Ghoster by Jason Arnopp

Jason Arnopp was one of my favorite authors when I read "Last Days of Jack Sparks" last year ( as with most of you, I am sure who have read that splendid addition to the genre of horror!) - So it was with a bit of a trepidation that I came in to read Ghoster ( was one of my most-awaited titles of the year!)

The premise holds a lot of promise - and creepy intrigue. Kate Collins, a paramedic is about to move in with her boyfriend Scott Palmer in the next two days but her lover has stopped answering his calls. Has he "ghosted" her? Kate, who suffers from a "smart-phone" addiction problem, first "super-liked" Scott on one of the popular dating apps on her phone, only to bump into him in person at this de-addiction camp. The initial 'like' soon turns into a roaring long-distance relationship with frequent to-and-for between Leeds and London until we come to that fateful day, when Kate discovers to her mounting horror that Scott has gone missi…

Netflix Saturdays: Asuran (Movie Review Tamil)

Asuran literally means the demon. A movie adapted from a popular Tamil novel called Vekkai by Poomani, the movie traces the past and present transformation of Sivasami, the character played by Dhanush (the actor and not the star!) as he cyclically transforms from the demon to a human and then back to being the demon - all to protect his family. It's an intense and gritty character drama about two warring families, treading through the perils of casteism and the gulf between the haves and the downtrodden have-nots. 

Sivasami is a poor farmer, whose 3 acres of land is being coveted by the rich landlord Vadakooran, who intends to build a cement factory on this land. But this feud is ignited further when Murugan, Sivasami's eldest son is actually kidnapped and killed by Vadakooran's goons in a defiant act of petty vengeance taken too far. Sivasami is a drunkard, a mild-mannered quiet old man who only wants to live in peace and doesn't want to exacerbate matters even further…

Black Hawks by David Wragg (Articles of Faith # 1)

Black Hawks by David Wragg caught my attention last month as this impressive debut seemed to have drawn the impossible comparisons to two of the genre's greatest, Joe Abercrombie and Scott Lynch. And then that gorgeous gorgeous artwork on the cover resembled the cover of one of the most buzzy ( and rightly so!) debuts in the previous couple of years - Kings of the Wyld by Nicholas Eames. Tall order to live up, sure but hey - you got my eyeballs!

Finally got down to it over the last one week - when rains in Langkawi and airport transits gave me ample time on my week off to gobble this one up. And say this for David Wragg - this guy's writing chops are absolutely A-class and he writes a fine debut to give us an impressive epic fantasy about a band of scrappy mercenaries getting caught in a twisted game of power in a kingdom reeling in the middle of civil unrest and faith gone ugly. In a year of spectacular books, this one's going to be standout and hells, that says a lot abo…

Waiting for Wednesday

I am yet to jump on board the Seven Kennings world but from the looks of it, it is building up to be quite a massive one. Next up on our most awaited list is the sequel to A Plague of Giants by Kevin Hearne. ( another of our most hard working prodigious authors at work today!) 

From the New York Times bestselling creator of the Iron Druid Chronicles comes the story of a world-breaking war—an invasion of giant warriors—that inspires a movement to fight back.
SOLDIER AND AVENGER Daryck is from a city that was devastated by the war with the Bone Giants, and now he and a band of warriors seek revenge against the giants for the loved ones they’ve lost. But will vengeance be enough to salve their grief?
DREAMER AND LEADER Hanima is part of a new generation with extraordinary magical talents: She can speak to fantastical animals. But when this gift becomes a threat to the powers-that-be, Hanima becomes the leader of a movement to use this magic to bring power to the people.

Steel Crow Saga by Paul Krueger

I haven't read a book by Paul Krueger before this but if this book, which he claims is something that he wrote truly only for himself, is anything to go by - I will definitely be picking up more of his works before long. Steel Crow Saga was a pleasant surprise really - a breath of fresh air, inventive originality at play spinning together a tour-de-force of magic and wonder in a world, influenced by the oriental cultures. It's an epic tale of different cultures clashing, of identities forged and reforged, political intrigue mired in action and subterfuge all fronted by four vivid and really memorable characters, each a force to reckon with. I totally loved it and definitely would recommend this one to readers, looking for something new and wholly enjoyable.

The story is set in the warring world of four different cultures - With our story starting at the end of a disastrous war between these cultures leaving their world burnt, men reeling and levels of tension very high. There…

A Little Hatred by Joe Abercrombie (Age of Madness # 1)

A new Joe Abercrombie novel is always a phenomenon to be celebrated. This time even more so. A Little Hatred, the first part of a new trilogy aptly named the Age of Madness, is Joe’s new book that has come out after a long interval. Two years, I think.

A Little Hatred is set in the same Circle of World, that was introduced way back in 2006 with his debut, A Blade Itself that introduced the world to a new form of fantasy – veering away from heroic quests and destiny’s child or even multi-layered political intrigue, to give us real flawed grey characters, whose frustrations, angst and pain was etched in unerring detail and presented in a shining evocative prose, unapologetic, grim and dark. Can a new reader jump into this world, starting with this book? Err. Technically yes, but I would strongly advise anybody worth their salt to get their hands dirty with at least his First Law trilogy: Namely, the Blade Itself. Before they are Hanged and The Last Argument of Kings. Joe has done an abs…

Joker : Movie Review

In first of the DC Black’s stand-alone spin-off series, we examine and plumb the dark stygian depths of one of DC’s iconic villains, the arch-nemesis to the Dark Knight, the Joker. And what an epic flight of imagination is it, lent some serious credence and authenticity by Joaquin Phoenix’s astounding career-defining performance as the lead/eponymous character. Joker unspools like a raw, bloody experiment with our minds and souls, a yawning exit wound that refuses to heal, unsettling, painful and yet indelibly scorched into our psyches.

The movie is a chaotic, slow-burn psyche-eval of one of the most unhinged characters ever written about but Todd Phillip/Scott Silver’s interpretation of Joker is fresh, is a bold riff on Heath Ledger’s iconic portrayal and invokes pity, grudging admiration and loathing in equal measure. Because let’s not forget. This is the rise of a villain, we are taking about. But the deplorable conditions of a callous, cruel society that catalyzes this spiraling de…