Category Archives: Book Review

Book Review: The Oath of the Vayuputras


The 3rd book of trilogy is here.. And yes it has the most befitting end to the series…

If you have read  The Immortals of Meluha and The Secret of the Nagas then you definitely might’ve already bought this book by now. If not then what are you waiting for? Buy it!! Others, buy all the three books now!

EVIL HAS RISEN.
ONLY A GOD CAN STOP IT.

Fight against evil continues.. Realizing what is evil and how it is dealt with forms the core of the story.

Reader is grasped by the events unfolding. (It is recommended to keep Book 2 nearby, just in case.. :P)

When one uses their imagination rightly to combine archaeology,  history, mythology and science to write a book.. you get a pretty good book to read! That’s just what author has been able to achieve!…

Pace of story is just apt almost throughout, though tends to slow its pace at certain areas.
But then detailing given to the battle sequences (some  are a bit lengthy), locations etc is brilliant.There are instances when reader is elevated to a state of joy, sadness, respect etc., as if he feels for the characters in the book.

There are some lighter moments, some parts that makes you think, some moments even enthralls you, even might give you goosebumps!

Book provides nuances on life, love, human emotions, devotion, principles, faith, courage and so on.

I will definitely appreciate author for his study carried out including historical, geographical and cultural backgrounds of what would have been during those ages. His assumptions and possible scientific reasoning that would’ve been in use, is thought provoking (I didn’t find any problem in relating those comparisons 🙂 ). Religious ideologies of Zoroastrianism and Hinduism is put forward to reciprocate on one’s purpose in life by the author (who have been an atheist for sometime of his life’s journey.)

Mortal beings are subjected to emotions. And in midst of emotions one takes steps that decides his or her fate. Shiva characterization is complete. However Sati steals the show! (hmmm.. Now talk about women empowerment.).

I am not that fully satisfied considering: involvement of “Vayuputras” to the extent that the book’s title reflects; some particular characters were given significance in initial buildup but never reached anywhere; and with the end (author could’ve made it hmm… lets say a bit more thrilling.)

Nevertheless a good read! My Rating: 4/5

For all those who would like to buy the book, buy it quick… and for those who do not intend to buy the book and needs to know the story check-in here

PS: The end cites what Author Amish is possibly planning to write about next… 🙂

PPS: Karan Johar ll ve huge trouble to work out the movie 🙂

Book Review: 31 – Upendra Namburi


“Witty, Crisp, Realistic, Intelligent,Engaging and Compelling enough to read cover-to-cover in one go”Ashwin Sanghi, author of the National Bestseller,  Chanakya’s Chant
Well, Ashwin Sanghi has said it all…

Thrillers have always fascinated me.. though I’ve not read many of corporate thrillers, this book definitely stands out. And for an Indian author, hats off.. (though a film called “Corporate” was made by Madhur Bhandarkar but then its different)
What is to be highlighted is the way author portrays our protagonist Ravi Shastry and his life in 31 days. Author provides a limelight to Banking in all its fanciness.
The timeline based narrative seemed really engrossing (at least for me).. and there is all the technology that people cannot avoid these days through smart phones / Blackberry’s and twitter. [At one place it even reflects the Blackberry Smiley Bug “J” 🙂 yeah]

I just loved the “Imperial Insider” [ I did actually find the profile on twitter 😛 but not all tweets in the book are published on twitter 😦  ]
The character development is good.. lets say the traits /  thoughts of Ravi is similar throughout (terms like lynched and a few others gets repetitive which I really don’t mind when it does reflect his reactions to situations he is in). Other supporting characters do have a heart & soul and author has ensured all characters are alive and real. Even though this is a work of fiction, we could relate characters that we have come across.
And for the whole 31 days, there is fun, humor, sexual harassment, internal audits, kissing boss’s ass, infatuations, international markets & their ripple effects on Indian markets, job insecurity,  job hunts, HR, influencing HR, gossips, falsifications, allegations, some banking fundas, ppts, emotions, relationships and what not!!!

Btw… who doesn’t want to succeed… who isn’t selfish these days!!

