Shadows of Winterspell – Book Review

Author – Amy Wilson

Genre – Middle Age Fantasy

Publisher – Pan Macmillan India

Year – 2019

Ratings – ⭐⭐⭐⭐/5

Synopsis

Stella has been living alone on the border of the magical forest with the ghost of her grandmother and her imp. Now soon to be thirteen she desperately wants a human friend or an acquaintance or even a human connection. She decides to join school to be normal. But things doesn’t turn up as she was expecting. And to stop the shadows of the forest she has to uncover her own family secret.

Review

I love the writing of the book. It is simple, easy to understand and makes you want to read more.

The characters development is commendable especially of Stella and Zara. I really like the women power they showed at the end. Though with Yanny I thought he had not that much importance in the end.

I love the magical creatures in the book and they have been given due importance too. My most favorite has to be Peg. I so wish to be sassy and witty like him.

The plot of the story is really fresh, cute and magical. There are enough twists & turns to grip you till the end. This could be easily turned into a series but I like that author has kept it crisp, short and with a perfect ending.

The only thing which I didn’t like about the book was the different species of fae, fairy and sprite mentioned. They have given definition of them but my problem was that the characters were not sorted properly. Like I could not understand who was fae or fairy or sprite.

This book comes under children category and I think it is a perfect book for a child to start with their fantasy magical world.

Thank you Pan Macmillan India for the proof copy.

Crescent City – Book Review

Author – Sarah J. Mass

Genre – Adult Fantasy

Publisher – Bloomsbury India

Year – 2020

Ratings – ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐/5

Synopsis

Half fae and half human Bryce Quinlan loves her life. By day she is doing an odd job at an antique gallery selling barely legal magical artifacts and enjoys doing party with her friends at night. But one murder changes everything in the city and in Bryce’s life.

Two years later when the murderer strikes again Governor asks for Bryce help as she is somewhat at the center of this mess.

Hunt Athalar personal assassin of the Governor is to protect Bryce and help her in the investigation. Hunt wants nothing to do with this investigation and Bryce but Governor offers a deal which he can’t refuse.

As Hunt doesn’t expect much from a party girl he is shocked to know the real individual behind the facade. And as they follow the lead they come across some shocking revelations which will affect the entire city and will change their life forever. Are they prepared to face the real reason behind these murders?

Review

This is my first SJM book and I am in hopelessly love with her work!!!

The character building, the fantasy world, the emotions, the plot, every twists & turns and the execution of it all is truly amazing and PERFECT.

I can’t tell you how much I love Bryce, Danika and Hunt character they were imperfect, messy, confused and vulnerable. They are loyal to their cause and will give everything for their love.

The starting is really confusing with tons of characters and the political framework of the Crescent City but after around 50 pages you are totally invested and hooked to this book. And I think there was too much action and too many plot twists in the end. But I am not complaining at all because I love every part of it.

Bryce is sassy and fashionable and always living behind a facade that she doesn’t get affected by anything. Danika is the best friend that we all need. I know it is fiction but still I desperately want a friend like Danika. Hunt Athalar is so big, mean and as people call it Shadow of Death but when it comes to Bryce he let his facade down and show all the realness of him.

Every side character is distinct and unique in their own way. They all have their own personal battle to fight and SJM blends it perfectly with the main story.

The chemistry between Bryce and Hunt is really interesting and funny to read. How they both help each other and support each other without expecting anything in return. Their chemistry is bomb that too without any much erotic scenes.

After finishing this book I felt like I was a part of this adventurous journey and could feel every character growing and developing in the process. This book is around 800 pages but I could read another 800 pages without any complaint whatsoever.

I can never have enough words to describe this book except it is MASTERPIECE!!! I want to write so many things but at the same time I am totally speechless. And I guess I will never come out of Crescent City.

Thank you Bloomsbury India for making me a part of this awesome Instagram tour.

