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Book Review – Prince of Ayodhya

PrinceOfAyodhya

PrinceOfAyodhya

Book Name – Prince of Ayodhya

Author – Ashok K Banker

ISBN – 1841491861

My Rating – 3.8/5

Here is my entry for The Eclectic Reader challenge 2015 for the category Retellings. This is Retelling of an Epic Ramayana from India Prince of Ayodhya written by Ashok K Banker. This is the first book of Ramayana Series.

Ramayana and Mahabharatha are the two main epics of India. Ramayana is about how  to live and Mahabharata is how not to live. Ramayana is about RamaChandra who attains glory by his virtues. Ramayana was originally written by Sage Valmiki but was retold by Many others.I have read the one written by C.Rajagopalachari in a very simple and lucid english.

Around 20 pages of the book describes about how the author has taken this epic and written a tightly coupled fiction. The original plot starts a little later in the book. The grandeur of the city of Ayodhya, visions that Ramachandra see, Vishwamitra’s Request and the threat that Dark lord Ravana (When i wrote Dark lord I wanted to say Voldemort ;-)) forms the main plot of the story.

Rama enters the Bhayanak-van with Sage Vishwamitra to banish the demons hailing. Tataka is the main demon who need to be slaughtered. The author has been quite imaginative while describing her. She was not a hideous creature, she is a gigantic women with ravishing good looks that is deceptive of her true self. This is where the author stands for his fictional view of Ramayana, a beautiful villain.

I have read the retelling of other mythology as well. Some how I was not quite satisfied compared to those because this is just another retelling, there is no scientific research or logical explanation behind any of the creatures or the magical powers that the protagonist possess’.  Also the authors ramblings in the starting of the book of how this is about an epic and how it is just his view was a little too much.

It was also a good read, my rating is 3.8/5  and I am looking forward to finish this Ramayana Series by Ashok.K.Banker.

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Book Review – The Cuckoo’s Calling

thecuckooscallingBook Name – The Cuckoo’s Calling

Author – Robert Galbraith

ISBN – 0316206846

My Rating – 2.5/5

Here is my first entry for The Eclectic Reader challenge 2015 for the category PI Crime. This is Private investigation crime novel The Cuckoo’s Calling written by Robert Galbraith. There were  list of other options that came to my mind for this category, first of all was Sherlock Holmes the classic but somehow the pseudo named Author Robert Galbraith has a famous other name, which intrigued me into choosing this book. Yes JK Rowling it is. Hence I thought I ll give this book a try for the mentioned category PI Crime.

The book is about the death of a celebrity supermodel Lula Landry. The investigation is given to Cormoran Strike a private detective by Lula’s brother John Bristow. Mr Strike happens to get a new assistant for the given case, Robin. Cormoran, an Ex Army person and Robin, has a keen eye for logic and detail. They are the main characters involved in the book. Although there a few other characters in the book who add completeness to the murder mystery plot.

Mr Strike as an investigator meets all the witness of the case in person. He does not hide the fact that the case is being re investigated or who has paid him to investigate, from the witnesses. The approach was quite straight forward most of the time. Although I found some of the interrogation a little bit dragging, there were a lot of keen take away points that would be helpful in solving the case. For example, the make up artist Bryony Radford was a dyslexic person. This could be a negligible fact but at last it comes out as the main witness in the case.

Overall it was fast paced novel, mostly the second half keeps you thrilled.I enjoyed the final chapters of the book where Mr Strike reveals the murderer and intentions of the murderer. I have tried my level best not letting out any spoilers. But the revelation of the murderer came in as a shock to me too :P. Do give this book a try and find out the murderer yourself. Happy Reading !!

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Kindled !! #1

Here is the story of how I landed up buying a Amazon Kindle Touch. As you know from the About page of Happy Ink Parchment blog, my dad is a voracious reader too. He had this habit of collecting books from the Chennai book fair. He has been going to the Chennai Book fair for the past 25 years. He would collect rare collection all well as the books he had already read, from the library when he was in his college. He is proud about these books considering these as his prized possession.

By the time I started reading books, his collection were not much. Some of the series were unfinished. I was wondering where did all these go ? That is when we realized that the books were either lent and never came back or they got old and worn out. Since we shifted many houses and in some places we were not able to get it all set in the shelf or cupboard, it was kept inside a good steel box but since it was not used for long the pages got worn out.

Imagine the pain my dad would have had seeing his prized possessions getting spoiled. Even if we had been in the same house for all these years, not all day you would take a book and read. We have a busy life and book reading would be a passion. So the next time I went to the book fair I was highly discouraged from buying any book. And unfortunately I did not have a good library near my locality. All the hopes were falling apart, I wanted to read new books, new genres and I was stuck with age old classics(No Offense but some times you need to get out of your shell. Its time to add the new contemporary one also to your collection).

kindle1

And this is when (2012) the idea of getting a E book reader cropped up. And settling for a Ebook reader of a few thousand rupees was not that easy on me. I did research for around 2 months.

Checked with what are all the brands available ?

Reviews both online and from friends of friends

Which brand is better ?

Which has good compatibility, that is to charge or connect to internet in India ?

What screen size is optimum ?

How much should it weigh ?

How flimsy each one is ?

Warranty and Protection costs ?

Last but not the least Which one is worth its cost ?

kindle_iconAnd I finally landed up buying Kindle Touch 3G. From where I bought my Kindle could actually be a separate blog post but here is a SPOILER ALERT !!  It was from the Dubai Shopping Festival.

Now that it has been two years since I got a E Reader, I recommend it to you as well.

PS -I love the smell of turning the pages of a book,it is heavenly. But let us also join Eco- friendly reading.

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Book Review – The Judas strain

Judas StrainBook Name – The Judas strain

Author – James Rollins

ISBN – 0060763892

My Rating – 2.75/5

Yet another plot on the dystopian society from the series of Sigma Force. This is the second novel I am reading from the author James Rollins, excited from the first book I read of his “The Black Order”(Kindly await a book review on that one too). James rollins has weaved this sigma series such that the members of the force are consistent and their inter relationships (professionally/romantically) are detailed to reality.

The book starts with a prologue about Marco Polo who did not talk about a particular place he visited during his travel to the south Asian side. He is said to have hidden a dark secret from the world. And the book starts from the plague that has affected an island near Indonesia. When you read about Marco Polo in this books, it scares us , the fact that millions of years have passed and our home (Mother Earth) still unfolds a lot of mystery from a new plague to missing aircraft or new islands. In the book, one of the scientist who is explaining the seriousness of the epidemic plague, says “We still don’t know what has killed all the dinosaurs” True, we do not know what was in the place we live 1000 years ago , what our ancestors must have gone through.

The plot unfolds the scientific trail as well the historic trail. There is also a hypothesis that Lord Vishnu who is depicted in the epic as blue colored, has probably consumed cynobacteria. The cynobacteria is ancestor of our plants , it lives on photosynthesis. The blue glow that Vishnu has may be of the glow that the cynobacteria emits once consumed. The book finally takes us through how the pandemic disease , The Judas strain gets the cure.

Also a fact that we might have read that we use only a meager percent of the brain, where the rest is left unused. Adding to this, the scientists’ also say that only 3 percent of the DNA defines you, the rest 97 percent is just genetic junk passed from ancestors.

Altogether the book was a good read, although not well researched on the fine details of the history part of the subject. Some of the chapters were dragging, especially the part where they escape from the Cruise and get into the Sky dart (flying boat). The demise (assumption) of Monk made it a little bit sad until the Epilogue reveals that Monk may be alive. A tactic to give the urge to the readers to read the sequel as well (Yup I will quite soon)

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