Showing posts from February, 2021

The Moonsteel Crown by Stephen Deas

The Moonsteel Crown was also on my most-anticipated releases in Feb 2021 , from the stables of Angry Robot books. Stephen Deas ' memories of flame series was an absolute fun romp - with dragons, backstabbing empires and all around ashes and ruins. In this series opener, Stephen employs all his strengths sprinkling in sprightly dark humor, crackling action and an intriguing plot full of mystery and twists to make The Moonsteel Crown a flat-out fun read.  The city of Varr comes across as a typical medieval city full of gangs that control and run different parts of a crowded market (Gangs are named Spicers, The Unrulys, the Weavers etc) and this is where our three protagonists, Seth Fings and Myla have eked out their living. Seth is smart but has been bullied all his life for being a scrawny coward. He always wanted to be a priest and trains hard as an acolyte within the Temple once he gets this coveted opportunity but he gets thrown out for reasons, he doesn't quite comprehend

Dhrishyam - 2 (Movie Review - Malayalam)

 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

 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

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