Signal to Noise by Silvia Morena-Garcia

I only picked up Signal to Noise because I had got approved for Silvia Morena Garcia's second book, Certain Dark Things review copy - and when I did a quick search, Signal to Noise surfaced as her debut - highly acclaimed, a literary work with splashes of supernatural magic and copious references to popular music. Intrigued, I went ahead and got myself a copy - but got around to reading it at a stretch only a few days back. Suffice to say that retro Mexico, birthday mix-tapes and vinyl records drew me in, like  a magical spell, not unlike the ones that play out in the book itself; a magic that resided in the musical records that the protagonists of Signal to Noise kept obsessing over.

So the story is set in parallel time-lines, 1988/89 and 2009 - ping-pongs back and forth building on the suspense and the emotional resonance - building on the life and times of Meche, Mercedes Vaga who has come back to mexico city to attend her father's funeral in 2009. And being back in that h…

Hunger Makes the Wolf by Alex Wells

I am a huge fan of mostly anything that comes out from Angry Robot - as I believe they've got it almost right when it comes to talent-spotting. Hunger Makes the Wolf by Alex Wells, was frankly a bit of an odd-ball of a choice for my reading. It's science fiction, mixed in with some goodly measure of low-magic. I don't generally read so much of science fiction in general. Maybe its an injustice that I'm labeling the book so because, really this book is so much more than that. A space-opera that is very accessible in that it's focused on the intense happenings in just one strange off-world planet and relentlessly drives the narrative forward through some delectable characterization and commendable world-building. Corporate politicking, a fantastical magic system and biker-gangs! How can I forget the uber-cool biker-gangs that forms the backbone of this sci-fi thriller and the kickass Hob Ravani, a female lead who along with her best friend Mag plots to bring down th…

Movie Review: Logan

Logan is the befitting swansong for Hugh Jackman as The Wolverine, a role he has owned, for close to twenty years now and is finally letting go of those adamantium-claws, this time for good. It's raw, violent and pack full of grit, human drama and hurt in such full measure, that it deserves fully to be the burial ship for this warrior as we bid him a tearful goodbye.

It's an extraordinary piece of film-making that gives Jackman, his valedictory dues as he bows out on a phenomenal high, delivering one of his most heart-wrenching portrayal of one of the most tortured and highly misunderstood x-men whose explosively volatile temper and those shiny 'snikt-snikt' claws of death and maim has been his claim to fame, for just too long. Now he can hang up those boots, having convinced us about his ability to masterfully carry off those quiet, tender moments in a movie; just as well as those supernova brain-blitzing action sequences where he goes on a rampaging streak, dodging …

Cold Counsel by Chris Sharp

Cold Counsel by Chris Sharp was a book, that sold itself to me just by that badass cover. It's as wickedly cool as they come - and of course the back-blurb promised me a ripping yarn of Trolls, Elves, Goblins, Witches and their evil magic altering the world engaged in brutal battles.

Now these creatures bring in a sense of yearning for the old style of fantasy-writing - where it was truly 'fantastical' and we willingly took frequent leaps of faith, into boiling cauldrons of frothing magic and myth, enjoying the ride, as unbelievable and fanciful as they are. It's the same with Chris Sharp's first book in this series, that follows the adventures of Slud ('Bringer of Trouble'), the last troll left this side of the world, going about a war to reclaim his birthright and perhaps, more. A familiar sense of yearning, a straight-forward classic tale of sword-and-sorcery but wrapped up in newer sensibilities that appeal and exhilarate at the same time, for us reade…

Waiting on Wednesday: Tyrant's Throne by Sebastien De Castell

Continuing on with our (ir)regular featured Wednesday meme of counting down to the releases of those highly anticipated books this year, we are fully jazzed about the upcoming conclusion(?) to the The GreatCoats series by Sebastien DeCastell from Jo Fletcher Books, Tyrant's Throne.
Falcio, Kest and Brasti, where will you guys go next ?

After years of struggle and sacrifice, Falcio val Mond, First Cantor of the Greatcoats, is on the brink of fulfilling his dead king's dream: Aline, the king's daughter, is about to take the throne and restore the rule of law once and for all.

But for the Greatcoats, nothing is ever that simple. In the neighboring country of Avares, an enigmatic new warlord is uniting the barbarian armies that have long plagued Tristia's borders--and even worse, he is rumored to have a new ally: Trin, who's twice tried to kill Aline to claim the throne of Tristia for herself. With the armies of Avares at her back, led by a bloodthirsty warrior, she&#…

Defender by G X Todd

Defender is an eminently readable debut - remarkable in it's grey and dismal rendition of a dystopian world where people, hearing voices in their head, have all chosen to end their lives, making Earth a barren desolate landscape. Population is thus scarce in GX Todd's post-tragedy America and so that makes a lone traveler named Pilgrim who rides through this lonely landscape something of a rare breed - doubly so, because he has come to a sort of non-violent agreement with the voice in his head, which he refers to as Voice.

Their squabbles and arguments are colorful and so when the Voice convinces Pilgrim to stop at a roadside lemonade stand, for a teenage girl selling lemonade, Pilgrim just gives in without argument. And even decides to take her on as a passenger. The first human being he has spoken to, in one hundred fifty one days straight. While there is a premonition that warns him against this, he relents anyways and soon discovers, that Lacey - the precocious highly self…

Movie Review: The Lego Batman Movie

The Lego Batman Movie actually came from nowhere, for me. I had not watched the Lego movie which came last year and so wasn’t really prepared for the outrageously funny jokes that lit up the movie, the writers riffing on everything the fantasy books/superhero comics ever threw at the large screen. The smart-alec quips, the ripping fast narrative and the depth of the characterization that came to fore was something pretty unexpected. I basically went because, the dark vigilante is my favorite superhero. (Yup: I own t-shirts emblazoned with him, Watches with his motif engraved into it, Car-Bumper Stickers with the bat-mobile motif. The works. And am not ashamed!) And I was happy to be landing back in the troubled Gotham city once more. The comic books and of late, the movies or even the TV Series set in this city, about the Batman or his fringe characters have all been exceptionally grim and dark. And so this personally for me, was a slam-dunk winner; watching a fast-talking highly inte…