#review Awaken

27.06_AWAKEN_AK_To Client_V2

Author : Ashok K. Banker

Publisher : Pan Macmillan

Publication date : 13 September 2017

Book length : 192 pages

Language : English

Genre : Fiction / Fantasy

img_2151Synopsis :

The Haters are coming to destroy all life on Earth. It is not a question of if, but when.

The Brahmaand has already rung the warning bell and the awakening of the Preservers has begun. Kiara unexpectedly finds her skin covered with golden fur and her sense of smell extraordinarily enhanced; Saumya is suddenly able to go from Ahmedabad to New York in just a step; and Sia’s songs have the power to do things she had never imagined possible.

First in the thrilling Shakti Trilogy set in contemporary India, Ashok Banker’s action-packed and brilliantly imagined Awaken introduces our unlikely heroes who must discover and harness their superpowers before they can protect and preserve the Earth from the wrath of a menacing alien invasion.

Rating : 3/5

img_0967Review :

I received this book from the publishers in exchange of an honest and unbiased review.

Before I start taking about the insides of the book, I would like to share how I read all through the book in a day. So the past week of my days was marked by helping parents and idling around. It so happened that our house needed some repair and fresh coats of paint. Thus resulting in me and my parents shifting things from one room to another and then enjoy leisure hours. Then I though why not read something cause that’s the only thing I love doing. I picked up Awaken from my shelf and started reading. Oh boy! what a fast read it was. I finished reading it within an hour or two and was left with the urge to read the next part of it. This wanting is what is expecting from the first book of a series.

Now, back to the inside of the book. The story is penned in three separate parts – the lives of three Indian girls, Kiara, Saumya and Sia. Three different stories that come together at the end.

Kaira, was like any other girl, enjoying her youth and secretly in love with her geeky friend. All was NORMAL except the fact that her mother had passed away leaving with her some little fragments of memories, remembrance of caring touch, and long nights of missing. If that was not enough to take, she one morning wakes up to herself being covered in fur from head to toe and she seems to have no clue what made this happen. Incidents occur one after another. And before she understand what might possibly be happening, she is torn apart from her father, her only family, her crush, dearest friend. What might have happened?

Saumya’s house never felt like home to her. She never could find that comfortable air to breathe in while inside those four walls. Her parents made it quite unbearable for her for she could always hear resentment in their voices while referring to the fact that their only child is a girl. In present time, there are still some regions all over the world where the birth of a girl child is not acceptable. Though every nation has taken every possible step to prevent that, human behavior cannot be changed so easily. In a group of 10 people there are always that secret and unknown no.which do not agree into having a girl child. It’s both hurtful and an insult to humanity. Saumya’s part of story shows that dark side of humans. Then again, one day suddenly, with all her frustrations building up inside and a ever long desire to run away to New York, she found herself lifted from Ahmedabad and placed in New York. She soon realized she had the ability to travel from one place to another in just a few seconds just by imagining the place to reach. She found her little secret method of escaping from her house at times of pain and distress. However, not every happy time leads to a happy ending. As she found herself trapped inside her parents’ house with a strange looking man, all of them anxious of her new powers. The circumstances resulted in her having to run away from them all. What made her run for her life? How did she end up with her powers? Who was the strange looking man? What happened to her in the end? Was she successful in running away?

Sia, a beautiful character indeed, has a unique power of her own, the one she nurtures everyday silently without any expectations of acknowledgement – the power to sing, an ability so strong that she finds peace and a sort of completion of self. However, her life is not as alluring as it seems to be. There are several parts of her being that face hardship. The author also through her portrays the amount of trouble a North-East Indian has to face, adding up to the fact that she is from the Naga clan. The author boldly points out the deadly, cruel and unjustified torture over them. And Sia rises as the hero, unaware of her own ability, just with the desire to sing. When she and her friends fall in the hands of torture, the only thing he can think of doing is singing to ease the pain, her song suddenly appears to be inaudible to the normal human eye and destroys every single soldier who were attacking them unfairly. She bedazzled herself and the others over such supernatural incidents for neither of them had any clue what was happening or what might have led to this. Where from did Sia gain such power? What happened when she began to sing? Did her mother know about it all?

