Monday, February 26, 2018

Cover reveal : Children of Blood And Bone by Tomorrow Adeyemi

Tomi Adeyemi conjures a stunning world of dark magic and danger in her West African-inspired fantasy debutChildren of Blood and Bone.

They killed my mother. They took our magic. They tried to bury us. Now we rise.

Zélie remembers when the soil of Orïsha hummed with magic. When different clans ruled – Burners igniting flames, Tiders beckoning waves, and Zélie’s Reaper mother summoning forth souls.

But everything changed the night magic disappeared. Under the orders of a ruthless king, anyone with powers was targeted and killed, leaving Zélie without a mother and her people without hope. Only a few people remain with the power to use magic, and they must remain hidden.

Zélie is one such person. Now she has a chance to bring back magic to her people and strike against the monarchy. With the help of a rogue princess, Zélie must learn to harness her powers and outrun the crown prince, who is hell-bent on eradicating magic for good.

Danger lurks in Orïsha, where strange creatures prowl, and vengeful spirits wait in the waters. Yet the greatest danger may be Zélie herself as she struggles to come to terms with the strength of her magic – and her growing feelings for an enemy.

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Review: Letters to My Ex

Letters to My Ex Letters to My Ex by Nikita Singh
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I was so stressed out with work when I started this book late one night. And I finished it in a single sitting. This was so real , so heartfelt and so intimate. I thought of all the sent and unsent emails I wrote in love , after a fight or sometimes even now out of so much overwhelming love that only makes sense with words.This book has no end and no beginning and it doesn't even feel like a story. It is just a whole bundle of letters , texts and emails that together take the reader on this adventure called love and loss. It might be cliched , or cheesy at places. But that's how romance is , that's how it feels comfortable with some one you love.  Brilliant feels to this.

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Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Home By Harlan Coben

Home is the latest title in Coben's Myron Bolitar series and re-unites Myron,Win,Big Cyndi,Esperanza once again for a brand new adventure.Also Joining them in the adventure are Mickey,Ema and Spoon.

Two boys go missing and twelve years later,Win and Myron stumbles upon one of them in London and manage to bring him home ,but not everyone is convinced that he is the real person.This is the basic premise of 'Home'.Myron and Win ,in their trademark style try to solve this mystery but I must confess that 'Home' is one of the weakest works to have come out in Bolitar series.The book is not at all racy and nothing much really happens in the first two hundred +pages of this tale.The twists are far and few in between and not of them are indeed convincing.Too much time is spent in unnecessary detailing and by the time the actual mystery is revealed, the reader loses interest in the whole proceedings.The good thing about the climax is that though the twist is predictable,it manages to move you emotionally (the tail-end twist including Brooke and 'the gun' could have been avoided though).The epilogue reveals a positive event in Bolitar's personal life and I am definitely looking forward to the next one in the series.

On the whole,I am giving this one a 2.75 out of 5.


Saturday, February 17, 2018

#Review: Friends and Other Liars by Kaela Coble

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I started this book with some expectations based on the Goodreads review.  And they were all met but in a way I had not expected. I expected the secrets to be really more sinister and maybe directly hurting the narrator.  But in bargain , the way the secrets impact the people close to them and the everyone's life is so amazingly captured in the book. I hated some characters ,empathized with some and in the end , I fell in love with each one of them. That's how this book hooks the reader and make you feel concerned. This was a beautiful story. Tragic ,but so full of real wise words. I had a hard time letting this one go.

About the Author: 
KaelaCoble lives in Burlington, Vermont, and is a member of the League of Vermont Writers and a graduate of the WoMentoring Project. This is her first novel.


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Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Rise Again - Ben Tripp

Rise Again
Book 1 of "Rise Again'

ISBN - 9781439165164
PAGES - 371
GENRE - Dystopian Thriller
PUBLISHERS - Gallery Books

AUTHOR - Ben Tripp


And a warning that would come all too late . . . 

Forest Peak, California. Fourth of July. Sheriff Danielle Adelman, a troubled war veteran, thinks she has all the problems she can handle in this all-American town after her kid sister runs away from home. But when a disease-stricken horde of panicked refugees fleeing the fall of Los Angeles swarms her small mountain community, Danny realizes her problems have only just begun - starting with what might very well be the end of the world. 

Danny thought she had seen humanity at its worst in war-torn Iraq, but nothing could prepare her for the remorseless struggle to survive in a dying world being overrun by the reanimated dead and men turned monster. Obsessed with finding her missing sister against all odds, Danny's epic and dangerous journey across the California desert will challenge her spirit . . . and bring her to the precipice of sanity itself. . . . 

