Extending the Branch..

THE SILVER BRANCH (1957) 3/5 YES Historical Fiction Rs.78 (Bookchor.com) Rosemary Sutcliff [3.93/1873 ratings Goodreads]

Review #448 (Book Review #148)

Finished yet another book and this time its a thin book THE SILVER BRANCH, 2nd in THE EAGLE series and written by ROSEMARY SUTCLIFF.

This book was first published in Dec 1957 and wrote as a children adventure though as per me it’s an adventure for children and adults alike. My copy is 175pgs for which I took 67 days, quite unlike me since this book is thin but I usually read 2-3 books at a time, I mean on basis of my mood, so 3 different books will always be opened and I pick any one of them at a particular moment.

This book used a little old style english since the story depicted the old times – its a fictional account of the real times and real characters when Romans ruled Britain. A new surgeon was appointed at Rutupiae fort – Justin (for short) who befriended a young Centurion Flavius (for short) who is a soldier in Roman legion. These are peaceful times under the emperor Carausius (for short) who ruled Britain, but his finance minister Allectus is planning to usurp the emperor, he is a traitor and he was able to take the land by killing him. Now its upto Justin & Flavius to win back the land from the traitor Allectus for its rightful owner.

Ideally this is a 2nd book in the series THE EAGLE, but the storiesin both the book is standalone, yes, the story in this book succeed the 1st book story, and linked by an important connection but still you can read the books at your expanse, you can pick up 2nd book before the 1st one if you want.

Now let’s discuss about the plot/story. Plot is fine, just like you can think of old times of kings and wars and whatnot, even the writer has given it the touch of oldtime with the old patterned english usage, it brings authenticity to the books, and make the books genuine for its readers. But then it has its drawbacks as well, not everyone can read or appreciate the efforts, its hard in readability plus it demands reader’s full attention to the story or they may miss any important detail.

The pace of the story however seems slow here if I compare it with the 1st book, although both books cam be considered same in terms of adventure, but to me, it looks that 1st book had lot more to cover in terms of story than it is here, also it had an element of suspense, which is not here per se. The story goes on at a leisurely pace towards the last few pages where it came to action, last few pages are more engrossing than starting ones, going through the war sequences, felt like you’re watching the whole scene. But its a good story to read, if you appreciate a little hard language. I rate the book 3/5.

GRuchirG.

Jai Raam ji ki ๐Ÿ™‚

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Posted in adventure, Foreign, Historical/Period, Mythological/Historical | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

a Zombie Classic!!

PRIDE AND PREJUDICE AND ZOMBIES (2009) 2/5 NO Horror, Thriller, Comedy Rs.198 (Amazon.in) Seth Grahame-Smith, Jane Austen [3.29/118193 ratings Goodreads]


Review #447 (Book Review #147)

Video Review of the novel

Completed yet another fiction book, and this time I targeted a parodic horror social genre of book, seems pretty different from the type, isn’t it, well yeah, it is. This one’s a parody book PRIDE AND PREJUDICE AND ZOMBIES written by Seth Grahame-Smith and its a parody of the book named ‘Pride and Prejudice’ which was written by Jane Austen way back in 1813 and is considered a classic. So why a parody of such a beautiful and classic novel (I didn’t read the original book, just using adjectives to increase the length of my review and to show everyone that I am a hard novel reader ๐Ÿ˜› ) But why? Let’s first see who is the author.

Seth Grahame-Smith is an american novelist, producer, director, screenwriter and has written some 8 books (all info are sourced from our own beloved Wiki), which shows that he liked writing parodies, he uses a known book or figure, introduced some awkward things in them and lo behold! a new book is created. Well well! This is my 2nd read of him. Previous to this I’ve read ‘Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter’ and you can see by name that this again can be counted as a parody on the life of one of the greatest American personality. Now let us look at the plot of this book.

It’s 19th century England, which is infested by a strange plague in which dead arose and if they bite someone, that person too become like them, basically you all know that as a superhit formula now-a-days – ZOMBIES. There are many novels and films already been made on this imaginary yet plausible phenomenon. A miss Elizabeth Bennett is living with her family and 4 sisters in the country, her mother always wishes all of them to get married, but her father wants them to enable themselves to fight this zombie mayhem, and so all of them were personally trained by chinese martial art master in the self defense and zombie killing arts. And then the central character of our story found one of the equal worthy opponent Mr.Darcy. What will happen to her family and the equation between the 2 is the crux of this story.

