Dec 31, 2016

Review: James Bond #1

James Bond #1 James Bond #1 by Warren Ellis
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A man running for his life in the streets of Helsinki with a cross in his fore head and a spider tattoo over his bald right head, a perfect action opener like in Bond movies, the man was maimed and killed ruthlessly by the killing machine oo7. After his revenge mission, James visits MI6 headquarters to be briefed for another mission. That is the end of the first book.

The sketches are beautiful we can feel the chillness in Helsinki, the gore, the blood, mutated fingers and lot of violence, it is not Helsinki, it is like hell sink in.

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Dec 28, 2016

Review: Sivagamiyin Sabadham

Sivagamiyin Sabadham Sivagamiyin Sabadham by Kalki
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

When I started to read second time of this novel I was transported back to Pallava empire. All these days I was enchanted by the dance of Sivagami, I was awestruck by the talents of Mahendravarman, I was watching the destructions of the flood, I was watching the war between Narasimhavarman and Pulikesi, I panicked by the evil drama of Naganandhi. There is end to everything and my journey also ended.

What a novel! Breathtaking narration mysterious plots, twists and thrilling story from one of the greatest Tamil writer Kalki.

More on the link given below:

sivagamiyin sabatham book review first part



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Dec 26, 2016

Sivagamiyin Sapatham–Book Review

Sivagamiyin Sapatham is historical novel written by Kalki based on the backdrop of 7th Century Pallava period. The book is 1200 plus pages. Unlike “Ponniyin Selvan” which has dozens of characters, this story has couple of characters, the author has beautifully used the historical backdrop, figures with fictional characters to produce a greatest novel in Tamil language.

The historical figures:

1. Mahendravarman I – King of Kanchi

2. Narasimhavarman I – Prince of Kanchi and later King of Kanchi

3. Pulikesi (Pulakesin II) – Chalukya King

4. Paranjothi – Pallava Army commander and later became a Saiva saint “Siruthondar”

5. Thirunaavukkarasar – Famous Saiva Saint

6. Hiuen Tsang – Chinese Traveller

7. Vanamadevi – Pandya Princess and later Queen of Kanchi

8. Manavarman – Prince from Sri Lanka

The Fictional characters:

1. Sivagami – the heroine and a Bharatha natyam performer

2. Ayanar – father of Sivagami and master sculptor who made rock cut temples and obsessed with Ajanta cave paintings

3. Naganandhi – a Buddhist monk who falls in love with Sivagami’s art and also fictional twin brother of Pulikesi

4. Satrugnan & Gundodharan – The former is head of spies and later his assistant

5. Kannapiran – the royal charioteer

6. Kamali – wife of Kannapiran, she is the twist for the story

The story has four parts, Paranjothi’s journey, Siege of Kanchi, The Monk’s Love and The Shattered Dreams.

The story begins with Paranjothi who comes to Kanchi to became a student under the tutelage of Thirunaavukkarasar. But by fate he saves Sivagami and Ayanar from an elephant attack. Paranjothi was held in custody was saved by the Buddhist monk, the monk takes him to Ayanar to learn the art. Narasimhavarman and Sivagami are childhood friends now they became lovers. Sivagami is a talented dancer like her father she is well known and respected artist over the kingdom. Paranjothi was given a task of getting the secret information about the dyes used in Ajanta paintings. He travels with the note given by Naganandhi which he believes is the note to another Buddhist monk but the note is to the King Pulikesi to invade Kanchi immediately. While travelling he befriends one stranger, he steals the note from Paranjothi and he plants another note with message to provide the ingredients of Ajanta dye. Paranjothi gets arrested by Pulikesi army and the King reads the note and orders to kill Paranjothi. The stranger now enters as a Chalukya spy uses his wits with Pulikesi saves Paranjothi and takes him to South, later he understands that the stranger is none other than Kanchi King Mahendravarman.

End of Paranjothi’s journey

Paranjothi fights along with Mahendravarman and stalls the progression of Pulikesi army for more than 7 months. Paranjothi was elevated to Fort commander post and was sent to Kanchi and to assist his son Narasimhavarman who was fortifying for the upcoming siege. Pallava spy Satrugnan informs that Narasimhavarman should launch an attack on Durvineehan a subordinate king who tries to use this situation for his goal. As Kanchi is preparing for the siege, Thirunaavukkarasar is asked to stay in Chola kingdom for his safety and also Ayanar and Sivagami to stay inside Kanchi fort or somewhere safely. But Naganandhi tempts Sivagami to tour south and exhibit her talents, they travel with Naganandhi. After the Pullalur Battle Narasimhavarman chases Durvineedhan while on his way in Ashokapuram Buddha temple he sees Sivagami but he did not stop and chatted with Sivagami which was annoyed Sivagami. Heavy rain was lashing the place and Naganandhi breaches the embankment of Thiruparkadal lake. On account of that, the whole area becomes flooded. Sivagami and Ayanar were stranded in the Buddha temple. With use of a boat Narasimhavarman and Gundodharan saves them. The boat reaches Mandapapattu village they stayed shortly. In Mandapapattu village Narasimhavarman and Sivagami misunderstandings comes to an end and their love blossoms and he promises to marry her. Naganandhi tries to kill Narasimhavarman with his poisoned dagger but time saved him. Gundodharan outwits Naganandhi and puts him behind a temple closed doors. The Kanchi King Mahendravarman comes to Mandapapattu village and asks Ayanar to use the stones to carve temples and to stay there until war is over. He further speaks with Sivagami to forget the love of Narasimhavarman. The king gives royal seal for their use, but Naganandhi steals the royal seal. While returning to Kanchi Naganandhi gets arrested.

End of Siege of Kanchi.

The other two parts will continue in another post.

Dec 14, 2016

Review: White Is the Coldest Colour

White Is the Coldest Colour White Is the Coldest Colour by John Nicholl
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I included this book to my reading list after reading the review written by Mark Tilbury the author of "The Revelation Room" and "The Eyes of the Accused". Dr.Galbraith is a child consultant psychologist who uses his gentlemanly charms to satisfy his twisted fantasies and molesting small children. The doctor is the antagonist of the story who has a wife and two girl children. His wife Cynthia is harshly treated and she lives a life of an insane woman.

The operation of paedophile ring slowly emerges, and some of the molested victims reveal the names involved. One name in question and unbelievable is Dr.Galbraith.

Anthony known as Tony, whose life disturbed by the separation of his parents, his GP recommends him to Dr.Galbraith. Unaware the parents unite and take their son to the consultation.

Later Dr.Galbraith the evil personified abducts Tony and assaults Tony's mother Molly gravely. He takes him to the famous 'White Room'. Same time the police is closing on Dr.Galbraith and his accomplices. Did they catch the doctor? Did Tony was saved? What happened to Molly and Cynthia?

All these mysteries are revealed in the last chapters of the book. The writing is awesome, it is a thrilling read. I had the adrenaline rush when the doctor tries to abduct Tony in playground and finally in his home.

Thank you Mark for the recommendation. I bought this book from Kindle Unlimited.


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Review: சிலிகான்புரம் [Siliconpuram]

சிலிகான்புரம் [Siliconpuram] சிலிகான்புரம் [Siliconpuram] by Samura
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I entered this free giveaway one month back and surprisingly I received this signed paperback copy couple of weeks back. I already read the free chapter of Bahubali Thatha and liked the way the author has conveyed the message.

