Jul 18, 2014

Book Giveaway... and Book Tour

Hi, everyone! The Readdicts Book Blog is hosting a book tour for Srishti Publishers and Distributors latest release, Happily murdered... by Rasleen Syal. As participants of the tour, we have a very basic and general post about the book for you alongwith an India only giveaway where three copies of the book are up for grabs. Let's get on to what's in store for you! 

Who killed Gulab Sarin?
The radiant new daughter-in-law of the influential Mehta family dies mysteriously on the very next night of her wedding. The murder is an inside job, the police are certain. It could be anyone, the adulterous husband, conniving in-laws, jealous friend and the love struck ex-fiance. With an aim to save themselves and incriminate others, it is not long before these suspects turn into amateur detectives, hunting for clues and delving into hidden secrets only they can unearth. They coerce, pry and blackmail in an attempt to get to the bottom of this mystery. Will one of these nine unlikely sleuths finally unravel the mystery behind Gulab's death and avenge it? Or will the truth die as viciously as Gulab?



Rasleen is a mystery addict. When she is not reading or writing whodunits, she is happily playing detective. She can’t resist seeking out curiosity in everyday domestic affairs, unwittingly landing in hilarious situations, much to the angst of her family. Her husband dreads the day she will finally pass on this bug to their baby daughter as well. 

An architect with a Masters degree in Business Administration, to make a living she runs her business in Gurgaon. 

‘Happily Murdered’ is her first book.



Remember, THREE copies of the book are up for grabs for three lucky INDIAN readers! 

Giveaway rules are as follows: 

*The giveaway is open for residents of India only. 
*Enter by filling out the Rafflecopter form below. If it doesn't display or load for some reason, click here
*Once winners are picked, they will be emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or else, new winners will be selected.
*The book will be shipped by the author/ publisher. 

Thank you so much for stopping by and happy reading! 

Jul 14, 2014

Happily Murdered.... Surely so

Here I sit in front of the screen, wondering how to pen down my thoughts. My eyes are tired, and heart heavy. Is it only the response to the novel that I just finished? or my personal feelings that are clouding my judgements? Well, whatever the reason behind my state, I know what I just read is definitely a part of the reason.

I know none of us read mystery novels to feel sad or emotionally raw. We read them because we are looking for suspense, thrill of a chase and the inevitable end where Good wins over Bad. That’s what I was hoping when I picked up "Happily Murdered..." If only I knew what I was getting myself into.

My review is biased. My heart is in a place where everything is a rose tinted...not of the rosy glow of the happy kind, but the red hue of the bruised kind. So, yes... my review is going to be biased. I will try to stick to the logical part of the brain rather than the emotional one... no guarantees though

First up.... I would like to Congratulate Rasleen Syal on her d├ębut novel. If this novel is any indication, we just found a brilliant author to the genre of thrillers and suspense.  She is a self-professed fan of Agatha Christie and dedicates her first debut novel to the influences Ms. Christie has had on herself.  And for what my words are worth… she does justice to the dedication. There is fluidity in Rasleen's work that hooks you from the first page on. You see her love for her family, and pride she has for them in those odd two pages. I wish her all the luck for her next project, coz this one is sure-shot winner and doesn't really need my encouragement... it WILL be a success.

Second... A word of caution to Rasleen's husband... with the fame this book is going to gain, I can guarantee you that you will have a detective duo in your house...your wife and the little daughter of yours... J

Now, to the novel.

Its GOOD. It has everything you want to have in a suspense thriller and it has something more. It has a sense of belonging. I know it doesn't make sense when I say this. but when you read it, you will understand what I mean. the novel somehow becomes very personal, like you are a part of it. The easy flow of words, and no nonsense practical language, Rasleen's brilliant way of portraying her characters and the settings in which they exist makes the  not only believable but also very identifiable. In life, you would inevitably would have met, a Gulab, Sid, Vikram, Ned or Sara... they are examples of everyday people, real, believable, relate-able. The girl who pines away for a Casanova, The Casanova who is busy chasing girls, The glutton who wants to be appreciated by his father, and the ones who are desperately in love with the wrong one... Add to that family pressure, intricate interdependent relations, a matriarch who still wields power, a relative desperately trying to hide an addiction... and then there is the twist of the newly-wed bride's death.

There are people in this mix of characters that don't like each other but are bound to each other, by blood or by relation... they can't stand the other but can't leave either.  There are those who love and try desperately to not show it. Some who don't even realize they love. Despite this being a murder mystery, the central theme of the novel is undoubtedly LOVE. and to summarizes the novel in one word... I would repeat what I told my best friend when he asked me how it was. ... "She writes Good"

If you are looking for a fresh, engaging and slightly different murder mystery... gives "Happily Murdered..." a chance, you will be pleasantly surprised.

