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Book Reviews by Mohur

Discussion in 'Book Lovers' started by Mohur, Mar 14, 2012.

  1. Mohur

    Mohur Gold IL'ite

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    The Phantom Pilot by Ann Swann

    After losing both her parents and grandmother, 12 year old Stevie lives with her ‘Gramps’. To have something to write to her best friend, who recently moved away, Stevie decides to venture into the haunted Taylor house. That’s when she ‘stumbles’ across the cute boy from her class, Jase.
    Jase sees Stevie walking into the Taylor house alone and follows her. He feels that Stevie was ‘very brave’ and asks her for help. Ever since a small plane had crashed into Jase’s backyard, he had been haunted by the ghost of the pilot. Jase & Stevie together with Billy Bob works toward finding out what the Phantom Pilot wants. Why does he keep haunting Jase? Why does Lady, Jase’s Shepard, always disappear with the Phantom? And, why is Stevie attacked by the ghost when he never hurts Jase?
    The plot is set in the sixties and the author has done a beautiful job in setting the backdrop of the story. The characters of Jase, Stevie and Billy are lively. They are average 12 year olds – sometimes being the kids that they really are and sometimes being more matured than their age! The supporting characters of ‘Gramps’ and ‘Mr.Pearcy’ also adds something to the novel, highlighting the author’s capability of painting her characters beautifully.
    Though overall I loved the story, I thought a few things didn’t really fit in. Some things like the ‘jelly rain’ or Mr. Pearcy’s response towards the end were like the dull spots in a really bright painting. However, since this is a fast paced, Novella length story, it’s a good read for your tea-break or would make a great bed-time story too!

    3.5 Stars
     
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  2. Mohur

    Mohur Gold IL'ite

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    The Sales Room by R.T. Manu Ramesh

    Come and meet Rajesh Iyer. His aspirations were ha of achieving a MBA degree from US but when that doesn’t happen he gets a job with Oregon Software Technologies. His experience in the Sales department opens up the state of corporate affairs in India to the reader. With a host of other colourful characters, Rajesh takes on the corporate world. Follow Rajesh as he struggles to make his career. Will he survive the rats’ race?


    The blurb of the book indicates that the book is much more than just about a salesperson’s life and it is right. The book focuses a lot on the sales department of Oregon Software technologies and the organizational structure. It also gives us a glimpse into a sales person’s life and how such people struggle on a daily basis to save his job. But at the same the book also focuses on Rajesh’s personal experiences as an individual and his observations. There are a lot of characters included hat bring in a variety of flavours, including Rajesh’s boss and his belief in Vaastu. Then there’s Girish, Rajesh’s best friend whose rants are entertaining. The plot is simple, true to life and yet entertaining. The author’s sense of humour has added to the story well. I particularly enjoyed the way the situations were described and painted out for the readers. And the author has handled the closure very well.


    I have to say that I hated some of the very sexist discussions included in the book. Being a girl, it was sometimes a bit insulting even though I am very aware that men do have conversations like that. Yes, the author has on reflected the reality of our society and while I see that fact, I didn’t really like some of the comments. We live in such a society that really needs to change its outlook towards women and situations described in books don’t really help as it just gives out a validation that men will always be like that. I just hope that the men who read this book will see it from a perspective of an outsider and realise that it is simply cheap talk.


    Overall, this book did make for an entertaining read that had lots of moments that would make a reader smile.
     
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  3. Mohur

    Mohur Gold IL'ite

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    Kamadeva: The God of Desire by Anuja Chandramouli

    In the time of Mythology retellings, most authors are going back to retell us the epics of Mahabharata and Ramayana over and over again and I have to admit, I quite enjoy them. Anuja Chandramouli has previously told us the story of Arjuna, which was a well researched and well narrated story. So, when I was approached to review this book, my first instinct was to accept - afterall, I had already read and enjoyed this aythors work. Secondly, I have never read much about Kamadeva other than the very brief guest appearances in other novels. So, I was quite curious about the subject as well.
    Kamadeva - the God of Desire, was born to Lord Brahma. He plays his part in the world of Lords as a friend to Indra, husband to Rati and a tutor to the Apsaras. But because of a preordained curse, he faces the wrath of Lord Shiva, the destroyer. Rati and Kamadeva are then reborn on Earth. Kamadevas destiny unfold in the pages as the readers are taken on a ride. Everything seems to be a part of a much larger plan.
    The best part of the book is that Anuja Chandramouli makes her characters very human. Yes, she is telling the story of the Gods, whom we hold with such reverance, yet she humanizes them in such a way that a reader can actually relate to the character and situations. The dialogue delivery in our everyday language adds to the allure of it. The book also discusses some topics that are very relevant in our society. It is very apparent that that the author has put in some quality research time while developing the plot and apllaud the author for that. The language and the narration compliments each other by maintaining a certain balance. The author has a very refined language and it is a pleasure to read her prose.
    The only drawback of the book is its pace. While the plot and the language makes up for part of it, I think there were sections in the book that I could do without.
    Overall, this book makes for a really interesting read. It will surely attract the Mythology lovers as it portrays a little known character.
     