The book is collection of 12 short stories of people living in Siliconpuram.
1. Bahubali Thatha
2. Elipori
3. Beechoram
4. Nanaiyam
5. Thavaruthal
6. Mudhal Savari
7. Naan Avanillai
8. Pinju Manam
9. Ukkarantha ...
10. Peethi
11. Maraka Mudiavillai
12. Adi Karumbu

Every story has a message with a twist some are unexpected and enjoyable. I liked Bahubali Thatha, Elipori, Nanaiyam, Mudhal Savari, Naan Avanillai and importance of trees Pinju Manam.



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Review: Pirates: The Golden Age of Piracy: A History From Beginning to End

Pirates: The Golden Age of Piracy: A History From Beginning to End Pirates: The Golden Age of Piracy: A History From Beginning to End by Henry Freeman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This eBook is a free download in kindle. Though the tagline is Hourly history, this book provides ample information about the beginning of piracy during the Roman era to the Somali pirates. Most of us know that Caesar was taken custody by the pirates early in his career.

We can get some knowledge about the famous pirates such as Tragut Rais, Grace O' Malley, William Kidd and Blackbeard. The life of Grace O' Malley, who is the first woman pirate and the notorious Edward Teach who best known to this world as Blackbeard are given.

I came to know the meaning of Greek word pirate as "I attempt". The author has wrote what kindled the growth of piracy. "The Golden Age of Piracy arose from a time when the powers of Europe were locked in a fierce battle for navel and mercantile supremacy, and as the fortunes of the nations ebbed and flowed so did piracy".

William Maurice was the first man in England to be convicted of piracy in 1241. Not every pirates faced hangman's noose, there are some exception like Henry Every who was one of the pirate round was more fortunate and bribed for his protection, lived and died later in London.

A separate chapter is included for Piracy and Privateering. I thoroughly enjoyed the book.


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Dec 3, 2016

Review: The Family History Fun Factor: How to Gather and Preserve Family Folklore

The Family History Fun Factor: How to Gather and Preserve Family Folklore The Family History Fun Factor: How to Gather and Preserve Family Folklore by Marcha A. Fox
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Marcha Fox is one of my goodreads friend, I liked her book reviews and came to know that she is also an author. The book "The Family History Fun Factor" is about a bit of time travel for our children and grand children. I bought this from Kindle Unlimited and the book is free to download till December 6th 2016.

The opening words from the book:

What would you give to spend one day with one of your ancestors?  To witness everyday details of his or her life, whether it involved a favorite recipe, cooking methods, transportation or how children spent their day? Genealogy and stories related to major life events such as immigration, migrations, arranged marriages, childbirth, deaths or occupations can often be found in journals or other sources but what about everyday activities such as holiday celebrations or the games children played on balmy summer evenings?

The book is about capturing and recording our daily routine on author's own words, Your daily routine may seem less than exciting and not worth recording, but to someone in the far distant future it could hold as much charm and interest as life a few centuries ago does for you. Recording or capturing our family experiences and keep it alive for the future, she termed it as Family Folklore.

Most of us are doing this but after couple of years due to unavoidable circumstances we simply leave the task or throw it as trash. Imagine how many of us has done that.


The author has given one example: "Even if he was a horrible storyteller I would LOVE to hear my grandfathers’ voices, both of whom died before I was born.   Wouldn’t you?"

That had happened in my life and I tried. When mobile phones were new my father who unfortunately did not have the chance to use, after his death while talking to my uncle (father's brother) who has the similar tone of my father, the experience gave me an idea to record his voice and show it to my son that the tone resembles my late father. Like I mentioned earlier I had lost it.

The author has given a format to record our experiences and also at the end she has given online resources which will help us in culminating our family experience and share to our grand children and great grandchildren.

I like to thank Marcha Fox for this book and giving a lot of ideas to record it as family folklore.


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Nov 28, 2016

Review: Shadow Tag

Shadow Tag Shadow Tag by Raymond Khoury
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The two thriller writers Steve Berry and Raymond Khoury while attending Thrill-fest convention in London are kidnapped. And the secret agents Cotton Malone and Sean Reilly were summoned via a coded message to track down two Americans.

The kidnapper asks Berry and Khoury to create a story of an antagonist who wins in the end using a devastating act of terror, so that he use that plot to have a name alongside Bin Laden. Both the authors brainstorm to create plots which were already in the books of several authors. Same time Cotton and Sean track one thug but they were imprisoned next to the authors.

Did the authors created a unique plot for the act of terror? or Did the authors and agents escape from the clutches of the kidnapper? all these are in the remaining pages of the action packed short story. It is a real life authors meeting their fictional characters in their life.

I liked the way the authors have poked fun on themselves and also they have mentioned many other thriller authors. Like I said before the story has humorous moments and action side by side.

Plus the book also had sneak peak on Raymond Khoury's "The End Game" and Steve Berry's "The 14th Colony".


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Review: Alien Disclosure at Area 51: Dr. Dan Burisch Reveals the Truth About ETs, UFOs and MJ-12

Alien Disclosure at Area 51: Dr. Dan Burisch Reveals the Truth About ETs, UFOs and MJ-12 Alien Disclosure at Area 51: Dr. Dan Burisch Reveals the Truth About ETs, UFOs and MJ-12 by C. Ronald Garner
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The book is about the interaction of Dr. Dan Burisch who worked in S4 of Area 51 with an alien named J-Rod. Dan was abducted as a child, which in turn increased is intelligence. There are many diagrams, computer generated images and photos of the alien and in the end of the book they have given list of books related to UFO and Area 51.

More of the book is available in DVD and can be accessed through their website.



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Nov 25, 2016

Nov 24, 2016

Review: Free to Infect, First to Die

Free to Infect, First to Die Free to Infect, First to Die by Ian C.P. Irvine
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is the second book of Time Ship (at present Book Two is rechristened as "Free to Infect, First to Die (21st Century Pirates Inc. #2) In Book one, it is the year 1699, Captain McGregor who after successfully defeating pirate Captain William Kidd and escapes with stolen treasure meets with an intense electrical storm and they were transported to the year 2014, Puerto Rico.

In 2014, four hurricanes entwines creating a Hunraken Vortex, a research airplane headed by Kate tries to capture the happenings in the vortex, as pre planned they time travel back to 1699.

The book one ends with the pirates capturing a beach resort and hilarious adventures of the pirates as they cannot fathom the new world. Unknown to them they have time traveled and also they are infected with plague.

Book Two: The resort manager Miss Sally meets face to face with Captain Rob and makes him understand that the pirates were in the year 2014 and not 1699. After some of his crew falls sick, the doctor of the resort finds out that they are infected with a bubonic plague (biovar of Yersinia pestis) the Captain lays down his arms and ask the doctor to treat his crew.

The beach resort taken over by pirates reaches the world and they feel they are terrorist adorned in authentic pirate costume. But the real threat is known to W.H.O. and they send medicine and volunteers. Anton Lebsky Leader of the W.H.O along with his assistant Moira Cerny digs to find out the proper cure for the plague..

The situation turns worse as people in the resort and Sally were affected by the plague. The President of the U.S. R.W.Gains was advised for a professional and scientific recommendation that is to implement Piras Plan by Anton Lebsky. A fighter jet with N-648 Nuclear Incendiary Device is kept ready.

At the same time the treasure in the ship gets leaked while fumigating, the Governor and the Superintendent of Puerto Rico devices a plan to steal the treasure after implementation of Piras Plan. 24 hour dead line is fixed for Piras plan by US.