Jul 6, 2014

Temple of Avinasi

First for the confessions…
  • I had not heard or seen the novel till my best friend posted a review
  • The only reason why I wanted to read the novel, was because my best friend posted a review
  • I am not a devout Hindu who believes in the legends of the Dashavtar…though I enjoy reading about them and ‘have’ read extensively about them
  • Krishna is my ‘absolute’ favorite mytho character…for like EVER
  • When I saw the author bio, I seriously doubted if he could actually ‘write’… although, I should know appearances can be deceiving... I'm ashamed of my preconceptions

Now to the review…

Its not the first time someone has used Kalki and legends in a fictional setting. Recently Ashwin Sanghi used the legend in his Krishna Key… (which by the way a novel I enjoyed, find my review here). But the way Ayush has treated it, is completely different. This one as a delightful change of tune, has all elements of a Hollywood Superhero Flick…. Secret society, Good vs. Evil, Magical Weapons, Immortals and Epic battles interspersed with controversies and mysteries and intrigues… and to add the luster, backdrop of Hindu Mythology. I always wonder why not many people use Mytho as a backdrop for stories. Hindu Mythology and epics are so full of characters and obscure offshoots of stories that if an author decides to write about a character a day, he/she might write for years together without repeating a single thread.
Well, let’s get back to the review. Like I mentioned earlier, this novel has all the things a good sci-fi or superhero flick would need. It’s a novel for modern Indian who is flexible to view and review the legends and is open to a little liberty with the traditional story lines. It offers a possibility at viewing at the images of Gods and legends in a new light. If you don’t feel offended while watching “Ancient Aliens” on History TV… I think you will find this to be palatable. But if you are amongst those devout people who equate gods to be above and beyond humans… you might just not like what the book presents.

I liked the idea of Gods being Immortal till killed/murdered/assassinated. I could relate to a secret society living in a parallel dimension so as to protect us, mere mortals from innumerable perils the outer world offers. I was fascinated by the idea that a dimensional shield protects us. If I was inclined to… it would have made me feel safe in the hands of the creator J the book would find ideal reader in the audiences of The Mummy trilogy if I may guess.

Now, if I have to stop being enamored by the novelty of the book and start reviewing… here’s an unbiased view of looking at this novel.

It’s a very well used and worn story about a young boy who finds himself in a situation that he never would have imagined in his wildest dreams. He has fame and a prophecy that dictates his life, changes his life in an instant. He is thrown into an arena that changes his view…about life, about world in general and about people he thought he knew and understood. There is a villain and by the end of the novel, your perception about the world villain are changed such that nothing really fits in the traditional forms. There is a battle, in traditional terms with weapons of mass destruction and in modern terms where the opponents are both in your head… turmoil and torture… in a traditional review route… this novel  offers nothing new in terms of storyline. In the genre that this falls in… there is nothing to compare this one to.

So… what’s the verdict?

Verdict is that I liked it. I hope pardoning me for my initial reaction, Mr. Pathak continues to write, and completes the series that he promises us at the end of this one… and he delivers the next one with same or even more oomph than he wrote this one with. So, if you liked reading Percy or if you enjoy watching Ancient Aliens without getting offended… this one is a read you will thoroughly enjoy. Go for it.

Jul 4, 2014

When words come alive....

A lot of people I know don’t understand why I read. And almost none understand my need to buy books. Hardly anyone understands why would I buy them and then keep them in the cupboard and read them months and sometimes years later. The fear of losing out on a fascinating world behind closed pages of a book because you don’t have time is a fear very few people can relate to. A few people who understand. May be it takes a different set of mind to understand the love of written word. That’ why when I first heard of a book about people loving the book so much that they call out the characters in their own world and then travel with the characters into the written pages of the books…. I knew it was my kind of book.

My introduction to the Ink series was a chance glance at the movie preview featuring the handsome Brendan Fraser and then getting hooked to the idea of calling characters out from a book. As a rule, I always read the book before I see a movie based on the book. So, there I was reading through words of Cornelia Funke’s Inkheart.

Inkheart, Inkspell and Inkdeath form the ink trilogy. They released over 4 years from 2003 till 2007. My introduction to them was done once the movie was out in 2008. And to finish the series… 2014 was half gone past. Why would it take me such long to finish an already completely published series? Well, the answer is simple…. I was busy running around in other wor(l)ds.

So coming back to Inkworld. For starters… what an amazing idea, calling people out from books… traveling with words into the pages a book. Where would you go if you have to enter into a book? I wondered while reading the Inkseries…. Where would I like to travel if I ever have to enter a book? Never found an answer to my question though… I realized I wouldn’t have chosen to enter the Ink world. The fantastic idea of entering the pages of books, is still as fascinating to me as it was before reading the series, but I hardly doubt if I might have chosen to enter into the words on Inkheart. The seemingly fairy-tale world of Inkheart proves a little too dark and too ‘real’ once you see the protagonists entering the pages. The troubles, pains and evil that lurks in the roads of ombra and silver castle is not only scary but also repulsive. Cornelia Funke manages to paint pictures with her words. Pictures that are not pretty. Pictures that show you that around every silver lining a black cloud clouts.

What is applaud able for this whole affair is that while I was reading the series… I wanted to give up. I wanted to stop reading and go on with my life… and I even took a break from reading the novels. But the words kept calling me back. The characters kept beaconing. I dragged myself through the pages and finally finished it. Only to realize that I liked the overall experience. Granted, I won’t yearn for it decidedly… but I definitely liked what I read.

Believable characters (despite the magical ability for calling forth the written words), beautifully constructed world, fantastical places and almost magical ability to bring darkness to life… these are some of the most prominent aspects of Cornelia Funke’s writing. It would have made a better choice to have moved the whole series up from YA genre… this is most definitely is NOT for young adults.

Whether I would ever pick up another Cornelia Funke's novels... is a question that only time will answer... May be sometime soon, I will forget the trauma and hardship Inkseries cost me... and I will succumb to the call of unknown worlds... you never know what lies behind closed pages of a book... hai na?