My Review of Radical Politics of Indian Love by Rachita Ramaya Singh

Blurb:

‘Radical Politics of Indian Love’ is a collection of short stories of fiction in an Indian political landscape.
India is a land of unity in diversity, organized chaos, but most importantly, India is a land of love. These bitter-sweet stories on how love co-exists in a backdrop of cultural differences, age-old traditions, honor-killings, and political dynamics can be inspirational and relevant. ‘Treesome’, ‘Modern Indian Widow’, ‘The writer, the lover and the doctor’ are stories of love that thrive in an era of conflict. ‘No Man’s Refuge’ is a science-fiction story that touches on the future of the South Asian war zones.
‘The Bollywood Hero’ and ‘The Royal Bengal Tigress’ are stories of romance and friendship that need to be told.

My Review:

Radical Politics of Indian Love is defiantly bittersweet. The prose is great, the writing is great, and the Bollywood story is my favorite. It represents everything bad that is common in the industry and why I wish sometimes we would change this industry for good. If Bollywood wants to become global, it has to change a lot of things first in terms of improving pay for screenwriters.

This isn’t my genre usually, and I assume the author has done a good amount of research. From an NRI perspective, life in India is to be put like this: complicated and messy. But still people live such difficult lives in India.

In Treesome, I didn’t get the impression that the main character was a tree until I realised it at the end. It was very bitter-sweet. In Royal Bengal Tigress, I liked her bodyguard more.

At some points, I think the point of view could have been more simplified with two instead of three in the Writer and Doctor and the Lover, but I thought this was a nitpick of mine. I didn’t like Veer but neither the Doctor. I mean dude, Veer is a friend of Amby, turning to get Amby when he’s in the hospital is a bit weird. That was my reaction with the doctor.

The saddest story was Shiv, the army officer and his depressed wife. Indian army soliders face the most extreme and difficult circumstances out of all the armed forces in the world. They are in regions where you would never want to be. No food, no electricity, no water, no wifi. None of the modern comforts. Yet these are the most bravest men because while I love playing war games, they are just men and women at the end of the day. They feel for their families. I found how hard it was for Shiv to deal with his wife, especially since you’re dealing with something that is bigger. It made me think that had Shiv and his wife sat down and spoke, a lot of things could have been resolved.

This world may be morally grey, but the stories in this book isn’t. It’s a constant reminder of how we can improve our lives and learn from the mistakes of others. I bet there are plenty of real life stories like this. This could easily be a web series. Solid rating 5/5.

Free on KU UK!

Review of Time Shards by Dana Fredsti and David Fitzgerald

Image result for Time Shards (Time Shards #1)

Blurb:

It’s called “the Event.” An unimaginable cataclysm in the 23rd century shatters 600 million years of the Earth’s timeline into jumbled fragments. Our world is gone: instantly replaced by a new one made of shattered remnants of the past, present and future, all existing alongside one another in a nightmare patchwork of different time “shards”—some hundreds of miles long and others no more than a few feet across.

San Diego native Amber Richardson is stranded on a tiny fragment of 21st century Britain surrounded by a Pleistocene wilderness. She crosses paths with Cam, a young warrior of a tribe from Roman Brittania, and together they struggle to survive—only to be imprisoned by Cromwellian soldiers. One of their captives is a man who Amber calls “Merlin, and who claims to be the 23rd century scientist responsible for the Event. Together they must escape and locate Merlin’s ship before the damage to the timeline is irreparable.

My Review: (Warning Contains spoilers)

This is time travelling, time displacement, and dinosaurs all in one heck of a book that made want to read on.

This is, if not, THE BEST book EVER. I mean that in every possible sense. I WANTED MORE! MORE! Heck, LET THE TIMELINE BE DAMNED! Ha, but seriously this is the amount of excitement I had when reading this book. It went so fast that the writing, the dialogue, the prose was fantastic.

If you’re wondering why a group of Cromwell’s soliders are charging a Celt, an Englishman, an American lady, with witchcraft, you’re in for a treat. The dinosaurs. BBC! This is the NEW Doctor Who. If you want a time travelling show just look at this GEM! Honestly, you SHOULD read this FIRST before reading Shatter war. It has such a wild imagination, and Cem! Literally the wildest, badass, and most respectable man on the planet. I LOVE his views, his intepretation of the world, and in a way I think we need to return to that. Poor Amber, she was on a date and well….I won’t say anything more than that. Amber and Cem make a very good couple.

At Titan Books, for the 3rd book, you must say and literally say: Time travelling with dinosaurs in a fractured timeline. I’ve enjoyed this so much I think it’s the British version of Baen’s 1636 series, in where a 21st century American State is time-dropped into 1636. This is wilder, this has beasts, this has dinosaurs, damn it! Honestly this is a rather under-rated gem. All the characters are great, everything about this novel is great. If it was 448 pages, it felt like 250. That’s how good it was.

