I read this book primarily because I've seen Dushka's writing on the Internet for a year or two, and liked it enough to be curious about what's in herI read this book primarily because I've seen Dushka's writing on the Internet for a year or two, and liked it enough to be curious about what's in her book.
It's a ~150 page collection of short essays, mostly focusing on what I might, for lack of a better term, call self-development. Dushka talks about relationships. About depression. About happiness. About finding meaning in your life. About handling loss. About yoga and about coffee, to name a few things.
Most of the essays are short, generally less than 4 pages, and some are less than a half-page.
What I like most about this collection is that Dushkas general attitude towards life and the events in it is both kind and warmhearted; and her writing is good with many amusing and insightful observations. This is a book that should be read slowly, and with a big cup of tea or something. You need to pause and think about what you've read in order to digest it properly; and when you do, you find a lot that has value.
When I still give this collection "only" 3 stars it's because the book still to some degree feels as if it's not-quite-finished. In particular, the book repeats itself sentence for sentence in a few places. That's understandable given the source of many of these essays, but I think the book would still benefit from editing these things out; where two or three essays repeat the very same sentences, I think that's mostly a sign that those 2-3 essays should be edited together into one.
This would also help reduce another of the drawbacks of the book: the essays are short, so even though it's a thin book, there's still *many* of them; (more than 50) it doesn't seem that they're sorted in any particular sequence either, so at the moment the book feels a bit like jumping randomly from one short essay to another with high frequency....more
Most of this is pretty neat, and some parts of it are awesome indeed.
The last story, which is also the longest one, is bizarre though, it has seeminglMost of this is pretty neat, and some parts of it are awesome indeed.
The last story, which is also the longest one, is bizarre though, it has seemingly no connection to the theme of the rest of the book, and consists of a graphic story of a sexual relationship between a demon and a witch. Yes really.
Ignore that part unless you feel motivated for a bit of demon-porn. ...more
This book would benefit from another comb-through by a good editor. There are quite a few mistakes, both grammLet's get the bad out of the way first.
This book would benefit from another comb-through by a good editor. There are quite a few mistakes, both grammatical and factual in the book. (It's not "still evening" in Amazonas when it's 10pm in India) There is also such an abundance of near-magical capabilities among the aliens that at times the story balances precariously close to becoming campy; personally I think taking out a few of the things that make scant difference to the overall story would be a plus. (view spoiler)[(do they really need superhuman vision and the capacity to talk to plants?) (hide spoiler)]
The protagonist also needs, I think, a little bit more to DO. She is special because of who she is; but troughout the book, too often she ends up actually -doing- very little; instead the plot is driven forward by the actions of the men surrounding her. (getting the motorbike and heading out to demand answers from the boyfriend is a welcome exception from this, in that particular chapter she ACTS, and it's refreshing and interesting, I think she should act more.)
The word-choice is also quirky and nonconventional and to my eyes distincly Indian. YMMV about this, but for *me* personally that was a plus. I've got several good friends in India, and it felt welcoming and authentic to me that the language used fits with the location where these events take place.
This brings me over to the biggest plus. Science Fiction is depressingly often lacking in diversity. For a genre that revels in exploring the fantastic, it's kinda depressing that it sometimes seems as if it's all written by white men, with the perspectives of white men.
You notice this especially in the descriptions of family-relations, friendship and love. No white guy would describe either of those things the way this book does, too often, science fiction fails to even accurately portray the amazing variety of human cultures, (view spoiler)[nevermind alien ones (hide spoiler)].
It might seem that I give this very high stars, despite several points of critique. That is true. This is a book with many flaws. When I give it 5 stars anyway, it is because I started reading it yesterday evening, and finished it right now; I had fun the entire time, and I looked forward to seeing what would happen next.
I find myself looking forward to the next book from Sayali, regardless of it's a continuation of this story, or a entirely new one. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more