  4. Mohur

    Mohur Gold IL'ite

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    The Kidnapped Christmas Bride (Taming of the Sheenans #3) by Jane Porter

    Trey Sheenan always finds trouble and has earned the reputation of being the local bad boy. But his last stint at the Deer Lodge, a correctional facility, he is determined to turn his life around. He plans to win back the love of his life and be a part of his son’s life. But as his brother drives him back from the facility he learns that he may be a bit too late as McKenna Douglas is getting married to a local insurance agent. McKenna had been dating Trey since high school and has stood by him through thick and thin. But with the responsibility of a kid, she decides that enough was enough and broke up with Trey while he was still at the correctional facility. Though she never really got over Trey, she tried to move on with Lawrence who holds the promise of a stable life for both mother and son.


    Is Trey too late to woo back McKenna? And will McKenna find it in her heart to trust Trey again? Read ‘The Kidnapped Christmas Bride’ to find out.


    The thing with the characters in this novel is that every one of them are, well at least the major ones, flawed. That helps the characters feel more human and more relatable. Trey has his heart in the right place, but he seems to get into trouble a bit too often. McKenna has her own faults too… for leaving a man when he is down isn’t really nice. And Lawrence, well what do I say? Little TJ seems more observant about him than anyone else around. But the thing is that the characters remain a bit flat and lacks the amount of growth that I would like to see.


    Ofcourse, the plot is very much predictable. But the author has managed to make it her own by setting her own pace of narration. The language is simple and the flow of the story is nicely done.


    Overall, this is a light and entertaining read.
     
  5. Mohur

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    Gut Instinct (The Campbells of Creek Bend #2) by Barb Han

    Julie Davis had tried her best to help her husband when he had returned from Iraq with PTSD. But Luke had shut her out and then walked out on their marriage. The divorce had left her distraught but she had slowly recovered from that loss by focusing all her energy into her business. But when her work takes her to cross paths with a serial killer and brings back Luke in her life, her life is upturned once again. Pursued by the serial killer, she has only Luke to depend on. Will the closeness rekindle her suppressed love for Luke or will the hurt of his desertion take over?


    Luke Campbell was very much aware of the fact that he had taken the coward’s way out when he had walked out on Julie instead of working on his problems together. Now with Ravishing Rob, a serial killer who turns murder into art, on her trail – Luke will do anything to keep Julie safe. But their shared past complicates things as Luke defies FBI regulations to keep her with him and ensure her safety. With a life on the line, will Luke finally admit to what’s in his heart?


    Barb Han has created two amazing characters in Julie and Luke. Luke has served a number of years in the army and after struggling and coping with PTSD, he joins the FBI. If that isn’t the sign of a strong man, I do not know what is. He is very much aware of his mistakes and is prepared to do anything to not repeat them. Julie on the other hand matches Luke with her strength. It is hard enough to be a military wife, but to have her husband return with PTSD and then walk out on her… she had done well for herself. And even under life threatening situations, she doesn’t hang back and let Luke do all the work. She isn’t stubborn and is very caring and loveable.
    The plot is not as straight forward as one expects from a romance novel. The author has handled the mystery/intrigue part quite well. With simple language, attention to details and detailed description of events, the author has done a great job of creating a story that indulges its readers on many fronts.


    Full of action, this fast paced novel with intimate moments is a fun read.
     
  6. Mohur

    Mohur Gold IL'ite

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    The Symbol by Varun Gautam

    This is essentially the story of Arjun and his journey of life. Like most youth today he is street smart and ambitious. But he feels that life has dealt him a bad hand when he fails at the most important, to him, things in life. For instance, all his hard work goes into waste when he fails the IMS exam while his counterpart, Mohan, Makes it through. To make matters worse, he meets with an accident. It is then, that he comes across the Symbol and things start taking a turn.


    The character of Arjun has been drawn flawlessly and the growth that he shows over the time is also good. From an arrogant and overconfident person who cares very little about others, he becomes this modest guy who sees and understands the reality. I started off hating Arjun but ended up liking him anyway for the changes he went through. Another factor that made me like this story is the fact that the story is not narrated by Arjun but by his cousin Dhruv. It gave a third person view to the story and Dhruv has a very honest voice that I found endearing. The plot itself was somewhat predictable after a while. Though it lacks the strength to keep the reader indulged, it is the story in general that makes up for it. The author has done a great job with both the characters and the story. It is the narrative of the story and the simple language used makes it really easy to get into the story.


    On the other hand, I would have loved to read more about the ‘Symbol’ that plays such an important part in the story. The concept that the author established was interesting, but I feel that it should have been explored a bit more. Also, the ending of the book could have been handled in so many different ways that I feel that the ending that the author chose did not really do justice to the way the story was built up.


    Overall, this makes for an interesting debut novel with many flavours.
     
