Title: Inkredia: Luwan of Brida
Author: Sarang Mahajan
Publisher: Gloryburg Publishing LLP
In Fal Doram, also called as the great empire of Inkredia, a conspiracy begins to unfold. The first step is an easy one – kill a simple, villager named Luwan. When Luwan suddenly faces an enemy straight out of the folklore, he is left dumbfounded by the mystery why they are after him. As he makes a daring run to survive, journeying through the unknown world outside his village, new mysteries emerge, some closely concerning him. Riddled with questions and hunted by legendary assassins, and by the nonhumans made of the darkest element in the nature, Luwan makes a dangerous journey through the incredible empire of Inkredia.
If there is one series I am glad I picked up recently, it is this! Inkredia: Luwan of Brida is the first book in the Inkredia series and I hope to pick up the second book The Castle of Tashkrum, already! And it is not even out. I’m straight up going to state here that if you haven’t picked up this book- pleased do so.
Replete with themes of adventure, friendship, sibling love and the indomitable human spirit, Inkredia: Luwan of Brida is a fun and nail-bitingly exciting adventure story. Each page is a success and the pace keeps on increasing gradually until we reach the climax. The adventure element though is the most prominent one in this book and it does not disappoint. The magic system is also something that I like- the presence of supernatural and paranormal elements also make the narrative much more interesting. The mélange of magic as well as technology was a very aptly mixed structure in the book.
The plot is a really good one and the author has done the narrative excellently. The rising action leading to the climax and then subsequently the falling action until the resolution is a truly well planned out effort and it is clear once you read the book.
The characters of Luwan and Meg are really wonderful. They were both so brave and courageous as individuals, but most importantly, their love for each other – the sibling-bond – shone through and was portrayed very realistically. Their fighting, the making up, the support and love, it is all well-executed. The author obviously put quite some time on it.
Gloryburg Publishing is a house I did not know of before, but I applaud the great editing done on the book. I found no errors either in the editing or the grammar or even the printing. It is clear that a lot of time has been given to this book both from the publishers’ side as well as the author’s.
I rate this book a solid 4.5/5 stars. It was a simply a very amazing read. If you are looking for something magical with elements of fantasy and adventure, without further ado, simply pick up this book.
Title: Cold Truth
Author: Nikhil Pradhan
Publisher: Harper Black
A missing girl. A curious journalist. A terrifying conspiracy.
When 10-year-old Sakshi goes missing from East Delhi, almost no one, including the police seems too concerned. Not until a journalist begins to ask questions. Soon, what started as an innocuous investigation into corruption and systemic apathy begins to reek of a larger and terrifying conspiracy, as chilling secrets and long-dead skeletons tumble out.
Pieced together like a case-file, using police reports, interviews, leaked emails and WhatsApp conversations, COLD TRUTH takes you from the by-lanes of Delhi and the communist bunkers of Russia to the frozen grounds of Antarctica, following a trail that will leave you questioning what is real and what isn’t.
Cold Truth was the first of its kind for me. A modern epistolary novel, it provides the reader with suspense and drama, completely taking the Indian thriller genre by storm. HarperCollins have most probably published a very unique form of writing, more so in the Indian subcontinent.
As I skimmed through the pages when I first got the book out of its packaging, I registered the excellent method of taking the plot forward through email threads, Intel repots, WhatsApp messages etc. But once I started reading it, I fell more and more in love with this way of writing. It keeps the chapters short and makes the reader feel that he is making a lot of progress. I personally read it during a very bad reading phase, and happy to admit now, that this book has successfully been able to drive me out of it.
However, it is not a simple thriller novel. The narrative is fast-paced as we rush from Delhi to Russia to Antarctica. Encompassing the elements of governmental corruption, conspiracies, scientific experimentation, the deep web, the author has to be applauded for the immense research and drafting that probably went on behind this debut novel. It is bound to make the reader ponder about how many such things we do not know about the governments’ going-ons. It was intriguing and kept me at it until I finished it, ever since I first picked it up.
The synopsis really draws you in and as a person who loves to read mystery, Cold Truth came as an unexpected but a definitely very welcome experience. Needless to say, the plot was amazing. The writing style was also very innovative and compelling as well- the use of the epistolary is this manner added a lot of authenticity and this believability to the story. When one actually realizes that Cold Truth is in fact a debut novel, it is truly mind-blowing.
This was a book that I will definitely not be forgetting any time soon. Fans of the Illuminae series will really love this standalone novel. It is also a great help to deal with those mean reading slumps. I rate this a 5/5 stars and hope that it really finds its way to many more people.
A tale of utter desperation and fierce hope. And a fight for honour. Meet Sawera. A beautiful and sensual woman. Born in Pakistan, raised in the Middle East and abused wherever she goes. Struggling to find acceptance, which eludes her over and over again, she ends up being an outcast. Who belongs nowhere and to no one. Used and manipulated by the men she loved, from the depths of her soul she claims her self-respect, along with the faith to overcome her pitiful circumstances. Where does she find her strength? What is the breaking point? How does she get over the demons of her past? Follow the story of Sawera, a child born of midnight into the dawn of new hope. Uncover the secrets and conspiracies that make her the woman she is. Read her story, a story of survival.
“A gripping page turner that didn’t leave for a moment, a phenomenal story showing the brutal realities of life in the author’s signature light-weight style ” : Mahesh Bhatt
“An engaging, sensational story with deep thematic resonance” : Gulf Weekly
“Perturbing, piercing, yet able to warm the heart” : Rohini Bakshi (Author, Oxford Alumnus and Sanskrit Scholar, UK)
“An enthralling social satire that makes you introspect” : Sumit Agarwal (National bestselling author)
“A saga that haunts the reader until the last page. Unput downable”: Rohini Sunderam (Author & Founder member of Bahrain Writers’ Circle)
One thing that really influenced me and made me pick up this book was the collection of reviews by actual critics and well-renowned persons. The synopsis pulled me in more.
The plot of the story is well made, and the narrative of the first person, through the protagonist Sawera was very engaging. The author has done a really good job with it- she has been able to keep he reader interested till the very end. I was one such hooked-on reader, who could hardly keep the book down once I picked it up. The autobiographical way in which the majority is written, has a very convincing tone and at times one forgets that it is, although inspired by many such women, merely a fiction novel.
The characters incite a multitude of different feelings in the reader. There is firstly pity and sadness- seeing the condition and pity to which Sawera is subjected; there is anger at all the people who afflict such cruelty upon her, and lastly, there is shame- for one comes upon different versions of themselves, and it is not a pretty picture, that the characters reflect in the reader.
The themes of social justice, reality in those tmes, poverty, female subjugation, orphans, depression, rape etc., all are showcased in a very raw and real manner and you cannot help but cringe at some points – not because of the writing, no – but because of the real situations that the author puts into words. The entire story is raw and cruel and pulls at your heartstrings, and as a reader, I too couldn’t help but curse the bad-luck of Sawera. However, it made me realize that life is not always roses – there are so many such women who are suffering every day, every hour and every minute.
Although the book is not set in the exactly same time as today, so many of the events and situations are still relatable- because so many of these heart-wrenching things are regular occurrences even today. Nonetheless, Bahir was a beautiful book and I am determined to recommend it to each and every one of you.
I rate this story a 5/5 stars!