The Mirror Crack’d from Side to Side is a Miss Marple (#9) book.

Would I Recommend It?

Absolutely! The highlight of the book is the climax. If you get your hands on this one, just grab it!

Buy Your Copy here

Amazon IN|  Amazon US  | Amazon UK

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Title: Legends of Persia (The Time for Alexander #2)
Author: Jennifer Macaire
Genre: Historical Fiction
Pages: 271
Publisher: Accent Press

Rating: 4.2/5

Legends of Persia by Jennifer Macaire is the second book in the Time for Alexander series. Now, I haven’t read the previous book but I enjoyed this one nevertheless. The story is about Alexander but in this particular series, it boasts a rather unique beginning.

I shall reveal more in my review, so stay tuned.

Summary

Ashley is on her journey with Alexander. She herself is seen as a Goddess by all and is made to participate in rituals to bless the crops with Alexander. In Asia now, Alexander faces challenges but his focus is to only get his son back. Through ups and downs, Ashley stands lovingly by him but she knows Alexander will meet his end one day. She can help him but that would mean changing the course of history. Is she willing to take that risk?

What I Liked

I really enjoyed the book. Primarily because it is a heady mix of adventure and romance. About the unique start that I mentioned earlier, Ashley travels back in time to meet Alexander to gather firsthand information about what transpired. I read the summary of the first book to get an idea and then went ahead with this one. Alexander’s adventures and conquests are fascinating, but what I loved here was how the author portrayed the softer side of Alexander.

He was a God to his subjects but his emotions made him human and relatable in the story. The many interesting characters made this an intense read.

A special mention about the writing style of the author here. Beautifully expressive, especially loved the use of metaphors and similes.

What I Did Not Like

To be honest, I was a bit shocked by certain sexual indications in the story but then I had to remind myself that in that time period the things/events not so common now, were okay back then.

Other Details

As mentioned this is the second book in the series. There are two more sequels to this book. I will be reading and reviewing both for you guys, so keep an eye on this space.

Would I Recommend It?

Yes, for sure! I would, of course, suggest you start from the first book and enjoy the tale of Alexander and his adventures.

Buy Your Copy here

Amazon IN|  Amazon US Amazon UK

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Title: Reasons To Kill God
Author: I.V. Olokita
Genre: Historical Fiction
Pages: 142

Rating: 4/5

Having been on the bestseller list in Israel (and the subject being WW2), I couldn’t resist the invitation to review Reasons to Kill God by I.V Olokita. I love historical fiction, except for the romantic ones, and I tremendously loved the writing style in this book.

Before I rattle on, let me begin with a summary and get down to the details.

Summary

The protagonist is Klaus Holland, a Nazi criminal, who has always prided himself in hating (and killing) the Jews. The story is about him and his life journey and how, till the very end, his beliefs feed his ego and thereby, his actions. It is a fantastic retelling from a Nazi point of view, something I have never come across. A blunt but interesting tale.

What I Liked

As mentioned above, I have never read anything like this. It is Klaus’s story through and through and also of the people close to him. The tale is short and very precisely executed. I simply loved the writing style, the author managed to keep the brisk pace and the sharp plot together.

I am not used to reading stories about the bad guy. And that’s exactly what I loved about the book. Although, there is a moment of repentance towards the very end,  I liked that it showcased the pure raw emotions of the protagonist.

What I Did Not Like

Although I liked the writing style, the narrative was a bit too random at times. I had to first read a little to begin to understand where this was all going. Not entirely a negative but for some readers, it may be.

Other Details

This is the second book by the author that was published in 2015 and topped the bestseller list. His first book Ten Simple Rules has won an Israeli literary prize.

Would I Recommend It?

Oh yes! If you are someone with interests in the World War 2 and in reading something from a Nazi’s point of view, then definitely give this a try. It is a one of a kind read.

Buy Your Copy here

Amazon IN|  Amazon US  | Amazon UK

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Title: A Twist of Fate
Author: Summerita Rhayne

Blurb
“I want to find him. And when I find him, I will destroy him.” 
Charulata wants revenge. She seeks to spill the blood of the man who ruined her. He married her and left her after one night. The diktats of her society declare only one place suitable for the woman rejected and deserted by her husband – the abode of the concubines. Charulata faces ruin and now lives and breathes for one purpose…the only purpose keeping her alive. How to track Deva – and kill him.
Deva knows he had earned the wrath of this woman. Embittered and devastated, he’s a wounded lion hunting his enemies. Regrets and softer feelings are long gone from his life. He encounters Charulata with all the arrogance of his forebears. Yet the fire of hate is mixed with the fire of attraction between them. Rage and passion have become inseparable…
A Twist of Fate follows the entwining fortunes of Charu and Deva in the post Vedic ancient India. Greed, treachery, and deception feature highly in this story of royal suspense. Can love have a hope of surviving amid such intrigues?
To be a courtesan in ancient India was a fate far worse than slavery. This is the second book written on the theme by the author. Also read Against The Tide, the story of the royal concubine, the first book with the same theme.
About the author

Summerita Rhayne writes contemporary and historical romance with lots of emotional conflict. She first got published in 2013 and has won contests with prestigious publishers such as Harlequin and Harper Collins India. Her pet belief is, if the inspiration is strong enough, the story characters will find a way to make the writer pen them down, even when writing time is in short supply. When cerebrally confronted with the sizzling interaction of two Alpha characters, the only way to get peace is write their book!

At heart, she’s a family person and even though she loves her teaching profession, she happily becomes a homemaker when not at work. She loves winding down with music, romcoms, cricket (strictly watching only) and social networking.

