Monday, August 14, 2017

Shravan - The Best Time to Read Interesting Books About Shiva By Preetha Rajah Kannan



The month of Shravan seems a particularly appropriate time to write about my journey into the world of mythology and my deep fascination with Lord Shiva, as depicted in the Tamil puranas. I started my voyage with Shiva in the City of Nectar, narrating Shiva’s divine play in ancient Madurai. I took the treasured tales of Paranjothi Munivar’s Thiruvilayaadal Puranam, passed on orally through the generations, and fleshed them out with the lavish play of an affectionate imagination. As a denizen of present-day Madurai, these stories are especially close to my heart. 

I threw myself happily into narrating the tales of ancient devas, asuras, sages, men and talking birds and beasts. Shiva blithely takes on the guise of beggar, saint, monarch, merchant, fisherman, hunter, warrior and woodcutter, walking through the three worlds slaying rampaging demons, performing his Ananda Tandava, and embracing good and bad alike. I delighted in portraying Shiva in all his multi-faceted mystique - the tender lover who woos and weds Goddess Meenakshi, the eternal Guru who dispenses wisdom, the fierce avenger whose third eye flashes fire, the generous benefactor who showers blessings on his devotees and, above all, the gentle prankster who embodies the essence of Vedic faith.

I continued my voyage with Son of Shiva, telling the story of Kartikeya, Commander-in-chief of the heavenly hosts, embodiment of wisdom and valour. Again, I recovered treasured childhood tales and knit them with fresh insights and content from Kachiappa Sivacharya’s Kandhapuranam.  Son of Shiva depicts the monumental battle between the forces of good and evil, as embodied by the devas and the asuras. It is as much a tale of Shiva as of his son. 

Daksha Prajapati, drunk on hubris, conducts a splendid sacrifice with the explicit objective of denigrating Lord Shiva. In a whirlwind of destruction, the awesome Veerabhadra lays waste to the yagna and punishes the participating gods and sages. However, the sinister echo of the infamous sacrifice returns to haunt the gods in the form of the formidable asura brothers, Surapadma, Taraka and Singhamuka. The asuras obtains powerful boons from Shiva, assert their supremacy over the entire cosmos and unleash a reign of terror. The traumatized gods implore Lord Shiva to deliver them from the demons’ depredations. In answer to their prayers, Kartikeya, Champion of the Gods, emerges from Shiva’s tejas. Armed with the invincible mystic spear bestowed on him by Shakti, Kartikeya takes on the forces of darkness in an electrifying confrontation which shakes the very foundations of the universe.

It was a joy to fill the pages of Son of Shiva with a host of fascinating characters, dark magic and cataclysmic events. The demon Vatapi takes on the guise of a goat to devour unsuspecting sages. The humble spider builds its web to shield Shiva from the elements. Every drop of blood shed by the asura general, Raktabheeja, transforms into a hideous clone. Kama is reduced to ashes by Shiva’s furious third eye. Parvati performs an incredible thousand years of penance to win Shiva’s heart. Vishnu receives the splendid Sudarshana Chakra from Shiva. Shiva annihilates the demon, Gajasura; breaks the Ganga’s fall on his matted locks; performs his cosmic dance; rises as a towering pillar of fire and shines in all his glory. 

I do hope both Shiva in the City of Nectar and Son of Shiva will be my readers’ door into a rich new world of insights and tales of Lord Shiva. Happy reading to you all!

Book Links:
Shiva in the City of Nectar
Son of Shiva

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Book Review - The Fourth Monkey by J D Barker

I got The Fourth Monkey by J D Barker book in Feb'17. And the best part about author and PR they never pushed us to finish the book. It took me more than 6 months to start the book and another month to finish it. The only reason behind slower speed was mobi version. Well, if you have watched Dexter or similar series, you will like the book Those reading this book the first time don't think it is a sequel. Actually, the author has started the story of a serial killer not from his first victim but from sixth or seventh one.