Filled with adventurous human drama - and shocking inhuman horror - Rise Again marks a vivid and powerful fiction debut.

FL Speak - If there is a specific dystopian fiction I love, it is zombie apocalypse. 

Who doesn't love Resident Evil or World War Z? The immensely famous "The walking dead" or my favourite "warm bodies"? There's nothing better end of the world stories than humankind rising up from the dead to terrorise those who survived. If you've played the game "last of us", I bet you've wished to be a part of such an world one time or the another. 

I wanted to read The Accidental Highwayman by Ben Tripp and ended up with this one. Boy, I was glad I got this. After a slow, sluggish start the pace skyrockets to an astounding speed. It's like being trapped in an underground Umbrella facility which is full of zombies and you've got a pistol and ten folks to save. 


What started as a personal crusade turned into a sense of duty and obligation. Danielle as the heroine of this book is a character worth loving in this mash of gore and brain parts. Of course she is flawed. No one would send a Lancelot to a zombie story. It's her flaws that is endearing to readers and makes her unpredictable. 

The book ends with a vicious twist. Both personally to Danny as well as to the story for the next book. I've this feeling it wouldn't bode well. Not at all. You see, they're evolving. That's not good. Oh crap.

RATING - 4/5 stars

Monday, February 12, 2018


In the second part of the conversation,James Barr reveals his softer side and his experiences in the Indian sub continent.

Q:Have you ever got frustrated for having chosen to be a professional writer?
(smiles)yes,you have days when you are researching and you find nothing and there are also times when you are trying to write and get nowhere. But it’s true for every other author as writing is not at all an ‘easy job’. But if you ask me would you be doing anything else,I would say No!

Q:How do you deal with criticism and have you ever been accused of distorting history for selling a couple of more copies?

It depends on what kind of criticism it is. For my last book, some people thought it was hard to follow while some others were of the opinion that it did distort events.At the end of the day,it’s about your conviction in what you have done.As far as You are confident that you have done a pretty honest and balanced version of events without taking sides, you can deal with the criticism in a mature way.

Q:So far,You have written mostly about the Middle-East.Do you plan to do something else with your future works?
Yes,definitely! I am also interested in the relationship between ‘allied countries’ and the ‘tensions’ between them.

Q:Have you ever been to India?
I was invited to the Jaipur Literature Festival last year and I was astonished by the sheer number of people who turned up to hear Shashi Tharoor speak in the festival.You will never see something like that in England.India is an amazing Country.

Q:About Piracy?                           
Piracy in U.K is mostly about the digital copies that get illegally uploaded.But I think ‘hard copy’ piracy is not much of a problem in the U.K.

Q:How easy it is to be a full time-writer in the U.K.?
It’s not at all easy.Very few writers earn decent amount of money by writing full-time.In that sense,I have been fortunate enough.

((Nikhimenon is an Infectious Disease doctor by profession and a freelance book blogger by passion.He has been trained in India and in the U.K.The first part of this conversation can be read here.)

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Conversation with British Author and Historian, James Barr-Part One

(James Barr is a British author and historian. His book on Lawrence of Arabia and the Arab Revolt, ‘Setting the Desert on Fire’, was published in 2006. ‘A Line In The Sand’, on the rivalry between Britain and France for dominance in the Middle East, followed in 2011. His latest work is on the post-war middle East and will be out by mid-2018. In this candid conversation with nikhimenon, he opens up about his work, inspiration and how he deals with criticism.This will be published in two parts,the first part can be read here)

James Barr
Q: What inspired you to be a writer?
Though I started writing when I was quite young, my first big ‘break’ happened about 15 years ago when I got an opportunity to pen down the history of a small organization in London. Immediately after the publication of that book I went to Syria and it was my experience there that served as the real inspiration for my debut work.Fortunately, it got good acceptance and my second work infact grew out of my first book .

Q:There are ‘best-selling’ authors authors who work with  newbie writers to bring out a book.What is your take on that? Do you think it works better that way or the ‘veteran’  is just lending his name for ‘easy money’?
Yes,you do hear about that.There are some authors who work with a team of people ,who inturn basically do the job for them.Well,if you are successful enough ,it’s a way of working. But personally, I would never prefer that kind of work .For me, the excitement of the job I do is about finding things out and if I delegate that job to somebody else, I would lose that ‘sense of discovery’ which is partly what I find exciting about what I do. Secondly, there is also the question of trusting other people’s judgement. As soon as you involve other people in the (writing) process, you are risking your reputation to someone else’s judgement. If the book turns out to be an awful one, it’s you (the ‘brand’) which ultimately suffers!

