Dec 31, 2015

Review: The Silent Bullet

The Silent Bullet The Silent Bullet by Arthur Benjamin Reeve
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Arthur Benjamin Reeves collections of detective short stories, the protagonist is Craig Kennedy. Craig was professor of chemistry and his friend Walter is the staff of The Star (newspaper) the story is told form the perspective of Walter.

1. The Silent Bullet
2. The Scientific Cracksman
3. The Bacteriological Detective
4. The Deadly Tube
5. The Seismograph Adventure
6. The Diamond Maker
7. The Azure Ring
8. Spontaneous Combustion
9. The Terror in the Air
10.The Black Hand
11. The Artificial Paradise
12. The Steel Door

The Silent bullet is the shortest story and the last two The Artificial paradise and The Steel door are the longest. I liked the story of The silent bullet, The Diamond maker, the Scientific Cracksman, The Bacteriological Detective and The Terror in the Air.



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Dec 26, 2015

Review: Grace Immaculate

Grace Immaculate Grace Immaculate by Gregory Benford
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A short story from Timescape author!, satirical short story about religion and aliens. Kept me wondering what will happen next. And also to me the story appears incomplete.

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Dec 25, 2015

Review: Dragonfly in Amber

Dragonfly in Amber Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is the second book of Outlander series. Claire returns with her daughter Brianna to Reverend house in 1968 to know about the persons died in the battle of Culloden. For that she needs the help of Reverend's foster son Roger and later she tells her story.

I liked the writing style of the author. Below are some lines from the book:

While the battle of Prestonpans is ongoing there is no explanation of how the war is taking place instead the author has given how the character prepared herself.

Ladies, I said We've done a lot, but there's lot more to do. we shall be needing boiling water. Cauldrons for boiling, cream pans for soakin. Pattrich for those who can eat, milk for those who can't. Tallow and garlic for dressings. Wood laths for splints. Bottles and jugs, cups and spoons.Sewing needles and stout thread. Mrs.MacPherson, if you would be so kind...

The closeness of Claire and Jamie is well known, here is how poetical she has written.

I felt as though I were floating myself, rising without volition, drifting my skirts up the length of his body, settling over him like a cloud on a hilltop, sheltering his need.

Another poetic instance about the weather:

The weather was unseasonably warm for November, and the omnipresent clouds had broken, letting a fugitive autumn sun shine briefly on the grayness of Edinburgh.

and lastly
Deception had at one point been second nature to me. Lying was like riding a bicycle, I thought, you don't forget how.

Waiting to get a hand to read her third book. Thanks Diana for a superb novel.


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Dec 10, 2015

Review: The Ian Fleming Files: Operation Parsifal

The Ian Fleming Files: Operation Parsifal The Ian Fleming Files: Operation Parsifal by Damian Stevenson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I got this digital edition as free in amazon. It is fictional story of Ian Fleming, the author of world famous British spy James Bond. While reading some of the story elements pointed to the James Bond movies like Never Say Never Again, From Russia with Love, Live and Let die and The Spy Who Loved Me. Below is one such: "A strange dull humming sound as distinct from the generator filled the air as he crept closer, cautiously advancing to the corner of a derelict ossucary moving from menhir to menhir until he was just a few feet from the unit." (for me it remembers The Spy Who Loved Me scene).

I thoroughly enjoyed the book. Particularly the part in the train Ian and Lustbaden disguises as members of 30th Division.

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Dec 2, 2015

Review: History of Cleopatra, Queen of Egypt

History of Cleopatra, Queen of Egypt History of Cleopatra, Queen of Egypt by Jacob Abbott
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is the second book I have read written by Jacob Abbot, the first being History of Julius Caesar. The first part of the book History of Cleopatra Queen of Egypt gave detailed information about the Ptolemies. How they came to power and more information about Cleopatra's father his rise and fall and regaining his title by the help of Romans.

The author had substantiated the bewitching beauty and her intelligence of Cleopatra in many chapters. After the death of Julius Caesar, Cleopatra who is now a Queen but still had dangerous threats to her throne. Then Mark Antony comes to the scene who has been captivated by her beauty and falls to her charms and becomes a slave bounded by invisible chain.

Ego clash of Octavius (Augustus Caesar) and Mark Antony goes on like a never ending story, after Mark Antony leaves Octavia for Cleopatra the mind of Octavius changes, and the story ends like a Greek tragedy. Antony takes his life and so Cleopatra. Some historians mention Cleopatra as Queen who lived pompously and had many men to her life. What I feel if is she like that kind of a character, after Octavius storms into Alexandria and seizes the rule and plan to take Cleopatra as a memento for the triumphal train, why she did not mesmerizes Octavius as she had did like to Antony?

According to the book Cleopatra loved Antony very much, when Antony doubts about her that she may poison her, the following day she poisons the petals and keeps it in Antony's chaplet after dining Cleopatra takes petals from her chaplet and drinks and ask him to join, when he tries to drink she holds his hand and mentions that the petals are poisoned. I give the exact word as it is written, "You see now," said she, "how vain it is for you to watch against me. If it were possible for me to live without you, how easy it would be for me to devise ways and means to kill you." Then, to prove that her words were true, she ordered one of the servants to drink Antony's wine. He did so, and died before their sight in dreadful agony. This incident tells her how much she cares for Antony.

While reading this book, Elizabeth Taylor came to my mind as she had played Cleopatra in the movie.


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