Book Blurb
For over five years, the Four Monkey Killer has terrorized the residents of Chicago. When his body is found, the police quickly realize he was on his way to deliver one final message, one which proves he has taken another victim who may still be alive. 
As the lead investigator on the 4MK task force, Detective Sam Porter knows even in death, the killer is far from finished. When he discovers a personal diary in the jacket pocket of the body, Porter finds himself caught up in the mind of a psychopath, unraveling a twisted history in hopes of finding one last girl, all while struggling with personal demons of his own.
With only a handful of clues, the elusive killer’s identity remains a mystery. Time is running out and the Four Monkey Killer taunts from beyond the grave in this masterfully written fast-paced thriller.
Porter is trying to solve the 4MK case for last 5 years in which 6 killings were already taken place. The killer was like Dexter, his main target would be a criminal who was cleaned in police records. Instead of killing criminal killer will kill female close relative (mainly daughter or sister) of the person. Before killing he would send warnings to criminals in a small box. The first warning would be the ear of girl which indicates "Hear No Evil". The second warning would be eye ball of girl which indicates 'See No Evil". The third warning would be the tongue of the victim which indicates 'Speak No Evil". By the time third warning box reaches criminal, the dead body would be found along with records of crimes done by the criminal. Killer had never left any clues unless he wanted police to know about something. But this time things were different. Warning box delivery guy met with an accident and ear in the box led to one of the richest and most powerful fellows of Chicago city. How would Porter solve the case? Along with box, Porter found diary left by 4MK. Well the book is in two parallels. Case which I mentioned above and incident of 4MK's teenage. 

The author claimed books rights for movie and series are sold before publishing the book. And I actually found book pace slow as series. 400+ pages long book can be filmed in 10-12 episodes easily. The language of the book is quite easy and straight. The author has covered areas of psychology and criminal science while writing the story. Well, I have read fewer books in this genre so I liked it.

Talking about ratings
  1. Cover - 3/5
  2. Characters - 4.5/5
  3. Content - 4/5
  4. Concept - 3.5/5
  5. Overall - 3.5/5
Book can be found at - Amazon & Flipkart
Review from other readers can be found at GoodReads

Friday, August 11, 2017

The Indus Challenge by R. Durgadoss

I wanted to read this book ever since I checked its promotional email from TBC. Dr. R Durgados has gifted me this book in exchange for an honest review. 


Book Blurb
Bharat is in chaos. While the kingdoms fight each other, Alexander’s forces gather for the assault, their leader lured by tales of supernatural weapons and the elixir of immortality. Only one man can save the subcontinent from domination by the Greeks: the young Chandragupta Maurya, trained under the aegis of the ‘dark brahmin’, Chanakya.

When an ancient seal is found, sharing the secrets of the brahmastra, the redoubtable weapon of the Mahabharat, it is up to Rudra, young commander of the Mauryan Nava Yuva Sena and lifelong friend and confidante of Chandragupta, to decode it. Along with his fellow commandos, and with the able guidance of his guru, Rudra embarks on a quest that takes him from the snowy peaks of the Himalayas to the seas of Rameshwaram, hunting the clues that will lead him to the brahmastra. On the way, he meets the Chiranjivis, ancient beings tasked with divine duties, and learns the secrets behind his own birth and his mysterious powers.
But Rudra must be careful, for not all enemies were dispersed with the death of the mighty Alexander. Treachery lurks in the home, and when Rudra is framed for the attempted murder of his sovereign, he must pull every trick at his disposal to reveal the enemy, and save his kingdom from plunging, once more, into bloodshed and chaos.
A historical, mythological adventure story, The Indus Challenge is sure to appeal to readers interested in the storied past of India and the legends woven into its soil.
The Indus Challenge is the first independent book in the trilogy. It is written in times of Chanakya and Chandragupta Maurya. The protagonist of the story is Rudra. A fictional character conceptualized by the author. Rudra was the reincarnation of a special force captain aiding Abhimanyu during Chakravyuh infiltration. Due to failure in saving Abhimanyu's life, he was cursed to take three (shorter) birth. As per the divine plan, the first incarnation was Rudra. Due to his special powers and mystery around his birth, he was trained & brought up by Chanakya along with Chandragupta. The story is divided into multiple parts
  • Alexander's secret ambition behind his desire to dominion over India
  • Rudra's treasure hunt with Chanakya and Chandragupta for ancient secrets (Amrita and Brahmastra)
  • Clash between Rudra and Chandragupta's wife Helena
Each part has its own plus and minus. I liked the first and second part. The third part was more like Hindi sdrama. Talking about nearest similarity would be "Chandra-Nandini" airing on Star Plus. Talking about the first part it was mixed with historical and fictional components. Medium to high paced. This part was nearer to historical facts. The second part was more mythological and magical. The pace of this part was a super fast journey. Many funny or illogical or less thought about incidents mentioned in this part. I already mentioned drawbacks of the Final part. Due to this part, I am giving one star less to the book.

