Hired Bride – Noelle Adams

I prefer reading books the traditional way; by flipping page after page of sumptuous words oozing emotions. Hired Bride, the first book in the Beaufort Brides series, came to me through Kindle, a medium that I’ve struggled to accept because of my snobby attitude and preference to paper books. My book challenge for this year is 52 books in 52 weeks. Thus, I was determined to read no matter the medium or genre.

hired-bride
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Book Challenge: Read A Trilogy

In my last post, I mentioned that I’m on the verge of completing another book challenge. I’ve done it. I’ve read the Shiva trilogy. And here’s my review.

The Shiva trilogy by Amish Tripathi, in a nutshell, is a quest to find evil and destroy it. It is the journey of a man from humanity to divinity.

Book 1: The Immortals of Meluha

The_Immortals_Of_Meluha

The journey begins. A Tibetan tribesman, Shiva, is brought to Meluha along with his tribe. Meluha is a land where the rules of God and duty to the country are followed to the T. Loyalty, patriotism and courtesy flow like rivers. After he consumes the Somras, a healing potion, Shiva becomes the famous Neelkanth or the one with the blue throat. Accepting his destiny as the one chosen to destroy evil, he embarks on a mission to fight for the Suryavanshi Meluhans who believe evil lurks in the form of the Chandravanshis and the Nagas.

Book 2: The Secret of the Nagas

The_Secret_of_the_Nagas

Shiva moves from the near-perfect Meluha to the more chaotic Ayodhya, the land of the Chandravanshis. He finds out that the Chandravanshis are not evil but just different from the Suryavanshis. So maybe the evil out there is just the Nagas.

The Nagas are people with deformities who are ostracized from Meluhan society. They are considered evil. But are they really? Shiva uncovers the shocking truth of the Nagas and discovers that evil is closer to home than he believed.

Book 3: The Oath of the Vayuputras     

The_Oath_of_the_VayuputrasAfter the discovery of evil, Shiva now decides to destroy evil and restore order. But it is easier said than done. He has to fight the very people who believed in him. He learns that evil has a significant control on people and has misled them.

The war against evil has begun. The war between humanity and ignorance. The war that may lead to Shiva losing his soul and those dear to him.

 
Review:

  • The Pros:
  1. The story is a nice take on the legend of Shiva. It’s perspective shows the human side of a man who becomes divine through his deeds.
  2. Most of the characters are strong and well-developed. Even minor characters have strong back stories.
  3. The writing is simple.

The Cons:

  1. Meanings of words are thrown in every sentence that makes use of the word. Example: Pitratulya means “like a father”. Whenever the word is used it is followed by its meaning in the same or following paragraph. The author could have saved a few pages without this constant meaning-explaining paragraphs.
  2. Unlike the first two books, The Oath of the Vayuputras is a misleading title. There is actually no “oath” or anything. The Vayuputras have hardly 50 pages in the book.
  3. Like a movie, the bad guys always make big mistakes. When the good guy makes one, there’s an easy, alternative solution. I wanted Shiva himself to fail at times. But he doesn’t. It would have been nice to know that even the good guys fail sometimes.
  4. My main complaint lies in the third book. 565 pages filled with a lot of meaningless conversation about the same entity, Evil. Rather than finish the story in a tight climax, the author drags the story to fill empty pages.

The Immortals of Meluha and the Secret of the Nagas succeed in their narration due to the unfolding of what evil really is. Once it is out in the open, the Oath of the Vayuputras fails to capture the essence of the books that made the reader want more of Shiva’s story.

I would definitely recommend this trilogy. But if you find your interest waning, I wouldn’t blame you. To each his own. Read it and judge for yourself.

Book Challenge: Read A Book In One Calendar Day

It’s been over three weeks since I set myself the book challenge. I had completed only one so far. Now I’ve completed a second one. I’ve read a book in a calendar day.

The_Secret_of_the_Nagas

The book is part II of a trilogy (so I may complete another challenge this week). It’s called “The Secret of the Nagas”, part of the Shiva Trilogy by Indian author Amish Tripathi. I finished the first book and immediately started the second one today morning. It was over at about 9:30 PM. I would not be reviewing the book yet. I’ll finish the final book and review all three together.

Sadly I have yet to complete Memoirs of a Geisha. Book readers please note, NEVER watch the movie till you’ve finished reading the book. Now that I know the ending it’s taking me longer to finish. But slowly I’m making my way through the challenge and juggling the unfinished book as well.

So wish me luck.

Book Challenge: Read A Book Chosen For 2013 World Book Night

In keeping with my previous post about the book challenge I’ve completed the first challenge. As I looked through the entries for the 2013 World Book Night, I found many interesting and new authors. One that caught my eye was “The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho. I was very happy for two reasons. One – it was a book that I already had with me. Two – I had heard so much about the book that I wanted to read it but never got around to. Finally, I did and here’s the review.

The Alchemist

The Alchemist talks about a boy who has always done what he’s wanted. Always pursued his dreams. Always traveled. And has almost always lived the way he’s wanted. A gypsy predicts a treasure that awaits him in Egypt and thus begins his journey to find it. On the way he encounters different people, a king, a shopkeeper, an Englishman, the love of his life and an alchemist. These people influence him in his decisions to meet his destiny. How he finally, with all their help, reaches his goal and the lessons he learns during the journey shape the story.

While reading this book I felt that I too could do whatever I wanted if I put my heart to it. I too can do something if I follow the omens. And maybe I will. The book is short and simple. It does not drag and narrates to the point. It talks about dreams and their fulfillment. It personifies the elements of nature (wind, sun etc) who are here to help us in our quest. It talks about the obstacles we have to ultimately face and overcome. It explains that the power to achieve your dreams is possible only if you never give up the pursuit.

All in all, my first challenge was thoroughly enjoyable and inspiring.