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Dhrishyam - 2 (Movie Review - Malayalam)

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 Dhrishyam set the standards for crime-thrillers in Malayalam movies pretty high when it released in 2013 and was subsequently remade in multiple languages across different states in India. And on Friday, Feb 19th, the sequel to this superb Murder-Mystery, Dhrishyam - Part 2 (The Resumption) released on Amazon Prime. (Prime by the way does a fabulous job of bringing the 'right' kind of blockbusters to OTT platform - recently watched Lokesh Kanagaraj-Vijay movie Master, an absolute cracker of entertainment and action!)  Does the sequel live up to the hype? Can Jeethu Joseph+Mohanlal duo re-create the magic of the original? Is there an angle that needs to be pursued here? What could possibly happen post that humdinger of a twist by the end of Dhrishyam-I?  Naturally, the expectations were stratospheric and the audience ecstatic about the possibilities. The trailer gives us hints, that the sword is still hanging above George-Kutty and his family's head and there is no peace to

The Forever Sea by Joshua Phillips Johnson

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 The Forever Sea was one of my most-anticipated releases for the year 2021 - Billed as an "Environmental Fantasy" - this is the debut of Joshua Phillip Johnson and came out in the last week of Jan.  A sea of grass that runs for ever, ships running on a magical hearthfire, tended to by the magically-abled 'keepers', a mythical land called the "Once-City" with that retains the secrets from the old ages, monsters galore - and pirates on the sea of grass. It is a blockbuster mix of heretic ideas, blended in with lyrical almost poetic language and a narrative that promises adventure, mystique and a lot of fun.  This should have been a book I loved to bits and gone to town about. Alas, it was not to be. I am kind of disappointed with how it finally panned out, maybe because my expectations were stratospheric to begin with. It's not a bad book at all but despite a strong beginning, one of the most gorgeously detailed world building and innovative magical syste

Waiting on Wednesday

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This week on our most anticipated list of SFF Books releasing this year - we are featuring one of my all-time favorite author and one of the most hard-working folks in the genre, whose books always set a new standard in whatever sub-genres he chooses to write. That is right - Mark Lawrence ! and his second book in the new series, Book of the Ice - The Girl and the Mountain .  Here's the blurb (Courtesy - Ace Books/ Berkley Publishing)  On the planet Abeth there is only the ice. And the Black Rock. For generations the priests of the Black Rock have reached out from their mountain to steer the fate of the ice tribes. With their Hidden God, their magic and their iron, the priests’ rule has never been questioned. But when ice triber Yaz challenged their authority, she was torn away from the only life she had ever known, and forced to find a new path for herself. Yaz has lost her friends and found her enemies. She has a mountain to climb, and even if she can break the Hidden God’s pow

Hall of Smoke by HM Long

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Hall of Smoke by HM Long has been on my most-anticipated books for 2021 first quarter for multiple reasons. A comparison to the Brian Staveley 's first series ( Unhewn Throne , one of my all time favourite debut author series!) and the fact that this one's based off the Viking Sagas was enough reason to convince me to dive into this.  After having finished this book now, I can firmly say this is a great start to my reading for this year. Hall of Smoke lives up to the hype and expectations, delivering a solid epic fantasy tale of conflicts between Gods and mortals set in a refreshingly original world, inspired by the Viking tales. Stunning world building, frenetic action and wholly unexpected thrills and twists kept me hooked onto this wonderful tale.  At the centre of the conflict is Hessa, a young warrior-priest dedicated to Goddess Eang, the Goddess of war and one of the most powerful of the faction of New Gods who have overthrown the 'Old Gods'. the tribe of Eang h

Most Anticipated Books 2021 : Part II Feb 2021

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Continuing on with our most-anticipated books series, for 2021 - this is Part-II with some of the hottest new releases in the month of Feb from some of our beloved authors and a sprinkling of new authors!   February 1. A History of What Comes Next by Sylvain Neuvel Showing that truth is stranger than fiction, Sylvain Neuvel weaves a scfi thriller reminiscent of Blake Crouch and Andy Weir, blending a fast moving, darkly satirical look at 1940s rocketry with an exploration of the amorality of progress and the nature of violence in A History of What Comes Next. Always run, never fight.  Preserve the knowledge. Survive at all costs. Take them to the stars. Over 99 identical generations, Mia’s family has shaped human history to push them to the stars, making brutal, wrenching choices and sacrificing countless lives. Her turn comes at the dawn of the age of rocketry. Her mission: to lure Wernher Von Braun away from the Nazi party and into the American rocket program, and secure the future of

Most Anticipated 2021 Books : PART I Jan2020

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 Hello all!  Happy New Year once again to all you lovely readers and writers out there. 2020 is something that taught us a lot of indelible lessons of life [instead of branding it as a total washout!] and so this year, let's hope we bring those learnings to life!  So let us start the year with a peekaboo at some of my most anticipated titles of 2021, shall we. And while there is no scientific process of discovery behind it, since that number might run over a significant threshold, we are trying to keep this for only the first quarter of the year. PART I is where we focus on Jan books. Sounds okay?  So let's get to it. Slay that TBR this year, my friends.  January 1. Doors of Sleep by Tim Pratt.   What would you do if you woke up and found yourself in a parallel universe under an alien sky? This is the question Zax Delatree must answer every time he closes his eyes. Every time Zax Delatree falls asleep, he travels to a new reality. He has no control over his destination and neve

Best Books of the Year 2020

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It's that time of the year again, gentle friends. When we look back, at perhaps one of the longest year we've had in all our lives combined. [ Thank you for that Theory of Relativity, Mr. Einstein] For all that time spent at home, pretending to work and also working my ass off on 14-hour workdays where the lines blur, I managed to smash my reading goals for the year. Already at 58 books and looking good to hit a couple more. And amidst this 58, found a few gems - Some series endings, a series starter, a couple of mid-series bridges that I thought definitely are amongst my top books I read this year [ published this year in 2020 ]  A few call-outs, before I get onto my top 5.  1. Was the year I discovered Martha Wells and that endearing fellow called MurderBot in the first four novellas, starting with All Systems Red. while the novel-length story of the MurderBot series came out this year ( Network Effect ) I unfortunately, didn't get around to reading it this year.  2. De