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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Review: Terror On The Border by EE Hunt


Details about the book:
Title: Terror On The Border
Author: EE Hunt
ISBN: 978-1-6136-0101-3
No. of Pages:
272
Publisher: Unrivaled Books

Terror on the Border was sent to me for review by BookPleasures.com and Ascot Media Group.

The book is a thrilling, fast-paced suspense novel that will end in one, or at the most, two sittings. Set between Texas and Mexico, the story involves thrilling elements like drug trafficking, human trafficking, torture, border patrol, kidnapping, drug cartel and other constant twists that will keep you hooked on till the end.

The story is well-written, though at some levels you may have the notion that things like this do not really happen in the real world. But this again could be taken in another context, that out there, such thrilling incidents do happen to real people, and thankfully, we have been lucky enough to escape such a life.

Juanita Delgado is a young Mexican girl, who has been a victim of human trafficking. Her husband is a flawed, American ex-sniper, who has been facially disfigured while in Iraq. Together, the two fight the leaders of the Lobos cartel which is led by an egoist Hernan Cortez and Manuela.

The story involves around the abduction of Juanita’s North American cousin Orlando Delgado, a Border Patrol officer who is kidnapped by Lobos while he is on duty. He is taken hostage along with Juanita, but the two somehow manage to escape a torture chamber, only to be faced with bloody encounters on and near the border.

The book draws from the many criminal activities of drug and human trafficking, and also other illegal acts that happen on a regular basis on and near the border. The story is dark and intense and the reader will enjoy the constant thrill till the end. The book is well written and the settings gripping, and since it’s not really a very long story, the reader will not take too long to finish.

What I did not like about the book though was the way the characters have been built – the good ones are too good and the bad ones are too bad – there is no middle path, nothing grey, only black and white. This seems a little off from reality, but if you look at it as just a story, maybe it will make sense.

My recommendation: Worth a one-time read.

* Debolina Raja Gupta is an international book reviewer with BookPleasures.


- Debolina Raja Gupta

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Sneaky-Peeky Sundays: The Camerons by Robert Crichton


Sarah colored slightly but he didn’t notice.

“And for asking me to be your wife.”

“Oh, that. Yes, that was something.”

Please go now, her eyes said, but he didn’t seem to read them. He wanted to leave with something more than that, as if she had delivered a loaf of bread and not her body and heart.

“When can I speak to your father?”

“Father? You speak to Mother here.”

“Oh, I didn’t know. Soon.”

“How soon?”

“Soon.”

He suddenly reached out and seized her, wrapping his arm around both of hers, and kissed her on the lips until she felt they were burning.

“We’ve known each other long enough,” he said, and laughed, and then managed this time to get over the threshold with his sticks, unhampered now by the bottle of whisky, and get down on the Terrace and head up it for his home, at the end where all the Bones lived. He didn’t turn around, but he waved his stick just once and she knew.

“How long was he here?” her mother said.

Sarah had no idea at all. She tried to find the sun in the window to put herself back in time.

“Who?” she finally said.

“The man.”

“My husband?” She felt her mother grip her arm.

“What’s the matter with you?”

“Why, what is the matter with me?”

“’My husband?’” she mimicked.

“I said that?” Her mother nodded. “I must have been dreaming.” Her mother looked at her carefully.

“Aye, you must have been dreaming, because you remember this. We’re not going to bring any hippety-hincher into this family. The man who comes in it for you will be a man who can work and put some siller in the kist.”

“Aye, Momma.”

They found out about the first-footer later, of course,…..’


- Debolina Raja Gupta

First Page Mondays: Afterwards by Rosamund Lupton


As part of the First Page Mondays here at The Book Worm, here's the first page from the book 'Afterwards' by Rosamund Lupton.

I couldn’t move, not even a little finger or a flicker of an eye. I couldn’t open my mouth to scream.

I struggled, as hard as I could, to move the huge heavy hulk that my body had become but I was trapped under the hull of a vast ship wrecked on the ocean floor and moving was impossible.

My eyelids were welded shut. My eardrums broken. My vocal cords snapped off.

Pitch dark and silent and so heavy in there; a mile of black water above me.

Only one thing for it, I said to myself, thinking of you, and I slipped out of the wrecked ship of my body into the black ocean.

I swam upwards towards the daylight with all my strength.

Not a mile deep after all.

Because I was suddenly in a white room, brightly gleaming, smelling pungently of antiseptic. I heard voices and my name.


- Debolina Raja Gupta

Monday, December 26, 2011

On The Cover: Cherries Aren't Red ELEMENTS by Neha Agarwal


Received in my mail today for review an author-signed book titled 'Cherries Aren't Red ELEMENTS' by self-published author Neha Agarwal.