Did the plague was contained in the beach resort? What happened to the pirate treasure? What is the story of Captain McGregor? Like Ann (Captain Robs wife), Sally too succumbed to plague? Did Derek and Colonel Patterson behind Hunraken Vortex research finds Kate's message from 1699? What that has to do with the future of the world?

All these are revealed in the last half of the novel. A little mention about the humour, how pirates perceive simple products we use in our daily life below are a couple of items:

Shower they call it as falling water curtain
Fridge/Refrigerator - White Safe Box

The book is wonderful time travel adventure and also a page turner, I liked the first book and this second book did not disappoint me. Well done Ian expecting such stories from you.

This book is from Kindle Unlimited and the first part is free to read.


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Nov 16, 2016

Review: The Meddler: A Sort-Of Fairytale

The Meddler: A Sort-Of Fairytale The Meddler: A Sort-Of Fairytale by Donna Maria McCarthy
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A different kind of book, writing style very different and I have not read such kind. Initial few pages I cannot interpret and felt she is roughly introducing but later on I came to understand that is her style.

I have a habit of revealing more of the story in writing, so it is better for me to stop here so that you can enjoy the mystery.

I bought this book from Kindle Unlimited.


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Review: The Meddler: A Sort-Of Fairytale

The Meddler: A Sort-Of Fairytale The Meddler: A Sort-Of Fairytale by Donna Maria McCarthy
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A different kind of book, writing style very different and I have not read such kind of writing. Initial few pages I did not understand and felt she is roughly introducing but later on I came to understand that is her style.

I have a habit of revealing more of the story in writing, so it is better for me to stop here so that you can enjoy the mystery.

I bought this book from Kindle Unlimited.


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Nov 13, 2016

Review: Red Death

Red Death Red Death by Jeff Altabef
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A dystopian world 800 or so years from now, divided and ruled by several tribes. The world is affected by Red Death a kind of plague which had wiped majority of human race. Purity, Faith and Strength is the motto of a tribe which is isolated on a peninsula surrounded by a river, a religious group named Eden. The protagonist of the story is Aaliss a highly trained Guardian and she has two brothers one is elder named Piers and the youngest named Wilky. The tribe is ruled by a High Priest and a President. Their religious leader is Jacob. Unlike other tribes Eden is protected from the outside world, other tribes die of Red Death. All other tribes people were called as soulless by Eden.

Wilky is a genius kid, with his vision he finds the cure for Red Death and treats one soulless girl belonging to Butcher tribe. The High Priest who is cunning politician of our time, did not wish to leak the secret. As the High Priest holds the place after the revered Jacob, he thinks by mixing the potion in the wine he can save the people of Eden from Red Death and at the same time he will be regarded as a Prophet. To get the name he tries to kill Wilky, and Aaliss comes to know about this and she escapes from Eden with Wilky and the soulless girl.

The potion is mixture of a particular flower and a mushroom which grows outside of Eden. The High Priest sends his most trusted assassin Viper to kill Aaliss and Wilky. On the way the girl takes them to their tribe. The Butcher tribe is ruled by Dermot a popular king he has two brothers one is wicked Fintan and another is handsome Eamon. King Dermot is having the symptoms of Red Death, Fintan with his aide Cormac conspires to kill Dermot and capture the throne.

But Aaliss, Wilky were held in a prison and they the butcher tribe did not believe a cure for Red Death. Eamon wants to save his brother Dermot from Red Death and makes arrangement to save Aaliss and Wilky from the hold, they travel through a forest to get the mushroom and the flower. The group is hindered by many obstacles ranging from a witch to killing birds.

Same time P'mina a girl belonging to Painted ones tribe (governed by a Tribal mother) tries to meet her mother who is believed to be living in a forest and prove to her tribe that her mother is not a witch. She goes missing and her sister Kalhona comes in search for her. All the above characters I have mentioned meets in the forest.

Did Aaliss and Wilky find the cure for Red Death, did Eamon saves his brother from the evil plans of Fintan, did Kalhona meets her sister who is captured by the Red Witches, did Aaliss and Eamon find their love? Who is Jacob? is he a real God? All these are answered in the remaining chapters of the book.

Every character has their own agenda. Aaliss has to save his brother Wilky, Wilky has to distribute the potion to cure Red death. Eamon wants to save his brother King Dermot, Fintan wants to rule the tribe, Viper the assassin wants to kill Aaliss and Wilky. As their are many characters the author Jeff Altabef has cleverly given the link for cast of characters at the end of each chapters.

All the characters are well developed. The author ends some of the chapters with a cliff hanger, the story is fast paced and an exciting read.

I received this as a free E-book and I am eagerly waiting for the second instalment.

More of book reviews in www.chromaring.com


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Nov 4, 2016

Review: Lost Civilizations: History's Most Fascinating Lost Civilizations

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The author Martin Phillips who had graduated with a double major in History and Archaeology from University of Cambridge had worked as an archaeologist and had acquired the skill from various excavation sites. From the authors own words about the book:

"In this book we're going to take a journey through the ancient civilizations that have passed into the annals of history, sometimes leaving only traces of their once great cultures. From the Ancestral Pueblo Culture in North America to the Khmer Empire in Asia and beyond we will discuss these enthralling peoples, what we know about them and what they left behind".

I was amazed when I came to know about some of the lost civilizations like Ancestral Pueblo Culture and Khmer Empire which I have did not know existed. And as well as how some of the civilizations dwindled.

Below is the list of lost civilizations the author has written about:
1. The Minoans
2. The Mycenaeans
3. The Olmecs
4. The Chavin
5. The Nabataeans
6. The Nazca
7. The Moche
8. The Aksum Kingdom/Empire
9. The Ancestral Pueblo Culture (Anasazi)
10.The Maya
11. The Khmer Empire
12. The Toltec
13. The Aztecs
14. The Inca
15. Lost Cities (Bonus feature)

The author has neatly mentioned each civilization by giving appropriate headings: Introduction, What did they left behind?, Interesting facts, What happened to them?

In bonus chapters the author has given exhaustive details about Baiae. It became famous by Romans for the bathhouses as it is situated near volcanic region. The city was abandoned in 1500 AD (CE) due to epidemic of malaria and the city gradually sunk due to the volcanic exhausts in the area. This information made me curious to know more about this city and searched for the images. The city now is tourist spot one can hire a boat with glass bottom or go for scuba diving to get a first hand experience. 


Baiae lies submerged in just a few feet of water, with all streets, imperial luxury villas and statues (image from message to eagle.com)

And finally I will say that this book will help us to get a brief note on some of the worlds lost civilizations how they progressed and in some cases how they declined. I enjoyed reading this book and expect to purchase some of his other books from kindle.

For more book reviews: www.chromaring.com

Nov 2, 2016

Review: The Invisible Assistant

The Invisible Assistant The Invisible Assistant by John Gaspard
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I bought this book through kindle unlimited. This is the first time I am reading the book authored by John Gaspard. Josiah Manning is a guy who supports for anti-death penalty and anti-suicide. His adversary Harley Keller is leader for pro-death movement. One day in the house of Harley, both Josiah and Harley are found dead. The case is looked like that Josiah Manning came to Harleys house killed him first and then shot himself. Homicide detective Fred Hutton believes Josiah is the killer but his wife Deirdre (I don't know how to pronounce her name) who has close working relationship with the Minneapolis Police Department's Homicide division thinks that Josiah is not the killer.

