Archive for March, 2018

No One Ever Asked

March 28, 2018

Book : No One Ever Asked

Author: Katie Ganshert

Publication date : April 3 2018

Rating: 5/5

Synopsis

Challenging perceptions of discrimination and prejudice, this emotionally resonant drama for readers of Lisa Wingate and Jodi Picoult explores three different women navigating challenges in a changing school district–and in their lives.

When an impoverished school district loses its accreditation and the affluent community of Crystal Ridge has no choice but to open their school doors, the lives of three very different women converge: Camille Gray–the wife of an executive, mother of three, long-standing PTA chairwoman and champion fundraiser–faced with a shocking discovery that threatens to tear her picture-perfect world apart at the seams. Jen Covington, the career nurse whose long, painful journey to motherhood finally resulted in adoption but she is struggling with a happily-ever-after so much harder than she anticipated. Twenty-two-year-old Anaya Jones–the first woman in her family to graduate college and a brand new teacher at Crystal Ridge’s top elementary school, unprepared for the powder-keg situation she’s stepped into. Tensions rise within and without, culminating in an unforeseen event that impacts them all. This story explores the implicit biases impacting American society, and asks the ultimate question: What does it mean to be human? Why are we so quick to put labels on each other and categorize people as “this” or “that”, when such complexity exists in each person?

Review

Thanks to Edelweiss and the publisher(WaterBrook) for the review copy.

I have recently started reading women’s fiction and I’m loving it. The blurb of the book reminded me of Little fires everywhere.The South Fork district loses its accreditation and parents have the option to transfer their children  to the school  Crystal Ridge, in which most students are white and rich. The story is narrated from the POV of three women, how the situation brings all of them together.

Camille Gray, the PTA mom, the mother of 3 children, happily married to Neil.Camille is against the transfer of students from South Fork and she believes the level of education may come down.Jen Corrington, a nurse who adopts a Liberian girl, Jubilee. Jen doesn’t know how to be a mom to the 7 year old black girl. You can feel struggle while she tries to be the perfect mom.Anaya Jones, an African American woman whose running career is cut short by an injury. Her dream is to teach the children of South Fork, but fate leads her to Crystal Ridge.

Can Jen be the mother Jubilee wants?

Will Anaya be able to be the teacher she wants to be?

Is the transfer good or bad for the students?

Read to find out

I love how the characters are portrayed. It is a story where you fall in love with the characters. A book which talks about the impact of small things. As I live in India, I cannot fully relate to the racial  discrimination , but the story makes us question the prejudices we have against people. It brings to light the fact that we associate white with good and black with bad. It urges us to look beyond the skin color of a person. I was teary eyed by the end of the book. Favourite character Anaya, I could feel her pain and helplessness throughout the book. The story will stay with you long after the book is finished

Favourite Quotes

“You can’t live your one life angry.Living angry means living caged,and i wont have that for my daughter.Not when so many people before you fought hard to set us free”

“Be the change  where you’re at ”

About the author

Katie (K.E.) Ganshert was born and raised in the exciting state of Iowa, where she currently resides with her family. She likes to write things and consume large quantities of coffee and chocolate while she writes all the things. She’s won some awards. For the writing, not the consuming. Although the latter would be fun. You can learn more about K.E. Ganshert and these things she writes at her website www.katieganshert.com.

Looking for Dei

March 26, 2018

Book : Looking for Dei

Author: David A Wilson

Rating: 3 / 5

Dei

Synopsis

Fifteen-year-old Nara Dall has never liked secrets. Yet it seems that her life has been filled with them, from the ugly scar on her back to the strange powers she possesses. Her mysterious father refuses to say anything about her origins, and soon, she and her best friend must attend the announcement ceremony, in which youths are tested for a magical gift.

A gifted youth has not been announced in the poor village of Dimmitt for decades. When Nara uncovers the reason, she uses her own powers to make things right. The decision sets her on a path of danger, discovery, and a search for the divine. In the process, she learns the truth about herself and uncovers the biggest secret of all: the power of broken people.

