The Last Avatar (Age of Kalki #1) by Vishwas Mudagal

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  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins India
  • Language: English
  • Buy here: Amazon

Blurb

In the not-so-distant future, India has fallen, and the world is on the brink of an apocalyptic war. An attack by the terrorist group Invisible Hand has brutally eliminated the Indian Prime Minister and the union cabinet. As a national emergency is declared, chaos, destruction and terror reign supreme. From the ashes of this falling world, rises an unconventional hero – a vigilante known only as Kalki. Backed by a secret society called The Rudras, Kalki, along with Nushen, the Chinese superhuman spy, must do the impossible to save his country, and the world. But who is Kalki? A flesh and blood crusader with a mysterious past? Or the Messiah the world has been waiting for? The future of human survival depends on a single man. Will he become the living God prophesied as the last avatar of Lord Vishnu, or will he fade away as an outlaw?

My take

Kalki is a topic which is overused over time by many prominent writers in India. Still, it is a good subject to let your imagination build on. Mainly because of the mythological and modern background of the character. That’s why this topic never goes off the style.

First things first. Iwas really intrigued by the cover of the book at first sight. The depiction of Kalki with the touch of Lord Hanuman wielding a mysterious but seemingly powerful weapon. The curiosity built by the cover alone deserves an honorable mention.

Coming to the story, this one has everything for every kind of readers. I was absolutely fascinated by the plot and sub-plots in the story. The subplots are the main highlight. Because the author has woven many stories in a single string and connected them well to build an absolutely massive plot. This plot holds together every character in the story. This is also a well-built foundation for his upcoming books in this series.

The world is on the edge of an apocalyptic war. An attack by the terrorist group Invisible Hand in the Indian parliament has eliminated the Prime Minister, Union ministry and cabinet. The national emergency is declared and the subsequent chaos paved the way for destruction and terror. From this total terror, an unconventional hero has risen who is know as The Kalki. The protagonist Kalki, who has a double life as Neel who leads the Astra Group which manufactures most modern technological types of equipment. He is backed by a secret society known as Rudras.

What is the intention of this terrorist group led by Master Zar and what is his hidden motive to attack Indian parliament in one go? Who is Kalki and what is his intention behind saving the world? Who is the secret society known as Rudras and are they have some hidden agenda?

There are many more questions are arising from each page of the story. Every page creates suspense. There are too many different characters and the imaginary world which the author bought to the reader is absolutely magical. This suspense along with twists and addressing the geopolitical situation of India and China, the author never leaves any stones unturned.

The protagonist has no flaws. He has superhuman strength and abilities makes him the reincarnation of God. But I felt the character of the villain is slightly underdeveloped. The strength of the villain has a huge part in making a hero.

Altogether, it is a very good story and worth your time. Every mythological-historical fiction reader ought to try this book.

Rating:4/5

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Quotes from New Moon (Twilight #2) Part 2

The second book of Twilight series is New Moon. In this part, the story becomes the most intense and passionate. It tells the story of heartbreak and loss of love. The quotes are most beautiful in this second part of the series. The handpicked quotes are here:

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“What happens when you lose your heart’s desire?”

“Forbidden to remember, terrified to forget; it was a hard line to walk.”

“Time passes. Even when it seems impossible. Even when each tick of the second-hand aches like the pulse of blood behind a bruise. It passes unevenly, in strange lurches and dragging lulls, but pass it does. Even for me.” 

“You’re not asleep, and you’re not dead. I’m here, and I love you. I have always loved you, and I will always love you. I was thinking of you, seeing your face in my mind, every second that I was away. When I told you that I didn’t want you, it was the very blackest kind of blasphemy.”

“The waves of pain that had only lapped at me before now reared high up and washed over my head, pulling me under. I did not resurface.”

“Do you think I’ll ever get better at this? That my heart might someday stop trying to jump out of my chest whenever you touch me?”

“Love is irrational, I reminded myself. The more you loved someone, the less sense anything made.” 

“They call her my singer—because her blood sings for me.” 

“I wondered how long it could last. Maybe someday, years from now.If the pain would decrease to the point where I could bear it.I would be able to look back on those few short months that would always be the best of my life.”

“Your hold on me is permanent and unbreakable. Never doubt that”

“Like everything in life, I just had to decide what to do with what I was given.”

