Book Review of “Pan (The Untold Stories of Neverland Book 1) ” by K R Thompson


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Blurb

Neverland has always been their sanctuary—until now.

Magic is dying in Neverland–and so are the pixies. Only one is brave enough to search the human world for someone to believe. Tink finds a desolate boy flying in the night, peering in windows, searching for the life he once knew. But can she convince him to abandon his quest and save Neverland?

Discover the untold story of the boy destined to become Peter Pan.

Genre: Short Story / Children’s / Fairy Tale

My Review

Growing up, we all have dearly loved Peter Pan through books, movies and cartoons. Peter Pan has been embedded in our minds as a small boy who never grows up. But who is this Peter Pan? How is it that he never grows up? What was his background before he became a Guardian of the Neverlands?

Kim Thompson has touched upon this topic with her new novel “Pan”. The story takes us through the incidents which created our beloved boy Peter Pan. Although there are no illustrations, the story is very simple and easy. There are many chapters, each with a short story with some continuation from the previous chapter, but still can be read as a short story in itself.

The target audience for the story is, of course, small kids. All the stories are really sweet with no particular moral as such but with immense innocence and childishness which are typically associated with young kids.

Apart from the story, the cover page of the book also is very appealing. The picture on the cover truly captures the emotions of a lost little boy who misses home. The cover conveys what can be expected inside and therefore deems perfect for the story. Full marks to the author for selecting this cover.

Star Rating: 5 Stars

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Book Review of “Gone Mother” by Karin C Vah


Blurb

Gone Mother is a crime written in the compelling spirit of Gillian Flynn’s novel “Gone Girl”, but in shorter novella form. Alice’s mother Lucille goes missing on a rainy, foggy night. At first, Alice is annoyed but not particularly concerned. Her depressed, eating-disordered mother often rushes off in a huff after fighting with her husband, Alice’s stepfather Richard. However, this time, Richard has called the police, something he has never done before. When Lucille is found strangled and dumped in the same river where, years before, the body of a young child, Nicky Peterson, was found, Alice goes in search of her mother’s killer. She now puts more credence in Lucille’s story that she had seen a neighbour, Mr Wilson, carrying the body of the little girl toward the river. Where indeed had Mother gone, before she died, and why? The answer is not what Alice expects…

Genre: Thriller / Mystery / Short Story / Crime
My Review

When you see the title, the first thing that comes to your mind is “Gone Girl”. You expect the book to be on similar lines. However, except for being a thriller, there is very little similarity of “Gone Mother”to “Gone Girl”. This is a short thriller story whose main characters are Alice and her mother Lucille.

Lucille was never a normal mother since the time Alice’s neighbor kid went missing. However, now Lucille is missing and Alice’s step dad is worried. At first, Alice thought her mother might just have gone in a fit of anger, like she is known for doing. But when she turns up dead, the stakes go up high.

The story is written nicely and captivates the readers to the mood completely. The language is easy but at the same time powerful so the short story is enough to give you the punch a full fledged thriller novel provides. The suspense comes slightly dramatic but totally unexpected. The way the mystery was crafted and finished was beautiful.

Star Rating : 5 Stars
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Book Review of “Operation Earth (Project Ark Book 2)” by L.T. Gibbons


Blurb:

Can a team of teenagers from another planet help change the world?

Six months after fifteen year old Mia McAdams lands on the secret planet Usonia, a shipment of Earth’s most brilliant individuals descends on the colony. Tasked with speeding up progress on the utopic planet, the determined and ambitious new arrivals aren’t afraid to ruffle a few Usonian feathers.

Meanwhile, Mia is preparing to say goodbye to her idyllic new life on Usonia, leaving her boyfriend and first love, Noah behind. Joined by her best friend Stella, her devilishly charming new teammate Kale, and a host of Usonians, Mia is set to fly to Earth on a mission to change the world. But will they succeed?

Operation Earth is the second book in the teen sci-fi trilogy, Project Ark.

Genre: Adventure / Sci Fi / YA
My Review:

After Project Ark, I had huge expectations from Operation Earth. Mia McAdams learnt a lot from Usonia and now was coming to Earth along with Stella, to implement those learning and to take back a few reformed Earthlings back to Usonia. However, the book had little to talk about their implementation and more about how Stella is not able to adjust to the Earth’s environment and how she was adjusting to meeting her ex-Earthling boyfriend.

It was slightly disappointing as I was looking forward to reading how children can go ahead and make changes in the world today. But it was more of YA romance kind of feel through the book. Hopefully, the next book will have some more interesting twists and turns in the story, like the first one.

Star Rating : 3.5 Stars
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Book Review of “Surface Tension” by Christa Maurice


Blurb:

Rachel doesn’t believe in Little Green Men, but she’s got a serious thing for Max. Wait, make that Rachel doesn’t believe in Little Green Men until her dog attacks one in the woods.