I’ll rate a 4.75/5. Its truly a thrilling read! Enjoyed it! Grab a copy of the book from wherever you can!

Looking forward to more from the author Upendra Namburi ( @upendranamburi )

PS: After 31, my expectations for his next book is high, hope he won’t disappoint

PPS: At one place the twitter ID is published as “Imperial Anonymous” instead of “Imperial Insider”… deliberate or editorial miss or did I miss something? I don’t know!

Book Review: Devotion of Suspect X


When it comes to Murder mysteries.. its all about deciphering clues in finding Who has done it… It is very very difficult to write one for sure, and to keep the readers interested in the plot with different turn of events…

But The Devotion of Suspect X is quite different! Keigo Higashino, the author makes sure of it is different!!

Its just that within a few initial pages a murder is committed and we know as to who and how the murder takes place!!

So what is in this book till its final page? Definitely an awesomely written psychological suspense novel – Plot is simple but complex.

An entertaining story, full of details and surprises. The devotion and love has not been carried to such an extreme..

This story is superbly crafted and a really wonderful, highly recommended read. A definite page-turner.

Start of book is slow (maybe the Japanese names and locations could be the deterrent , but soon one surely gets pulled into the story.

The story makes you think where this will all lead to and how the case will be solved.. I really did not know how the book was going to end. And in the end I could only admire the genius quality of the plot.

Characterisation is outstanding. The Japanese culture is presented all in its simplicity & authenticity . And for those who love Math, there are some relative explanations in the book.

Yasuko-Ishigami, Kusangi-Yukawa and Yukawa-Ishigami interactions has its moments- at times very nicely portrayed & at times has its nuances, also being confounded to certain extent which adds to the pace of the story..

The suspense remains till the end… The twist in the tale was mind boggling….and in the end, one is sure that there will be no better ending than what the author provides.

Lovely read. Engages on multiple levels. The translator does a very decent job too. I’ll rate a 4.5 / 5

PS: Waiting for “Paperback” version of Salvation of a Saint to buy 🙂

Book Review – “Agent X” / “Last Chance to Die”


Agent X is the second novel of The Bricklayer series by author Noah Boyd
Its also published as “Last Chance to Die” (I still wonder why)
My review of first novel The Bricklayer can be read here

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Agent: X – Plot Summary:

Ex-FBI agent Steve Vail navigates a maze of hidden codes and brain-teasing puzzles to stay hot on the trail of a band of Russian spies in this breathtaking follow-up to his New York Times bestselling debut, The Bricklayer

FBI-agent-turned-bricklayer Steve Vail once helped the FBI solve a brilliant extortion plot. It was supposed to be a one-and-done deal. But when he’s in Washington, D.C., to see Kate Bannon – an FBI assistant director – on what he thinks will be a romantic New Year’s Eve date, suddenly things get complicated. The FBI has another unsolvable problem, and it has Vail’s name written all over it.

A man known as Calculus, an officer at the Russian embassy, has approached the FBI claiming that he has a list of Americans who are selling confidential information to the Russian SVR. In exchange for the list, he is asking for a quarter of a million dollars for each traitor the FBI apprehends. But then Calculus informs the FBI that he has been swiftly recalled to Moscow, and the Bureau suspects the worst: the Russians have discovered what Calculus is up to, probably have access to his list, and will be hunting the traitors to kill them unless the FBI can find them first.

The FBI realizes that it has to keep the operation quiet. Once again, Vail is the perfect man, along with Kate Bannon, who would be anyone’s first pick for help on an impossibly dangerous case. But finding the traitors isn’t going to be easy. In fact, it’s going to be downright deadly. And if the Bricklayer survives, he will have to come up with a few tricks of his own.

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Agent: X – My Review:

Agent X is not as intriguing as the first novel. But again one shall admire the authentic writing style of the author and charater that is of Steven Vail.
The story seems almost realistic, the characters well developed, and the pace wild.

Book starts with an attempted murder of Kate Bannon to look like suicide, which she escapes. Unaware of this, Steve pays visit to meet Kate Bannon, on a New Years Eve party. Their romantic relationship is not going well, but then again they team up as the story paces up with cases that include kidnapping of a young boy and a missing FBI agent.