  7. Mohur

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    Tracking Purnima by Usha Kathir

    Welcome to Aditi Sridhar’s world, who is is trying hard to establish herself as a newspaper reporter in Bangalore. In her first major article she plans to resurrect Purnima, once celebrated singer and actress who seemed to have dropped off under the radar of everyone. But things get really interesting when her seemingly innocent questions disturb a hornet’s nest and she starts getting threatening calls. Things soon get heated, but with the help of a friend, Aditi is determined to crack this case.


    First off, I love to see strong and feisty girl characters in a book and Aditi is just that. She is highly spirited and somewhat stubborn, yet she is street smart and relentless in her perusals. She is a perfect reflection of modern women whose career aspirations can rival that of any man. Aditi’s photographer friend, Reshmi, is also a strong character who plays an important role in both her life and in the story. There were handful of other characters who played had their own characteristics and added something to the story with their roles. The plot in itself is quite simple and predictable for most part. There are twists thrown in here and there to stir up the events of the story. Besides the main plot, there were certain sub plots that brought in different elements. For instance, Aditi’s mother and her matchmaking trick added to the drama and sometimes comic relief to the story.


    The author’s language and narration style is quite dainty and I particularly enjoyed the extra little description of situations and people that the author has included in her way of storytelling.


    Overall, an interesting novel that promises hours of entertaining reading hours.
     
  8. Mohur

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    Night Life: Paranormal Anthology

    In Silver by Tina Smith, Ash sees things that no one else sees and that set her apart. When Carey and Cooper, her childhood friends move back into town, romance blossoms. But there are secrets that complicate things. In Coming Home by Melissa Frost, Andi is on a journey to discovering her past – a past that she has no memory of. And Devon seems to know a lot about her. In Only Darkness by S. W. Best, Colin takes up on a bet to make easy money and use Nathan’s connection to his crush, heather. But he may be in over his head. In Nonstop to Nowhere by Sherri Fulmor Moorer, Amber and Phoebe set aside their problems to put a common ghost from their past to rest. In Ouroboros by Alisse Lee Goldenberg & An Tran, Molly, Chris and Jackson form a love triangles that is more than a lifetime old.


    Five different author have come together to produce this anthology. Each of them has their own style of writing and narration style. As a whole they put together five quite different yet similar stories together for the readers that make for an interesting read. Covering werewolves, Vampires, Aliens and Ghosts, the stories each bring in a different flavor. To add to that are the elements of love, jealousy, secrets and self-discovery. Together they blend in to offer suspense and drama. The common elements that all of the stories shares are well developed characters and certain twists that really take you for a ride.


    Overall, this was an entertaining anthology that has encouraged me to look up the different authors and their work.
     
  9. Mohur

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    Lacing Shadows: Anthology

    The story of Spirit of the Wolf by Andrea Stanet deals with the love between Asia and Jesse and the third element that Asia’s friend Nati brings in. It also is about self-discovery. In Eternal Guard by Tina Smith Farren is caught in between a fight where one is a protector and the other is trying to kill her. Ultimately she falls for one of them, but to what ending? Into the Dark by Laurie Treacy is the story of Holly and how she takes in a wounded warrior and takes care of him. He has a secret though. In The Unspoken Truth by Leah Ryder Lena takes up the case of a ghost and helps solve it. Spinining Scars by Alexia Purdy is the story of the love between an immortal Matthias and a mortal Ruby. But not all is as it seems…


    This is a paranormal anthology with five different stories where each story is unique and has something different to offer. My favourite was the In Eternal Guard by Tina Smith. I loved the conflict in the story and that the author did not give it a traditional ending. I also liked the Story Spinning Scars by Alexia Purdy where the love and attraction practically seeps off the pages. I liked Spirit of the Wolf as it deals with the very important factor of life – the path to self-discovery and realization of hopes and dreams of a person.


    Exploring the different worlds of werewolves, vampires, ghosts and fae with the different stories – all within a couple of hours, was an interesting experience. There were certain portions that felt a bit rushed. Other than that, this is one interesting book.
     
  10. Mohur

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    He's Gone by Deb Caletti

    Dani had a bit too much to drink at a party and remembers very little about the previous night. When she wakes up to an empty house, she doesn’t think much of it at first. But as time passes, she gets worried and starts to analyze her relationship with her husband, Ian. Then the day turns into a week and Dani gets more and more worried about where her husband might be and if she has forgotten something that might lead to his whereabouts.


    Dani is not very easy to like because of some of her sins. But eventually I fell for the protagonist of the story for Dani felt very real. And the author has done a tremendous job of making it easy to get into the character’s mind. Most of the novel is about Dani looking back and reliving memories and Dani and Ian’s story unfurls within these memories. There were a cast of other characters but none stuck with me besides Dani. The plot in itself is pretty much predictable because it took me a few chapters to realize the mystery behind Ian’s disappearance. But that did not stop me from reading the rest of the book. Simple language and easy narration style helps move the story forward. However, I did find the pace of the story bit slow and tiresome.


    Overall, this makes for an average and light read.
     

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