Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Book Review #67: The Misadventures of A Vet

Name: The Misadventures of A Vet
Author: Rana Preet Gill
No. of Pages: 250
Genre: Fiction/Fantasy/General
Publisher: Inkstate Books (an imprint of Leadstart Publishing)
Price: Rs. 249/- 
Published in: 2019 

How did I get it? From the publisher. 

THE BLURB SAYS: 

Rhea in her early thirties finally succumbs to the pressure of her parents and relatives and agrees to marry Abhi, an insurance agent in Pathankot. A tear in her lehenga, on her wedding day gets her into an awkward situation. It initiates a chain of events where the dominating mother-in-law and the subservient daughter- in-law get locked in a game of one-upmanship embroiling the faithful servant, Kimti and the reticent Papa ji. 

Once she gets a new job, Rhea feels things will ease out at home front. A retired Doctor, who is travelling all the way to Germany to be with his son hires her. The attendant Das, a Bihari, little eccentric and a lot dramatic falls for her and in this process, ends up complicating her life. 

When everything looks picture perfect, the Doctor gets implicated in a drug smuggling case. Rhea ends up in Amritsar with Das and Sardarji, the over enthusiastic cab driver to save the Doctor. The next 24 hours turn out to be full of weird episodes as friends turn into foes, loyalties are questioned, and everyone becomes a suspect. 

Will Rhea be able to save the convicted Doctor and resurrect her own marriage which is falling apart? Join Rhea on this topsy-turvy ride full of fun and sprinkled with a riot of laughter as she makes desperate attempts to salvage her marriage and save the life of her employer by winning the odds stacked against her.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Rana Preet Gill is a Hoshiarpur based Veterinary Officer working with Animal Husbandry Department, Punjab. She contributes to English newspapers: Hindustan Times (Spice of Life), The Tribune, The Hindu (Open Page), Deccan Herald, The New Indian Express, The Hitavada, Daily Post and Woman’s era. She has written a novel titled ‘Those College Years’. Her second book was a compilation of her pieces in several newspapers and magazines titled ‘Finding Julia’. She is active on Facebook, Instagram (dr_rana_preet_gill) and Twitter (@drranapreetgill). This is her third book.

MY THOUGHTS: 

I picked up this book for review assuming that the author would be sharing interesting episodes from her professional life as a vet, about her exciting animal patients. But the book was nowhere close to my expectations. Mostly it was my fault because I didn't read the blurb properly.

The plot revolves around Rhea, a vet, who gets married and is midst of a typical cunning mother-in-law, a silent father-in-law and a "mama's boy" husband. The usual kitchen politics is very irritating and boring. Outside home, it seemed that every other man is staring at Rhea's breasts and leching after her.

Even though Rhea quips about her association with PETA now and then, her demeanour doesn't even resemble a professional veterinary doctor.

I found the storytelling superficial and the the humour cheap. 

I give "The Misadventures of A Vet"  




Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Book Review #66: Prisoner of Yakutsk


43806373Name: Prisoner of Yakutsk
Author: Shreyas Bhave
No. of Pages: 288
Genre: Fiction/Historical Thriller/Mystery/Netaji
Publisher: Platinum Press (an imprint of Leadstart Publishing)
Price: Rs. 399/-
Published in: 2019

How did I get it? From the publisher.

THE BLURB SAYS:

What exactly happened to Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose?

• In 1945, Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, Leader of the INA leaves Singapore to take a series of flights, and dies in Taiwan after his plane crashes near Formosa. Or so it seems.
• In 1947, Mr Mrs Singh, an illustrious army couple, both veterans of the Indian National Army, are last seen in Delhi, and then never again.
• In 1949, the plane carrying the first deputy Prime Minister of India, Sardar Vallabhai Patel, mysteriously disappears for seven hours.
• In 2012, following the fall of WikiLeaks, a female hacker of the notorious X group is on the run as most wanted by everyone from Interpol to the KGB
• In 2015, the millionaire CEO of a Fortune 500 company suddenly resigns and vanishes from the public eye.

A set of seemingly unconnected disappearances emerge to be woven into a single fabric as the answer to one leads to another… In this riveting narrative, bestselling author Shreyas Bhave, takes the reader on a thrilling adventure to solve the greatest mystery the Indian nation has known.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Shreyas Bhave, is an Electrical Engineer from VNIT Nagpur, and is one of India’s youngest experts on Railway Electrification PSI work. He also runs an entrepreneurial community at ourfirstmillion.org. Shreyas’ first three books, the Asoka Trilogy, was published to wide acclaim and acquired for screen adaptation. Prisoner Of Yakutsk is written as a mystery thriller with the disappearance of Subhash Chandra Bose at its core. Apart from writing, Shreyas enjoys song writing, composing music, sketching and watercolours. He plays the guitar and is fond of the blues and southern rock music. He also loves to hike up to the hill forts of Maharashtra.