Ok, what’s good here? It’s a different kind of read, its a mashup of s famous regular book adding masala in it. Though as per a note provided in the book, the time when the original book was written by Jane Austen, these kind of books (not exactly mashups but related to zombies, devils and bad-doings) were on rise, little did Jane know that one day even her book can get parodies in the same way. So if you’re into such kind of interest, you can go with it. I also like reading and watching zombie books and movies, so that’s why I bought this book. But there are more negatives than the positives.

Language is untouched, so it’s a hard english to read, since the original book was written way back. The story is simple dramatic, I thought that Seth could’ve made the book more energetic and interesting, but that’s not the case here. I dont like reading such social, romantic or drama books, so I thought that maybe by adding zombies it will become interesting, but author didnt play much across his parody writing, so for me, this book will be counted as a dull one, slow moving, not much happening, story as usual and all boring kind of stuffs.

I am not undermining the classic, its a classic and definitely had a fan-following but I’m not that into these kind of social books so this one scores a negative on my scale. More horror incidents can be added. Book goes on for 334 pages. There is a movie adaptation already been made. I recommend this book to those who are into reading social novels (not me) and wouldn’t mind reading a comic twist to it. I rate it 2/5.

GRuchirG (G Ruchir Ji)

Jai Raam ji ki ๐Ÿ™‚

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The END is NEAR!!

PRALAY (2017) 3/5 YES Mythical Thriller Fiction Rs.9 (Amazon Kindle) Vineet Bajpai [4.03/1039 ratings Goodreads]


Review #446 (Book Review #146)

So, I have completed book#2 in another mythical thriller fiction series, and this book is named PRALAY: THE GREAT DELUGE written by VINEET BAJPAI.

Lets first see who is VINEET BAJPAI. Below excerpt is taken from the book itself, and I haven’t added or deleted anything.

Vineet is a first-generation entrepreneur. At age 22 he started his company Magnon from a small shed. Today Magnon is among the largest digital agencies in the subcontinent, and part of the Fortune 500 Omnicom Group. He has led the global top-ten advertising agency TBWA as its India CEO. This made him perhaps the youngest ever CEO of a multinational advertising network in the country. He has won several entrepreneurship and corporate excellence awards, including the Entrepreneur of the Year 2016. He was recently listed among the 100 Most Influential People in Indiaโ€™s Digital Ecosystem. Vineetโ€™s second company talentrack is disrupting the media, entertainment & creative industry in India. It is the fastest-growing online hiring and networking platform for the sector. He has written three bestselling management & inspirational books โ€“ Build From Scratch, The Street to the Highway and The 30 Something CEO.

So, the writer is from a corporate world, basically an entrepreneur or CEO level, and that is why our hero of this series is again a CEO of a digital company. Now let’s take a look at the story covered in this 2nd book of the series.

The story starts from where it ended in the 1st book HARAPPA. In the harappan timeline, the god-human Vivasan Pujari swears to take revenge from the people of the city whom he loved and who dragged him and hunted him. In the current timeline Vidyut who is now involved in a blood game in the India’s ancient city Varanasi is trying to save himself from assassins and trying to decode why someone wants to kill him with the help of his great-grandfather Dwarka Shastri. There is a pralay (deluge) coming in Harappan time which will take everything with it. And in current timeline, Vidyut has to stop the bad guys or black tantriks from bringing the ultimate doom and end of world.

How’s the book? I got the Kindle version of this book for Rs.9 because I was very much interested in reading it after I completed the 1st book, it ended abruptly, longing me for more. Kindle version is 289 pages, so it was not a long/tedious read for me. The book was no doubt gripping and a fast read for a regular reader like me, plus it belongs to my one of the favorite genre i.e. historical/mythical fiction. But one thing I saw is on the rise amongst new-born Indian writers. They usually follow a set path. For e.g. earlier there were a huge incoming of love novels, where everyone’s claiming their love story to be different than others, whereas it was just a mix-and-match of their own stories wherein they projected a hero character out of themselves and added something in the story. No doubts, still there are many love-stories in the market by Indian writers, this rise can be attributed to a famous Indian writer and well-known Chetan Bhagat. But I’ve seen that after the success of historical thriller writers like Amish & Ashwin Sanghi (who are now a known name in India), many others followed their path and went to write in this historical/mythical thriller genre. This book also lies in the same area. One more thing which I found is their fascination with the ancient city of the world Varanasi, obviously it is so enchanting and mysterious that many normal people got attracted to it, plus it’s the biggest pilgrimage location for the Hindu religion and equally attracts many foreigners as well to its otherworldly charm.