Review

Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the review copy.

The main protagonist of the book is Nara, a 15 year old girl. She lives in Dimmitt with her father Bylo. Nara and her best friend mykel are excited about the announcement ceremony which is about to be conducted the next day. The announcement ceremony is conducted every 3 years and helps in finding the gifted youth, the ones with magic, it has been many years since their village had announced one. Nara’s gifts had revealed to herself long ago, she has several, but Bylo had asked her to keep it a secret. When Nara realizes the reason that the announcement ceremony fails every time, she sets to put everything right using magic. The consequences of her actions causes  Nara, Mykel and Bylo to flee . In the meanwhile we meet Nikolas Vorick, the minister of war and justice. Vorick is searching for a gifted girl, he has sent a watcher Gwyn to find the girl.

Is Vorick searching for Nara?

Why does Nara have several talents?

Will Gwyn lead Vorick to Nara ?

Read to find out

The cover is beautiful .I have mixed emotions about this book. I loved the starting and the ending, but the  story in the middle, was kind of dragging.  The story is narrated from the POV of different characters. I loved reading the narrative when Nara was involved. I found  that Vorrick ‘s narrative was boring. I enjoyed the showdown at the end .  The world building was good , I would love to know more about the backstory of Anne. I found the concept of runes giving magical abilities interesting. The story has fantasy,magic and action and  my favorite character is Mykel.

Check out the giveaway in my previous post

About the Author

David A. Willson has worked as a restauranteur, peace officer, and now, author. Taught by his mother to read at a young age, he spent his childhood exploring magic, spaceships, and other dimensions. In his writing, he strives to bring those worlds to his readers.

Much of his material is inspired by the “Great Land” of Alaska, which he has called home for over 30 years. He lives there with his wife, five children, and 2 dogs. He is passionate about technology, faith, and fiction—not necessarily in that order.

Looking for Dei is Willson’s debut novel, set in a land where many more adventures will take place. Stay up to date with his ongoing efforts through the Looking for Dei Facebook page or visiting the website at davidawillson.com.

Aqson Level 1

March 24, 2018

Book : Aqson Level 1

Author: Sreejib

Rating: 3.75/5

Synopsis

“Slowly, she sauntered towards Toya, stopped a few feet away, looked into Toya’s eyes, and roared. It was an ear-splitting, feet-numbing, rib-shaking roar that promised death. This was the end of her, Toya knew.

This was how she would die. In this unknown museum at the hands of this Olympian lioness, and, she would never be found again.”

When it became impossible to choose between God and Satan, angels decided to play games. Games that would help them pick the guardian angel of this world. Every warrior angel got divided into two teams, Team God and Team Lucifer.

Strict rules were implemented, an unusual map was designed and a council was set up to administer these games. Satan has commenced one such game called Aqson and set the Indian Prime Minister’s position as the goal of this game.

Now, a completely unknown species will collide with humans to play a game where losing is not figurative. Angels will stoop to enter the grunge of Indian politics.
A grey eyed lioness will stop at nothing. And, a group of young boys and girls will be forced to rise above their identity to play and win Level 1 of Aqson.

Pick a side, because the game has begun. ”

Review

When I was first offered to review this book, I was intrigued by the name, is Aqson even a word. In the prologue you get to know the significance of the title. So Aqson is a game played by the Team God and Team Lucifer aka The Devil. The length of the game is 30 years, the team who makes their EKAM(weapon) the Prime minister of India wins the game. The game has a game map and rules. Each weapon will have an angel who guards it. The winning team gets all the weapons used in the game.

We get to meet Yuvrani  Rathore, the weapon of team Lucifer. She is the party president of the ruling party,NDP.   Vanraj, her guard is the angel that is guarding her. Then we come across few college students, Toya, AJ, Ollie and Goenka. They are best friends who share a flat. They unexpectedly get pulled into the world of student politics. The story in narrated alternatively by Yuvrani and Toya. Meanwhile the weapon of God is not visible in the game map, but the  guardia angel,Job has been activated.
Who is the weapon of  Team God?