The cover looks quite interesting and I will read once I am through with the other books that I have for review. But in the meanwhile, here's a look at the cover jacket.
The book seems to be a collection of short stories (not sure if they are inter-related or no, will know once I read it) and has something to do with the four elements - Water, Fire, Earth, Air.

'Jitin & Sahaana were very much in love...they had it all - love, life, most of all - each other. All they were waiting for was acceptance. During their seemingly perennial wait the elements - Fire, Earth, Air and Water - began influencing their lives....and what ensued implied that cherries aren't RED.'

Well, that's about it. I didn't get much of an idea of what the book really is about, except that it has to do something with a young couple. I will read it for sure and tell you what I think of it, but in the meanwhile, if you already have a copy and have read it or are reading it, let me know your thoughts too...

- Debolina Raja Gupta

Friday, December 23, 2011

Review: Charliezz by Trupthi Guttal and Zeeshan Farooqui


I was contacted by author Zeeshan Farooqui to read and review the book 'Charliezz' jointly authored by Trupthi Guttal.

To begin with, here are the main details about the book:

Title: Charliezz
Authors: Trupthi Guttal and Zeeshan Farooqui
Publishers: Frog Books
No. of pages: 191

The story revolves around the two protagonists - Zahir Pathan and Khushi Patil - and gives us a glimpse into their professional lives. The events in the book are centered around their office lives, an engineering firm whose employees seem disgruntled wit the life they are subjected to each day - coming to office and getting in the grind only for the paycheck, slogging off without any real motivation to work.

The setting is typical and the characterisation is also kind of predictable, what with the dominating boss (called the Ring Leader here) and the subdued employees.

From the start, it is visible that the authors have made a conscious effort to create the narrative in a not-so-often-seen way in an Indian writing. Though this style of narrative could have worked wonders for the book, however, I felt that somewhere down the line, the authors lost track of keeping a connect between the different incidents that were supposed to be intertwined. This disconnect only seems to escalate with each page.

Many stories and incidents have been woven in the main story, but sadly, either due to the multiplicity of incidents or due to a lack of co-ordination between the two authors, the stories are not able to hold their own. This leads to a wavering down of the story as a whole and the reader is left wanting much much more.

I will not blame the authors here. They had a story and it was the job of the publishing house to take care of the editing and the structure. But I have noticed this problem with most of the self-published Indian authors. Sadly, we have only Leadstart/Frog Books to help such authors, and they do a horrible job of making a book. Most authors lose out a good sale due to the lack of professionalism on their part.

- Debolina Raja Gupta

On The Cover: Johny Gone Down by Karan Bajaj


I recently finished reading a book called 'Johny Gone Down' by Karan Bajaj. The book had been sent to me by Crossword as part of its Vodafone Crossword Book Awards 2010 and though I had started reading it earlier, I somehow lost on the pace and kept it back. It was only recently that I picked it up again and read it, and now that I did finish it, I HAVE to share the cover jacket with you as this is clearly one of the most well-written books I have ever read (the review is due, I know, and I am terribly sorry that I haven't been sharing my reviews for quite some time now. Just caught up in a few things and about to get back to the reviews).

Here's what's on the cover:

Nikhil Arya has fallen.

Once, he was an Ivy League scholar with a promising future at NASA; now, at forty, he is broke, homeless, and minutes away from blowing his brains out in a diabolical modern-day joust.

It wasn't meant to be this way.

An innocent vacation turned into an epic intercontinental journey that saw Nikhil become first a genocide survivor, then a Buddhist monk, a drug lord, a homeless accountant, a software mogul and a deadly game fighter. Now, twenty years later, Nikhil, aka Johny is tired of running. With the Colombian mafia on his trail and his abandoned wife and son ten thousand miles away, he prepares for his final act, aware that he will have lost even if he wins.

Or will he? Is there any greater victory than living a life that knows no limits, a world that has seen no boundaries?

From the bestselling author of Keep Off The Grass comes the once-in-a-lifetime story of an ordinary man fighting an extraordinary destiny. Can he pick up the pieces one last time or will Nikhil, now Johny, go down for good?

'A taut, gripping saga with with the manic pace of an action film.' - Samrat Choudhury, Deputy Editor, Hindustan Times

'A stunning adventure of the spirit....you will feel the absolute wonder of a life fully lived.' - Ben Rekhi, International Award-winning Director of Waterborne'

- Debolina Raja Gupta

Monday, December 19, 2011

First Page Mondays: My Life In My Words: Rabindranath Tagore by Uma Das Gupta


As part of the First Page Mondays at The Book Worm, here's the first page from the book 'My Life In My Words: Rabindranath Tagore' by Uma Das Gupta.