This is my 2nd read from a different author covering the mystics of Varanasi and its inner secrets including aghori babas and tantriks. On the front of story, the book certainly took us ahead from the end of book one but content wise it seems that story advancement was not that much here as compared to the 1st book, though more secrets are revealed, and because of those discussions, maybe the story didn’t proceeded ahead. The language is pretty simple. Just like some points I found confusing in 1st book, same way I found some here as well, 1 I can put here: Matsya at one time asked Manu to build an ark to save everyone from the pralay, and just in next chapter he was okay when Manu asked him to go to the city to save people, if he will go who will build the ark, next chapter again we are back on ark building discussion. But yeah, one of my doubt from the previous book is resolved here. I pointed that in the review – about Dwarka Shastri’s mind reading power.

There is a typo at one place in the book, this book again ended abruptly, now I have to read the 3rd book KASHI. I rate this book a 3/5, do read and share your views too.

Check out my review on the 1st book by clicking on link below.

https://ireadnwrite.wordpress.com/2017/11/14/curse-to-be-continued/

GRuchirG (G Ruchir Ji)

Jai Raam ji ki ๐Ÿ™‚

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in VALHALLA!!

VALHALLA RISING (2001) 3/5 YES Adventure Thriller Rs.50 (from Shop) Clive Cussler [3.93/19769 ratings Goodreads]

Review #445 (Book Review #145)

Clive Cussler once again, I’ve completed another book written by him, this one’s belongs to his DIRK PITT series. As per wikipedia, VALHALLA RISING is 16th book in his DP series and first published in 2001.

Its a mashup of stories and timelines. Long back Vikings came to North American and there was a fight happened between vikings and native clans. Cut to some other timeline, A huge ship was damaged by a monster looking fish, what was it no one knows. Cut to present timeline. A lavish and technologically advanced cruise liner Emerald Dolphin is on its maiden voyage, it boasts of a new types of engines Magnetohydrodynamic engines, and is well equipped with all possible circuitry for safe travels through seas. But it got sunk, and many of the passengers were saved by Dirk Pitt’s NUMA boat. But these accidents didn’t stopped, someone attacked the Numa crew. There’s some mystery behind all these accidents, and it’s now Dirk Pitt’s responsibility to find the truth.

This book falls in the same genre as other books of Clive Cussler’s this series. Its always consists of mystery, action, adventure and kind of treasure-hunting. In the end we came to know about the linkings between different timelines. I will say this as an okay book. Since I’ve read such books before as well so a regular reader like me will always require something fresh to distuinguish between all the stories. If you are into such genres then you will not find anything extra exciting here. Plus this book is around 530 pages, and till the very end, you’ll not find much difference, its just the action and survival stuff and no answer to the mystery, which made this book a little tedious. For me, this book goes more in attacks, fighting and stuff, and thin on linking historical myths.

You can read this book for some timepass, or look for better books from Clive Cussler. I rate 3/5.

GRuchirG (G Ruchir Ji)

Jai Raam ji ki ๐Ÿ™‚

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From NoOne to SomeOne!

NA BAIRI NA KOI BEGANA (2018) 3.5/5 YES Autobiography Rs.49 (Amazon Kindle) Surender Mohan Pathak [4.39/33 ratings Goodreads] Hindi


Review #444 (Book Review #144) :

Completed 1 more book and this time its an autobiography, of a famous writer of pulp fiction crime world, our very own loving Indian Hindi language writer SURENDER MOHAN PATHAK aka SMP. He named this book as NA BAIRI NA KOI BEGANA (NO ONE IS ENEMY, NO ONE IS STRANGER) and it is just part 1 of his biography. As I read, the title is said to be inspired by a Gurbani shabad (religious text) from Guru Granth Sahib (the holy book of Sikh Religion) written by the 5th Guru, Guru Arjan Dev.

