Showing posts from January, 2017

Movie Review: Raees (Hindi)

Here's a fact: I removed SRK from that pantheon inside my mind a few years back. Since he cannot stop doing that grand-romantic-gesture of his, hands stretched out, upper body bent at the waist with that stupid cocky dimpled grin on his face never wiped off. They kept saying he should learn to play his age and take a leaf out of Aamir Khan's book, maybe play a 'real' character instead of the same old superstar version of himself in every romantic movie. Even Salman Khan has learnt to take a beating ('Sultan') and toned himself down, not playing the Bhai, even trying to emote a bit.

So maybe this one's a start; for the legions of disappointed SRK 'fans' to get back to cheering. I truly sat up and was pleasantly surprised at this 'transformed' SRK; Shah Rukh gets his teeth right into the meat of this titular character of Raees, a small-time bootlegger in Gujarat where liquor is of course prohibited, in his latest movie, directed by Rahul Dholak…

Dreadnought (Nemesis#1) by April Daniels

I haven't read a super-hero theme book in a while - (Note to myself: Need to speed up, finish the Reckoners series by Brandon Sanderson, I have only read Steelheart.) and so when I read the excerpt, first chapters of Dreadnought by April Daniels, I just couldn't resist my trigger-happy finger from requesting a copy. And Baaam! < comic-book style large-sized fist slamming into you!> I am floored!

This book is a sensitive and intelligent portrayal of a superhero origin story - heavily exploring themes of LGBT in a manner that is at once, refreshing and original from the point of view of a fifteen-year. Daniel(le) Tozer, is a trans-gender and has always wanted to be a girl but has never had the courage to come out of the closet. Instead resorts to hiding behind parking-garage walls to indulge in something simple yet guilty, like painting toe-nails. But that's when the world's greatest superhero, Dreadnought drops dead from the sky and in a bizarre and shocking turn…

Waiting on Wednesday

Keeping in with the Wednesday themes of noting down some of the noteworthy releases coming up for the year, this week on this meme (run by Jill @ Breaking the Spine) I'm extremely kicked about this standalone book in the Universe of Emperor's Blades, the Chronicles of the Unhewn Throne - that really saw Brian Staveley catapult to the top-list of my favorite-fantasy-writers. The series, by the way, is finished and can be read as an excellent fantasy magnum-opus of the grim-dark and brutal variety that has it all - politics and war on an epic grand scope, sibling rivalry, ancient magic and secrets - executed in the most amazing manner that feels so heartrendingly and yet so good.

(Read my reviews of Book-I, Book-II and Book-III )

So when I came to know that Brian is writing another novel in the same universe and this time, focusing on one of the minor characters story-arc ( Ahem - Pyrre, the Assassin!) I was so thrilled. And now, finally it's going to be out in a few months…

Resistance by Mikhaeyla Kopievsky ( Divided Elements # 1)

Even though epic fantasy is my favorite genre when it comes to speculative fiction, I find of late I've been veering more into 'easier' sub-genres to read, like urban fantasy or the dystopian settings. Now easier of course is a relative term as I generally tend to blast through the urban/dystopian settings relishing the pace and thrill of a novel set in times and a world, familiar to the ones we are in. And so, when I first requested for Resistance, the debut novel from Mikhaeyla Kopievsky that is the first part in an intended series, Divided Elements - the premise looked familiar and a path, well-trodden before.

The world after an unexplained apocalypse, in a time possibly in the future with the society divided into clear hard hierarchical stratas called Elementals based on their affinity to different forms. Called out as Air, Earth, Water and Fire. So imagine my pleasant surprise when I realized that this one, was different. I was in for a shock with this book. In a goo…

Raven Song (Inoki's Game # 1) by IA Ashcroft (Blog Tour)

Raven Song is the first book in this series called Inoki's Game, by IA Ashcroft introducing us to this dark, dystopian world, teetering after a nuclear holocaust, filled with magic and inexplicable dangers. I took this up on a whim after I read the premise of the book. I signed up for the blog tour ( and as usual, I got a bit late in posting the review!) and started the same, the last week of my holiday season hoping I could whizz through it. Alas - a combination of reasons saw me plod through it and not wrap this up in time. Well, mainly two reasons. The pacing of the novel and of course, the new year rush that crowds in on your time.

About the Book

A century ago, the world burned. Even now, though rebuilt and defiant, civilization is still choking on the ashes.

Jackson, a smuggler, lives in the shadows, once a boy with no memory, no name, and no future. Ravens followed him, long-extinct birds only he could see, and nightmares flew in their wake. Once, Jackson thought himself to b…

Waiting on Wednesday

This week, the second Wednesday of the year, keeping in with the traditions of ringing you guys in on what's hot and eagerly-awaited-for-release on the book circuit (meme originally started by Jill of the Breaking the Spine blog), we are delighted to present - an action-packed YA/LGBT-themed superhero thriller called Dreadnought ( Book One, Nemesis) by April Daniels.

( I read the first couple of chapter excerpts and it's nuts! A boy who is a girl inside, watches the greatest Superhero on earth get blown apart and then inherits the super-powers to actually, become the girl she always wanted to be. The tone is really funny - and of course there is bound to be some really cool superhero fights. So I am definitely in on the ride!)

(NB - The exclusive cover reveal happened on The Mary Sue blog)

An action-packed series-starter perfect for fans of The Heroine Complex and Not Your Sidekick.

Danny Tozer has a problem: she just inherited the powers of Dreadnought, the world’s greatest …

Blog Tour : Review & Excerpt from Freeks by Amanda Hocking

Amanda Hocking has been a publishing sensation - with more-than-a-million-copies sold of her massive hit series, "Trylle trilogy" - and from what I could gather, I definitely think she is a prolific writing machine. Putting out one book after the other in humanly impossible time intervals.
So Freeks came out on Jan 3rd, 2017 and I was lucky enough to have snagged an early copy and be a part of the . Having never read a Hocking book before, I was eager to dive in - and the dry dusty carnival setting in this cold, mysterious town called Caudry really lured me in.

The story is about Mara, a teenager on the cusp of her adulthood, who has been leading the life of a nomad, along with this Travelling Circus group. She lives in a Winnebago trailer along with her mother, who poses as a diviner for the circus but actually is a necromancer who can talk to spirits. In fact, everybody in the group have some paranormal abilities - self-healing, super strength, animal control, pyrokinesis,…

Well, Hullo there 2017!

2017 crept upon me, unnoticed.

Literally. I wasn't prepared for the calendars to flip over a new page. a new YEAR. I was off vacationing in the jungles of Angkor Wat and busy bumming away on the beaches of Krabi, the real world a forgotten hazy dream, my only reality being the brilliantly azure stretches of the sea, the twisting gnarled roots growing out of the magnificent ruins of an empire and civilization, long forgotten - And then, time pulls a fast one on me. Damn, where did year 2016 go?

I still use terms like, "Earlier this year" - like it wasn't early enough now (snort!) But yeah, so coming back to the reading challenges, I think I hit an exact 52 books this year. One book, a Week. I really did hit a slump mid-year and didn't quite catch up on the challenge I set for myself but no complaints. I did get some writing done as well, hit close to sixty thousand words on my second book, started off a short story that might just become a novella ( ~ eight thous…