Obstacles: Book Review

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Author: Christopher Reardon

Obstacles

Book Blurb:

A child will die. You’re afraid to live. Would you go to all lengths to save him? Darkness knows no bounds, as Alcott, an African American doctor sees all too well. The man is petrified by death. His fragile existence rests at the mercy of the universe. This fact is far too much for him to handle. From unyielding nightmares to elevator terrors, he’s lost in paranoia.

Assigned to look after an ill child, Alcott’s horrors only heighten. Gari is a nine-year-old boy with a fatal disease. He will surely pass on within the year. Alcott bonds with him more and more each day. Part of him knows this grim fate just isn’t right.

Alcott befriends a hospital patient. This lunatic forces him to lug home an ancient text on bringing back the dead. Despite the man’s obvious dementia, Alcott attempts the scheme. Charging up a cliff, he recites the chant over ocean gusts.

A god woman glides in from the horizon. She instructs Alcott on the trials to save Gari’s life. These fearsome Obstacles require true strength. From battling sharks to wielding a flail, he must prove fortitude against genuine danger. Alcott decides his fate at this moment.

Death’s claws shall not grasp Gari’s soul

Review:

How far can you go to ensure that the one you love survives? Would you give up your life in exchange for theirs?

Obstacles by Christopher Reardon, is a fantasy book, with a refreshing and engaging plot.

Alcott, an African American Doctor, who is afraid of death, is asked to care for a dying boy, Gari. Alcott is so impressed by Gari that he feels it is unfair that such a lively child should have to face death so early.

So, when he chances upon a book that gives him a chance to fight for Gari’s life, he takes it. This leads him to a game “Obstacles”, which if he wins, would save Gari’s life (while taking his), but if he looses, he would forget about everything and Gari would die as per his fate.

The obstacles that he had to face were very entertaining to read, but most of all the ending was quite a roller coaster ride and totally unexpected.

A well written and a well executed book.

Buy this book:

from amazon.in

(I thank the author, Christopher Reardon for sending me a copy for this book!)

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Book Review

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Author: Seth Grahame-Smith, Jane Austen

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

Book Blurb:

“It is a truth universally acknowledged that a zombie in possession of brains must be in want of more brains.”

So begins Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, an expanded edition of the beloved Jane Austen novel featuring all-new scenes of bone-crunching zombie mayhem. As our story opens, a mysterious plague has fallen upon the quiet English village of Meryton—and the dead are returning to life! Feisty heroine Elizabeth Bennet is determined to wipe out the zombie menace, but she’s soon distracted by the arrival of the haughty and arrogant Mr. Darcy. What ensues is a delightful comedy of manners with plenty of civilized sparring between the two young lovers—and even more violent sparring on the blood-soaked battlefield. Can Elizabeth vanquish the spawn of Satan? And overcome the social prejudices of the class-conscious landed gentry? Complete with romance, heartbreak, swordfights, cannibalism, and thousands of rotting corpses, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies transforms a masterpiece of world literature into something you’d actually want to read.

Review

This could have been a lot more interesting.

The starting was quite amusing, I was looking forward to a fresh take on pride and prejudice. But a few chapters into the book, it became quite monotonous.

The story is essentially the same, the only difference is that every time any characters go from one place to other, they will meet an army of Zombies, and they will fight them all. Also, there would be mentions of these “unmentionables” in random conversations other than that, the story remains the same.

The Bennett sisters are trained fighters, so they are more strong and independent than their original counterparts, who where known for their skills in drawing, painting etc, these girls are known for their killing and fighting skills. Another interesting twist was the fact that Elizabeth was looking forward to meeting Mrs. Catherine as she is the “best fighter”.

You do not need to have read the original Pride and Prejudice in order to read this book.

All in all, I had very high hopes for this book, it could have been so much more. Not worth buying it, but if you find an eBook or a library copy, you could skim through it.

Harry Potter And The Philosopher’s Stone: Book Review

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Author: J. K. Rowling

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (Harry Potter, #1)

Book Blurb:

When a letter arrives for unhappy but ordinary Harry Potter, a decade-old secret is revealed to him that apparently he’s the last to know. His parents were wizards, killed by a Dark Lord’s curse when Harry was just a baby, and which he somehow survived. Leaving his unsympathetic aunt and uncle for Hogwarts, a wizarding school brimming with ghosts and enchantments, Harry stumbles upon a sinister adventure when he finds a three-headed dog guarding a room on the third floor. Then he hears of a missing stone with astonishing powers which could be valuable, dangerous, or both

Review:

I have read this book countless times now, and each time it has been as much of an interesting read as the first time. This review can be slightly biased, as owe a lot to this series.

J. K. Rowling’s writing is just phenomenal, the way she breaths life into her characters, her witty dialogues, the way her writing create a scene so vivid in your mind that you forget you are reading. She makes up her world in your mind, and you just need to curl up inside and wish you never had to come out of it, ever.

I had borrowed this copy every time from a library, and by the time I had started earning, the first editions had stopped being in print. All of my other Harry Potter books were in first print, and it somehow did not make sense to get first two books of other edition. Then I came across secondhandbooksindia.com and got myself the first two first edition books!

I reread it, and it was phenomenal!

These books are like my comfort books, where I know that no matter what happens, Harry Potter would ALWAYS be there.