Frozen Beauty – Book Review

Author – Lexa Hillyer

Genre – YA Contemporary Mystery

Publisher – Harper Teen

Year – 2020

Ratings – ⭐⭐⭐⭐/5

Synopsis –

Three Malloy sisters Kit, Tessa and Lily each different from the other from their hair to their nature to their passion except Boyd. Boyd a boy who lives next door is a part of their growing up and each sister loved him in their own way.

But what happens when one secret turns Kit dead and all the evidence points toward Boyd. Lilly is the one who saw Boyd with Kit at that night but Tessa is sure about Boyd’s innocence. Will one secret and one boy will tear three sisters apart?

Review-

I really like the writing of the author its very descriptive and easy to imagine the scenes that unfold. The characters are very distinctive and interesting to read. But I believe Lilly’s character was somewhat flat and predictable as compared to Tessa and Kit.

The plot is very intricately written with every aspect related to one another. Before gives an insight on the relationship of the sister and Now tells us the impact of the murder on Tessa and Lilly.

Though the POV continuously shifts but at no point it creates confusion. And the constant change in POV makes it more interesting to read. As on one page they are happy and sassy and in next page they are sad and heartbroken. It keeps you hooked emotionally throughout the book.

The murder mystery is very brilliantly created with every person being a suspect but the hype and the twist were so good that it didn’t match upto the expectation at the end. The murderer was definitely shocking and impressive but the way murder took place I felt it was quite unplanned. The murder scene was just written in haste without giving proper attention.

The school life and the teen romance also plays an important part in the whole book. It gives the perfect YA vibe with the murder mystery. But don’t get your hopes high on the romance part because suspense part is overwhelming in every aspect.

The book gives you a cold December vibe so keep your blankets and coffee ready while reading this book because it will definitely give you chills and keep you hooked to the end.

Thank you so much FFBC for including me in this blog tour.

The Degenerates – Book Review

Author – J. Albert Mann

Genre – YA Historical Fiction

Publisher – Simon & Schuster

Year – 2020

Ratings – ⭐⭐⭐⭐/5

Synopsis –

The Massachusetts School is for moron and imbecile. Once you enter the school there is no escape as there is no cure for feeble minded people.

Maxine who despite knowing the reality dreams of having a beach house, being a singer and an escape from this institution along with Rose. Rose whom everyone thinks knows nothing, but she knows more than she lets on. Alice who is accustomed to institution routine and lifestyle says nothing and shows no emotion because showing emotions means letting your weaknesses known to another.

Maxine, Rose and Alice are not happy but they have accepted their faith and living their life with as much normalcy as possible. But everything turns upside down with the entry of London. She is determine to escape this place as soon as possible. But what will her freedom cost?

Review-

First and foremost if you are a sensitive reader you have to be careful of some explicit and some dark emotional scenes. Being a sensitive reader myself it affected me quite hard.

This book is gut wrenchingly emotional. The institution, their routine, the situations of the girls, their enmity, their hope, their dreams and their reality will shook you from your core.

The writing is impeccable. It hooks you from the first page itself and the ending just live you in tears. Characters are way different from each other but still they fit perfectly well with each other.

Author has not shy away from writing some hard hitting emotional scenes. She is unapologetic and raw and real. Among all the unpleasant scenario an unbreakable bond of sister and a pure love is like fresh air while drowning. It helps you survive from all the other heavy situations in the book.

The plot is meticulously woven and shown how each character survives in their own way. But some parts were quite not believable. Like the changing of the shifts and obtaining certain things.

The ending was definitely not what I was expecting. Though I felt it was quite rushed but it was shocking and part satisfying. Why only part satisfying? For that you have to read the book.

Nothing Ventured – Book Review

Author – Jeffery Archer

Genre – Thriller

Publisher – Pan Macmillan India

Year – 2019

Ratings – ⭐⭐⭐🌟/5

Synopsis –

William Warwick always wanted to be a detective and much to his fathers disagreement, who wants William to be a barrister just like him, he embarks on a journey from few months on the beat to being a detective in the Scotland Yard’s art and antique department. His first high profile case is theft of a priceless Rembrandt painting from the Fitzmolean Museum. During the investigation he meets Beth, the research assistant of the same gallery, with whom he hopelessly fall in love.