“When you can’t be with the one you love, will you stay with the one who loves you?” 

“The smile broke across his face the way the sunrise set the clouds on fire…” 

“Like we were connected, the echo of his pain twisted inside me. his pain, my pain.” 

“I’d rather die than be with anyone but you.”

Quotes from Twilight book series Part 1

Twilight is a book series which gained a lot of positive and negative reviews as well in its journey to the international acclaim. But every book offers a bunch of thoughtful lines irrespective of its positiveness or negativeness. Because every line ever penned down is from the real-life experience of the respective author.

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So here I’m compiling some of the memorable quotes from the Twilight saga through a series of 4 blog posts, each one for every book in the series.

1. Twilight

“And so the lion fell in love with the lamb…” he murmured. I looked away, hiding my eyes as I thrilled to the word.
“What a stupid lamb,” I sighed.
“What a sick, masochistic lion.”

 

“Twilight, again. Another ending. No matter how perfect the day is, it always has to end.”

 

“When life offers you a dream so far beyond any of your expectations, it’s not reasonable to grieve when it comes to an end.” 

 

“Death is Peaceful, Life is Harder” 

 

“I like the night. Without the dark, we’d never see the stars.”

 

“The right thing isn’t always real obvious. Sometimes the right thing for one person is the wrong thing for someone else. So…good luck figuring that out.”

 

“I know love and lust don’t always keep the same company.”

 

“You’re intoxicated by my very presence.”

 

“That’s the beautiful thing about being human: Things change.” 

 

“I decided as long as I’m going to hell, I might as well do it thoroughly.”

 

“Surely it was a good way to die, in the place of someone else, someone I loved.”

 

“Just because we’ve been . . . dealt a certain hand . . . it doesn’t mean that we can’t choose to rise above—to conquer the boundaries of a destiny that none of us wanted.” 

 

Zero Not Out by Vamshi Krishna

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Blurb

Varun Krishna, hailing from a middle-class family, works hard to realize his dream of getting into one of the top IITs. During his four years of college, he would go on to make friends and mentors for life. He would also meet his first love Nitya Iyer during his first year in college.Due to some unfortunate turn of events, he had to part ways with her as soon as he finishes college because of which he would go on a self-destruction mode. How life takes him forward from such a miserable state to building a startup aimed at curbing suicides forms the rest of the story. Riding high on emotions while emphasizing the role of family during crisis time, the novel illustrates the theme of how a father is looked up to as a real hero by his son.

About the Author

Vamshi Krishna spends most of his time writing – code or stories. He says he is a software engineer by chance and a writer by choice. Apart from writing, he reads a lot about cricket, love, women, and stories of failures. He is also a fitness enthusiast and a huge fan of MS Dhoni.He says his 4 year journey at IIT-BHU is the best time of his life. He strongly believes that every student, for at least a couple of years in his early 20s should experience hostel life.’Nobody dies a virgin, life fucks everyone’ is the motto he believes in.’Zero Not Out’ is his debut fiction novel and prior to this, he authored a coding related book. This novel is inspired by his real-life incidents (and accidents).

My review

A nice story which is written in the backdrop of College life. The author presents Varun, the protagonist who struggles through career choices, love, heartbreak and recovery. This story ends with a positive note. Actually, the positivity and fight back start when Varun goes through the heartbreak. How he fought back and realizing the true purpose of his life is the core of this story. When we accept ourselves, every other thing will fall into its deserved place.

 

Ashok and the Nine Unknown by Anshul Dupare

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Title – Ashok and the Nine unknown
Author – Anshul Dupare
Publisher – Rupa publishing
Genre – history/fiction
Pages – 224
Format – paperback

Ashok and the Nine unknown written by Anshul Dupare is a novel coming under the historical fiction genre. The beauty of historical fiction is they never lost the charm. Writing a story on the backdrop of a historical event defines the quality of a writer. Here the mystery of nine unknown is crafted on the life and rule of Ashoka.

The title and cover are beautifully designed to create mystery at the very first moment you hear about. I was curious to find out what really is the nine unknown. That drives me to read the story in a single stretch. The book is designed to be compact and that is another quality I liked most about this book.