Excerpt

Her curved brows arched a little more – the mobile movement betokening the agility of a dancer’s expression. ‘Mayhap the tall form of my cousin pleases you better than a moderately built one like mine.’ At this, her eyes brimmed with humor before her lashes became cast down to hide it.

He resisted the urge to go over to her and tip up that firm looking chin. ‘I can’t tell what pleases me until I’ve held the form in my arms.’

He’d succeeded in having her gaze back to him, tangling with his and now her mouth curved in enjoyment of the sparing.

She said in a low well-modulated voice. ‘You certainly have your ideas clear in your head, swami.’

He made a gesture of half of impatience and half dismissal. ‘Don’t call me your master. It’s a slave more likely.’ His mouth twisted at the admission. The clink of ornaments sounded and Charulata came closer to him. Her hands were held in front of her, fingers tightly interlocked. He reached out and pried them loose, clasping each. They trembled in each of his like trapped birds. Their gazes locked. His pulse increased its pace. He thought his insides trembled also and couldn’t reason why.

‘Do you really wish me to be so brazen as to step in your embrace?’

He gazed down into her eyes, conscious again of that mixture of humor and the shyness of a bride. He surely didn’t wish her to come any closer. His blood pressure might not sustain it.

In direct contradiction, he said, ‘Do you want to?’

Her eyes widened a little, but he had to acknowledge she didn’t lack for comprehension. Two slim arms like the snakes of temptation wreathed round his neck and her warm curves pressed against his – what now seemed to have been destitute – body.

He felt definitely a tremor run through him. Instinctively, his hands reached out resting at the niche of her curving waist… She fit against him perfectly. His arms must have been made to hold her, her body to mold against his. His mind jumped to hope, to curiosity, the insistence how perfect would be the ultimate union with her –

Conscious of two impulses drawing him equally strongly in opposite directions, he tried to clear his mind. The urge to flee, to put distance between them, to remember why he was here – a lowly deception that clawed at him – was tossed against the second, as powerful wish – to take her to the folds of the silken sheets of the rose-petal strewn marriage bed.

**

A Twist of Fate is up for preorder at a low discount price of 99 cents.

Book link:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07PWMYBRP 

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Title: Why Didn’t They Ask Evans?
Author: Agatha Christie
Genre: Fiction, Crime, Thriller
Pages: 288
Publisher: Harper Collins

Rating: 4/5

Why Didn’t They Ask Evans? by Agatha Christie is the book of the month (March) in the reading challenge set by @maidensofmurder. This is my second time reading the book and I thoroughly enjoyed it! I rave about AC’s books whenever I get the chance (sometimes a lot, I know!) but the story here is simply unique and unthought of, which makes it one of the must reads, in my humble opinion.

I’ll tell you what I’m talking about in my review, but first, a short summary.

Summary

Bobby Jones is playing golf when he realises someone has fallen over the cliff. The dying man’s words are, “Why didn’t they ask Evans?” Bobby doesn’t give it a second thought but when an attempt on his life is made, his friend Lady Frances Derwent (or Frankie) suggests they investigate further into the matter since they now have doubts about the man being pushed off the cliff. Together, they rack up the dead man’s past, facing grave challenges and dodging suspicion, but what they come across can only be termed as shocking.

What I Liked

As I have already spilled the beans (my bad!), I loved the book! The title was intriguing but I especially liked how the story began. The dying man’s words filled me with curiosity and that was all I needed to get my grey cells running!

The plot is of a typical mystery setting but since it is Christie, and she never disappoints, the thrilling twists and turns at almost every page kept me on edge throughout. I kept turning the pages and getting sucked into the mysterious tale with Frankie and Bobby.

What I Did Not Like

There’s nothing that I didn’t enjoy here. It was absolutely entertaining.

Other Details

Why Didn’t They Ask Evans? is a standalone book by Christie and does not feature any of her usual sleuths.

Would I Recommend It?

Yes! If you’re starting out with AC books, then this is the perfect one for you.

Buy Your Copy here

Amazon IN|  Amazon US  | Amazon UK

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Title: Sea Of Lies (The Village Book 2)
Author: Rachel McLean
Genre: Fiction, Crime, Thriller
Pages: 352
Publisher: Catawampus Press

Rating: 4/5

Sea of Lies by Rachel McLean is the sequel to Thicker Than Water that I had reviewed earlier in the month. The story carries on from the previous book and this one too, is an interesting read.

Let’s catch a quick summary before I get to the review.

Summary

The abducted girls have returned and it would seem that there would be some peace in the village but Sarah is completely confused. She brought along Martin with her but the villagers don’t seem to happy about it. Moreover, her situation with her father, Ted, only seems to have gotten worse. And just when she thinks she knows the guy, Sarah stumbles into new information about Martin. Can Martin be trusted? And how will Ted react to all this?

What I Liked

I actually liked the sequel but I cannot say that it was better than the last book. Thicker Than Water was much more pacy and action driven. But, nevertheless, I was interested in knowing what happens next and equally enjoyed this book too.

I loved how the characters of Sarah, Martin and Dawn were sketched. Ted’s character made me jump when he was in one of his moods. The writing is superb, which is the case with all books by the author. I think I keep repeating this in all my reviews, but can’t help praising the penmanship of the author!

What I Did Not Like

Although it was not as fast paced as its prequel, that didn’t bother me. The only thing I would want point out is that this book cannot be read as a standalone. One needs to read the previous book to get a hold of the story and understand the characters better.

Other Details

As mentioned earlier, Sea of Lies is the second book in the Village series. You can read my review of the prequel, Thicker Than Water, here.

Would I Recommend It?

If you have read the prequel, then definitely yes! It is a good ending to the struggling situation in the story and you’d most certainly enjoy it.

Buy Your Copy here

Amazon IN|  Amazon US Amazon UK

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