Still, it is a different book. Properly written. One can take it as a light read for the journey. Talking about ratings
  1. Cover - 4 / 5
  2. Content - 3.5/5
  3. Characters - 2.5/5
  4. Concept - 3.5/5
  5. Overall - 3/5
Book can be found at - Amazon & Flipkart
Review from other readers can be found at GoodReads

Monday, August 7, 2017

Meet Russ Colchamiro Author of LOVE, MURDER & MAYHEM

Today we have Russ Colchamiro with us to discuss about his latest book LOVE, MURDER & MAYHEM


So Russ, tell us about your education?
B.S. Secondary English Education, Buffalo State College; Manchester Metropolitan University, UK
What were you like at school/college apart from studies?
I was a late bloomer. I went overseas for my final semester—I backpacked through Europe for a month and then lived in Manchester, England for three months—this is back in 1994, before travel was as accessible as it is today. In a real way that trip changed the course of my life.
What are some day jobs you have held?
You name it, I’ve done it! But to this day probably my favorite job ever was being a paper boy. This is back when teenagers could still get those jobs, back in the 1980s. I was my own boss, had money to spend, and I was alone a lot, which I liked. Plus I spent so much time around physical newspapers that it turned me into a junkie. I still love print papers to this day. Being a waiter was fun, for its time. You learn a lot working in restaurants. Everyone should do it, at least once.
Do you read much and if so who are your favorite authors? Which author inspire you the most?
Besides the news—which makes me want to vomit these days—I try to read fiction every day. I have several writers I love, including (among others and in no particular order) Christopher Moore, Kurt Vonnegut, Mark Twain, Harlan Coben, Sara Gran, Elmore Leonard, Alan Moore, Kurt Busiek, and John Steinbeck.
When did you start writing? (It may be your first article or blog.)
I dabbled in high school, wrote on and off in college, but by my mid-20s was working as a journalist, and taking fiction much seriously.
When did you decide to become a writer?
Since I was a little kid. I wanted to be a writer … and a scientist. I’m terrible at actual science, but science fiction? That seems to be working out pretty well!
What are your ambitions for your writing career?
Write the best books I can, every time out. Financially, I’d love to get to the point where this is how I earn all of my money, for the rest of my days. I’m working on it …
Do you have a special time to write, or how is your day structured to accommodate your writing?
I work full time, have a long commute, and have seven-year-old twins—my ninjas.  So my writing time is after my kids go to bed, and when I can on weekends. For the most part I write 9 pm – 1030 pm every night. Then I walk the dog and clean the kitchen. I try to make those 90 minutes count.
Is LOVE, MURDER & MAYEM your debut work? If not so, what have you written?
To date I’ve written four novels—Finders Keepers, Genius de Milo, Astropalooza, and Crossline. I’ve also contributed to another half dozen anthologies. But Love, Murder & Mayhem the first anthology where I served as the editor, running it from conception to completion, including contributing my own story.
What genre are your books?
Science fiction and fantasy, a mix of comedy, mystery, and action adventure, although I’m moving more into crime fiction and noir.
Can you describe your current book in few lines? What’s it about?
Love, Murder & Mayhem is a new anthology from Crazy 8 Press, with 15 stories from 15 authors. While I’m typically a novelist, I served as editor for this one, and contributed one of the stories. Each tale contains at least one act of love or romance, at least one murder, with lots of mayhem, all in various science fiction settings. Admittedly, I was expecting an entire anthology of private eye stories—and we have a few—but thankfully it inspired an entire range of tales. We have superhero and supervillain stories. Off-world and space cruiser stories. We’ve also got A.I., private eyes, sleep surrogates, time travel, an aliens/monsters mash-up and … one DuckBob!
Give us an insight into your main character(s)
Angela Hardwick. Though the ‘world’ she appears in is galaxy hopping noir, she’s a private eye in that classic Sam Spade detective. Fedora, pinstripe suit, knows the angles.
Where did you get idea for this book?
While writing GENIUS DE MILO, the second book in my FINDERS KEEPERS scifi backpacking comedy series, I introduced—briefly—the character of Angela Hardwicke.. I bumped up her role considerably for the third and final book, ASTROPALOOZA. I always wanted to write a private eye character, and loved her right away. I’m actually planning to write a spin-off series with her. But before I jumped into a full book, I wanted to write a short story with Hardwicke in the lead, to get a better sense of who she was, her rhythms, and the kinds of stories I wanted to tell. That inspire me to create LOVE, MURDER & MAYHEM.
How much research did you do for this book?
Not research so much as plotting out the entire mystery beginning to end. It actually took me a few weeks to work out all of the details. If you plot a mystery and even one little component is off base, the entire narrative falls apart. The infrastructure of your story has to be rock solid.
Release date.
Love, Murder & Mayhem debuted in July, so it’s on sale now. 
What are you working on at the minute?
I’m working on a top secret project I can’t talk about yet, but hopefully by early next year. After that I plan to be writing Hardwicke stories for the next several years at least.
What are your thoughts on writing a book series?
A series has benefits and challenges. The benefits are that you can explore your characters in deeper ways and in new situations, introducing them to any number of other characters and friction of all sorts. The challenge is to keep the character fresh, making sure you have something to say, and ensuring that you are being consistent one book to the next.
What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Write every day. Don’t seek perfection. It doesn’t exist. Write every day, whether it’s good or bad, whether you’re happy with what you produced or not, and then, once you’ve done a strong, legit polish, working out the kinks, share your work with only a select people whom you trust will give you honest feedback that you can put into practice. Don’t be afraid to be challenged. If you don’t seek input, it’s difficult to improve. 
Is there anything else you would like to add that I haven’t included?
I’ve got books! Buy ‘em. They’re cool! And leave reviews please!
Links for your book readers