She and Fred Hutton approaches Eli Marks the stage magician to use his unique perspective (in her words a bizarre way of looking at things) They all visit the crime scene. By his unique perspective way and his knowledge in trickery he finds out who was the real killer.

The story is superb with three main characters, I enjoyed reading. And I have read this book twice.


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Oct 23, 2016

Review: Shallow Waters

Shallow Waters Shallow Waters by Rebecca Bradley
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A young girl is found dead in the alley way in Nottingham. When investigations were going on another young girl is found dead with identical markings. Detective Inspector Hannah Robbins and her team Aaron, Sally, Martin and Ross try their best and identify the victims, the first girl is Rosie Green and the second is Allison Kirk.

Did DI Hannah and her team found out the killers? Who are they? All are answered in the remaining chapters of the book.

The author has given some back stories of Hannah her confused relationship with the journalist and her prison serving sister. Sally's pregnancy, her life with Tom and her work ethics. The story is told by Hannah, in first person narrative and then in some chapters is from Sally and the caged girl. This book is police procedural and I thoroughly enjoyed the book.

I received this free copy from Amazon through Facebook TBC.


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Oct 14, 2016

Review: Enemies of the State

Enemies of the State Enemies of the State by Jeff Altabef
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The year is 2041 and America is in Civil War. The protagonist Steven Cabbott is hired by his boss Charles Sheppard, to extract the two dissidents before Homeland security raids the ghetto. Steven childhood is not so colourful, his mom has her own demons which made to kill her husband. Steven escapes from the ghetto and joins the army at a young age. He finds that he too has a demon inside him which made him to survive in his profession. In his 30th year he thought his killing years are gone. But the destiny has other plan. Did Steven saved the two ghetto Leaders Moses and Gabriel? did Steven overcome his demons? all are answered in the remaining chapters of the book.

I received this free E book. I thoroughly enjoyed the novel. The story is fast paced, the car chase and the fight between Homeland Security are worth mentioning. With less than 100 pages the character development and action are all well written by the author.


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Oct 8, 2016

Review: A Bride From Moon

A Bride From Moon A Bride From Moon by Neel Aruna C.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I think this if the first time I have read the full length novel written by an Indian author.

"The prophecy tells that the one, whom I chose with my entire heart will be the king of the gods. If the king is chosen, each and every god has to obey his orders".

The girl is Sarva who she chooses is Vishwa. The novel has some flashbacks which nicely connects all the characters. The book starts with lack of narration but half way through the author has enhanced her narration, considering a debut novel it is okay for me. The story genre ranges from mythological fiction, romance and a bit of thriller.

I am not disappointed with the story. The author has vivid imagination and I am eager to read other part.


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Oct 4, 2016

Review: Captain Blood

Captain Blood Captain Blood by Rafael Sabatini
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I selected to read this book after watching two movies based on this novel, the first is 1935 flick Captain Blood and second, best treated of Captain Blood story into Tamil movie Ayirathil Oruvan (1965).

Peter Blood, is a doctor who also served as a Soldier. Rebellion against King James was raging in the country while in the Town of Bridge Water on one unfortunate day a rebel Jeremy Pitt seeks Peter Blood to heal the sorely wounded Lord Gildoy. While treating him the army enters the farm and arrests the rebels and with them Peter Blood. Death penalty was given to all the rebels but destiny played its role and the King made is mind to sell the traitors to work in West Indies plantations as slaves.

On arrival on the island of Barbados, Port Royal, under the supervision of Colonel Bishop, Peter was also sold as a slave but his knowledge in medicine helps him to treat the Governor. He meets the charming Arabella Bishop who is the niece of Colonel Bishop. She becomes sympathetic after hearing the story of Peter. The evil treatment of Colonel Bishop towards the slaves make them prepare to escape from the island. On the day of their escape the Spanish force lead by
Admiral Don Miguel de Espinosa captures the island. The slaves escape and takes the Spanish ship, after getting his ransom from the Governor and Colonel Bishop, Don Miguel de Espinosa leaves the island but his ransom and ship were taken by Peter Blood and his men. Don Miguel vows to kill Blood.

With the Spanish ships and the ransom, Peter Blood and his men who cannot return to their home as they were proscribed rebels and also they cannot return to the island as they are escaped slaves turns them into sea pirates. Captain Blood named his ship as Arabella. In due course Captain Blood becomes the most hated and feared pirate in Caribbean seas.

One side the Spaniards Don Miguel de Espinosa and another side Colonel Bishop were planning to capture Captain Blood and end him. What happen to Captain Blood? Did he win the heart of Arabella? What happened to his adversaries Don Miguel and Colonel Bishop? All these sub plots are the remaining part of the novel.

I thoroughly enjoyed the novel, in some chapters I have to re-read as new characters enter. The witty dialogs of Captain Blood and the adventurous escape from the island of Maracaybo, defeating his enemies, using unorthodox techniques in ship fights are breath taking.

Below are some of the gems uttered by Captain Blood:

1. that he was a man of medicine and not of war; a healer, not a slayer

2. I regarded the adventure as a wicked madness

3. To succour a wounded man, as was my sacred duty

4. for bluff is a weapon dear to every adventurer

5. My business, my lord, was with his wounds, not with his politics

6. By trade I am a soldier—at least, it's a trade I followed for ten years. It brought me no great gear, but it served me better than medicine, which, as you may observe, has brought me into slavery. I'm thinking it's more pleasing in the sight of Heaven to kill men than to heal them.


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Oct 1, 2016

Review: Indrajal Comics-244-Phantom (Gem): The Skull Cave Attacked

Indrajal Comics-244-Phantom (Gem): The Skull Cave Attacked Indrajal Comics-244-Phantom (Gem): The Skull Cave Attacked by Lee Falk
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

An Ex-Professor and a pilot Mr.Graves while flying watches a peak which is shaped like a man's head. Same time his plane engine fails and he parachutes for safety but he was in verge of getting attacked by Lion and Leopard.

A miracle happens as Phantom intervenes and takes the badly injured Mr.Graves to his fabulous skull cave for recuperation. When Mr.Graves returns to civilization nobody believes the story. Finally one psychiatrist Smedley chats with him in Explorer Club and he tells him the story and the great treasure he had seen in the Skull cave. But Dr.Smedley feels that Mr.Graves story is the result of delirium.

 photo SkullCaveAttacked_pg12_zps5ja57fuf.jpg

Then Dr.Smedley tells this tale to many of this one Captain Eric and his girlfriend believes the story and they plan to grab the treasure. Captain Eric who hears the legends of Phantom's land that a beautiful woman clad in jewels can walk into the jungle without fear, Eric hatches a plan, musters couple of thugs and sends his girlfriend to the jungle.

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Did the girl meets Phantom and did she entered the Skull Cave? What happened to the girl and Captain Eric and his thugs remains half of the story.

"Sight of an angry Phantom can freeze a person's blood -- an old jungle saying"

I liked the art work, the story is so beautiful and one thing I find hard is that Phantom does no action, apart from scaring away Lion and Leopard.


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Sep 18, 2016

Review: A Smattering of Darkness

A Smattering of Darkness A Smattering of Darkness by Alisha "Priti" Kirpalani
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book is collection of short, shorter and shortest stories. The author has separated into 3 chapters, chapter one has four short stories. In this chapter I liked the story of Seven and tick-tick-tick.

And chapter two is shorter stories consists of 5 stories in this I liked Eternal Love, Catatonia and The Encounter.