Why can’t Team Lucifer see them?

Who will  win Aqson Level 1?

Read to find out

It was a fast paced book and I enjoyed it.  Toya’s narrative was humorous, but I found that the story was bit  dragging in the middle. The friendship between Toya, AJ, Ollie and Goenka was cute. The plot was great ,but i  wanted the characters to be more developed.  It was an unique idea executed well. It has a mix of politics, mythology and gaming. I liked how the author brings the current scenario in between the story , like the part where Toya and her friends go to meet the students and realize that poor students prefer food over opportunities. I loved the Prologue, and wanted more chapters with God and Lucifer. The twists in between were great, the time when we discover God’s weapon is one of the best.  It would have been great if we could actually see the game map. Looking forward to read the next book.

Note : This book review is a part of “The Readers Cosmos Book Review Program and Blog Tours, for details log onto  https://www.thereaderscosmos.com

Favourite Quotes

“When you start something for others,you lose your choice to stop without seeing it through”

“Good is being good to everyone irrespective of how the other person is.Bad is being bad to everyone irrespective of how the other person is.Being good to the good and bad to the bad is being calculative”

About the author

Sreejib is Koel Ganguli’s pseudonym.

Born and brought up in Kolkata, Koel completed her masters in Mass Communication and got into creative writing.
In spite of being a firm believer in the reality of fantasy, she finds the concept of gods too far fetched and chooses not to believe in it.
She likes to watch videos on carpentry, read fiction, eat rolls and Nutella and fears that religions will cause the ultimate apocalypse, soon.

BOOK BLITZ : Looking for Dei

March 23, 2018



Looking for Dei
David A. Willson
Publication date: March 23rd 2018
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

Fifteen-year-old Nara Dall has never liked secrets. Yet it seems that her life has been filled with them, from the ugly scar on her back to the strange powers she possesses. Her mysterious father refuses to say anything about her origins, and soon, she and her best friend must attend the announcement ceremony, in which youths are tested for a magical gift.

A gifted youth has not been announced in the poor village of Dimmitt for decades. When Nara uncovers the reason, she uses her own powers to make things right. The decision sets her on a path of danger, discovery, and a search for the divine. In the process, she learns the truth about herself and uncovers the biggest secret of all: the power of broken people.

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EXCERPT:

PROLOGUE

Southside Orphanage

Fairmont – Capital of the Great Land 652PB (Post-Breshi)

The toddler blew at the dandelion bloom until its seeds broke free and floated away on a breeze that gusted past the man watching her from the bushes. His breath hitched as his burdens were lifted and briefly forgotten.

It had taken ten years to locate her. A life of study, prayer, and service to Dei in a monastery had not prepared him for so many years on the run, hiding under false names while he searched for the one he feared he might never find. His grizzled, greying goatee and unkempt hair might have labeled him a beggar or a desperate criminal, but the hope in his eyes told a different story.

Oblivious to the nearby threat, the girl dropped the crumpled dandelion stem and stumbled clumsily near a pile of stones. No more than two years old, she waddled across the overgrown orphanage courtyard, her cloth diaper askew. She plucked more flowers, her red hair dancing as she hopped after the seeds. She seemed to favor the world as her playmate, ignoring the twenty other children in the courtyard. She bumped into a small boy, fell down, and hopped back up with a baby-tooth grin before trotting off.

When she fell, a glimpse of her back jolted the man to his task. It was the blemish that beckoned him here—an ugly red scar stretching from upper back to waist, announcing her identity as the prophetic treasure he had sought for so long. The weight of the manuscript in his backpack grounded his thoughts, and he glanced around the area. There were no fences, plenty of bushes for cover, and a single matron leisurely surveying the yard. The woman sat on the aging building’s back steps, watching the little ones as they ran about. She wore a dress and would be unable to chase him. How long would it take for her to alert the authorities?

As he surveyed the grounds to plan his escape, the girl waggled her hand at a passing butterfly and giggled as it flew away. Fortune favored his plans when she ran to a group of dandelions just a few feet from his hiding place. Squatting, she grabbed several stems, preparing to blow and release the seeds.