Now let’s go through his known and Wikipedian biography first: He was born in 1940 in Punjab area of India during the British raj, in undivided India. He is a famous crine fiction and murder mystery writer, very well acknowledged in India amongst Hindi language book readers. He has created many heroes and written in series, books approx 300 in number totally – his series are – Sunil, Vimal, Sudheer, Jeet Singh, Mukesh Mathur, Vivek Agashe, Vikas Gupta, Pramod. Then there are some standalone thrillers and social, children, joke books and written many short stories as well. He also did many Hindi translations for Ian Fleming’s James Bond and James Hadley Chase novels.

Now lets go through a synopsis of what he covered in this book. My kindle ebook consists of 402 pgs, and this is just the part 1 of an autobiography, for 1st time I have seen an autobiography in parts. In author’s words, when he was asked to write his biography, he was actually reluctant as, as per him biography should be written for dead persons, and he is very much alive but when insisted he gave into the pressure by his publisher and hence came this book.

This book is a total open out life story, and not just a biography. Writer has given A to Z details right from his birth till his teen age in hear, a vast coverage of each and every minute detail as well, I don’t know how he was able to remember all of that, how he lived in Lahore (then undivided India, now Pakistan), how his family shifted to free India after the division, and all the happenings of his early years including childhood and teenhood. He has included all the characters from his life and explained about many of them in details.

His early crushes, his relationship with his father, his experience in a huge punjabi joint family, the poor background. Then comes his teen-time when he faced lot of struggles, he was not a smart guy, and many colleagues of his use to bully him, when he decided to write a book, what all problems he faced from his friends, even from his known people, who said something else, and did something else, from many publishers who outright rejected his work. He has used real names, so you could say that book could be considered controversial for those characters whose names he included in his book alongwith their bad deeds.

So, if you take this book as an autobiography, you may consider it maybe as not a good biographical book per se, but if you read it as a life story, you will get intrigued by the characters and happenings he involved in the book. Writer has goes on to explain detail about other chatacters as well. So if you’re a Hindi book reader, and esp. if you’re a fan of SMP like me, go for this book. Consider it as one more nicely written thriller story book of him, just this time he himself is the main hero. I will rate the book as 3.5/5, and I am waiting for his next book.

Why I didn’t give him a full mark because sonetimes to mw the book doesn’t look like a biography which should be the basic soul of this book, also he given too many details, which could be avoided, but hey he’s a storyteller and a pretty good one, thus making his book an interesting read.

GRuchirG (Ji Ruchir G)

Jai Raam ji ki ๐Ÿ™‚

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BINARY is in PLAY!!

BINARY (1972) 3.5/5 YES Sci-fi Thriller Rs.77 (Bookchor.com) John Lange aka Michael Crichton [3.50/2333 ratings Goodreads]


Review #443 (Book Review #143) :

WHY? I am a huge fan of Michael Crichton and read some of his novels – the andromeda strain, the great train robbery, eaters of the dead, congo, sphere, jurassic park, the lost world, airframe, timeline, prey, state of fear, pirate latitudes, micro & dragon teeth, last 3 published posthumously. Out of these 14 novels, except micro, (you can easily see the difference as it is completed by someone else) I liked all of his works, reason, his edge-of-the-seat thrilling writing and no foolish thrill, most of them are sci-fi thrillers, well supported by scientific facts/assumptions and even having sci-fi jargons thrown in, which makes his books unique, and interesting for me, so when I get a chance of ordering few more books of him in a bookchor sale, I ordered 4 more books online, though 1 got cancelled later. And now I present to you a review of a book which he wrote long back and by the alias JOHN LANGE, not using his real name, book named BINARY.

WHAT? BINARY is a story of a known criminal JOHN WRIGHT who was in continuous surveillance from US defence department, and the guy who follows him, and know in and out about him is JOHN GRAVES. But both men have a similarity, both are exceptional mathematical genius, and can predict many outcomes on basis of assumptions. President is in San Diego, and John Wright also, and it seems something big is planned by him, so to tackle him, Graves and his team is trying to find out what’s going on and to stop if anything bad happens.