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Making Breakthrough Innovations Happen by Porus Munshi

I am a big fan of Rashmi Bansal's books. I have read 5 of her books and 2 more books I have with me which I have to read. If I talk about my liking in nonfiction genre, business stories or entrepreneurial journies are my favorite. I checked this book in my office and I liked it after reading the first chapter. The author Porus Munshi has taken wonderful success stories to inspire organizations/individuals to perform with radically new ideas/methodologies/systems.


Book Blurb
For long now, India has been seen as a country that is good at working on products and ideas that are already out there. Indian companies took up products that came in from the West and either replicated it or re-engineered it. Indians, when they went to other countries, were part of creative teams that came up with, and implemented great ideas. But, when in their own country, Indians do not have a reputation for coming up with innovative ideas. So, what is it that stops them?
The author laments this situation in his book Making Breakthrough Innovation Happen: How 11 Indians Pulled Off The Impossible. He points out that even the Indian branches of MNCs do not see their Indian operations as centers of innovations. They just work on things that have already been conceived elsewhere.
In this book, Munshi tells the true stories of 11 breakthrough ideas conceived and executed by Indians. These ground-breaking examples show that if someone dares to think out-of-the box and follows their dream, then seemingly impossible things can be achieved.
Making Breakthrough Innovation Happen: How 11 Indians Pulled off the Impossible - as title suggests 11 stories of this book are divided into 4 sections:
  • Orbit shifting challenges
  • Challenging the establishment through a breakthrough insight
  • Enrolling to cause
  • Combating dilution
Each section comprises two to three stories. Each story starts with some brief global example, followed by the problem at the hand, methodology to solve the problem, the reasoning behind methods. It ends with results and future course of actions.

Each case is unique and strong one. I am from Surat so I can relate it more, but I liked most of the cases. A person who would like to enter into a startup or bigger role should read it once. The book doesn't just talk about what had been done but also talks about why it was done and why it worked.

A wonderful 4.5+ read. Talking about ratings:
  1. Cover - 3 / 5 (Frankly speaking it gave me feeling of an academic book)
  2. Content - 5 / 5
  3. Concept - 4 / 5
  4. Overall - 4.5 / 5
Book can be found at - Amazon & Flipkart
Review from other readers can be found at GoodReads

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Book Review - The Newtonian Quest - By Deepak Vidyarthi

Just after "The Left Roof", "The Newtonian Quest" by Deepak Vidyarthi is my second sci-fi fantasy this month. I am a big fan of sci-fi movies but I have read fewer books in this genre. I am glad that Indian authors are entering into this genre with something new. Talking about the first impression, I thought the book is on some nonfiction topic. It was due to cover design. I suggest readers not to ignore this book by the cover. Deepak try to work on cover design ASAP.


Book blurb
Ever wondered how were the great laws of physics discovered? Well, not all of them originated inside a four-walled lab. Some of them had more to it, a fight, a war, an epic tale of adventure behind it.

