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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