Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Book Review #20 : God Is A Gamer

Title: God is a Gamer
Author: Ravi Subramanian
Publishers: Penguin
ISBN: 978-0-143-42139-9
Genre: Thriller
Pages: 309

Ravi Subramanian has been famous for his thriller novels related to money and banking and the recent one is definitely not an exception. He has an innate ability to stitch a wonderful plot using the current happenings in the financial sector. I know what to expect and he does not disappoint in any way and delivers an easy to read, impossible to put down, pointless to criticize and a globetrotting thriller.

The novel has a gamer, a politician, a banker, and a terrorist. This book is focused around the idea of Bitcoin, the virtual currency in the online world. I liked the book cover.

The novel is a perfect blend of emotions. There is love, lust, lies and secrets in various shades adding new dimensions to the story. Readers are allowed to work on all possible logics to get an answer to all these problems on scene and yet are proven wrong when the novel comes to an end.

The author has also been successful in pointing out the importance of  social media and smart phones.

Ravi has used names of real companies all over the book- Visa, Mastercard, etc. even stating that they lobbied to prevent other payment processing companies from coming into existence.

At 310 pages, divided into 89 Chapters, most of them 2-3 pages long, the plot is carefully constructed and brings all the elements of Banking, Gaming, BPO Operations, Investigation and Interrogation, into picture once it sets up all the key players and their stakes at a breakneck pace throughout.

The book is fast paced and has multiple stories running together in different geographies. The number of characters, their motives and their struggles which prompt their actions may overwhelm you by the sheer volume of them, and may seem difficult to keep a track of at times. Every stroke is broad and each page covers a lot of action, juggling between nations like an enthusiastic performer at a circus. 

Ravi’s plot is so vast that he does not indulge in any detailing or subtlety in dealing with his characters or scenarios. They lack any depth whatsoever and one can't invest anything in them and finds it hard to care about what happens to any of them.

Ravi has painstakingly incorporated some twists which could have been avoided, and the ones retained could have been woven better, I feel.

The plot is tight and pushes a reader to skip a couple of pages to know what's going to happen next and who is pulling the strings. The author's research regarding the world of Bitcoins is extensive. The book is packed with an adrenaline rush which will not let you sleep till you finish reading it.

Despite a few lows, God is a Gamer is his best work so far. It is neatly edited too. This and a lot more, God Is A Gamer is a roller coaster ride with many surprises and shocks in equal amounts. It deserves to be in your bookshelf. 

Rating: 4.5/5

P.S: This review is a part of the biggest Book Review Program for Indian Bloggers. Participate now to get free books!

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Haa Zinda Hoon Main..

Saansein chal rahi hai..
Dil dhadak raha hai..
Haa zinda hoon main..

Apni baat kehne ki aazadi nahi..
Kuch sochne ki aazadi nahi..
Haa zinda hoon main..

Baar baar galat saabit hokar thak chuka hoon..
Apni harr galti ko maan chuka hoon..
Haa zinda hoon main..

Khamoshi bhi cheekh chilla rahi hai..
Harr waqt maut ki chaah ho rahi hai..
Haa zinda hoon main..

Bahut door nikal aaye hai..
Koi raasta nahi wapas lautne ko..
Harr waqt saasein toot rahi hai..
Haa zinda hoon main..

Harr zarra tod raha hai mujhe..
Har pal toot raha hoon..
Haa zinda hoon main..

Bahut baar haara hoon..
Bahut baar giraa hoon..
Par aaj bhi ek ummid hai..
Ek aasha hai..
Haa zinda hoon main..!

P.S: Those grumpy and depressing days make you write THIS! Yet, I truly believe "Never give up, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn."

Anyone can give up; it is the easiest thing in the world to do. But to hold it together when the easiest way is to fall apart, is true strength. Life is all about living and being alive and not being dead!

Monday, 13 October 2014

Book Review #19 : Happily Murdered....

Publisher: Srishti Publishers Distributors
ISBN: 978-93-82665-18-2
Year of Publication: 2014
No. Of Pages: 246
Cover: Paperback
Language: English
Type: Fiction
Price: 195

Who killed Gulab Sarin?