Ashok, the King of Kings became devastated due to the aftermath of the Kalinga war. The death and destruction of war change him. He wants to rebuild everything and he decides to venture on a new path. The king then assembled nine prodigies from different fields to prevent him from wrongdoings and help him to restore peace and humanity in the country. This is the background and the challenges build on it in the rest of the story.

The language varies from simple to complex throughout the story. The author built the protagonist, Ashok very strong in the story. The character development was good throughout the plot. From beginning to end, this is a well-narrated story. The author keeps alive the mystery through the plot and subplots. That makes this book more enjoyable. Altogether, it is a good historical fiction which any reader can enjoy without any complications.

Rating: 4/5

“Where Will Man Take Us?: The bold story of the man technology is creating” by Atul Jalan

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  • Title: Where Will Man Take Us?: The bold story of the man technology is creating
  • Author: Atul Jalan
  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Portfolio

There are not so many books that I love to re-read or gift others. But this book is above all praises….

As evident from the title, this is a non-fiction work. The brilliant yellow cover of the book is perfect for this category book.

I can guarantee you, this is a 100 percent money worth and time worth read you can find.

The narration skills of the author are mind-blowing. From prologue itself, he ignites the interest and energy that a reader needs to complete this 300+ page book. The curiosity he made in the prologue itself points out the craft of the author. This is one of the best prologues I have ever come across in non-fiction category.

Usually, non-fiction books are subject-centric. They are purchased and read purely for academic purpose. But this book is clearly an innovation in this category. The presentation of each and every topic is fascinating.

The book is divided into 5 sections mainly. In the first section which is named as the ‘Drivers of change’, the author talks about 6 subjects ranging from Alan Turing to Genetics. It is a perfect introduction of technology from its past to the future. It gives a clear idea about the future technologies. In the second section, he talks about everything in societal life ranges from matchmaking and democracy to Artificial intelligence. The power of data is explained elaborately and it is something that everyone has to be educated. The third part is all about the magic of math. For me, the fourth section was most enjoyable because it deals with astrophysics and extraterrestrial life. The author has tried to answer some of the great mysteries of all the time. The fifth and last section is all about the future. The predictions and future technologies are elaborated here. The book is concluded perfectly. It has a beginning and an end.

A reader has to spend some considerable amount of time to complete this book but each and every minute will be worth it. If you are a person who has the slightest interest in science, then this is a treasure for you.

Honestly, I don’t know how to rate this book. The effort and knowledge that has been poured through these 300+ pages worth no less than a 5-star rating.

Rating:5/5

The Untold Stories by Maheshwar Narayan Sinha

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  • Title: The Untold Stories
  • Author: Maheshwar Narayan Sinha
  • Paperback: 164 pages
  • Publisher: 24by7Publishing

The Untold Stories is a collection of 6 short stories and one long story. The stories included are:
1. The Genius
2. The Deal
3. Kaala Dupatta
4. God in Chain
5. A word of Silence
6. The Guest

and the Long story is “The Untold Stories”

The variety in the themes used in each story is the main highlight. The author has explored many themes such as love, sorrow, education system, child abuse, unemployment, etc. The similarity of the themes of the stories with real-life will help the reader to connect with them.

Among the stories, I liked God in Chain most. The subject which is taken by the author for narration is absolutely good.  There is no similarity between the stories which is a good trait of short story collections. This will help a reader to read smoothly without the fear of getting lost if you take a break in reading.

The language used to express the plots are largely good except some typos here and there. Though the author has tried to tell a new plot in each story, some may fall in already written subjects. The effort taken by the author to innovate his writing style through these plots is appreciable.

The design of the cover is something that has to be appreciated. The unique design in the shade of green is perfect for this book. Altogether, it is a good short story collection for a weekend reading.

Rating:3.5/5

Rhythm of Spiritual Beats by Srinivasan Panchanadam Nathan

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Book name:- Rhythm of Spiritual Beats
Author:-  Srinivasan Panchanadam Nathan
Publisher:- Educreation Publishing
Language:- English
Book length:- 140 pages

“…Stretch your wings and fly high
the cage is open, you need not sigh
build yourself as beautiful as you want,
pain your inner self deep till the dawn…”
– Rhythm of Spiritual beats ( Srinivasan Panchanadam Nathan)

This an elegant collection of short poems. I’m impressed with the empowering nature of the poems. Usually, the subject of poems is somewhat around the deepest emotions of humans such as love and grief. But in this collection, I have seen many poems with hope and faith. This is surely the rhythm of spirits which keeps saying not to quit. I felt that poems are well built because they are gazing into the soul and not wandering through outside life.