It is a rather short review, but what more can I say that this is amazing. Read this book first, then Shatter war! Cannot wait for the third now.

Solid 5/5. BUY IT NOW!

UK LINK

Review of the Song of the Ash Tree

Blurb:

Raef Skallagrim wants to take the sea road. His ship is fast and sleek, his crew skilled and eager, and they will seek out new lands and win fame in the eyes of the gods. But Raef’s father refuses to allow the journey and when a stranger brings word that the king is dead and a gathering has been called to choose a successor, Raef must set aside his dream for his duty to his ancestral lands and his father.

When factions split at the gathering to choose a successor, Raef finds himself mired in bloodshed and treachery. Forced to make an uneasy alliance with a man he does not trust, Raef must navigate the tides of a war among three kings while seeking revenge for cold-blooded murder.

But winter has come early to Midgard, and even the gods will feel the cold

My Review: (Warning Contains Spoliers)

Ragnarok is unraveling in front of Raef Skallagrim, and there is not much he can do about it. That is the impression I got from reading this series. Note that I have finished book 1 and will continue to finish book 2 & 3. This book, 900 pages of great writing prose, breathtaking description and snow! Lots of it. For 99p is a steal. Get it NOW! It is long, but if you want a Norse trilogy that has reminiscent themes of LOTR, you need to READ THIS.
If you like music when reading, then play the God of War Youtube unreleased soundtrack and Wardruna. Thoroughly gets you in the mood. If not feel free to skip this part.
This novel focuses on Raef’s journey, and for once I do feel much better about reading a character that is competent from the start when he loses everything dear to him. That said, I felt Raef was always a bit aloof, not using his head as he should have. But he’s a young man. When you’re an older man you have the benefit of maturity to make decisions. When you’re young, you’re either lazy or you’re really smart or you just don’t care and try to circumnavigate through this political game of thrones that Raef is thrust into. I think he qualifies for the third position.
By becoming too subservient sometimes towards the Hammerling, I felt like Vakre and Siva have his best interests at heart. Sometimes I was like, Raef, listen to them! Raef is a ladies man. Lucky….well that’s all I’ll say. But Raef I think has not known a true relationship with a woman. It remains to be seen how mature he will become. The Hammerling is one proper bastard that’s like Rollo from Vikings. Cunning and ruthless. The Palesworld is a manifestation of evil. Eira was a great character but I wanted to see more of her in the novel. I sometimes feel Vakre and Siv needed some more scenes, to at least tell Raef what he was doing was a bit of a strategic error.
And Ravens! How I loved the use of Ravens to show the use of Odin’s watchful eye. Odin is very comparable to Zeus in many areas. Odin is keeping watch over the world of mortals. The mythology in this is amazing. There was one moment where one of the characters was going to tell a story and then it didn’t happen (I assume for one of two reasons. First, probably to save up on the dreaded info dump that authors have to contend with in fantasy novels for that matter, or two, it could have dragged a bit) though for me I was a little underwhelmed at that. There are far more Christian stories/folk tales than there is Norse Mythology. Calling it Mythology could mean its just a bunch of tales, but some people worship the Norse Gods even today, and I would call it a small religion compared to its glorious days. Its a shame not many of the old religions of the Ancient World don’t exist because of history and time, and so many stories written then are lost to us. I would have wanted to see more narration of some tales, but that’s me.
There is so much sword-fighting I am astounded how well Taya kept her watch on it. There isn’t a moment you’ll want to skip. The sword fighting is top-notch. Alright. Top-Notch. That’s how good it is. So much snow I wonder if they’re living in the snow all the time, all the characters in this book.
Even though this is a fantasy world, I would have wanted Taya to do something different. Imagine if we had Medieval Knights. You might think Medieval knights and fantasy Vikings? Sure that works, or maybe not. But hear me out. By the time of the Christianization of Europe, Christian monks went out of their way to convert the Norse Peoples. Now imagine if they had failed. What would temples look like? What if the Norse people had established their own churches similar to the function of the Christian churches? What would medieval armor look like? I would have wanted to see a Medieval Viking knight with plate armor but with a new design etc. Much of the setting I got came from the 8th century of the Viking Period. I would have wanted to see more of this.
I’ve only finished book 1 and I cannot tell you how excited I am to go onto the others. This is a fantastic book, full of swordfights, snow, and lots of it. It’s great. 5/5.

UK USERS: FREE ON KU AND 0.99P!
UK Link for the first book in the series