Chapter three has numerous shortest stories in one paragraph. I like to quote a couple of stories which touched my heart.

1. She irons the sharp creases. Then crumples his uniform again. And then again. It is all that came back of him, after the war.

2. They fought over their gods. Like wildfire's hunger, the hatred swept. As the bodies littered the streets, even the gods wept.

3. Logic and reason won over the jury. The murderer was set free. At church, the lawyer asked for forgiveness, on bended knees.

4. He accelerated, aiming for maximum impact. Then he saw the cat and jammed the brakes. The cat saved her nine lives and his one.

5. They fought over the colour of the bedroom. Neither gave in. The colour of dreams, of love turned grey. Ending before beginning.

6. For 50 years he has been eating her gooseberry muffins. He hates them but he loves her more. They don't even taste sour now.

7. Show me you love me, she would constantly moan. He spent a life time trying but she only realised it, once he was gone.

The book A Smattering of Darkness, most of the tales lives up to the title. The book has 40+ pages and can be read in one sitting. I enjoyed the book.


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Sep 9, 2016

Why Russia Did Not Put a Man on the Moon

During the cold war era United States and USSR were in race to reach moon. But US made it to moon by 1969. While going through YouTube I found one interesting video why Russia did not put a man on the moon.

Video by Curious Droid.

My earlier post on the book review “In the Shadow of the Moon” Click here.

Sep 5, 2016

Review: In the Shadow of the Moon: A Challenging Journey to Tranquility, 1965-1969

In the Shadow of the Moon: A Challenging Journey to Tranquility, 1965-1969 In the Shadow of the Moon: A Challenging Journey to Tranquility, 1965-1969 by Francis French
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The cover of the book caught my attention to pick up from the library. The book is about the race to reach Moon.

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Foreground is Moon and the crescent is the Earth. First photo of Earth from Moon. Image courtesy NASA.

It is well researched and the author has given much details about the space programs to put man on the moon, he also given the biography of each astronauts and selected cosmonauts in the space race. The vivid description of each mission is worth mentioning.

The description given for first manned flight in Gemini program Gemini III nicknamed Molly Brown and the first space walk by Ed White on June 3rd 1965 engrossed me and which let to NASA website to quench my thirst about these two missions. Below are some of the images from NASA website.

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Gemini III lift off

The difficulties faced in each mission, how the astronauts coped with inside the capsule, the space walk they performed and how they mastered, docking procedures and re entry procedures are worth mentioning. We can feel how much difficulties the astronauts suffered.

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The first American space walk

The failures of US and Russia are given in detailed manner. After the loss of three precious lives of Astronauts they created faultless rockets to put man on the Moon.

I enjoyed reading the book and I wanted to buy this book for my future reference.


Sep 3, 2016

Review: Superman vs. the Terminator: Death to the Future

Superman vs. the Terminator: Death to the Future Superman vs. the Terminator: Death to the Future by Alan Grant
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I already had a bitter experience on reading Superman Vs Predator. With that in my mind I borrowed this book to read. At the end, no big disappointment.

What happens when Superman is added to the Terminator story line is the imagination. The year is 2000, Sarah Connor and John Connor are saved by Superman in Metropolis. Subsequently the Skynet sends powerful robots each time to fight with Superman.

Unfortunately Superman was sucked into the future year 2032. What happens to Sarah and John in 2000? The answer Super girl and Super boy lends their help. But will the duo able to hold the ever power full robots coming from the future with capable of flight? Did Superman put end to the reign of Skynet in future? Did Superman returned from 2032?

All are answered in the remaining two chapters of the comic.

Art work is better compared to Superman Vs. Predator. Most Superman fans will like the story line.


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Aug 25, 2016

Review: The Day of the Black Sun

The Day of the Black Sun The Day of the Black Sun by Jean Van Hamme
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

How many times did I read this Book one? The answer is countless times. How many hours I have gazed upon some of the images (two images given below) The answer to this question is also countless hours. 




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Image 1 source Google image search

Why this comic captivated me? there are many things to say but I feel the story, the characters XIII, Martha and the art work should be.

An old couple named Abe and Sally living somewhere in coastal US happens to see a critically wounded man washed ashore. They call license revoked Surgeon Martha to attend, she treats the mystery man. The old couple who had lost their only son in the war showers love to XIII.

Couple of days later XIII shows recovery but he cannot remember anything, the bullet wound in his head, a tattoo "XIII" in the collarbone, a key sewn into the collar of his shirt is what remains with him.

The alcoholic Martha stays away from her bad habit. Everything looks beautiful and seems to be settled but one day while Alan (XIII was named as Alan, after their son by the old couple) and Martha return from the seashore, they both see the dog Pronto dead and the old couple were killed in their sleep. The thugs start to attack Alan, his reflex action saves him. After this encounter Alan gets a photo from the dead thug Chuck. In the photo Alan is seen along with a girl.

After seeing the photo Alan did not get any hint who she is and in what way she is related. On the back of the photo the photographers name and address was printed. Martha asks Alan to go away as the thugs may come again. Alan leaves to East Town to find the photographer and the girl in the photo.

Did Alan find who he is and why he was shot? Why was he chased by thugs? Did he come to know about that girl? all these questions will be answered in the remaining pages of the comic.

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Image 2 source Google image search

I first read the Tamil version of this comic in the year 1987. And after more than two decades, I purchased the full book of XIII. Although I have read all the chapters, I liked the first chapter very much.


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Aug 17, 2016

Review: A Loop in Time

A Loop in Time A Loop in Time by Clark Graham
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I downloaded this free E book as it is about time travel. In the year 2014 piloted by Jason Ralston the plane F117A is fitted with a new type of engine using energy waves named as Vmax3 drive. During the test flight as the plane reaches 2.5 Mach it goes out of control and disappears.

In 1966 Jason wakes up in a military hospital with concussion and memory loss. He cannot tell what is his name and where he is from. And there was no dog tag with him, Lieutenant Granger in charge suspects the mystery man as a Russian spy who crash landed with an advanced aircraft. Nurse Susan and Doctor Ralston takes good care of him.

As the hospital needs room for more patients to accommodate from Vietnam war, the mystery man named James Doe later James Buck was discharged. He takes up the job of crop duster later he falls in love with Susan and marries her but their marriage lasts only one day.

Why did James has to annul the marriage, and why he takes up the name of Ralston, what happens to him when his memory came back? All this is answered in the remaining chapters of "A Loop In Time".

The story which appears to be science fiction during the first two chapters starts to transform to family drama and then at the end it loops back to sci-fi.

With 200 odd pages the novel can be read it in one sitting. And I have to mention that If we did not count the time as the adversary then there is no antagonist in this story.


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Aug 14, 2016

Review: The Kill List

The Kill List The Kill List by Frederick Forsyth
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The author has given a long list of character before delving into the story. I has also reproduced the same below:

The Preacher, terrorist
The Tracker, man-hunter
Gray Fox, Director of TOSA
Roger Kendrick, alias Ariel computer genius
Ibrahim Samir, alias the Troll, computer genius
Javad, CIA mole in Pakistan ISI
Benny, Mossad Division Chief, Horn of Africa desk, Tel Aviv
Opal, Kismayo -based Mossad agent
Mustafa Dardari, owner of Masala Pickles
Adrian Herbert, SIS
Laurence Firth, MI5
Harry Anderson, Swedish marine tycoon
Captain Stig Eklund of the Malmo
Cadet Ove Carlsson of the Malmo
Al-Afrit, Somali clan chief and pirate lord
Gareth Evans, negotiator
Emily Bulstrode, tea lady
Jamma, private secretary to the Preacher
David, Pete, Barry, Dai, Curly and Tim, the Pathfinders

A Jihadist preacher who inspires and impels ultra violent Jihadism to certain set of people through internet to take down high officials in US and Britain in cold blood. After assassinating 4 British and 7 US officials the US government fixes the Preacher as the number one target in the Kill List. Who was this man? Where did he come from? Where did he record his broadcasts? He was only tagged as 'The Preacher' and began to climb the lists of HVT. The tagline for the project is Identify, Locate, Destroy.

