Showing posts from September, 2019

Mango Cheeks, Metal Teeth by Aruna Nambiar

So I picked up this book on a whim, have to admit the interesting looking cover obviously made me pick that up. A quick read of the backside blurb got me interested! Set in a different time where Kapil Dev hadn't retired and Sridevi still ruled the roost in Bollywood? Sign me up quick, because hey, that sounds like my own summer vacations in Kerala. The holidays were always whimsically attractive, springing up strong sepia tinted nostalgic memories of childhood, the sights and smell that stayed with us for a life time, and will have us sighing and swooning even today. So Aruna Nambiar scores full points on that front - Mango Cheeks, Metal Teeth her debut novel is a warm wonderful trip down the memory lane, bringing alive the typical sights and sounds of a laid back Kerala small town, filled with the quirky, highly relatable typical characters who represent the best and worst of humanity in such places. Her tone is affably warm, gathering us in a welcoming embrace, just like S

Kingdom of Souls by Rena Barron

I admit I do not read much of YA novels these days as much of the stories usually fall into the trap of being a rehash of ideas, done to death. And so it stands that Kingdom of Souls, by Rena Barron is a debut that pleasantly surprised me with its stock of original ideas, extensive and lush worldbuilding mixing in West African folklores and rich imagination. Having finished the book though, I am in two minds about giving a higher rating for the book. Simply because despite the stunning originality and some solid ideas, I found myself drifting off course due to its slowburn of a pace right till the late second half of the book. But the last quarter of the book, especially after the introduction of a new character, the story really takes off on wings; literally a freight train steamrolling you as the action, intrigue and mysteries pile on to become a tour-de-force of an ending. This is where the mythology and the plot fully comes into its own. Even Rena's writing took on a bri

Illuminae by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kauffman

Let's get this out of the way first. Yes - it's a  Jay Kristoff  book. And that guy is right now everywhere! [  Dark Dawn  just released and it's a bestseller for all the good reasons - I am on that book right now, more on this later!] But  Illuminae  was probably an experiment. That went wildly successful. What else can you say about this beautiful beautiful book ! ( I mean literally! The physical copy of this book is a visual candy layered with all sorts of gooey goodness shots! It's an amazing piece of art!] A talented writer duo belting out a concept that bordered on insane: A space warship guiding a research ship adrift in the outer reaches of space somewhere, homeless and also hotly chased by another dreadnought hell bent on blasting them both out of existence. And well, when the future of everybody on-board depends on just these two teenagers, driven by heartbreak and longing for each other, that makes for a very thin premise indeed. Add to that, a bl

Bloodchild (GodBlind-3) by Anna Stephens

Bloodchild is the third and final book in the debut series by Anna Stephens . Back in 2017 when Anna's debut came out, I actually gave it the skip. I was inundated with other "good" books - in particular, two other debut authors ( Anna Smith Spark (Empires of Dust) and Ed McDonald's Ravencry caught my attention. I was late to this series, starting on Godblind only last year but that was a boon in disguise. I read Godblind and DarkSoul back to back. While Godblind was good, Darksoul wasn't just great, it was brilliant. A heart-rending emotional upheaval of a journey. A long fuckin' siege that went on and on, presenting drama of the darkest kinds - desperate, terrified humans fighting ugly for their very lives against forces much larger than life. And after finishing both books, I couldn't wait for Bloodchild! Bloodchild released in the UK yesterday (Sept 5) and trust me, this year-long wait has been more than worth it. To jump back once again t

Netflix Saturdays: Stranger Things - 3 (TV Series)

So I finally managed to wrap up Stranger Things - 3!  Phew. Going to be frank, the third season ends spectacularly well - but it was a real slog to get through the initial four-five episodes till things really got going. The producers/writers/director team have crammed in all things good from the previous seasons, cranked up the horror elements dial to beyond eleven (Pun!), thrown in some really messy, gory ingredients, stretched out a non-existent plot line to cover up gaping holes in the scripts but ultimately. reach the finish line, spewing exhaust and grit, grime and gore all over the place in a final blaze of well deserved glory. So cut to the chase: It's 1985. Hawkins is still a pin prick in the Great American Hinterland, the idealistic town in the middle of nowhere but now, the kerbside shops are giving way to the Great Mall of Starcourt. The kids have hit their teenage big time and thus, have their hormones raging. Mike and El are going at it, non stop disco