The prime suspect of the theft is suave art collector Miles Faulkner. He will leave no stone unturned to prove his innocence and his lawyer Booth Watson QC is the master of bending law.

Review –

I have read only one Jeffery Archer book before ‘The Fourth Estate’ and it was truly a masterpiece. I still remember the story premises of that book. So when I picked this up I had really high expectations from this book. And it saddens me to say it didn’t match upto the expectations.

I like the overall story premises of the book. The writing is flawless and it makes you want to read more. The character of William Warwick is sharp, intelligent but at the same time it has a certain kind of innocence. So I am really excited to see how author will develop his character in future books.

The pace of the book is quite slow. It takes a lot of time to come to the main plot and then also there is no twist & turns or ups and downs in the book. It runs on a flat line.

There are tons and tons of character in the book. I personally gets confused when there are so many characters and that too not in the forefront just in the sideline.

The small cute love story is adorable. At first I thought the characters had no chemistry but the way it develops later in the story is endearing.

Though I didn’t like some parts of the book but I am really curious to know what happens next. So being an ardent Jeffery Archer fan I am looking forward to the series.

Bhoot, Bhavish, Bartaman – Book Review

Author – Mehool Parekh

Genre – Thriller/Suspense

Publisher – Leadstart Publishing

Year – 2020

Ratings – ⭐⭐⭐🌟/5

Synopsis

Major Bartaman Bhowmick, Southern Command of the Indian Army enjoys solving some special and interesting cases with the help of Robin who is a is a city crime reporter and her skills are the perfect match for the duo. Major Bartaman has a cousin an ACP in Pune who gives him permission and aides him in his investigation.

A beautiful woman found brutally murdered in her house while she was asleep. Police has arrested her house help with the money he stolen from the house. A simple robbery turned murder an open and shut case. Easy and simple. But is this case is so simple? Robin founds something is suspicious and thus Bartaman and Robin starts to solve this case from its roots. And there is some shocking revelations waiting for them.

Review

This book is really very captivating. The plot and the language being a debut book by the author is really impressive.

The book gets shifted from present to past and I really like that because it gives an insight into the life of the victim too. And it ensures that you are really invested in this book.

It is really unputdownable. All the twists & turns really grips you and makes you want to finish this book in one sitting.

Characters are definitely interesting and a little bit cliche too but it doesn’t makes you cringe so its acceptable. My only problem was that Robin was not given enough importance and rather she was just there without adding any huge contribution.

The one thing which didn’t seem enough convinceable was that despite being in Army Bartaman was give permission to solve this case just because his cousin is an ACP. I don’t think this seems plausible enough in real life.

But overall this book is really a gem if you like murder mystery. Interesting characters, an Army man and his sidekick crime reporter, a roller coaster past of a victim with too many people having the motive to murder her, a shocking death and an unique way of murder.

Menoka Has Hanged Herself – Book Review

Author – Sharmistha Gooptu

Genre – Suspense/Fiction

Publisher – Simon and Schuster India

Year – 2019

Ratings – ⭐⭐⭐/5

Synopsis

On the New Year Eve of 1937 Menoka the heroine of Bharat Talkies has hanged herself in the studio. Ramola the star of the Bharat Talkies does not feel good about this news but she can’t help it because all this matters are handled by her husband and the owner of Bharat Talkies, Shankar.

Ramola comes from a highly respected and educated family. She well maybe the first educated women in this industry. Raju comes from the family where you are only loyal to your survival.

Both women from different parts of the world are thrown into Bharat Talkies together. Whether they will support each other despite of their indifferences or will one of them even sacrifice her life for this unforgivable industry?

Review

I really like the setup and the era which this book create. It is setup in 1937 and you can feel the essence of those days in the writing. I love the portrayal of Bioscope pictures in this book.