Q:What are your hobbies?
I used to like drawing. I think it has helped me a lot to kill time while attending extremely boring conferences(chuckles)!

Q: Do you ever plan to write for Television?
Not particularly!

Q: When will your next book come out?
I am just finishing my next book now and it should be out by mid-September ,2018. It’s a history of Anglo-American rivalry in the middle-east from the second world war through to the 1970s.

Q:Do you intend to write fiction at some point of time?
One of the big frustrations when you do these projects is the amount of stuff that you can’t use in the book. Most of the background data don’t go into your book and it’s quite tempting to make a fictional work out of all these ‘junk’ info. But to be very frank, I don’t intend to do something like that in the near future. Mixing fact and fiction quite often leaves a reader confused and having said that, it’s a reality that the style of history writing has changed a lot. People tend to write popular history as if it is fiction. I think I would struggle to ‘invent’ a story as I believe Truth is stranger than fiction.

(Nikhimenon is an Infectious Disease doctor by profession and a freelance book blogger by passion.He has been trained in India and in the U.K.The second part of this conversation will be posted soon.)

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Scourge of the Betrayer - Jeff Salyards

Scourge of the Betrayer
Book 1 of "Bloodsounder's Arc"

ISBN : 9781597804066
GENRE : Fantasy
PAGES : 320
PUBLISHER : Night Shade Books

AUTHOR - Jeff Salyards

SYNOPSIS - Many tales are told of the Syldoon Empire and its fearsome soldiers, who are known throughout the world for their treachery and atrocities. Some say that the Syldoon eat virgins and babies–or perhaps their own mothers. Arkamondos, a bookish young scribe, suspects that the Syldoon’s dire reputation may have grown in the retelling, but he’s about to find out for himself.

Hired to chronicle the exploits of a band of rugged Syldoon warriors, Arki finds himself both frightened and fascinated by the men’s enigmatic leader, Captain Braylar Killcoin. A secretive, mercurial figure haunted by the memories of those he’s killed with his deadly flail, Braylar has already disposed of at least one impertinent scribe ... and Arki might be next.

Archiving the mundane doings of millers and merchants was tedious, but at least it was safe. As Arki heads off on a mysterious mission into parts unknown, in the company of the coarse, bloody-minded Syldoon, he is promised a chance to finally record an historic adventure well worth the telling, but first he must survive the experience!

A gripping military fantasy in the tradition of Glen Cook, Scourge of the Betrayer explores the brutal politics of Empire–and the searing impact of violence and dark magic on a man’s soul.

“You haven’t lived until you’ve grieved. Death, life, together, the same. And if you’ve only experienced life you’re only half-alive.”
“And if that only inflames your curiosity, I say to you, a writer without curiosity is a bird without feathers.”
“Your mugs are weaker than your ale, innkeeper. I regret I have to pay for either.” 
“She regarded me as a seasoned drover might regard a cow.” 
“I'll tell you this much. Men think memories are like murals or statues or truth or whatever happened, never changes none. But that ain't so. They can capture the untruth of something, just as easy. They can change, especially as time leads to time.

FL Speak - Where do I start about this book? The lack of a plot or the immensely lovable uncouth humour? The fantastic characters or the whirwind action sequences?

Scourge of the Betrayer takes you on a ride alongside ill-disciplined mercenaries where swords and flails speak mightier than the words of the scribe through whose POV we muddle across. An opportunist meets an unpredictable man and is left to make choices he never imagined were choices. Stuck between a rock and hard place, our scribe Arki attempts to pierce the mystery of the Slydoon in hopes of seeing himself in a glorified pedestal.

I love such books. I am a sucker for teams and cadres. Be it the Bridgeburners, the Mad Lancers or the Band of the Red Hand. If there are people worth following into battle, I invest more than a little emotion into them. The Slydoon is one such group. Jeff Salyards takes us on a nightmarish journey of gut wrenching fight brutality and a plot loosely tied around the outcome of such fights.

There is a larger story. There has to be. But for once, I'm glad to read a book without thinking too far ahead.

RATING - 4 Stars

Review: A Tryst with Mahakaal - The Ghost who never Died by Tilak Dutta

My rating: 4 of 5 stars There are some ideas, which need the right time and right attitude. And then there are books that operate...