The Message of Shiva Trilogy books by Amish Tripathi

I just finished reading *The Shiva Trilogy* series by Amish Tripathi. Excellent books – I highly recommend all the three.

The core message conveyed by the books (as I understand) is: What we think is our greatest good will eventually become our greatest bad, and vice versa.

Personally, I am surprised by my own inner transformation. After reading the three books, I have stopped judging people as ‘good’ and ‘bad’. Not that I was doing much of that earlier, but still.. I now accept that everyone (me included) are both good and bad, and we are designed like that for a reason. This helps me approach inter-personal relations in a totally different light.

Who says reading fiction doesn’t help? 🙂

Book 1 was good; Book 2 was the best (story-wise); and Book 3 was excellent in the beginning (when the secret is revealed), felt dragging in the middle, but was fine towards the end.

Destination Infinity

PS: This is the first book series I ever completed. Kudos to the author for making me do that. I don’t want to read his next series because I am already fed up with a million retellings of Ramayana – I don’t want to read another.

Book Review: ‘A Minute to Death’ by Ganga Bharani

A very good mystery but an unconvincing climax.

A Minute to Death by Ganga Bharani is a crime fiction/mystery novel set in Chennai, the hometown of the author. I have to write a disclaimer here that the author is my friend, but you should know that I don’t let friendships influence my reviews.

Coming to the book, I seriously enjoyed around 80% of the book as it kept me guessing who the killer might be. Or if there was killing at all. Maybe the romantic scenes and the dialogues were a bit overdone and not that critical to the story, but since these scenes didn’t interrupt the flow and even added a bit of distraction for the reader, they were still fine.

It was the climax that was unconvincing. Don’t mistake me, I liked the concept of the climax, but the execution could have been better. The motive of the killer is not convincing and I am not clear what the killer achieved. That said, the climax is still innovative and different.

I was able to drop my phone just once while reading (actually listening to) the book. The author weaved such a good mystery that kept me hooked and made me want to know whodunit. The way she introduces a prospective suspect so convincingly and then creates situations to eliminate that suspect was very good. There were some loose ends but the author connects them all. Good work, that.

I definitely recommend this book to others – I am sure you will enjoy all the suspense. If you didn’t guess the killer by around 80% I think you’d enjoy the climax even. But I guessed! 🙂

Destination Infinity

Book Review: The Secret of The Nagas (Shiva Trilogy #2)

The Secret of the Nagas is the second book in the Shiva Trilogy series authored by Amish Tripathi. It’s a Historical/Mythological Thriller set in ancient India. After I finished reading the first book, I just had to pick up this second book and start reading it immediately to find out what happens next. And the book didn’t disappoint me!

Story-wise, The Secret of the Nagas, is even better than the first book, The Immortals of Meluha. It didn’t feel slow or slacking, unlike the first book where some initial chapters seemed to move slow. I have already bought and am reading the third book – such is the intensity of the story and suspense in this series. The ending of this book, especially, was unexpected and a total surprise.

There were a few loopholes though. How someone would decide to take a one-year long arduous journey through the forest without even knowing what they are expecting to gain, is beyond me. The book is titled ‘the secret of the nagas’ but it doesn’t reveal the secret. OK, the secret is revealed, but not the story behind the secret!

The quest of the lord to find what is evil is very interesting. Because along with the Neelkanth, we too are perplexed. Only if we know what evil is, we can fight it – right? Even after two books, the author doesn’t reveal what evil is, and I think it’s a very clever strategy.

I am not sure how much of the historical information/setting given in this book is correct, but the author has succeeded in narrating a gripping story and in making me believe in the historical setting and characters – that’s sufficient for me to keep reading. Let’s see what surprises the third book brings. Am reading it now, so will review that one also shortly 🙂

Destination Infinity

Immortals of Meluha (Shiva Trilogy #1): Book Review

Immortals of Meluha by Amish Tripathi is the first book of the Shiva Trilogy series published by Westland Books.

Book Rating: 4 Stars.

Book Review in one line: I loved the book, but it could have been shorter/tighter.

I like historical fiction books that have been written after exhaustive research. From the day I listened to Amish at the Hindu Lit for Life event I wanted to read this book. I finally bought the audio book version from Flipkart. So I finished ‘listening’ to it.

I think this was one of the best selling books in India back when it was launched, that too by a debut author.