Col. Christopher Kit Carson was selected to be the Tracker to identify, locate and kill the Preacher. He gets the help from one teenager a computer genius having Asperger's syndrome, a boy working in the loft of his house in Centerville. He plants Trojan and tracks down the origin of the Preachers video broadcast. In many ways they try to grab the Preacher. Part of it is a preacher look alike is created his speech is ad-libbed and relayed through his website.

"Identify"
Tracker goes through the preacher files and a tip from veteran terrorist he comes to know the real name of the preacher and a person Dardari behind him.

"Locate"
Kismayo based Mossad agent Opal infiltrates the preacher's den gets his trust and travels along with him.

Along this story line the author interweaves a Somali pirate story, a cargo ship Malmo was taken over by Al-Aftrit, Somali clan chief and pirate Lord and negotiation goes on. Apart from the cargo the ship holds one cadet name Ove Carson who is critically ill and was taken to the Garacad clan to be beheaded by the Preacher.

"Destroy"
The work of capturing the preacher was entrusted with the Pathfinders and the Tracker goes with them to kill. How did Pathfinder entered the Village? Did the Tracker able to kill the preacher? did Ove Carson made it out alive? what happened to Mustafa Dardari? what happened to Opal? all these questions are answered in the last couple of pages in the novel "The Kill List".

I take this opportunity to thank Geri as she recommended this novel for my TBR list. I enjoyed the story very much, at 353 pages it can be read in one sitting.


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Aug 8, 2016

Review: Slave Species of God: The Story of Humankind from the Cradle of Humankind

Slave Species of God: The Story of Humankind from the Cradle of Humankind Slave Species of God: The Story of Humankind from the Cradle of Humankind by Michael Tellinger
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

"The god is the devil and the devil is our maker" this is the highlight of "Salve species of God". I have read couple of books written by Zecharia Sitchin and this book authored by Michael Tellinger closely follows his works. The author mentions the difference between God and god. The god with small 'g' are Anunnaki astronauts and explorers who settled on Earth some 443,000 years ago under the command of Anu, the supreme ruler of Planet Nibiru. An intelligent race like Anunnaki why should they have to settle in Earth is very much explained in the book.

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Image courtesy crystalinks.com

The author questions us "Who are we? How did we get here? And, why are we here?" He gives citations from many books why we are created. His predominant examples are from the Sumerian cuneiform tablets. I was awestruck when I read the similarities between Enuma Elish or the Epic of Creation and the Genesis in the Old Testament.

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Zecharia Sitchin with 6000 year old Sumerian cylinder seal impression (image from wikipedia)

According to the Sumerian clay tablets the tenth planet of our solar system Nibiru (has odd orbit) which takes 3600 years for one rotation, the planet has its own source of heat (radiant) it is also called as planet of the crossing and it is represented in the clay tablets as cross. The planet loses its ozone kind of layer and the ruler of Nibiru, I forget his name! he was the ruler before Anu takes up the leadership. After losing the fight with Anu for leadership he escapes from the planet and reaches Earth through asteroid belt. Here he finds the precious metal Gold in abundance and sends the message to his home planet. Anu after counseling accepts and plans to send his first son Enki (Ea) to mine gold. He reaches Abzu (South Africa) and starts to mine gold, they name Earth as Ki and Mars as Lahmu. They create a space base in Mars which has less gravity than Earth. In due course that is thousands of years Enki's brother Enlil is sent to command Earth. He selects the cedar mountain region that is present day Lebanon as his home.

The mining was laborious process and the workers start to agitate and complain, Enki and his sister Ninmah experiments and creates Adamu the first human species combining the genes of Homo erectus and their own gene. Like Anunnaki the human species had long life span and intelligent like the maker. They then manipulate our gene with that our intelligence has been suppressed, knowledge has been erased, our lifespan has genetically shortened and our memory been removed.

Scientifically the author shows the evidence that chromosomal Adam and mitochondrial Eve were created between 180,000 to 250,000 years ago.

We were created as their slaves to extract gold for their planet to sustain life. As their mission nears completion, they come to know that Nibiru will be closer to Mars and Earth orbit which will create havoc for both planets. Enki is benevolent towards his creation which angers Enlil as he is the commander asks his promise to erase the human kind from earth. The event is the great flood Enki breaks his promise and helps his son born from his own creation Ziusudra (Noah) escape from the calamity. The Sumerian clay tablets elaborates how Ziusudra takes the life essence (that is the sperm, Ova etc) of each species with them to his ark. After the flood the Anunnaki realizes not only Earth and Mars affected but also their own planet Nibiru.

They search new place for gold now they find America suitable for their purpose. After the end of Ice age Enki helps human kind in teaching agriculture and they create their own civilization. Whereas Enlil who still commands Earth was against such schemes. According to the clay tablets Enki is the Serpent god and Enlil the Lord of Adamu and Ti-Amat (Eve) tasting the fruit in Edin is a representation of Enki teaching them the real meaning of their life. Enki was portrayed as devil and Enlil as god. Now we know why god became devil and why devil is our maker.

Their fight still continues, the author mentions that Our arrogance is our weakness and our ignorance a congenital disease that will eventually destroy us. Since we have the DNA of the Anunnaki with us and we were made in their image of our maker, it must surely mean that we inherited more than just his physical features. He also mentions the schemes of Enlil and Marduk that there is not a single religion on Earth that was created by God. But there are several which were imposed on us by the ancient gods.

It is big book, Chapters 1,2 and Chapters 15 and 16 are page turners. In between the author has given exhaustive list of various gods (remember god with small g) of Roman, Greek, Hindu etc. And also a list of people according to the religious belief. The book started to drag after 40% as I mentioned earlier the last two chapters having 200 odd pages are page turners. In my opinion the author should have reduced the pages and given only shortened account of numerous gods and census of the world.

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Jul 25, 2016

Review: The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The story is about Thomas Sawyer aka Tom Sawyer a mischievous boy and little trouble maker living with his Aunt Polly in St.Petersburg village. His adventures with his friends taking them and enacting as Robin Hood, pirates and robbers in shores of Mississippi are worth mentioning.

Like every children Huck and Tom believed (superstitious belief) that lighting will struck one who lies. Their childhood belief withers away when they watch Injun Joe lying to the people.

I liked the chapters of Tom and Becky getting lost in the cave and how the intelligence of Tom Sawyer helped him to find out the way. Another chapter is about Tom, Joe and Huck trying to run away from home and becoming pirates. The character of Tom show bravery often, he did not give up easily even if the chances are bleak the one I already mentioned is the escape from the cave with Becky.


