The Last Days of Jack Sparks by Jason Arnopp

Every once in a while there comes along a well executed, darkly comic and exuberantly horrific story that forces you to just drop everything else, stay up way past your bedtime reading - dunking coffee to stay awake, looking over your shoulders all the time, grinning like an idiot while your heart is hammering away like a jazz concert on boosters till you hit the last line and then again, stay up all night just thinking about this book.

This. Was. That. Book.

I know I am perhaps two years late in reading this phenomenon of a book but good books persist beyond years. And hey apparently there's a movie being made on the book (and heck, I am not surprised as to how well this lends itself to being movie fodder! And Jason Arnopp himself is a scriptwriter with some serious credits to his name)

So the Last Days of Jack Sparks is sort of an autobiographical account of this pop journalist Jack Sparks who is out to debunk the myths around the phenomenon of supernatural horror/ ghost sightin…

August Books for Review

August looks like an 'august' month indeed with noteworthy sequels to some of the biggest debuts of the last year. The ones I personally am most kicked about are the following: 

Tower of Living and Dying by Anna Smith Spark: The 'queen of grim dark' is back with the second installment to the series, Empires of Dust (I thoroughly enjoyed the mad caper that was book one!) that continues the doomed tale of the unbalanced heir, Marith as he wields the power of the throne of the White Isles. Promises to be bleak, grim and sordidly dark. Right up my alley!

Bloody Rose by Nicholas Eames : if you thought that the bunch of oldies  reunion was the great band ever in the Band Series, then wait until you read the next instalment that tells the story of the daughter Rose and her band. I have heard it tops the first book and that is saying a LOT.  Even if its just a speck of dust on that first book, then hells come alive, I would love it. 

Moons of Barsk by Lawrence M Schoen: Set years…

Monstress: Vol.1 (Awakening) & Vol. 2 (Blood)

Choosing to fully flesh out the monster in each one of us, Marjorie Liu, NYtimes bestselling author of works like Hunter Kiss series and comics like Dark Wolverine and Black Widow, literally brings out an exhilarating interpretation to this: Turning her attention to medieval China, layering in a fully realised and a wonderfully epic world (daresay the likes of which hasn't been seen in Graphic novels in recent times!) she and artist Sana Takeda in collaboration, have churned out this groundbreaking series, Monstress (Volume 1 & 2 are out - Vol.3 will hit the stands around Sept) After having quickly run through the first two volumes, I think this one takes the podium, displacing the meandering bloated Saga (currently at Volume 8) from my mind as the best ever running series for a graphic novel. Captivating storytelling that is nuanced, deep and backed up by some brilliant swirling artwork.

Set in a sprawling fully realised magical world that is inspired by the early 1900's…

Tom Hardy's Venom - New Trailer Out

So Tom Hardy is out to prove a point. That its been a summer surfeit of superheroes. Let's get a dose of the anti-hero. And Venom brings the party in a voice that gives you the fuckin' jitters! < A voice that competes with Bane crossed with Dark Knight>

Here's the new extended version of the trailer: Out in October.

Mission Impossible - Fall Out: Mini Review

As I watched the re-run of the movie Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation, I found myself asking - What makes a man like Ethan Hunt tick? To push himself up after every bone-jarring bike-accident, to walk away from every nerve-wracking gun fights unscathed, to roll in and out of insane chopper chase sequences that would probably burst a normal man's beating heart with fright. These are normal occurrences that define Ethan's everyday life as he chooses to accept one mission after the other. Does he ever choose not to?

We get the answer in MI-6, Fall Out; Luther and Julia's sad little bonding scene on top of a nuclear bomb as they discuss Ethan. "A pathetic sense of morality, of taking responsibility for everything that goes wrong in this world" Now that is what keeps this agent from "falling out".  We ain't complaining, no sir - On the wrong side of fifty and still doing heart-stopping stunts for a living, Tom Cruise brings all his heart and broken ankl…

Ravencry by Ed McDonald

Blackwing by Ed McDonald was one of the best debuts of last year that put the shine and focus right back into the grim dark genre, proving that this sub-genre still breathes life and this was done in a fairly stylistic engrossing manner ticking all the right boxes. Ed McDonald's series, Raven's Mark opens up in the best possible manner with this compelling tale of love, loss and sacrifices. There was so much to cheer about: the assured virtuoso writing, the cold black truths delivered in layers of black humour, the hard-edged but oh-so-real characters, the magic system  and of course the amazing places like Valengrad and the Misery that come alive on the pages. 

In Ravencry, Ed McDonald has delivered a winning sequel that takes everything that was good with the debut and then cranks it up manifold. Grim to the core, with nonstop relentless action that just ups and sweeps you along to a thundering climax, this one also feels a lot more personal. The pain and the longing of the c…

Sacred Games

Sacred Games was released on July 6th on Netflix India and a mere six days later I think this series has hit a cult status and following. It is definitely one of the sharpest originally 'made for India' content that I have seen in years and while yes, there is a lot of hype for the heavyweight names associated with Bollywood getting down and dirty on the small screen, I think it is all justified and totally worth it. Is it India's answer to hit international web series, like Narcos or Marco Polo? I think we shall soon find out the numbers. But it is definitely opened the floodgates for Netflix India, in terms of the awareness and its war-cry in this brutal 'content' game up against the stalwarts like Amazon Prime.

So Sacred Games is directed by two stalwarts of the industry, Anurag Kashyap(Gangs of Wasseypur and many more acclaimed movies) and Vikramaditya Motwane ( Udaan, Lootera) and stars Saif Ali Khan, Nawazuddin Siddique and Radhika Apte in key roles. I think …