The radiant new daughter-in-law of the influential Mehta family dies mysteriously on the very next night of her wedding. The murder is an inside job, the police are certain. It could be anyone, the adulterous husband, conniving in-laws, jealous friend and the love struck ex-fiance. With an aim to save themselves and incriminate others, it is not long before these suspects turn into amateur detectives, hunting for clues and delving into hidden secrets only they can unearth. They coerce, pry and blackmail in an attempt to get to the bottom of this mystery. Will one of these nine unlikely sleuths finally unravel the mystery behind Gulab's death and avenge it? Or will the truth die as viciously as Gulab?

The book is just marvelous. You feel your heart heavy as you finish it. Mystery novels rarely give you this feel.

I would like to Congratulate Rasleen Syal on her d├ębut novel. If this novel is any indication, we just found a brilliant author to the genre of thrillers and suspense. She does complete justice to the book.

The novel has everything you want to have in a suspense thriller and even more. It has a sense of belonging. The easy flow of words, and no nonsense practical language, Rasleen's brilliant way of portraying her characters and the settings in which they exist makes the  not only believable but also very identifiable.

I was hooked up from the very beginning. The plot is excellent, language is simple, and flow is fast.

Highly recommended to suspense and mystery lovers, undoubtedly it is going to be a best seller.

I liked the cover of the book since it is very symbolic and captivating - blood dripping from the red bridal saree.

This book doesn't disappoint you. Gulab - a brilliant protagonist, who stays in your heart even after you have finished the book.

Jealousy, strife, animosity, rivalry, manipulative behaviour add different angles and spice to the story.

The first few pages disclose the characters involved, often leaving you confused on the relationships between them and making you feel a family tree would have come handy but that feeling does tend to disappear as you progress through and the characters become more familiar.

Rasleen presents “Happily Murdered” as a delicious dish, one that you enjoy and savour. Her narrating style, with simple English and absolutely no regional lingo thrown in, keeps the reader engaged throughout. There are typographical errors here and there, and sometimes a word is missing or pluralized. It could have been avoided.

If you are looking for a fresh, engaging and slightly different murder mystery... give "Happily Murdered..." a chance, you will be pleasantly surprised.

Rating: 4.8/5

P.S: The book was received as part of Reviewers Programme on The Tales Pensieve.

Saturday, 4 October 2014

Book Review #18 : One Last Time

Author : Shubham Arora
Publisher : Paper Clip Books


One phone call changes it all for him. Her phone call. After one full year. She is in the US, informing him about her marriage. She wants to meet him.

He had moved on, at least that's what he had made himself believe. Unsure of everything, he books a flight from New York to Carolina to give his past the final closure.

The journey brings all the painful memories back to him. They have both come a long way since they first met as kids and then again as adults, before parting ways and . . . moving on.

But flight 1549 is not destined to reach its destination. Unaware and oblivious, he is lost in his memories of her.
Ambala. New Delhi. New York.
Love. Career. Distance. Longing. Separation.
Will he realize her importance in his life? Will she ever find out who she is actually meant for?

What if he doesn't live up to the day to meet her one last time?


Effortlessly written, depicting a perfect mixture of multiple emotions! It has friendship, love, heartbreaks, staling relationship - all in one!

There in genuine sincerity in the frustration and anxiety portrayed for the long distance relationship and Shubham does make a pertinent point how young couple find it exceedingly difficult to handle the LDR pressure and the physical non-proximity.

A nicely done cover page, aptly describes the story and captures the various time zones the narrative incorporates.

The chemistry between the lead pair is well expressed! A gripping and intriguing piece written with complete thoughtfulness!

One Last Time grows on you. The characters are simple people easily connectable. We all have lost friends, made new friends, had heartbreaks, played cricket, fought with parents, made some foolish decisions, etc. The narration style is perfect, without any over stretched scenes & dialogues.

The chapters are of normal length making the reading more comfortable. Shubham knows how to write in a way, to hold the interest of readers right till the last page!

The story turns the reader nostalgic as we can directly connect to the aura of childhood that Shubham creates. The story transcends in a lovely way depicting the protagonist’s fears, dreams, ambitions and love. It portrays the journey of a shy small town guy from Ambala to the scintillating city of New York. The beautiful description of the protagonist’s emotions and the changing maturity level - the fear of death and of losing his loved ones, the desire to fulfill his dad’s dream and the intense and pure love for his girlfriend makes the story all the more interesting.

The ending is the most amazing part of this book! It is heart touching if you are a romantic. It is soulful even if you are pragmatic. And it leaves scope for a sequel. It keeps you wanting for more!