Bioscope pictures which is the central theme of the book and how just the death of one person in this industry affects all others is really fascinating to read. How the industry works in those days, the status of women in those pictures, what society thinks of the people working in that industry is really fascinating to read.

The book is very descriptive in nature. I think it was necessary to make you feel those vintage years in the writing but at the same time it lengthens the book. This make the whole book very very slow paced.

There is no chapter break in the book. It just continuously flows from one POV to another. I think maybe breaking it into chapter wise would be much better.

There is no suspense or surprise element in the book. It just continues on the same graph with no twist or turns whatsoever. Even there is no explanation of why sudden things are happening in the book especially at the end.

Language is slightly complicated being English mixing with Bengali and even some terms of those times which I could not understand. There are some very creepy and bone chilling scenes in the book so if you are a sensitive reader heads up for that.

If you like slow pace and very descriptive books you can definitely give this a try. But I guess for me some parts just didn’t work at all.

Thank you Simon and Schuster India for the review copy.

I Will Miss You Tomorrow – Book Review

Author – Heine Bakkeid

Genre – Psychological Thriller/Horror

Publisher – Bloomsbury Publishing

Year – 2019

Ratings – ⭐⭐⭐⭐/5

Synopsis –

Thorkild Aske has just released from the prison. He is an ex-policeman who used to work as an investigator for Internal Affairs. He killed a young girl Frei under the influence of alcohol. Thorkild loved Frei and still loves her. Frei’s cousin Rasmus goes missing off the Norwegian coast. Arne, Rasmus’s father contacted Thorkild to find him because Aske owe them this much.

But something is haunted in that island. And everything is not that simple as it seems and everyone is not what they pretend to be.

Review-

IT IS PERFECT FOR A COSY HORROR READ!

Paranormal activity and cold weather along the islands is a real part of this book. This book sets a cold creepy theme and as you read further you can’t differentiate between the hallucination and the reality.

The plot of the book is somewhat predictable if you are thriller fanatic and like to guess who is the culprit. But the writing is so good and so engrossing that you actually forget the whole whodunit thing. You are just paralyzed with the shock at the end.

There are many unnecessary description or scenes which just makes the book lengthy and doesn’t even contribute in the whole value of the book. And at times they actually put you off from completing it.

The protagonist is not perfect. He is under the influence of medicines half of the time, he is a shitty brother so he is definitely not the shining armor types. And I love this because it somewhat makes it real and you connect more.

I love love love how the whole book has been executed with the twists & turns, paranormal scenes, drugged hero, cold weather and a lonely island. The combination is very unique and it stays with you for the long time.

You are definitely left with a question ‘What was real and what was not?’

I am looking forward to the second part of the series.

Thank you so much Bloomsbury India for the proof copy.

Badoga – Book Review

Author – Pankaj Saini

Genre – Fantasy

Publisher – Notion Press

Year – 2019

Ratings – ⭐⭐⭐/5

Synopsis –

Sartaj an amateur boxer and a spoil brat doesn’t know what to do with his life. He is living just as the days get by but he doesn’t have a strong purpose or ambition. His life is filled with money, sex, liquor and nightmares. But does those nightmares mean anything?

And then he starts hearing voice in his head. And this voice commands him to deliver justice and fight for the weak. Sartaj gets an opportunity to be a superhero. But is all this real? Or his vanity is getting the better of him? And even if its real who is this voice?

Review-

I really like the concept of the Indian superhero but the execution was very disappointing.

Half of the story and scenes has no importance in the overall book. I felt the back story of Sartaj was just dragged on with no purpose at all.

The writing is good and enjoyable. I really like the language used before the introduction of every new phase. Kudos to the author for writing such an unique plot and trying something different.

The story could be possible without being sexist. There were unnecessary sexist comments just to show the hero is too macho.

Sartaj character could be improved. I felt he was shown as too much of a rowdy and a spoil brat and then suddenly helping people in need which doesn’t get well with the whole scene.

I just hope author gives a better character arc and an improved execution of the whole plot in the sequel because the storyline definitely has potential.