The second instalment in the "Cormoran Strike" novels is better than the first, IMO. The first was too self-indulgent, sp busy setting up the permanenThe second instalment in the "Cormoran Strike" novels is better than the first, IMO. The first was too self-indulgent, sp busy setting up the permanent characters for a series of novels that the story was relegated to being a second-class citizen. In "The Silkworm", the plot is king. Yes, JK Rowling being JK Rowling, the treatment of the dark subject of this book isn't dark enough. But writing as Robert Galbraith, she does manage to keep the suspense until the last few pages of the book. It's like a Hardy Boys mystery for adults - good enough to digest between heavier subjects....more
I liked the book - kinda liked it. It ticks most of the boxes for me. When I started this book, I thought, based on the premise, the narrative would hI liked the book - kinda liked it. It ticks most of the boxes for me. When I started this book, I thought, based on the premise, the narrative would have Sita as the main protagonist. But as it turned out and as the author likes to point out frequently, there can be no Sita without Ram. And so, a large portion of the book is devoted to Ram and the various justifications, rationalizations... (call it what you may) for the way Ram acted. Make no mistake, this book is not an apology for the high-handed, often seemingly misogynistic actions of Ram. It isn't about one particular theme. The duality innate within Hinduism is on show - for tapasya, there is a yagna, for Brahma, there is a Shiva, for the royal queen, there is a hermit wife, and so on. Well anyway, amongst the characters, Sita does come out on top in this book, in terms of maturity, self-belief, courage of her convictions, etc. And for that, the book gets a thumbs-up from my side. While reading the book, I was transported back in time to my childhood when I was told stories of various incidents from Ramayana... no doubt for being parables and useful to illustrate principles and teach instructive lessons. Another thing that stood out were the wonderful line drawings (the book being an illustrated retelling after all), that brought the book alive with their minimalistic beauty. I definitely recommend this book and must commend Dr. Pattanaik for his tremendous research, given that Ramayana is perhaps the most widely written/retold of Indian epics. And I cannot wait to start Jaya soon....more
Grand, sweeping tale on an epic scale. Plot points are too convenient at times. But it's still an engaging read, especially if you like historical ficGrand, sweeping tale on an epic scale. Plot points are too convenient at times. But it's still an engaging read, especially if you like historical fiction. ...more
Finally completed "The Immortals of Meluha" after starting it more than a year ago and never having got around to finishing it. The book is first in tFinally completed "The Immortals of Meluha" after starting it more than a year ago and never having got around to finishing it. The book is first in the Shiva Trilogy by Amish Trivedi. The idea/premise of the story, as most of us may already know, is the question... What if the god we call Shiva was in fact an ordinary human, a rough tribesman, who motivated by an age-old prophecy, his sense of duty and his love for a princess, led a righteous war against evil, in the process turning into a legend... and a god.
The narration is crisp, pacy and more contemporary than mythological. The author maintains a fairly good grip on his story, occasionally letting it wander into the realm of incredulity. People, places and concepts steeped in ancient Indian mythology have been humanized (or kinda dumbed down, if you prefer this term) and in some cases, convoluted and revisionist logic is applied to explain myths. I did not mind granting the author the literary license to tweak things as long as he kept the story interesting and readable.
I'd give the book somewhere between 3 and 4 (ummm... 3.5 to 3.75 to be precise) on a scale of 5. And I am looking forward to reading the next book in the trilogy, especially since this one ended tantalizingly with a twist....more