"One Last Time" is one last chance which is very important in everyone's life. So if you get a chance then never let it go.

This teenage adult fiction conveys an important message. It tries to convey the importance of one moment, the happy, sad or happening moment. It is an uncomplicated book that talks about realities in life.

If you are fan of fiction romantic books, go for it. This book deserves a read. It is engaging and a breezy read.  It leaves a good taste and makes you realize the value of time and relationships. 

Ratings - 4.5/5

Order it from Flipkart.com : http://tinyurl.com/OneLastTime-FLPKRT

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Book Review #17 : India Was One

Author: An Indian (Anonymous)

Publisher: CreateSpace (Paperback),
Amazon Digital Services (Kindle edition), Smashwords (eBook)

Pages: 370

Genre: Realistic-fiction, Contemporary

In an age when India seems to be threatened by all kinds of social and political ills, regional divide and religious inconsistencies, 'India Was One' knocks on that door, yearning to be re-opened to universal brotherhood and oneness. This is a self-published book straight from the heart.

The title creates anxiety and inquisitiveness in readers - India was one. Why 'was'? Isn't it yet one?

I loved the pencil drawing illustrations at the beginning of each chapter. It was a visual treat.

A lovely relationship between two people has been portrayed. I personally loved the choice of the protagonists names - Kaahi and Jai.

The author remains anonymous in order to honour the concept of India. He thinks that labelling his name as a Hindu, a Muslim, etc. would have pre-conceived judgements and notions in the reader’s mind. Hence, he calls himself 'An Indian' - who remains to be passionate about his country without revealing his identity! 

 The way he has crafted the book and the detailed descriptions of Indian culture is worth appreciation. Good part - Politics was not over dramatised.

Along with the story narration, there are times when the characters use Hindi phrases as part of their conversations (which are then translated). The dialogues in Hindi added a flavour and charm to the book!

The author fears frustration over the deep politically-driven fissures in today’s India might one day result in yet another Partition. The writer lets his imagination run loose to the possible scenarios of a divided India. Partitions create boundaries between people, not just countries. I'd never think about such a dreading situation- partition part II in India. It is scary.

The split of India leads to a split in Kaahi and Jai's rosy life. They are forced to live separately as India is now divided into North India and South India.

The initial chapters of the book concentrate on the love story of two individuals coming from different religious background and culture and their carefree days of college.

When Jai and Kaahi decide to convert their college romance into a lifetime of togetherness, India from being 'one' begins to scatter into multiple fragments due to civil unrest. Authorities tell Jai that he and his wife would not be allowed to board the same flight to India. The couple is stripped of their identity. The country they once called their own was dissected into two.

The book reflects the innate emotions of every Indian who has left India to settle abroad – that sense of longing for their families, friends and all things mundane that was part of the everyday life in India.

As human beings, countries and religions should not separate us.  Emotions bind us all. This book proves that 'you can take an Indian out of India but not India out of an Indian.'

From one moment to the other, smiles and success and affection turn to tears and fear and separation. The book is about being one with your motherland, being one with India. This book is a product of exceptionally different thinking - no actual story as such, but the diversions and descriptions of various cultures make this book worth a read.

This last part of the book is the one where the writing is most powerful. It gives us a lot to ponder on. The twist in the tale and the ending are all brought together beautifully. The book ends with a Bollywood-style twist!

There are many moments in the book when you feel immensely proud of being an Indian. The message the book conveys is what makes it different than the rest - "Although we are coming from different states, with different languages and religion, we are all Indians. We all love India…in our own way."

This is a love story with a twist - Romance with patriotism. This book is magical. Highly recommended! A pleasant read.

It is thought provokingly amazing! An Indian's writing style is brilliant and simple never making the book a heavy read. An enjoyable book with the richness of India -an eye opener, literally! A book like this is worth preserving in paperback form, really!

Ratings - 4.5/5

PS: This review is a part of Book review program hosted by Write Tribe.

Details about the book  ~
Availability: http://www.indiawasone.com/General/Availability.aspx Since the book is available in various stores all over the world, this link is the best place to see if it’s available in your area. YouTube video showing various artwork used in the book: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2EcEDQ8iIjg
Facebook: www.facebook.com/IndiaWasOne (over 27,000 likes)
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1450543332 (4.1 based on 73)