A Russian intelligent officer working in Russian Embassy, codenamed Calculus has contacted the FBI about a list of names of Americans who provide confidential information to Russia. Calculus disappears before the FBI can contact him. Steve, put on job by FBI, discovers that Calculus has left behind clues that will lead him to the traitors, if he can unlock the codes. Each code leads Steve to one traitor and a new clue is hidden to lead him to the next one. However solving clues is a race against time as another agency is involved in killing the traitors.

There is plenty of action involved till the case is solved. Kate is framed for treason, however Steve solves another puzzle to prove her innocence.

This book envisages more into the Character that is Steven Vail. Through the character of ex-partner at FBI, Luke helps us learn Steve’s history and understand as to how Steve is.
The dialog presentation between Steve & Luke and Steve & Kate are nicely done.

If you enjoy a good mystery with lots of twists and turns, a good thriller and/or suspense novel,  you will like this book.

Not as good as the Bricklayer but if Noah Boyd had written a third Bricklayer book, I’d ve definitely read it.

Book Review – The Bricklayer


The Bricklayer is a brilliant novel of Noah Boyd.

Paul Lindsay,A former FBI agent who writes under the pseudonym Noah Boyd, provides the thrills, colour and the spirited details to make it a most fascinating and stunning novel filled with non-stop action. The pacing of this multilayer plot is brisk; there are just enough twists in the suspense to keep the reader on the edge throughout. The author provides an excellent storyline to showcase Steve’s special character traits and ensures to keep the reader’s interest.

At times some events sounded a bit ridiculous but still found it highly entertaining. One of the reasons why The Bricklayer is so effective is, Boyd writes of what he knows and has done it so with authenticity. He introduces an enigmatic yet poignant new hero, Steve Noah Vail (The middle name says it all).

Steve Vail could be Jack Reacher’s twin. Steve Vail is a former FBI agent, who had problem with bureaucracy and chose to be fired for insubordination. Although his present occupation is that of a brick layer in Chicago, he is soon called upon when the FBI wanted to stop “Rubaco Pentad”; a group who knows a great deal about how the FBI works and is out to disgrace the Bureau. And the gang has managed to outsmart FBI by killing some prominent people and threatens to continue unless their demands are met. FBI deputy Assistant Director Kate Bannon persuades Steve Vail to take up the case. And thus follows a series of exciting & exhilarating scenes in which Vail matches himself against a group who seem less interested in money than in killing him. The interactions between Kate and Vail is nice and has some romantic undertones.

I look forward to reading a lot more Steve Vail in future books. I am looking forward to reading the next instalment “Agent X”.

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PS:

Good News: Millennium Films has acquired film rights to The Bricklayer. Starring Gerard Butler in the role of ex-FBI agent Steven Vail. Movie to be released in 2013.

Sad News: A website cites Paul Lindsay (age 68) passed away in September 2011.

Book Review – The Secret of The Nagas


After readingThe Immortals of Meluha, I knew I definitely will have my hands on the sequel.

Cover Page

When you put in your imagination to bring gods as mortals from a mythology, it’s quite a task and should be well thought of, as some characters are far more fanciful to be human. And the author Amish has done a commendable job. The tales and fables we have heard from our grandparents about Shiva and his ganas is brilliantly “reconstructed differently”.  Author has taken characters and names from Indian mythology given them ‘life’ in this book with intriguing tale and everything seems to connect pretty well. His writing definitely touches the heart.

The writer has an eye for detail; it has a positive and negative effect at times. His language maybe slightly mediocre, but then it connects with the reader. Well words like Meters, Missiles, “Mumbo-Jumbo” riddles, radio waves, accumulator machines, India etc may not really ring a bell for a tale taking place in 1900BC. but should anyone care about those?

As the second book starts from where the first book ends, the chase is on.  While the events in 1st book saw story opening in Mansarovar, then to Meluha and ending in Swadweep; events in this book unfolds itself in Swadweep, through Kashi & Branga and ends in Dandak Forest.

The description & characterisation of the Nagas are lovely. I was really surprised with the turnout of events across “The Lord of the People” and “Naga Queen”. I didn’t really expect it to turn out that way.