HOW? This book is a small sized book having less number of pages, my copy contains 169 pgs in all and I took 7 days to complete it. Its written in easy-to-understand readable language (Crichton) and it’s a fast paced thriller, you will feel you’re part of the action going in the book. Then as usual you have that sci-fi jargon thrown at you with explanations and facts, which add to the credibility of the story. Even in such a small book, Crichton is able to establish the facts and the characters. Its just like a cat-and-mouse game between the 2 main characters of the story.

I didn’t found any negative points with this book, its first published in 1972 but it has the feel of today, though the technology depicted is obviously of that timeline. If you like sci fi thrillers, you can read this, its not a long book as well so even a starter can complete this book with a little discipline. I rate 3.5/5. Go for it!

GRuchirG. (“Jee” Ruchir “Ji”)

Jai Raam ji ki ๐Ÿ™‚

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A Thug’s tale!! Boring!!

CONFESSIONS OF A THUG (1839) 1.5/5 NO Historical Drama Fiction Rs.64 (Amazon Kindle) Philip Meadows Taylor [3.59/232 ratings Goodreads]


Review #442 (Book Review #142) :

One day I heard about a bollywood movie which is currently in shooting phase named THE THUGS OF HINDOSTAN, which stars heavyweight stars like Amitabh Bachchan & Aamir Khan, so obviously it got my attention, name also looked different, obviously it seems a period piece, so I googled and found its inspiration, and as a big novel reader, I bought its inspiration, a kindle ebook named CONFESSIONS OF A THUG written by Philips Meadows Taylor in 1839, yep a period piece.

Let’s checkout it’s story – Someone is narrating his story to a British Indian officer, and it’s the era of British Raj, when British rules India through East India Company. This guy is a thug and goes by the name Ameer Ali. He narrated his full life story from his adolescent stage till the present time. How did he become a Thug?, details about thuggee, a cult following in middle India which was on rise during that period (not verified, going by the author’s claims), and all his adventures. So basically the novel name stands correct, confession of a thug.

Aesthetics of book – I bought a kindle version once I found out about this book (read 1st para again) and it was available just for Rs.64 (later on it was available only for Rs.29). This book is 399 pages in the kindle normal font format (on kindle android app, phone 5.5inch), and guess what, in this format page numbers changed after 3-4 pages, so 399 are not just 399, but its 399ร—3 to 4 pgs.

Since this book was written long back in 1800s, its studded with old-style English and many such words which will give grammer error if you write that now on Word. Words like ‘Thou’ ‘hast’ ‘thy’ etc and these words has given to the native characters for their dialogues, looks odd, them speaking such language, but in every book, its upto writer, he only decides the dialogues.

Some more insight into book – The book is quite long, even for an avid reader like me, I’ve read many books having more than this number of pages (399), like ‘Lord of the Rings’, ‘Alaska’, ‘Hawaii’ by James Michener (currently reading ‘Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’), but those books were indeed interesting. LOTR was adventurous and fantastical while other two were interesting piece of historical adventures, but this book was boring. It started well, and it got my interest when the main characters started telling his life journey from a child to adolescence, and then his 1st journey for thug expedition, but then in the whole book, he explained more such expeditions, with nothing much new to add to it. Meaning only some characters are getting added but nothing new happening, kind of you’re reading the same pages again and again for 399 pages. In LOTR, it’s again a journey but those characters got something new everytime, its studded with adventures and many happenings, here, its just plain old story. So its basically a redundant tale after a 100 or so pages.

Let’s talk about the end – End was simple and plain just like someone’s talking and now that discussion is over, so the readers will not get the satisfaction of successfully completing a novel, then what’s the use of reading it. I don’t know how the filmmakers will cope up with the story, I guess they’ll somehow manage the screenplay accordingly so as to make the movie interesting to watch, with some end to it, there are some events in the book which can serve as a good end, and as we all know adaptations will always have some or more cinematic liberties with them so as to suit the viewers.

So I will not recommend anyone to waste their precious energy on this book, as reading it for just some starting pages will not serve the purpose, and 399 pages of a redundant tale is just too much. I rate it 1.5/5 for some of the events and starting pages. Avoid, let me see its adaptation whenever it will release here.

GRuchirG (Jee Ruchir Ji)

Jai Raam ji ki ๐Ÿ™‚

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My stories & blogs: gruchirg.wordpress.com

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