Shatrujeet Nath sent me a copy of his latest book, Warlord of Ayodhya: Rebellion, about 6 months ago and I promised him I’d read and review it as soon as possible. But then, the phase happened and I couldn’t get to it, given how badly the following months went. A few weeks ago, however, I pulled it out of my TBR cart, silently promising myself and the author that I would get to it soon. And then something else happened: the move. But there was progress this time, because while the move was happening, I was reading this book. I brought it with me, and what a wise decision it was!
Science fiction and everything it holds brings us so many possibilities. When books or movies in the past mentioned an invention that wasn’t present at the time but would be around in the future, it is called an accurate prediction. But is it mere coincidence? Or a mere Nostradamus-like prediction? Or is it that the inventors took inspiration from these mentions and brought it to fruition? I wouldn’t be surprised if it was that last option because art IS inspiring. Yashesh Rathod’s Steven Johnson and the Mission series is one such that made me wonder: will this all be available to us in the future?
“The universe doesn’t owe us anything. It is not obliged to explain itself to us.”
While we are busy trying to find out what secrets the universe holds, the universe is sitting back and watching us try and try, finding it cute that we have the audacity to demand things of it when we are destroying the only home we know. A great reminder to start off a review with, in my opinion, because that quote from Abhaidev’s Death of a Seeker and Other Stories is an answer to all of the existential questions that plague humanity.
When I read Jhumpa Lahiri’s memoir, In Other Words, in which she shares her journey of learning Italian, it was as if she was echoing my deepest, darkest fears. With the themes she tackles throughout the book, of immigration, of even sexism and colorism, she brings so many relatable concepts to the fore. Because when you start learning a new language, you not only discover how the different parts of the world are different. You also learn more about yourself, the grit and determination that constitute you, what your actual goals are, what you want to do with life, where you want to be at any given moment in time, and why you want to do whatever it is you want to do.
There’s a certain satisfaction that comes with reading the third book in a trilogy: it wraps up the journey that we’ve been on, sometimes satisfactorily, sometimes not so much. But either way, we tend to judge the trilogy based on this book because even though we say that ‘the journey is more important than the destination’, it isn’t true when it comes to book series. At least not all the time.
Yashesh Rathod’s Frank Carter trilogy is a historical fantasy series that follows Frank Carter on an adventure through time in Something Strange Over the Yellow Lotus, and across the seas in Macabre Expedition and At the Mountain of the Divine Tigress.
Macabre Expedition, the second book in the Frank Carter series, picks up 8 months after the end of events in the first book. Frank Carter and his family have now moved and have established a quiet life. But Randolph Smith is now in contact with Frank again, warning him of dire consequences for having played around with the timeline. They must now go on a macabre expedition to collect three pellets that will give them the power to overcome the ancient guardian of the timeline, Um-Tuk-Nuaar, who is chasing them for having messed with it.
When I was about 10 years old, I decided to try my hand at writing poetry. What did a poem need to be anyway? Alternate, consecutive, or all lines that rhymed? I could write anything about anything, then. At least that’s what I thought. But as I grew up, I discovered more and more about the power that poetry holds. It’s not just rhyming words. It brings out a person’s emotions in ways that we never thought it could. I grew, I understood, I learnt that in limited words and short verses, poetry can tell a person’s history, a person’s feelings, their pain, their hopes and dreams, their deepest, darkest secrets, as well as everything they live for.
Today is my blog tour stop for this hard-hitting, searing work of fiction that sadly reflects reality. Thank you, Algonquin Books for having me on this tour, and thank you, Thrity Umrigar, for writing it!
Honor is about two women, Smita and Meena, whose lives become so intricately intertwined that after a while, it becomes difficult to point out where one story starts and where the other ends.
There are many science fiction stories that talk about how humanity is at its end and how one man (yes, more often than not, it’s a man) has to save it by going on an interplanetary or intergalactic quest of sorts. I haven’t yet read a book in which the futuristic setting of a science fiction novel is treated as normal, as we would treat a story set in current times. That’s probably because I’m not usually that big on science fiction, although things are slowly changing in the best way possible. One of the reasons behind this shift is a short novella called Steven Johnson and the Mission 1 by Yashesh Rathod.
Religion can be a tricky path to navigate, because the more you discover, the more you tend to become confused as to which is the right one. But there is no right one. Just one that you feel most comfortable and at home in, which helps you grow and makes you a better person as much as it pulls devotion out of you. So what do we do when we are this confused? Should we flit from religion to religion? Or should we randomly choose a religion based on how many tenets of it we like? Or can we get the best of all worlds?
Ishwar Joshi Awalgaonkar answers these questions in his second book, ‘Nectar of all World Religions’.