The Lover’s Dictionary: Book Review

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Author: David Levithan

The Lover's Dictionary

Book Blurb:

In his first book for adults, popular young-adult novelist David Levithan creates a beautifully crafted exploration of the insecurities, tenderness, anger, and contented comfort that make romantic relationships so compelling (or devastating). Through sparingly written, alphabetical entries that defy chronology in defining a love affair, The Lover’s Dictionary packs an emotional wallop. For “breathtaking (adj.),” the unnamed narrator explains, “Those moments when we kiss and surrender for an hour before we say a single word.” For “exacerbate (v.),” he notes, “I believe your exact words were: ‘You’re getting too emotional.'” Ranging from over a page to as short as “celibacy (n.), n/a,” the definitions-as-storyline alternate between heart-wrenching and humorous–certainly an achievement for a book structured more like Webster’s than a traditional novel. Proving that enduring characters and conflict trump word count, Levithan’s poignant vignettes and emotional candor will remind readers that sometimes in both fiction and life, less is truly more–and the personal details of love can be remarkably universal. –Jessica Schein

Review:

This book is different in so many ways.

For one, it is a love story that is told by the way of dictionary. Each word of the dictionary, would have a part of a story that is related near it.

The author takes creativity to a whole new level. Enjoy a sweet, simple love story, while increasing your vocabulary! Double benefit!

Beautifully crafted, and wonderfully scripted, this book is for people who are in love, have been in love, hope to be in love, or are in love with the very idea of love.

I first came to know of this book, watching this video.

I was interested with the concept, which is why I picked it up. It was worth it.

I’d Like To Ban Harry Potter: A Response

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Dear Shinie Antony,

Hi! How are you? I read your interview in Times of India today. Being an avid reader myself, I had no idea about your existence till I read your interview.  So, I had to search you on Goodreads. I found that you have written quite a few books yourself..and a total of THIRTEEN  people had rated your most rated book! And most of your books have been rated from the range of 2 to 3.5 stars…wow! Congratulations!!

I am writing to you, because I read your this article:

Now there are a million books out there, and a million more readers. So, I understand that not everybody will be aware of each and every ‘author’ there is. But, do you know, unless the person is living under a rock, in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, on some island that has not yet been charted on the maps as of today, since last decade….he/she WILL know of Harry Potter…Gives you a perspective doesn’t it?

There is a chance that you might not have a taste for fiction…every person has a different taste. But, if you wish to ban a book, and you are giving reasons for banning the book, at LEAST give reasons that are logical, and that are real, and not put out ‘facts’ based on what you think is in the book. READ before bashing.

Reading your interview, It was very clear, that you have NEVER READ the Harry Potter Series. Which is OK….but this is like you are giving an opinion on the taste of a dish that you have never tasted in your life.

You know why it was very clear, that you have not bothered to read through the series?

Here’s why:

Resembles too many tales…

Orphan hero.

Yea, because any story that has an orphan hero is copied. Duh..by the way..there are many stories with heros with parents, and heros with a single parent…so if I were to write a story…should I write a story where hero drops from the sky, or is born from aliens… so that it does not ‘resemble’ other stories?

Talking Animals.

Umm…the countless times that I read the entire story, I never once came across a talking animal…are you sure the book’s name was not Panchatantra or Narnia?

Evil Cousin.

That is Cinderella…not Harry Potter…though, it would be a very interesting fanfic where Voldemort is born in the Dursley Family!

Wands.

It is a story about wizards…what did you expect?

Startlingly different tone and reader age level from book to book

Well since the characters were eleven years old at the start and seventeen years old at the end….I do not understand how the tone would not change..An eleven year old would have much less perspective than a seventeen year old. Also, you might want to search a term called “Character Development”

About the readers, I started reading Harry Potter when I was about thirteen…I completed the series when I was in early twenties…my level of reading had changed..and Harry Potter changed along with it…the characters grew and developed with me…that’s the whole point of it…

all those details about a sport called Quidditch

In the fictional world, it’s called developing a perfect world. The details gives an idea, it forms entire structure of the world in our minds…

a morality tale.

When someone writes on Morality, it should be banned because it is too common.. let’s forget that an entire genreation gets strength and the courage to stand up for what is right…let us forget all those scientific researches that state that people who grew up reading harry potter are more open minded, smarter, open to diversity and are more politically tolerant than nonfans. Let us forget that these books made reading ‘cool’ again…let’s ban it..because you feel so.

Links to less than 1% of such researches:

http://www.psmag.com/navigation/books-and-culture/harry-potter-battle-bigotry-87002/

http://io9.com/d-id-harry-potter-influence-the-political-views-of-the-1623876038

http://www.buzzfeed.com/rossalynwarren/kids-that-read-harry-potter-have-more-positive-views-on-gay

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/why-everyone-should-read-harry-potter/

http://blogs.babycenter.com/mom_stories/harry-potter-makes-you-smarter-how-magic-unleashes-kids-creative-thought/

http://elitedaily.com/life/culture/science-says-kids-who-read-harry-potter-are-just-better-human-beings-in-general/691225/

Makes us look for railway stations that do not exist.

That’s the sign of a good fiction book. We KNOW the station does not exist, but we still look for it, because J K Rowling is such a powerful writer, that she manages to create a world inside us, which is so realistic, that we hope against all hope for it to be real. Now THAT is powerful writing.

Also, on a totally non related topic, you could not finish a Pulitzer Prize winning novel?

So, if you do not like Harry Potter, or if you feel that it is not your cup of tea, that’s totally cool! Just, do not parade wrong information as the reason for ‘banning a book’.

Thank you.