Max really likes Rachel, but what woman is going to want a guy totally obsessed with aliens? Then she turns up on his doorstep with an injured Extraterrestrial Biological Entity. Now they have to figure out how to help the alien without tipping off the FBI agent who has been surveilling Max.

Ranley is just hoping to survive overprotective dogs, stupid co-workers and well meaning superiors and get out of this situation with a couple of cool scars and a nice cushy lecturing job in Zenoexobiology.

 

Genre: Sci Fi / Fantasy / Extra Terristrial
My Review:

Surface Tension is a Science fiction based short story of a very interesting incident with an alien on earth. It is loosely based on ET with the exception that the alien here is well evolved. Although ideally I would have wanted the alien to play the main character in the story, I can very well settle with the current pivotal role played in the story.
The characters of Rachel and Max are very believable, although lack a certain depth to it. They come across as stereotypical and being too mechanical. The story covers all the bases by just touching upon all of them. It should have been a full length novel and not a short story. It feels more like a summary than a story with the current manner.
In spite of all this, the story is entertaining. No points can be given for character depth and overall feel of the story. But 1 point for fun, 1 point for the alien, 1 point for the climax. A total of 3 stars for the story.

 

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Restaurant Review of Koolar & Co., Matunga


Irani Restaurants are just amazing. Their food tastes like pieces of heaven. And Koolar fits the typical idea of Irani Food.

I had the privilege of going here for breakfast last week. The moment you see the restaurant, you get a homely feeling. That feeling just increases after you sit inside. When we went, there were not much people around so it was a super relaxed atmosphere. I almost felt like pulling up a book and reading and never leaving the place. But everything changed when we ordered food.

Image uploaded by Piyush on Zomato

The first thing we ordered was mutton keema and pav. The image above is taken from a review post on Zomato as we forgot to take an image of the food we received (we forgot our own name after eating. But that is the next story) Since the actual food looked exactly like this minus the tissue, I am going ahead with this image.

The keema was so yummy and the pav was so soft and tasty that there was nothing left to say. I really felt like I have died and gone to heaven. It was the best keema pav I have had in my entire lifetime.

Image by Vivek Nair on Zomato

Then my friend suggested that we order chai and bun maska. I am not a tea person so I was skeptical about ordering tea. But since it was a specialty here, I thought to go ahead and try it.

Image by Vivek Nair on Zomato
Image by Vivek Nair on Zomato

That was yet another mind boggling experience. For a non-tea drinker to actually like tea and bun maska combination is something of a hats-off feat. And they achieved that. I positively loved the experience. Although I am still a non-tea person, I will definitely have tea at an Irani cafe any chance I get all my life.

The service was excellent. The waiters were attentive enough to take orders properly but also not hovering around, so not annoying. I found the price to be reasonable for such awesome food. Everything ordered totaled up to INR 285 for two people, which was quite OK for me.

It was the best breakfast experience I ever had with Koolar. It is a definitely go-again place. Next time, I will take a book and settle there for some time, if they let me. The shrine they have of their dog who passed away is also very heart rendering to look at.

Book Review of “Tristan (A Kendall Family Novel, #1)” by Randi Everheart


Blurb:

Five years ago, Tristan Kendall left home and the woman he loved to prove himself on the sport bike racing circuit. With his career briefly on hold, he’s come to realize everything – and everyone – he ever wanted was right at home all along. Now he’s determined to win back her heart no matter the cost.

But Victoria Lane’s been through more than Tristan knows since he broke her heart. No longer the girl he once knew, she has a life to live, and a heart to give, but only to someone who’s planning to stick around. And she’s sure that isn’t him. Can he convince her that she’s the only victory lane he wants to be in?

My Review:

Watch out, Bella Andre, Randi Everheart is in the field now. Ever since I read Bella Andre, I had loved this kind of series where every book describes the love story of every sibling in a large family of 5 or more siblings. In the books that follow, some part of the previous love story is also shared which makes the reader feel so much in the family. Tristan so much fulfills the expectations and over shoots it too. I totally loved the first book of the series and absolutely waiting for the next ones (5 more siblings) to come.

Tristan is the youngest in the Kendall family and the most notorious too. Everyone else in the family followed their family business but Tristan wanted to race and had his fondness for high power bikes.Then there is Victoria, Tristan’s soul mate who got away. The chemistry they have is really interesting. Although at times, the concept of true love seems to be taken a bit too far, over all, you can ignore and enjoy the whole story.

Tristan really caught me fully. I am looking forward to Connor being out 🙂

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Book Review of “Cause of Death (Det. Annie Avants #1)” by Renee Benzaim


Blurb:

A Serial Killer. A black widow spider. A race to catch the perp before someone else dies.