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Jul 24, 2016

Review: எம்.ஜி.ஆர். எழுதிய உலகம் சுற்றும் வாலிபன்

எம்.ஜி.ஆர். எழுதிய உலகம் சுற்றும் வாலிபன் எம்.ஜி.ஆர். எழுதிய உலகம் சுற்றும் வாலிபன் by Mgr
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Vijaya Publications have released a paper back edition of MGR's experience in filming "Ulagam Sutrum Vaaliban" (World Trotting Youth) as MGR Ezhuthiya Ulagam Sutrum Vaaliban Uruvana Kathai. MGR wrote his overseas film shooting experience in Bommai Magazine from July 1971 to September 1972 titled "Thirai Kadalodi Thiraipadam Yeduthom"

I was searching for this article for several years because this is the only literary work completed by MGR. All other works such as his Biography "Naan Yen Piranthen?" (Why Was I Born) "Yen Kathali" (My Lover) etc. were unfinished due to several reasons to name one is, after the Political party formation in 1972.


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This book contains about 14 chapters it starts from getting permission from the Indian Government and how they procrastinated.

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MGR narrates about how many of his fans were waiting near the Airport and the same when the plane takes off that he saw only the crowd beneath. Apart from MGR fans the people who came to wish his success are N.T.Ramarao (who later became Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh like MGR) Director Krishnan Panju, Actors Srikanth and Gemini Ganesan, Director and Producer Banthalu and also the then Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu Karunanidhi.

In the second chapter MGR mentions about the outline of the story, real life characters of his three Heroines Chandrakala, Manjula and Latha. And also he tells us how much responsibility he has in taking care the whole crew.

in this book we will come to know about some hilarious moments of actors Nagesh and Asokan in the airplane. Like how many airplanes they changed to reach Osaka for Expo 70.

The first shot in Expo 70 was taken on 8.9.1970 and the next day is the shooting of the famous duet song "Ulagam Azhagu kalaikalil surangam" further MGR explains how each shot was taken and how many hours the crew spent in taking that particular first stanza of the song. (I like the readers to watch that song in YouTube)

MGR also mentions the part played by Director P.Neelakandan in filming Ulagam Sutrum Vaaliban and MGR highlights from shooting a scene from a Tower in Expo 70, the one take of MGR & Chandrakala (Tower), Nagesh, Asokan (a mile away walking with the crowds) and he describes the situation how other actors co operated.

The book ends with Hong Kong shots and how a Indian helped MGR in making the song and scenes in his own house.

The book has several unseen images, deleted scenes from Ulagam Sutrum Vaaliban and behind the scenes.

A special mention is about the writing skills of MGR, I have read some of his literary works, in every work his writing skill is like conversing with us and not just a write up. This book is no different. When we read a chapter, in some places a question will pop out, that question will be answered in the next sentence and while MGR explains, some times we ask ourselves "how" and that "how" will be answered in the next line. It will appear to us that we are not reading a book, it is like MGR conversing with us face to face.

All MGR fans should buy this book. The cost o the book is Rs.125/- sold in Major book stalls.

This article is from my blog srimgr.com and you will find many more images from the book. The link is given below.

http://mgrroop.blogspot.in/2009/07/mg...



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Jul 21, 2016

Review: The Golden Room

The Golden Room The Golden Room by Irving Wallace
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

First of all I selected this novel which I found in the library rack due to the title "The Golden Room" I have read Steve Berry's Amber Room, and I thought it should be about some historical story related to a Golden Room. But it is not.

The story has five important characters:
1. Mayor Carter Harrison
2. Harold T.Armbuster the meat packer
3. Minna and Aida Lester (Everleigh) the madams of Bordello (Owners of Everleigh club)
4. Dr.Herman H.Holmes (serial killer)
5. Karen Grant (Mayor Harrison Secretary)

The Everleigh club is a famous club in Chicago reputed all over Europe and US. The owners were two widowed sisters Minna and Aida Lester. Mayor Carter Harrison fights for the second term election, he stands on reform platform, his determination is to clean up Chicago and close down the Levee, gambling houses and bagnios and most importantly to shut down the famous Everleigh club. While Armbuster a meat packer is desirous to become the Ambassador of Germany and extend his business empire. He meets Mayor Harrison and contribute a sum of $15,000 for the election campaign through Mayor's alderman John Coughlin and Michael Kenna with assurance that he should be made Ambassador of Germany and host a banquet for Prince of Prussia on his visit to Chicago. Same time Minna Everleigh also contributes $10,000 to defeat Harrison in the election.

The result Mayor Harrison wins with less margin and regains his post second time. Since he was elected through reform platform he immediately takes action and he sends his best guy as Beer company owner and spend an evening in the club. Meanwhile the sisters aware of the situation changes their entertainment. Without knowing the background they hire Dr.Herman H.Holmes as their Doctor to check the 30 club girls.

Harrisons guy shows the fake visiting card and spend the evening with one of the club girl Fanny. Dr.Holmes over hears the conversation between Fanny and the customer, she expresses her desire to leave the club. Dr.Holmes persuades them that Fanny is having a disease and the customer also to be treated immediately. Dr.Holmes takes them to his mansion specifically designed for the purpose of killing. He dismembers Fanny and takes the body of the customer and lays him in the park.

Mayor gets the news that is guy is dead his secretary Karen Grant takes up the job of infiltrate the club and work as a prostitute and get the proof so that the club is shut down once and for all.

She gets the job but she did not get the chance as Minna's nieces Bruce and Cathleen visits their aunt for marriage with Armbuster's son.

One by one girls were murdered by Dr.Holmes, Minna and Aida are in dilemma as they want to show there are socialites to Bruce, Cathleen and Armbuster so the marriage takes place.

What happened to the Everleigh club did Mayor Harrison able to shut down the club, did the serial killer was captured? what happens to Karen Grant? Did the marriage took place between Cathleen and Armbuster? Did Harold T. Armbuster became the Ambassador of Germany? all are answered in the remaining chapters.

It is not an easy task to run a club by two widowed women. And Minna and Aida are portrayed as an intelligent women and they use a detective service to find the missing girls. The Detective Superintendent William Pinkerton informs that Dr.Holmes has to be investigated further. In that context before the climax she consents to send Cathleen and Karen to stay with Dr.Holmes mansion looks dumb. There are some plot holes. But also has some interesting sub plots, I like to mention the winning of American derby by Bruce Lester.


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Jul 19, 2016

Review: Phantom-The Star Of Dangalla

Phantom-The Star Of Dangalla Phantom-The Star Of Dangalla by Lee Falk
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A huge gem "Star of Dangalla" was found by an old farmer, a witch doctor and two cronies steal the diamond, when they are about to sell it to Prince Ajiz, our hero The Ghost who walks enters and informs about the stolen gem. The real owner sells the diamond to the prince. Later the prince gets ill and was saved by Dr.Axel. The prince ask how he can repay and the Doctor tells him that the Jungle Hospital needs a children's wing and a home. The prince donates the diamond to Dr.Axel's Jungle Hospital.

To construct the children's wing in the hospital the Doctor plans to sell the diamond in Paris. He hands over the diamond to his son Ben and requests him to be careful. The conversation is over heard by one nurse, her boyfriend Nuri compels her to tell the name of the courier. The trio Nuri, Joe and Zack steals the diamond from Ben and hurts him seriously.

The message reaches the deep woods, Phantom reaches the hospital and finds out that the nurse is hiding something. She reveals her boyfriend name to Phantom.