The man looked over to the matron, who had turned away to manage a quarrel between two other children. Knowing this might be his only chance, he burst forward and scooped the babe up in one arm, then raced back through the bushes behind the orphanage. He ran as fast as he could, unable to avoid jostling the child in his arms. She began to cry at the shock of her abduction, still gripping the dandelion stems in one tiny fist.

Back at the orphanage, the matron in the dress looked toward the back of the yard. The only evidence of a disturbance was a cloud of dandelion seeds that drifted upon the air, scattering in the light breeze. She turned to the many children she cared for, oblivious to the crime that had just been perpetrated under her watch.

Author Bio:

David A. Willson has worked as a restauranteur, peace officer, and now, author. Taught by his mother to read at a young age, he spent his childhood exploring magic, spaceships, and other dimensions. In his writing, he strives to bring those worlds to his readers.

Much of his material is inspired by the “Great Land” of Alaska, which he has called home for over 30 years. He lives there with his wife, five children, and 2 dogs. He is passionate about technology, faith, and fiction—not necessarily in that order.

Looking for Dei is Willson’s debut novel, set in a land where many more adventures will take place. Stay up to date with his ongoing efforts through the Looking for Dei Facebook page or visiting the website at davidawillson.com.

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Something I never told you

March 22, 2018

Book : Something I never told you

Author: Shravya Bhinder

Rating: 2.5/5

Synopsis

“ She was gone, again; and I failed again and could not tell her how much I loved her.”
Ronnie’s fate gives him a second chance with Adira. His one-sided love story moves at a faster pace this time but instead of becoming his lover; she chooses to become his friend instead.
He needs a mentor and Rajbir steps in just in time.
Something I never told you is a transforming tale of love, determination, belief and finding one’s strengths.

Review 

Thanks to Caspipum for providing me the review copy

The main protagonist of our story is Raunak Dhodhi,who wants to change his name to Ronnie, to appear more cool . He is on his  way to join his new job, when he comes across his old crush Adira.The narrative is interspersed between Raunak’s past and his present.Adira was a Paying Guest at his grandmother’s house. For Raunak it was love at first sight ,but being the shy guy , he is not able to convey his feelings for Adira.Coming back to the present Raunak realises that Adira works at the same office.Life offers him a second chance, as they both are part of the team which is going to Australia for a month. His current boss,Rajbir understanding his predicament offers advice, becomes his love Guru.

Will Rajbir’s advice help Raunak?

Will Raunak be able to propose his love this time?

Will Adira fall in love with Raunak ?

Read to find out.
Have you ever had a one sided crush? I had lots, never had the courage to admit to then, except for my husband (he was one of my crushes). It was a cute love story but I didn’t even enjoy it much.  The story is fast paced and doesn’t bore you any time.I felt that the story was predictable and the ending reminded me of bollywood movies. The characters didn’t have much depth, it is good for a quick fun read.

 

 

Mercy Of Gods and Men

March 21, 2018

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Book : Mercy – Of Gods and Men

Author: Aditya Mathur

Rating: 3.5/5

Synopsis

Mercy is the story of multiple complex characters that face dire circumstances. Set in three kingdoms, the stories revolves around rebellions, wars and political agendas. Explore the story of these foreign lands as the destiny of the characters unfold over the span of the series.

Review

This is the first book in the series :- Of Gods and Men .The story starts off with the origin of Deiosa, how three brothers tamed the dragons and took the city for themselves. The eldest brother took Helica(The land of the Sun) ,the middle one Luneta and the youngest who loved his people got Deiosa. The main 6 houses  in the story are House of God : the ruling house, House of Dragon, House of Phoenix, House of Pegasus, House of Yeti and House of Hydra. Years ago House of Dragon started a rebellion against the House of God, but they were defeated. Now a new rebellion is under way.

