Friday, December 28

Book Review #3 : "Heirs Of Catriona" by Anusha Subramanian

  • Title : Heirs Of Catriona
  • Author : Anusha Subramanian
  • Genre : Young Adult, Fantasy
  • Length : 190 pages

~ Summary ~

In a land like no other on Earth, deadly creatures from forgotten myths are coming alive...
Sara and Crystal are ordinary teenagers. Or so they think, until one day, their world is turned upside down when they learn that they are princesses of the magical land of Catriona. Their mothers, the rightful rulers of Catriona, are being held prisoner by Merissa, the wicked queen. Sara and Crystal must help rescue their mothers, and to do this, they have to journey to a land that does not appear on any known map.

Thrown headlong into the world of vengeful, manipulative gods and deadly sorcerers, the two girls learn the art of magical warfare. But will that be enough to counter the evil unleashed by Merissa and her protector, Loki?

~ The Review ~

I am completely disinterested in reading books; I know this doesn't really help my case, but Heirs of Catriona was one book that I was excited to read! This is one of the very few books that I've read (accepting the fact with utter shame) but it proved to be an amazing experience digging into it.

Starting about how I got this book ; let me tell you, my sister got this book to review thanks to Mr Ravi Subramanian. When she realized that it was written by a teen and was young adult fiction, she slammed the book on my face and literally forced me to read it! I was extremely reluctant at the beginning but as I turned the pages and advanced from one chapter to the other, it got me stuck to it like an adhesive (FEVICOL!)

‘Heirs of Catriona’ is a trilogy, and this is the very first book of the much awaited series by Anusha Subramanian. The author has explored into the world of magic, sorcery, evil witches, and good queens; just what anyone would love to read! The story is about 2 girls; Sara and Crystal who think of themselves as orphans… until one day, when their whole world turns upside down. They live a normal life, have friends, go to college, and work at a small store to support their livelihood. But, normal isn't what they were made for! One not-so-fine day, a rather odd looking man comes up to them and narrates about how they are no ordinary girls, but the rightful heirs to Catriona- a magical land where myths come true… He also adds that they were never orphans, but their mothers have been captured by the (obviously) evil witch Merissa who rules over Catriona currently instead of their rightful mothers.

So, the two of them are given some clues to decipher and find out a way to reach the land, which does not appear on any known map. They then set out on a dangerous & commanding task of trying to free their mothers from Merissa’s clutches and avenge the death of their fathers. They come across many people, some good, some bad, on their journey towards achieving a goal that they were made for, called for.

The story has a very large impression of Norse mythology, and the amount of characters and their names make you reach out to your head and pull your hair out! It does get a bit confusing on who is what, when, how, where etc. but then, at the end its all worth the confusion. If you are an ardent reader, you can finish this in no time at all! ‘Heirs of Catriona’ took me 3-4 days (shamefully) but it was the best I could do. You need to have high amount of concentration while reading this book or you’ll be just as lost as Sara and Crystal were in the beginning in Catriona.

There are a few mistakes here and there, grammatical errors, abrupt endings, but come on it’s the first book of one of India’s youngest writers! She is very much  excused for making those tiny errors at a few places. The writing, language, is utterly simple and profoundly easy to understand. It is made mainly for people of her, and my age, and it very well suits the understanding and grasping level of the target audience.
Towards the ending, you realize how the book has actually ended and how you want more and more. The climax, intense situations are described in a fabulous way… The fights, the fear, the realization of what could've happened, and their not-really-expected-by-them victory over the first set of bad guys set loose on them. As they learn magic, and get some ‘awesome’ weapons to fight with, over-ridden with jealousy and getting awe-struck you just want to dive into the book and help them destroy every evil creature there is!
It serves to be a great stress-buster for anyone who has an inclination towards mythology, magic, victory of good over evil, sorcery, and young adult fiction.

~ Final Verdict ~

‘Heirs of Catriona’ is a must-read for every teen out there. It gives you a fun-filled, sometimes nail-biting yet enjoyable experience as you finish the book in one go. Anusha, the author, has done a brilliant job, in writing this book. I applaud her on the efforts taken to research, dig-up old stories, get inspired, write 16 chapters, edit, re-write, improve, and finally present to us this exquisite piece of work.

Rating- 3.5/5

There isn't much more to say, but I really applaud the efforts put into the fine researching for this book and I absolutely LOVE Anusha because she made my brother read =D

P.S This brother o mine blogs at 'Cool Story Bro'.
I'm thankful for having received this book, and thanks B, for reviewing it!