Yes! Newton, a genius scientist, must travel in time to discover the most important laws of physics and while doing so he must also learn how to fight an army of villains-hellbent on the destruction of the universe. Befriend some other legendary scientists, encounter strange life forms which he considered just a figment of his imagination and meet God- which would totally change his take on life and spirituality. 
This is an untold story of how a mere human transformed into a legend that he was. Find out how Newton unravels not only the most famous laws of physics but also some thought provoking truths of life, the mysticism of death and paradoxes of humanity.
Talking about the story, our main protagonist is Newton. Yes, you heard it right. It is time traveling fantasy of Newton. A fine day one guy came to Newton's door and asked him to accompany him to the future. Being a scientist Newton always asked for scientific explanations. Higgs explained him few things and took him to the year 2026. There he met Master Gulshafa who told him Newton is the Muksal savior. Gulshafa trained him in martial arts and meditation. Newton's journey was not easy from that point onwards. His stay with Gulshafa was very short. Soon he was sent to the year 2020 where he met another master and learned more things. The book has 4 timelines where Newton traveled and did his job.

Well, the book gave me mixed feelings. I liked many things. The concept was different (not talking about time travel) but talking about Newton as the protagonist. It is like "Lincoln a Vampire Hunter". Deepak has explained action sequences quite nicely. Newtons training may give you nostalgic feeling of watching Neo's training from Matrix movie or Goku/Gohan's training from Dragon Ball Z. While time traveling and space journey will remind you other sci-fi movies and books. In marketing, they say give a perfect bundle to the customer which they cannot refuse. The book is written for YA and sci-fi genre and the author has done quite a good job. 

Things I liked
  • Newton and other historical figures as main characters
  • Good pace. Not a single para extra. To the point. At the same time not expressed pace.
  • Action sequences
Things that could have been better
  • Cover - No doubt. Very confusing. 
  • Climax - I found it too much imaginary for sci-fi.
Over all a recommendable book to genre lover. Talking about rating
  1. Cover - 3 / 5
  2. Content - 4 / 5
  3. Characters - 3.5 / 5
  4. Storyline - 4 / 5
  5. Overall - 4 / 5
Book can be found at - Amazon & Flipkart
Review from other readers can be found at GoodReads

Sunday, July 23, 2017

The Left Roof: A Way to the Infinity World

I selected "The Left Roof" by Nathawat brothers just looking at its cover. The blurb of the book was equally interesting. A sci-fi is written for the age group of 10-18 year, 'The Left Roof' can be a good read for the targeted audience.


Book Blurb
Alfred Riston is a twenty-two-year-old college student who is heartbroken by his mother's abandonment of her family. As he attempts to grapple with his pain, he begins experiencing strange visions and hearing a voice that seems to come from nowhere. There is no question that an unseen force is attempting to make contact with Alfred. Now all he has to do is determine who or what it is.
After he and his best friend, Khushahal, decide to investigate the weird comings-and-goings surrounding his old family home, they unwittingly confront hostile guards who seem to be protecting some sort of bizarre chemical experiment. But when he contacts his father to ask him what he knows, he is quickly pushed away without explanation. Now as a series of bizarre clues are slowly unveiled, Alfred embarks on a journey into the past where he learns the truth about his birth that will change everything, not just for him, but for the infinity world.
In this gripping fantasy story, a college student on a quest to learn the truth about himself and his family soon discovers that nothing is certain when it comes to the universe
The story is written around an imaginary world called Infinity. Alfred, a college boy, who is staying with his father, is our protagonist. His parents got separated and his paternal house is locked up. According to his father, Alfred's mother has put the stay on it. But Alfred found some suspicious activity going on in his paternal house. He along with his friend ventured into that house and found an interesting book. During the same time, he witnessed many strange events. Those events led him to a completely new world Infinity. But the moment he stepped into infinity world he became fugitive. And from that point onwards it became an express paced story. Pace became so fast that it didn't slow down until end.

I liked following things about book
  • A new kind of plot. World, race, imagination
  • The way various sci-fi and fantasy concepts mixed up to prepare infinity world. I think kids and YA audience will like it.
  • Cover art. I liked it
Things that I found less interesting or faulty
  • Title - Though reason was given it could be better
  • Multiple confusing twists and explanation. Which I didn't get it. I don't want to reveal which were those concepts
  • Too fast paced storyline. If you miss two lines things get changed drastically.
Overall a good read. I would recommend to kids for sure. Who knows they will love it like HPP. It is a complete set of entertainment which has magic, science, technologies, gadgets and mystery.

Talking about ratings:
  1. Cover : 4 / 5 
  2. Content : 3 / 5 
  3. Concept : 4 / 5
  4. Characters : 3 / 5
  5. Overall : 3.25 / 5
Book can be found at - Amazon & Flipkart
Review from other readers can be found at GoodReads

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