Amazon Best-Selling author, Renee Benzaim, writes about the ultimate female detective fighting against time to catch a serial killer in Bakersfield, CA before a new victim is found.

Meet Robbery/Homicide Detective Annie Avants and her partner, Detective Tom Weston, of the Kern County Sheriff’s Office in California. In the dusty farm community of Bakersfield, someone is abducting and killing young Hispanic females. The killers weapon of choice – black widow spiders. Can these two dedicated Detectives catch the killer with the help of their peers and friends, Deputy District Attorney Jesse Greyeyes and Technical Investigations Chief Laine DelMonte?

CAUSE OF DEATH is a spine-chilling thriller that keeps you guessing right up to the last minute – and makes you wonder about the “normal” people in YOUR daily life.

My Review:

Cause of Death is the first in the series of Annie Avants Mysteries. A serial killler is on the loose who kills Hispanic women with black widow bites – a very painful way to die. Detective Annie Avants along with her partner Detective Tom Weston team up with Deputy District Attorney Jesse Greyeyes and Technical Investigations Chief Laine DelMonte to figure out who the killer is before another woman gets killed.

The mystery is really interesting and almost fast paced. The psychological aspect of the serial killer is shown only at the end. Till then, the reader is left wondering who is the killer and what is his motivation. There are some dead ends on the way but the route diverts soon and the race goes on. Annie Avants is a nice female detective with the right elements of feminine traits with a nice strong blend of courage and bravery.

Annie Avants is here to stay and so is Renee Benzaim.

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Interview with Zaara Khader on India Post Live


Zaara Khader gave an interview on India Post Live for her new book “The Forbidden One”

Along with critics view of the book, the book review shown was from Views She Writes

Find the review of The Forbidden One by clicking on the link

 

Book Review of ” Snuffy and Vroom-Vroom: (Preschool Books for Kids age 3-5 and older)” by Elizabeth Lavine, Sheila McGraw (Illustrator)


Blurb:

An adorable little vacuum cleaner’s life is turned upside down when his beloved brother is purchased–and he’s left behind at the store.
Just when his heartbreak seems too much to bear, a magical friend arrives. She breaks the spell of sadness and sets in motion a chain

of events that cause a surprising serendipity!

This book is beautifully illustrated with 16 full-color illustrations by award-winning artist Sheila McGraw, illustrator of the children’s

classic Love You Forever. Suitable for boys and girls, age 3-7, bedtime stories, reading aloud and beginner readers.

A book your child will love with a great story, characters and masterful illustrations!

My Review:

Snuffy and Vroom Vroom are two vacuum cleaners and brothers. They had been together for more than a year. So when Vroom Vroom gets sold off one day, Snuffy cannot bear the parting. Although he also gets sold off to a wonderful family, he cannot forget his brother and cries everyday. His plight is resolved when one day, a fairy comes and tells him how he can be re-united with his brother.

The story is about doing good for others and thereby helping yourself. Being selfless helped Snuffy and therefore, will help you too. The book is best read with the audio book being played in the background. The sound effect and the voice modulation of the narrators are really endearing and cute. It can also serve as an idea for you to enact out to your children or encourage them to enact the story. The simple language and colourful drawings will make the read a very interesting one.

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Book Review of ” Granny Smith Investigates” by G.M. Dobbs


Blurb:

A brutal murder in a small Welsh village and the police are stuck without a clue. With no motive and no real suspect the investigation soon grinds to a halt. Enter Mary Alice Smith, otherwise known as Granny Smith, the rock music loving, pipe smoking, chaos causing amateur sleuth with a difference.

Granny has a talent for mayhem and soon those talents are put to good use as our intrepid pensioner starts the unravel the case, which finds her provoking Chief Inspector Miskin as she comes up against a full scale police investigation, proving that you’re never too old to make a nuisance of yourself and that sixty three is actually the new twenty three.

Murder’s never been so much fun.

My Review:

It had been a while since I have read the likes of the character Miss Marple from Agatha Christie works. Now Granny Smith has fulfilled that void in my reading life. Granny Smith is not exactly old to be a Granny by heart but irrespective of that, everyone has been calling her Granny. She is a young at heart woman who has a trait to be curious about everything that is happening around her. So when her friend Sheila gets engaged to Nigel, who is younger than her, Granny Smith gets suspicious. The following murder in the town makes Granny even more curious and on she follows the clues of the murder, much to the chagrin of Detective Inspector Miskins.

The story then follows Granny Alice Mary Smith into various stages of the mystery in a humorous but intense way. The book is beautifully written and is a pleasure to read. The Miss Marple references are not only in our mind but the author has given in the book too, calling Granny Smith as “Miss Marple on steroids”

It is a cozy and wonderful murder mystery, the likes of which, I have not read for a long time. Agatha Christie story lovers must catch this book. It brings back many memories of age old murder mystery classics.

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