All these questions having put forward to you, is my approach in trying to make you understand how very interesting the book is and how thrilling the answers are. All these three women have a want for independence in them. The book, though is easily present to be a fantasy, has meanings far important and eye opening, lying deep within. The book points out the present society, the ever revolutionary youth and their evolutionary minds. The book pokes a finger at the corruption of power, the lack of understanding, the period of identity crisis of the criticized youth.

The fantasy that the writer weaves with his clean and understandable way of story telling is fascinating, intriguing, emotional and has a depth of sense and responsibility. Although I do not fancy the other two girls much, Sia is a very different person as portrait-ed in the book. When I say I do not fancy the other two much, it’s not because their part of story lacked the air of importance but due to the fact that they lacked their own depth of personality. They did not present themselves as strong characters or truly passionate about something of their own. Sia, though had to face struggle, she always had one passion, that of music and she never forgot to hold onto it. To revolt against the world in the name of gaining independence and wanting their thoughts to be heard is something very different from holding onto something you have faith in and show your independence through your works and speech.

This was my first read by Ashok K. Banker and I am looking forward to reading the next book of the series coming out sometime at the end of this very year.

 

Advertisements

#review The Lost Boy by Greg Ruth

img_1903

Author : Greg Ruth

Publisher : Graphix

Publication date : 27 August 2013

Book length : 192 pages

Language : English

Genre : Fiction / Graphic novel

Synopsis :

Some mysteries are too dangerous to leave alone . . .

Nate’s not happy about his family moving to a new house in a new town. After all, nobody asked him if he wanted to move in the first place. But when he discovers a tape recorder and note addressed to him under the floorboards of his bedroom, Nate is thrust into a dark mystery about a boy who went missing many, many years ago. Now, as strange happenings and weird creatures begin to track Nate, he must partner with Tabitha, a local girl, to find out what they want with him. But time is running out, for a powerful force is gathering strength in the woods at the edge of town, and before long Nate and Tabitha will be forced to confront a terrifying foe, and uncover the truth about the Lost Boy.

img_1874-1

Rating : 4/5

Review :

I have never much read graphic novels. To be very much truthful, The Lost Boy is my first proper graphic novel read and I guess I am pretty please with myself for picking it up. Actually it’s not me though who bought the book but my younger brother. I saw the artwork and it was pretty amazing so I gave it a try. And boy! such talented a man the author is. The story-line and artwork, both are awe-striking. Since the graphic is a short read and the synopsis alone gives away the most spoiler free inside idea of the story, I will not go into describing it any further for it might the mysterious atmosphere thus created by the synopsis. I will thus go on complimenting on the book itself.

The story-line is interesting, catchy and well thought. The artwork is . . . EVERYTHING! I literally would give anything to have such skillful hands. I feel I would  have enjoyed the book more if I had been a little younger and thoughts were less complex. But what I experienced was a box full of thoughts forming in my head. The one thought I had after reading (thanks to my overthinking mind) is perhaps that lost boy was not really lost in a different world but inside the darkness of his mind. Perhaps his life background forced him to run away from the ever changing and dominating world where his words were unheard of. The darkness slowly, gradually manifested his mind and instead of using the good of it, he chose to drown in it’s unknown depths. Nate was probably nothing but a medium to cleanse the accumulating layer of anger and rage stuck on the skin of the Lost Boy. The different world was perhaps the hidden society comprising of people who chose to differ from the destructing outside world.

The story made me dive further in the depth of human consciousness. The lost boy, when freed from the ugly form covering him up, it is said that he is found to have remained of the same age as at time of his disappearance. Perhaps it is not his physical age but the mental one that had remained unchanged. For, he was but living in darkness for so long, his mind feeding on rage, hunger of power and dark thoughts, that he had missed out the growing of mental age, the gradual feeling of dawning maturity. He had been till now thriving on the thin string of hope attaching him to the world.

I would like to stop my theories here as I find loss of words to express the rest of my thoughts. But I am satisfied with how much I could write down. Write down in the comments where you approve of my theories or not. Thank you for taking out time enough to read the constant talkativeness of my mind.

img_1896-1

#review Henrietta and TheDragon Stone; The Five Kingdoms #2

DSC01632 Author : Beth Barany

Publisher​ : Firewolf Books
Publication date : January 2014

Book length : 304 pages

Language : English

Genre : Fiction/ YA/ Fantasy

IMG_20170331_010726_575

Synopsis :

Henrietta the legendary ass kicking dragon slayer wants to return to her village with a heroes’ welcome. But an unknown sorcerer is after her and her Dragon Stone, and everyone she cares about. Can she claim her newfound powers sparked by the Dragon Stone and keep her loved ones safe, especially her more-than-friend, and her stalwart bodyguard, before the sorcerer destroys her and everything in his path?