The language used was elegant, lucid enough to convey and powerful enough to trigger hope in readers.
Many poems in this collection are so memorable. I’m sure that, I will remember them for a long time.
The illustration given along with the poems are very nice. They are appropriate and breaks the monotonous nature of poems. I really liked some illustrations. This is actually a good trend these days. Two different sides of art in one bunch is appreciable.

Altogether it is a nice collection of short poems. Recommended to every poetry lovers out there…

Rating:3.5/5

Buy here: Amazon

A Lot Like Love & Other Short Stories by Nidra Naik

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Title: A Lot Like Love & Other Short Stories

Author: Nidra Naik

Pages:218

Publisher: Become Shakespeare

Rating: 4/5

Blurb

From America, New Delhi, Balasore, Cuttack and even at the barren land of Nabarangpur; unearth sagas of demands, indecisiveness, struggle, intensity, love and longing! A Lot Like Love & Other Short Stories reveals the human side of survival called Hope; hope on which every living being thrives, hope, which at times is also lost.
Stories travelling the test of time, characters infusing a blood of fire, this book brings to the readers, how deep and passionate life’s purpose can be, how in an insipid land of imagination, can connect with the most fertile of hearts.
Love adorns life!

My review

This is a collection of six short stories written by Nidra Naik. The stories are:

(1) A Lot Like Love

(2) Second Chance

(3) The Bestseller

(4) The Visit

(5) The Black Idol

(6) What Was Not Said

I always liked short stories more than novels. Because it is a true test of authors storytelling capabilities. The short stories become perfect only if you crafted them well. From beginning to end the story should have every element of a novel but in limited words. Overall in this book, the author has done a very commendable job.

The first story itself is a roller coaster ride of emotions and at the end, you will be heart-broken. The impact of that heartbreak is enough to make me a feeling that I don’t want to read the rest of them. But somehow I ended up finishing it in two days. This effect is purely dedicated to the author’s capability of crafting and storytelling. In less than 45 pages, she gives a story that you will remember a lifetime.

Every story is different and the characters in all stories do not have any similarities. It’s like you have to jump from one plot to another even after a highly emotional journey offered in each story. I really liked how the author incorporated her Odia cultural heritage in the stories. They are like adding spices in a dish to make them more enjoyable.

Among stories, I personally liked ‘Bestseller’ most. Purnendu who is a small town girl but she dreams to be a best seller author one day. Her struggling in many difficult circumstances was heart-breaking. In the end, only a few tears are left.

I often amazed by the freshness of the plot each story have. The characters are portrayed as very livelily along with a good plot.

I often like the black and white cover in books. Because it is the expression of the black and white side of human lives. But for this, it will be better if they choose some other cover design.

I liked this structure of the book very much because you can read this book in small leisure intervals. This is a must-read for every short-story lovers.

 

Author Interview: Aditya Tiwari

Untitled design (2).jpegA conversation with Aditya Tiwari, author of April is Lush, published by Bluerose Publishers

  1. Tell us about yourself.

Hi, my name is Aditya-Tiwari, I am 21-year-old, brown, queer, writer, and a storyteller, based in India.

  1. If not being an author, what was your dream in life?

My dream in life if I wasn’t an author would’ve been to become an actor or a model.

  1. Who do you attribute your success to?

I dedicate this book and the success to my family and friends, it wouldn’t have been possible without them. They are the ones who love me for me and I am so beyond grateful for that.

  1. Any message you would like to give to your readers?

I want my readers to know that there is magic their veins. I want them to believe in themselves and know that nothing or no one can stop them and always remember that it’s time they realize that it’s all inside of them. They just have to believe in themselves. It’s always been there all along.

  1. Who or what inspired you to write the book?

In this first book, I have turned all my pain. into poetry. into art. Writing is my self-expression and it comes to me naturally to me like fresh air. I poured my everything into this book – the book is inspired by a lot of personal struggles and inner battles.