MY THOUGHTS:

Many years ago, I read an article in a leading Indian national newspaper about one "Gumnami Baba". According to one theory revolving around the mysterious death of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, Netaji didn't die in the fateful airplane crash but came back to India and spent his life as the"Gumnami Baba". Ever since I have been intrigued by the topic. So when I was asked by the publisher to choose a book from a given list for review, I couldn't resist picking up this title.

The author has used "fiction presented as facts" approach for writing this book. I applaud him for doing a thorough research on the controversy and especially for sharing a gist of it with the reader.

The storyline moves to and fro covering two timelines. The protagonist, Jay Rashbihari, a rising technocrat, leaves everything behind in search of his true family line. His search takes him across the globe and finds that his maternal grandparents, Major Anish Singh and Dr. Rupali Singh, had been a secret part of his country's most controversial history, the mysterious death of Netaji. He finds his match in Tanya Williams, a brilliant and beautiful hacker who partners in his adventure to learn the truth about Netaji's death.

Anish and Rupali are ex-INA veterans and are summoned after India's independence by the country's highest authority to go on a secret mission to find the truth about Netaji's death. They pull together a team for the same with three of their ex-INA colleagues, Harman, Dinesh and Akhtar.

The story is fast-paced and has all the ingredients of good "masala" thriller movie. The author has nicely connected the known facts of the Netaji mystery with his characters' lives. Only in a few parts of narrative, it felt that the writing or description could have been better; like the relationship between Jay and Tanya lacked depth and the complicated relationship of Anish, Rupali and Akhtar could have been handled better. Also, Harman and Dinesh could have been more elaborate characters.

Overall, it is entertaining read and a commendable effort on the part of author to handle one of the country's biggest controversies in a sensible and intelligent manner.

I give "Prisoner of Yakutsk"


Friday, December 14, 2018

Book Review #65: The New Dewtas: The Rise of Rudra

Name: The New Dewtas: The Rise of Rudra
Author: Suraj Kothiyal
No. of Pages: 222
Genre: Fiction/India/Street Narative
Publisher: Inkstate Books (an imprint of Leadstart Publishing)
Price: Rs. 249/- 
Published in: 2018 

How did I get it? From the author. 

THE BLURB SAYS:  

Neer, the head priest of the Himalayas, is troubled by the horrifying visions in his dream. On Ganga Maiyya's behest, he embarks on a journey to the doomed island of Bali. The island, plagued with cyclic torments of Sekala and Neskala and suffering from constant rainfall, faces an imminent danger of drowning in sea. However, Neer's power was no match for the strong evil forces that kidnapped the king and the queen, activating the volcano of Mt Agung. With the neighboring king of Java on his toes to attack and conquer the struggling island of Bali, will the gritty prince Erlangga, assisted by Neer, be able to save his kingdom? Read to find out how people turn towards the new dewtas introduced by Neer as the end becomes evident and how Eka-dasa-Rudra helps in arousing the most furious energy of this world, Rudra.



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
The author, Suraj Kothiyal, hails from the beautiful city of Dehradun with his family roots belonging to the Himalayan region. His parents are teacher by profession, brother works in a software firm and wife is a dance teacher. A mechanical engineer and an MBA in marketing, Suraj, had five years of corporate experience before he started his own entrepreneurial journey.

Today Suraj’s construction firm develops beautiful living spaces for its customers in Dehradun. Apart from marketing and construction, Suraj has keen interest in writing. He has been writing since childhood. Initially the hobby started out as writing poems in Hindi for school magazine. His love of poetry continues, and his collection of Hindi poems can be seen on his personal blog that goes by “poems.surajkothiyal.com”.

As a child, whenever Suraj went close to the mighty mountains of Himalayas, they whispered a story in his ears. These stories later ignited a passion in him to write historic fictions and it’s his endeavor to bring to light the highly diversified and rich culture across the world. This book is inspired by a popular folklore in Bali that talks of a Hindu saint namely, Maharishi Markandeya, who came to Bali from India and introduced Hinduism on the scenic island.
 
MY THOUGHTS: 

I am a fan of mythology and that is why I agreed to review this book. Although the narrative started interestingly, it turned put to be quite a disappointment. The book lacked depth and conviction.

For starters, who actually is Neer? Why is he blue? Why does he wear the stone on his arm? What powers does it have? What about his life in the Himalayas? How did he make his way from the Himalayas to the sea? No answers. Yet, he is the protagonist.

How was Erlangga's mother convinced by Raahuran to wear Rangda's mask; what was Gajah Meda's issue; what are the mysteries of the magical masks and nyoms? There is no elaboration.

Then, the ways of Balinese people come in bits and pieces. I wished there were a proper background connecting to the present plight they faced in the story. Also, I was not really convinced how quickly the Balinese discarded their traditional beliefs and embraced the new dewtas.

Nonetheless, you will get a glimpse of Balinese beliefs and ways and get to know about concepts like Sekala and Neskala. Balinese Hinduism is quite different than what is practiced in the Indian subcontinent. Reading this book made me curious and got me reading other stuff about Bali.
I give "The New Dewtas: The Rise of Rudra"