Rating :  4½/5

IMG_20170331_010920_670.jpg

Review :

The next book in the Five Kingdoms trilogy, Henrietta and  The Dragon Stone is based on the aftermath of Henrietta’s adventure when she brought to the knowledge of the people of Oro Islands the sorcery of their false king, King Singfan’s  and Jexter turned out to be their true king. She is appointed as the ambassador of King Renaldo for the Oro Islands. And her first task is to go to King Mattias’ Solscite Opening (King Mattias is the king of Bleuve, Henrietta’s home and they at the moment were not in good terms) to deliver to the king an important, delicate message. No matter how much she is unwilling to face King Mattias, her faithfulness to Jexter and the call of duty forces her to set out for her task, as also the fact that she has to return to her master in time to cure him.

Now she has her old companion, Franc to come along with her in the journey. No sooner does she reach her master’s village that she finds that the village is on fire and people being killed by the Varangians. She couldn’t save her master. She kept running from one hiding to other along with Franc, Nanette (her mother) and Antoine (her master’s apprentice) to protect themselves. But attacks increase and her mother falls cold as well.

In the book, one can see the constant fear Henrietta has to go through for the life of her loved ones. However, Henrietta is not a woman to back down and give up. She fights her way and takes her message to King Mattias. But he seems not to give much importance to that and is rather obsessed with Henrietta presenting him a fight-till-you-drop-dead fight. She senses sorcery and as she slowly gets close to uncovering the dark secrets, both Franc and she are imprisoned, separately. What happens next gives such a thrill that just a review can not convey.

To know more, pick up the series and enjoy the thrilling journey.

BH39iMBBvmT

#review Henrietta The Dragon Slayer ; The Five Kingdoms #1

 

IMG_20170319_180054_986

Author : Beth Barany

Publisher : Firewolf Books

Publication date: June 2011

Book length : 226 pages

Language : English

Genre : Fiction/ YA/ Fantasy

Synopsis :

Henrietta, the legendary Dragon Slayer of the Kingdom of Bleuve, can’t stomach the thought of one more kill. Yet, in order to save her dying mentor, she must go on one last quest. But will the quest for the healing stone be derailed by misfit companions, seasickness, and an egomaniacal king? And will she be able to cut past her conscience and kill the dragon?

Rating : 4/5

 

IMG_20170319_195713_729

Review :

When we come across story books based on bravery, it is always a gallant, invincible, handsome man who is the leading character and the representative of strength and bravery. To come across ass kicking dragon slayer is very rare that also a woman!

The story begins with Henrietta, the legendary Dragon Slayer being almost forced by Sir Franc, knight to the Royal and Mighty King Singfan de Plumare de’Oro, the First, to come out of her life of retirement into dragon slaying once again. She gets mocked by him, is accused of false storytelling yet doesn’t agree to accompany him. However, she is that very night informed of her master’s illness. The solution leading to the same tasked the knight wishes her to assign to. She takes a little witch, Paulette along with her, whom she is supposed to drop to her own village on the way,  and starts for the journey but is joined unwilling to her choice by the knight, Franc and the jester (an old friend of Franc and admirer of Henrietta), Jexter; all towards the way hunt for Dracontias – Franc’s has demanded for it and Henrietta is in need of it to save her dying mentor.

As they travel far and across lands, they face danger, betrayal, killing and misery. But the new found bond between the four is unbreakable. The betrayal makes Henrietta doubts King Singfan’s aims in getting hold of the Dracontias yet she does not back up. She hears the Guardians of the Dracontias to recognise herself, to save all. Though she enters the palace and confirms the deal with the King she senses immense danger and before killing the Dragon she backs off.

What happens next is not my tale to tell but the reader’s curiosity to discover.

This book kept me glued till the end and keep my heart beating fast. I totally am in love with the pairing of Franc and Henrietta cause why should I? It’s so exciting! Thanks to the author for introducing me to such a luscious, exciting, adventurous read. Can’t wait to dig into the next book.

For those who love kick ass female lead characters with great adventure and fights as also some romance to brighten up the mood, I totally recommend it.