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The Frozen Crown by Greta Kelly

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  The Frozen Crown by Greta Kelly was one of the big misses for me, of last year. Now with Warrior Witch Duology complete (Part Two - The Seventh Queen released in Nov, I felt it safe enough to plunge into the politically explosive world of Askia, teeming with magic, rife with villains and backstabbers vying for power. The pitch was straightforward - a young queen seeks help from one of her large neighboring empires to help save her kingdom from being invaded and taken over by a witch-king. But the question is, what is the cost of this for the young woman, recently thrust into a dangerous world, discovering her own magic and that power, relationships and love - all come at a cost.  Askia, the young queen of the kingdom of Saravesh, is looking for aid in terms of an army that can help her against the impending invasion by this marauding empire of Rowen, led by witch-king Radawan. She has come to the empire of Vishir, in the South, leaving the frozen Northlands of her own kingdom, to e

Dead Space by Kali Wallace

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Dead Space by Kali Wallace was one of the few recent science fiction books based on a story set in space, that really appealed to me. A rare combination of murder mystery and science fiction, this one is excellently paced, presents a fascinating premise of the mankind's space-faring ambitions set right at the centre of a multi-layered conspiracy that unravels with a gruesome murder aboard a remote space-station in the asteroid belt between Mars and Earth.  I am watching the new Korean series on Netflix, The Silent Sea at the moment, so can appreciate the nuances and finer details that Kali Wallace effortlessly weaves into her narrative about living in space. The story unfolds in this faraway asteroid called Nimue, a lump the size of a potato in the whole universe, where Parthenope, one of the corporate bigwigs, have set up a mining operation. Our protagonist, Hester Marley is an AI scientist whose whole life got derailed when a terrorist organisation bombed the space-station they

Most Anticipated Books of Jan-2022!

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 Happy New Year Folks!  So, going to make a list of my most-awaited books of 2022 across Science Fiction, Fantasy and related genres :) My reading goals are going to be constant at 55 again for this year ( been hitting and just about surpassing it consistently for the past 2 years!)  Have kept this focused on the books releasing in the first month of 2022 - So here goes. 1. The Amber Crown by Jacey Bedford The king is dead, his queen is missing. On the amber coast, the usurper king is driving Zavonia to the brink of war. A dangerous magical power is rising up in Biela Miasto, and the only people who can set things right are a failed bodyguard, a Landstrider witch, and the assassin who set off the whole sorry chain of events. Valdas, Captain of the High Guard, has not only failed in his duty to protect the king, but he's been accused of the murder, and he's on the run. He's sworn to seek justice, but his king sets him another task from beyond the grave. Valdas doesn't be

Razorblade Tears by S A Cosby

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 The first book that I finished in 2022 is a crime thriller, Razorblade Tears by S A Cosby ( author of Blacktop Wasteland , which incidentally I have bumped back to the top of my TBR) - What I have realized is that the best genre that lends itself well to the audiobook medium is crime/thriller. and SA Cosby has come to own this particular version of this genre fiction, call it literary action thrillers.  So Razorblade Tears, very much like his previous book, is set in the wildlands of Virginia and traces the lives of two hardened ex-criminals, one a booze-addled redneck living in a trailer and the other a black man, trying to eke out a respectable living by through an office selling landscaping services. Buddy Lee Jenkins and Ike Randolph are as different as two men can be, and yet so alike. Brought together by a common tragedy when both their sons, Derek and Isiah get mercilessly shot down outside an uptown restaurant where they were celebrating their wedding anniversary. Both Ike and

Top 10 Malayalam Movies 2021

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 So this last year, we've had lots of awesomeness come out from the Malayalam movie industry that keeps trying to reinvent and push the envelope of creativity. What has been consistent is the originality of the concepts, most of them being little day to day life issues, rooted and grounded in the milieu of a microculture, set in the backdrop of a small village/ town.  I have my personal favorites from among these, and these are strictly just my views on why I found them to be extraordinarily great, from that list of greatness. A couple of great movies that I haven't watched yet are The Great Indian Kitchen, Vellam and Madhuram. Hopefully I will get around to watch the same early this year.  Minnal Murali   ( Directed Basil Joseph, Starring Tovino Thomas and Guru Somasundaram)  What can I say about this movie, that I haven't before ! You need this movie in your life. like NEED it right NOW. If # are your thing then here are a few that should inspire :  #Indiansuperheroorigi

Top 5 Books of 2021 (Science Fiction and Fantasy Titles)

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All things considered, I have had a great year when it comes to reading in 2021. Surpassed last year goals, have gone beyond 55 now. Trust to hit about 60 by this week end/year end. But unfortunately, I also realized that I was just catching up on my TBR lists of titles published in the previous years.  But the publishing industry and most SFF authors have had a phenomenal year and I have had the genuine pleasure of finishing a few of these gems which are part of my Top 2021 Science Fiction/Fantasy Books published in 2021. Here goes, in no particular order.  1. The Shadow of the Gods by John Gwynne The Shadow of the Gods is John Gwynne writing at the peak of his form! this book is the opening salvo into the Bloodsworn series and with this, John proves that he is a mature writer having wrapped his first two series and that he is finally stepping wholeheartedly into one of his favourite topics, wedding heroic fantasy with the legend of Vikings, giving us a speckled world of wonders, gr

Minnal Murali (Malayalam ) - Movie

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I have been super excited with the promos and trailers for this movie, Minnal Murali (Lightning Murali) for over a year now. And yesterday after having watched the full movie, I can safely vouch for it and claim that yes, this indeed has been the Superhero movie of the year , made in India that we’ve been waiting for.  Kudos to Basil Joseph and Tovino Thomas and the entire team, for having created an indigenous superhero origins movie, that is true to its roots, well scripted and restrained, that doesn't just use CGI effects to create that hollow earth-shattering climax focused on the good vs evil fight, but gives us a firmly rooted believable backstory to the pathos of the antagonist ( here, played so well by Guru Somasundaram ) - this could very well be the template that Marvel needs to copy to make their villains more than just grunting cardboard cutouts with earth-shattering motives for no reason, other than power mongering and bloated egos.  The movie, like previous Basil Jo