'MY FAMILY AND THE CHANGING TIMES
Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941) was born in the city of Calcutta, the capital of British India, in a Brahmin family. But an early contact with Muslims sent them down to the caste of ‘Pirali’ Brahmins. Professionally, they were revenue collectors for the English East India Company. There was a split in the family in the 1760s from which one member of the family moved to north Calcutta and built a house in Jorasanko. This was Nilmoni, Rabindranath's great-great grandfather. In Nilmoni's time, the family owned two zamindaris in East Bengal and Orissa. Their wealth was greatly enhanced when Rabindranath's grandfather, Dwarkanath (1794-1846), established a new agency house called Carr, Tagore and Company with his British trading partners. The success of this business enabled Dwarkanath to purchase two more zamindaris. His wealth and his philanthropy earned him the title of 'Prince' among his countrymen. His eldest son Debendranath (1817-1905) was Rabindranath's father. Debendranath abandoned his father's lifestyle and became a spiritual leader. He adopted Ram Mohan Roy's Brahmo Dharma in 1843 and broke with the Hindu tradition of idol worship. But he did not break with Hinduism, arguing forcefully that Brahmo Dharma was an integral part of Hinduism. He wrote learned essays on the ancient scriptures and their scientific interpretation in the Tattwabodhini Patrika. The family thus found themselves drawn into the heated debates of those times on religion and politics. This was the air young Rabindranath breathed in his Jorasanko family house.'

- Debolina Raja Gupta

Monday, December 12, 2011

First Page Mondays: Rebecca by Daphne DuMaurier



As part of the First Page Mondays at The Book Worm, here's the first page from the internationally acclaimed bestselling romantic-suspense novel Rebecca by Daphne DuMaurier.

'Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again. It seemed to me I stood by the iron gate leading to the drive, and for a while I could not enter, for the way was barred to me. There was a padlock and a chain upon the gate. I called in my dream to the lodge-keeper, and had no answer, and peering closer through the rusted spokes of the gate I saw that the lodge was uninhabited.

No smoke came from the chimney, and the little lattice windows gaped forlorn. Then, like all dreamers, I was possessed of a sudden with supernatural powers and passed like a spirit through the barrier before me. The drive wound away in front of me, twisting and turning as it had always done, but as I advanced I was aware a change had come upon it: it was narrow and unkept, not the drive that we had known. At first I was puzzled and did not understand, and it was only when I bent my head to avoid the low swinging branch of a tree that I realized what had happened. Nature had come into her own again and, little by little, in her stealthy, insidious way had encroached upon the drive long, tenacious fingers. The woods, always a menace even in the past, had triumphed in the end. They crowded, dark and uncontrolled, to the borders of the drive. The beeches with white, naked limbs leant close to one another, their branches intermingled in a strange embrace, making a vault above my head like the archway of a church. And there were other trees as well, trees that I did not recognize, squat oaks and tortured elms that straggled cheek by jowl with the beeches, and had thrust themselves out of the quiet earth, along with monster shrubs and plants, none of which I remembered.

The drive was a ribbon now, a thread of its former self, with gravel surface gone, and choked with grass and moss. The trees had thrown out low branches, making an impediment to progress; the gnarled roots locked like skeleton claws. Scattered here and again amongst this jungle growth I could.....'

- Debolina Raja Gupta

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Not Keeping Well


*Pssst....Im using this pic coz at the moment Charlie n Lola are my daughter's ABSOLUTE favourite characters on telly...

Hi there all my lovely friends.... I know its been a long long time that I checked up with you wonderful people. I've been missing my Sneaky-Peeky Sunday peaks, my First Page Mondays, my Classic Thursdays and many many more posts that I generally love to share, not to mention the reviews that have been so long in coming up.

I wanted to thank you all for visiting and taking the time out to read here. It's just that I have been unwell for quite some time now. Nothing serious, just a little 'under the weather' as I would love to categorise it (more so coz it has a nice ring to it).

So these last two weeks I have hardly been able to do much reading or writing, much to my dismay !!!! I haven't been able to go for my guitar lessons or even practice at home. I haven't had the strength to go out and party with friends. And I'm feeling so weak all the time it's not even funny anymore. I'm a complete outdoors person and it gets really bogging when I have to stay indoors, more so, in bed...

I know its quite some time now that I shared anything with you. I'm just waiting to get a little better and then I'll be back, sharing all the amazing book stuff with you. In the meanwhile, hope you're all doing great and sending lots of Christmas cheer your way. If you happen to drop in while I'm not around, do let me know your feedback..it always makes me happy to hear from you...

Take care all you lovely people and happy reading...

- Debolina Raja Gupta