The story moves fast and without pause, and is definitely a page-turner. The story is just not about Lord Shiva and his human form. It’s not just the male characters but the female characters that are brought out in strength and reflect them as to why they are well-intentioned to be the goddesses. Equality, Justice, Truth, Loyality, Trust, Conflict of Interest, Ethics etc. are some of the social concepts that come into limelight.

Talking about detailing, I’ll have to contradict my earlier comment at places, since some matters are not discussed further. Eg: The so-called strange Branga Rituals and The Plague that have no further mentions.

If you loved Sati in The Immortals of Meluha, then Anadamayi is sure to capture your attention in this book. Many other interesting characters are also brought to life and do their part.

If you’ve read The Immortals of Meluha, you must read The Secret of The Nagas. And if you’ve not read both the books of Shiva Trilogy and are even a mite interested in Indian Mythology, buy both the books.

My hands will definitely be on Amish’s 3rd book “The Oath of the Vayuputras” when it releases. Looking forward to it.

Overall Rating: 7 /10

PS: One can follow author @amisht

One can read My review of his 1st book: “The Immortals of Meluha”

Book Review – The Immortals of Meluha



‘The Immortals of Meluha’ is one atypical piece of writing. I was actually captivated by the cover design when I first saw it at Landmark, Baroda. This book can be considered in a new genre – mythological fiction. You come across various mythological characters but more into a ‘humanized’ form. Have you ever thought as to what if Gods were not immortal beings but mere mortals? Mere mortals whose good deeds, have passed on over generations, as praises and stories to a stronger belief that they are immortals. Lord Shiva is considered to be one of the Gods in the Holy Trinity (Lord Brahma the Creator, Lord Vishnu the sustainer and Lord Shiva the destroyer). In this book too, Shiva is considered to be a man, a tribal leader from a Tibetan Tribe arriving to Meluha, a powerful and near perfect empire created by Lord Ram and is destined to be the destroyer of evil. A man who shall rise up to the challenges in his path and become an Idol, a God of Gods or Mahadev.
The message of the novel as I envisaged is Every single person have it in him/her to be a God. One has to identify his/her true potential and rise to the occasion when need arrives.
Shiva is portrayed with wider range of in depth character and emotions: A man who follows his heart and instincts, a man of valor and honor, a performer and a fierce fighter, a man who cares and loves everyone unconditionally, a man tormented by a past that haunts him and a man bemused about his destiny. His character as human is very much convincing.
The novel set in 1900BC begins with Shiva portrayed as leader of a Tibetian tribe called Gunas who have constant wars waged with Pakritis another tribe over control of the Manasarovar Lake. Along with his tribe, he is offered better living conditions in Peace in the empire of Meluha. However he has to face his destiny. The events and circumstances occur in his life after his arrival at Meluha that brings out the God in him or the legend that is Lord Shiva.
The Author has tried to mix the Hindu mythology and History of Civilizations and is just about successful in doing so. Well, one cannot compare the study undergone to works by foreign authors, however Amish has done a fairly decent job. Though there can be a few disagreement on actual history and mythology, please note that this book is true work of fiction. No disclaimer certificate is required, however(I believe so).
Many interpretations of What Evil is, of how rebels arise in society, how to manage a near perfect society, focus of hygiene and health services, war and peace, true meaning of god and immortality, equality are a few that a reader could come across.
In between the read, the story however loses its pace slightly due to poor editing and more of a film script. The colloquial way of dialogue presentation may not go well with many readers. The author sure has his eyes on a movie trilogy credits in mind maybe. Yet another IIM grad into writing.(How do they find time? Efficient time management? 🙂 )
Do check out this promotional trailer. Also here’s the first chapter .. Buy it and enjoy the read.
It took me 5 days to read. Though I started off slowly, soon this book kept me awake into the night and to the end, I got up in between my sleep at about 3.00AM read through to 8.00AM Sunday morning.
I’m eagerly awaiting the rest of the two books of trilogy. Also wishing the author, Amish, all the very best for the rest of the books.
Rate: 6.5 out of 10. Good read.