Friday, December 14

"You say it best when you say nothing at all"

They say speech is silver, and silence is golden. But how much of that is true? Ask someone forced to sit beside a relative they don't know for five long, awkward hours at a stretch and they'll gladly accept that small talk is but better than an extremely uncomfortable vacuum hanging in the air.

But silences can be beautiful, oh so beautiful.

The ones you share with a co passenger who smiles at you as the two of you journey in a an empty local compartment past midnight.
The bewitching one as you stare at your crush moments after you see him grin at you from the corner of the eye.
The achingly beautiful one when you cannot form words to express grief or condolences.
The remorseful one when you know nothing you say, or do, can smooth over the hurricane you caused.
The ecstatic one when your joy is so overwhelming you do not trust yourself to form coherent speech.
The comfortable one when you can be alone together. When you can enjoy the other's company without feeling forced to talk. The one where you revel in each others warmth but continue to read your book or knit a sweater.

Silences can mean a lot. Or mean nothing.
Sometimes all silence is, is absence of noise. But other times, it morphs into so much more than just a vacuum fuelled by lack of talk.

Friday, November 2

Book Review #2 : 'The Bankster' by Ravi Subramanian

  • Title : The Bankster
  • Author : Ravi Subramanian
  • Genre : Thriller
  • Length : 358 pages
~ Summary ~

In  Angola, a covert CIA agent is about to exchange weapons for blood diamonds.
In Kerala, an elderly man will do whatever it takes to fulfill a promise made to a dying son.
In Mumbai, an international bank is stunned by the mysterious deaths of its key employees.

It begins in Angola, as a man exchanges weapons for the infamous blood diamonds of Africa.
In Kerala, the head of a family is accused of a crime he says he didn't commit.
And in Mumbai, the GB2 Bank are losing their key employees in a row ..

~  Excerpt ~

"Why blame him? You are allowing yourself to be used. While I have nothing against the protest and I am with you in this cause, you got carried away by the fact that this was making you famous in your neighborhood. "

~  My Review ~

This is one of those books that you just CAN NOT put down once you start reading it!
There are three parallel plots running together, as you read each chapter, your mind darts from here to there and back again. It is a legit page turner, which keeps you hooked.
The background is banking but the author here, manages to not use terms which would completely confuse and put a reader off. All the banking terms used are explained, and not in dumbed down, just-so-you-understand-way.

Along the story, you feel bad about Arvind and Laila, and more so, with Arvind's father Krishna.
You realize how cosmetic appearances go a LONG way, and not always for the good. You read about the insecurity and I could actually see it playing in my head as Harshita started to fall apart. I almost wanted to claw Z's face. (in a non psychopath way though.maybe)

Wherever you go, from banks to corporate offices, there always are these basic problems that arise, and they will continue to arise, because yes, we have computers, and yes, we have brilliant advanced technology, but a human operates them at the end of the day.
Greed, lust, thirst for power, jealously, betrayal .. These are but basic human emotions!

When I read the withdrawal email (page 128) , I felt so bad for him.
It reminded me of those times when I was forced to apologize, when you're not really at fault, but you just HAVE to, and it is embarrassing and humiliating, but one's gotta do what one's gotta do eh?

There are moments when you are insulted, and then there are moments when you are just numb as you realize all you ever were, is a pawn. You try and plan this mega move, but you fail, miserably, and the way the author has depicted all of this, including the wife's dialogues as she tries to console and talk to her husband, I found it very realistic and beautiful.

One of the parts I liked the best, were related to the post mortem and the tides thing. It was right there in front of everyone, but they couldn't guess it. It was very probable, and it reminded me of Hermione in DH as she said that she wasn't super intelligent, just really precise and perspective.

Not for a moment during reading of the book can you guess the ending, as i starts falling apart piece by piece, I went all, "Really?! I never would have guessed that!"
Quite honestly, the culprits were a shock to me! One of them, I detested since the start, but the way they conducted it, it was quite an interesting read!
The best part about this book is that it isn't drab for a moment, there are so many things happening simultaneously that will scream for your attention.

~ Final Verdict ~

It is an exceptionally well woven book, and if you haven't read this book, DO IT NOW!
Because once you start reading this book, these 358 pages will literally fly by!

:D Collectible :D

This review is a part of the Book Reviews Program at Participate now to get free books!

Pretty cute,no?

Wish you all a kickass weekend!

Thursday, November 1

JILY feels | RestInPeace James&Lily Potter | Harry Potter Photo Spam!

Jily is LOVE.
I can't express it in words.
The feels, the tears, the chills .. Enjoy these photos. :]

Rest in peace James&Lily Potter. 
And thank you so much for giving birth to Harry!

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