Meanwhile the diamond thieves who are using the Jungle Hospital Jeep for escape takes hold of pickup truck, Phantom was following the jeep track and founds the owner of the pickup truck. He takes him to County hospital and Phantom on reaching the jungle's edge changes to Mr.Walker. He guesses the thieves should go to underworld dealer to sell the diamond. Phantom goes to The Blue Dragon but the thugs in there mistakes him as a cop incognito. They were thrashed in a minute, Phantom extracts the name of the underworld diamond dealer Fozza the Fence.

Fozza is using the grocery store for the shady business. Before the thieves comes for sale Fozza encounters Phantom. A brief fight ensues and he fells unconscious, then Phantom disguises as Fozza.

On reaching the grocery store the trio starts to argue with themselves, Zack does not believe in Jungle jives, they meets Fozza (Phantom) to sell the diamond. While dealing, the real Fozza wakes up and comes out. Nuri notes the skull mark on Fozza's jaw and instantly recognizes that the disguised man is none other than the Phantom. Like a lightning Phantom along with Devil takes the trios and retrieves the diamond. The Star of Dangalla was returned to the rightful owner Dr.Axel.

The one liners of Phantom, the jungle saying, the costume, the two pistols and the mask without pupils are obsession of my childhood. Since he is not a superhero I even believed that Phantom is living somewhere in Africa.


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Jul 18, 2016

Review: An Alien, a Time Machine, and a Loser

An Alien, a Time Machine, and a Loser An Alien, a Time Machine, and a Loser by Joey Rogers
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Hello, my name is Skylar Holden. I'm recording this video to explain why I'm probably bullet ridden, radioactive corpse when you watch this video. I was tasked with a mission to save the world from destruction. If I was unsuccessful, you may be able to finish what I started. If I was successful, you can sing songs about how great I was....

I just ate ten kilograms of plutonium - yes, plutonium and that's why my body is radioactive. And my phone the one you are playing this video on is probably radioactive, too..

I'm sure you have some questions. You might be asking why I would eat radioactive material in the first place. Am I crazy? It would be easy for you to think so, but you don't know the details yet. I performed this selfless act to save all of humanity....

You'd better have a seat because the answers are going to be crazy. Did I mention the extra-terrestrial and the time machine?


The above is the first few pages of the novel which made to read this story. Not only that, the word time travel is also a bait for me. The protagonist is Skylar Holden who works as an IT guy in GegoDyne. One day he was abducted by an extra terrestrial who resembles like a Roswell alien and Skylar names him as Alfred.

The alien was Class I Cataloger for the Intergalactic Corp and be has been in our planet for the last 50,000 years. His job is to document the development of humanity. He informs Skylar that he chosen him to save the world as his company GegoDyne will provide Plutonium to terrorist group and he should somehow stop the chain of events.

How a person like Skylar who is intelligent but hates work can save the world remains the novel. The story itself is about a serious issue, but the author had written the novel with dash of humour. Many hilarious dialogs are in the novel I like to quote some:

"You are an interesting individual. I must say, I have never seen anyone work so hard to avoid working" (Skylar who programs a bot which tricks the system that Skylar is working in the premises)

Skylar first meeting with Alfred the alien and when the alien tells him that he is here to document the development of humanity this is what Skylar says:

"Who cares how we developed? Are you all a bunch of alien voyeurs? I asked".

Alfred the alien says why he wants to save humans from destruction.

"How interesting do you think reading a few cave paintings is? They are no graphic novels".

Below two are by Skylar about his education and his dwelling place:

"Went to only school I could afford, Happy Hills Community college a place which was neither happy nor among any hills".

"I lived in a picturesque dump called The Blue Seashore Apartments - which was neither blue nor near the sea".



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Jul 15, 2016

Review: The Treasure Hunters

The Treasure Hunters The Treasure Hunters by Warren Dean
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The preamble is a utmost valued treasure which is hidden deep in the South American jungle, for hundred of years the explorers are searching for the elusive city of gold many people had doubt of its existence. The real name of that place is Tenochtitlan.

Patrick is a treasure hunter obsessed with a treasure ship Christina de la Fuego he came to know about the ship from a library. A book with a hand written notes of Martin Bormann, Adolf Hitler's private secretary which kindles his desires for the quest. For two years Patrick has searched the coasts of Colombia, Central America, the Cayman Islands, Cuba and Jamaica.

Luckily he comes to know in Caribbean beach a 16th century Demi-Culverin (cannon) perched on the sand dune washed to the shore by a tsunami. With his girl friend Molly, Patrick takes his ship Honey to the seas in search of Christian de la Fuego. After a painstaking search the submersible stumbles on a reef which holds a wrecked ship. He dives and finds out that the ship is the one he is after but the ship and the nearby U-857 boat are turned to stone. He finds the treasure and what is that treasure and how the ships turned to stone remains the rest of the story.

The author has great ability of story telling, it starts with a cannon which is linked to the ship, the protagonist searches the ship and finds another wreck nearby U-857 boat which houses the treasure, he finds the treasure now the story links to how U-857 sunk, then how Christiana ship sunk and then the twist of how the treasure came into this world.

1600s Armando, Delgado, present day Patrick, Molly and 1940s Gunther Keller, Becker are the main characters of the story which added the needed pace for the novel. I enjoyed reading and I am eager to read the second instalment.


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Jul 12, 2016

Review: Twisted Spaces: 1 / Destination Mars

Twisted Spaces: 1 / Destination Mars Twisted Spaces: 1 / Destination Mars by E.N. Abel
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The one line of the novel which grabbed my attention to choose to read is this "The first personal computer was not built in a multi-billion dollar research centre of a Fortune 500 company, but in a garage in California. The world's first fusion reactor will not run in a high-tech corporate laboratory, but in an American backyard. And the first interstellar vessel …".

Michael MacMillan one of the Special Ops and his team Twisted Spaces designs a Spaceship with light drive system within five years, their long term plan is to travel interstellar and make a colony in Mars. The fuel for a such spaceship needs Tritium which can be provided by only one in the whole world is CERN.

Mike sends a message along with small sized grav generator to Dr.Ralf Kaiser the head of CERN he was astonished by the exhibit. Subsequently Mike uses the Chinese satellite to video call Dr.Kaiser. Their talk which was encrypted was decoded by an intelligent girl Chan under the command of Lian Xao the Head of Chinese Intelligence.

A mutual agreement between the Twisted spaces and CERN blooms. On one side Americans try to take control of the Twisted space base, with sacrifice of Mike's girlfriend they escape to space. But the Chinese who knows about the future of this gravity based transportation send their best spy to steal the grav generator but the plan foils.

As they cannot steal the machine they plan to kill all the members of the Twisted spaces in space by firing ICBM's which was easily evaded by the crew. And they retaliate with their sophisticated weapon as a warning.

Did Mike's vision of travel to Mars happened? What did Chinese do after their failure? What happens when the world comes to know the making of grav generator based transportation? How did Mike and his team gets hold of this unique achievement? Who helped him, is it the aliens? all these are answered in the remaining chapters of the novel.

A little knowledge about the work of Burkhard Heims quantum field theory will enhances our reading, the author has tried to give it as simple as possible. The leadership qualities of Michael MacMillan was extra ordinary. His shrewdness comes to light when facing the adversaries are breathtaking. Some of his quotes in the novel are like uttered by a World Leader.

"Only way we all can survive death is ... Through our children".

"survival of the many always supersedes survival of the one".

I thorough enjoyed the novel, the author has cleverly paced the chapters when most of their action takes place in a sphere with only dialogs but added little bit of espionage and sentiments to overcome the drag. I received this kindle edition as free.

Waiting to read the second installment of this story.


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