Here is the book trailer:

What I liked about the book: A fresh Mythological subject that is NOT Ramayana or Mahabharata. Those two epics have been done to death, I am not sure why Amish chose to rewrite it for the millionth time with his current series!

Although character development is not excellent, it’s still good. The author takes us into a believable journey into a period that is so far back – 1900 A.D., and makes us believe these events may have actually happened. Historical India has been constructed well.

I also like the way the story developedwith right amounts of twists and suspense. I was anxious to know who was behind this, who was the traitor, etc. Strategically, the author has not revealed those crucial points in the first book. Result? I bought the second book and have read 50 pages already!

The best thing about the book, I feel, is the solid philosophy. When Shiva comes of age, we also do. And we feel we have traveled and learned along with Shiva, during the journey. Achieving that with adult readers into their 30s is a huge feat. I applaud the author for getting the message across very effectively without boring me.

What I did not like in this book: The book should have been at least 30% shorter. Some sections just drag on without much action or suspense. War strategies and scenes have been over-simplified and that makes war scenes (at least the final big one) unrealistic.

I hate books that leave the reader in a cliffhanger. But this once I forgive the author because the second book is already available 🙂

Must read. Excellent book.

Destination Infinity

Fiction on Domestic Abuse: The Other End of the Corridor

The Other End of the Corridor is a fiction book written by Sujata Rajpal. It deals primarily with domestic abuse and one woman’s journey through it.

Our Chennai Bloggers Club organized the book launch event for this book, ‘Sense and Sensibility’, held at Odyssey book shop, Adyar, Chennai. The book launch was hosted by the author Sujata Rajpal and Sharada Vijay, author of ‘Make it 2’. In the photo you can also see Bragadeesh Prasanna, an upcoming author himself, and the Co-admin of Chennai Bloggers Club.

There was a brief discussion about domestic abuse in Q&A format, between the two hosts. They spoke on various topics including what leads to domestic abuse and how people (women and men alike) can cope up with it. Then there was a Q&A session where both the panelists answered questions from the audience.

From the book blurb:

“When your dreams are tainted with lies and deceit, you have no other choice but to walk to the other end of the corridor.

Leela has nothing extraordinary about her except the dream to become famous. Her desires take wings when she gets married to a handsome boy from a respectable family in Delhi. But her dreams are shattered even before they have a chance to take flight.

She happens to meet two friends from a long forgotten past, which infuses hope and opens new avenues to realize her dormant aspirations. Leela delves into previously unexplored paths of deception and forbidden passions that only make her stronger.

In an attempt to rediscover herself, she falls in love with life and with herself but her life takes a sudden turn again…

No matter what, Leela will continue to chase her dreams.

Where does this journey take her?”

Destination Infinity

PS: Odyssey Adyar is a large and an awesome bookshop. I went to this shop for the first time, you all should go there sometime too… 🙂

Songs of the Mist (The Monk Key #1): Book Review

Songs of the Mist, the first book in The Monk Key series, is a spiritual/literary fiction written by my author friend Shashi. Since I have never read a book in this genre, I was curious to read this.

“Death is not the destruction of your body or the flowing stream, but the merging of your dreams, desires, sorrow and anger into an eternal calm of eternity.” Continue reading “Songs of the Mist (The Monk Key #1): Book Review”

My Short Fiction eBook is *Free* for 3 Days on Amazon Kindle (13 – 15 Feb)

Video Trailer for the e-book:

My eBook, ‘Short Stories with a Twist’ is free to buy on Amazon Kindle for three days from 13th Feb. – 15th Feb., 2016. I request you all to download the book now and read it using free Kindle apps available for Computer, Tablet or Mobile – when you get time. Continue reading “My Short Fiction eBook is *Free* for 3 Days on Amazon Kindle (13 – 15 Feb)”

WRIMO India Anthology: VENGEANCE, Includes my short story!

Vengeance - Wrimo India Anthology

I am glad to say that my short story, ‘The Singers’ has been included in the WRIMO India Anthology – ‘VENGEANCE: A Sting in every Tale’. This is a Kindle eBook containing collection of short stories written by WRIMO India authors and edited by Sonia Rao. I made the above poster in accordance with the theme of my story in the book. There are short stories written by other authors too.  Continue reading “WRIMO India Anthology: VENGEANCE, Includes my short story!”