The narrative is done from the point of view of various characters, which reminds you of GOT. First we meet William, who has lost his family and joins the rebellion led by Roderick against the house of God. Then we have Rigolos from Helica, a child king, who wants to conquer Deiosa for his wife Reyna. Then we have Oskar the prince of Luneta,Kalona, the king of Deiosa and on the way we meet many more characters. The story involves war,magic ,politics and some romance
Who win the rebellion?

What happened to the dragons?

Read to find out
It does remind you of Game of thrones because of the multitude of characters.  When you used to romances by Indian authors , this was a welcome change.Once you delve into the story you forget that it was written by an Indian author. The language and writing style are simple those are the things that stand out, but plot wise excellent effort. I guess I’m not used to simple language in fantasy books. They were few grammatical errors. It is a fast paced book and chapters are pretty short. Looking forward to read the next book in the series

Recommended for fantasy readers.

About the Author

Inspired by his grandfather’s stories, Aditya began writing stories at the age of 5. Now, at the age of 17, he is ready to publish his first full length novel. He loves writing stories around fantastical worlds to capture the imagination of the readers.

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A Girl Like That 

March 18, 2018

Book : A Girl Like That

Author: Tanaz Bhatena

Rating: 5/5

Synopsis

A timeless exploration of high-stakes romance, self-discovery, and the lengths we go to love and be loved. 

Sixteen-year-old Zarin Wadia is many things: a bright and vivacious student, an orphan, a risk taker. She’s also the kind of girl that parents warn their kids to stay away from: a troublemaker whose many romances are the subject of endless gossip at school.  You don’t want to get involved with a girl like that, they say. So how is it that eighteen-year-old Porus Dumasia has only ever had eyes for her? And how did Zarin and Porus end up dead in a car together, crashed on the side of a highway in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia? When the religious police arrive on the scene, everything everyone thought they knew about Zarin is questioned. And as her story is pieced together, told through multiple perspectives, it becomes clear that she was far more than just a girl like that.

Review

Thanks to  Vivek  for providing me a review copy

I’m still in the world of the book.My friend Chitra says that is what a good book does to you, stays with you long after the story is over. I feel like I have  to collect my thoughts before writing a review. I feel like my review won’t do justice to the book. If you have read my previous blog posts, you must know that I love  fast paced books, I don’t like long windy descriptions. But now I realize some authors do have the ability to make me fall in love with the descriptions.

Coming to the book, the story takes place in Saudi Arabia and starts off with the death of Zarin and Porus in a car accident. Zarin and Porus ‘s souls take us through the events that led to this incident. The fact that a girl and a boy who was not her brother or husband was found alone in a car, causes an uproar with the religious police. Zarin is a 17 year old orphan who lives with her aunt and uncle. The fact that she is physically abused and never loved by her mentally unstable  aunt, turns her into a rebel. She is a trouble maker, a girl often seen with boys,a girl about whom her classmates gossip.Porus,also the same age,  was her next door neighbor in Mumbai, later they meet in Saudi Arabia.  Porus is smitten with Zarin, but everyone warns him of getting involved with “a girl like that “.The whole story is narrated by Zarin and Porus’s souls as well as few of the main characters in the story.

Why is Zarin the gossip of the school? 

How did Zarin and Porus die? 

Read to find out. 

I loved the book. My heart broke for Zarin. What do you do when you are not loved at home, considered an outcast at school? Like someone said Man is a social animal, being lonely can drive us mad. The bullying and gossiping classmates,Boyfriends who are her with only to satisfy their needs, I don’t understand how Zarin could have withstood all this.The book takes about a lot of the current issues like slut shaming, rape culture, domestic abuse, inter caste marriage.As a woman , most of the issues hit home, there is a debate in the book on the subject of domestic abuse. The for and against speeches, leave you speechless. The story also puts forward the most debated questions if you allow him to kiss you, does it mean you have given him permission to have sex? Is consent alway taken for granted?  Will we still keeping blaming the women? . I may end up talking too much so wrapping it up with my favorite character, who is Porus, for the unconditional love and support he shows to Zarin.

Looking forward to read more from the author

Recommended for everyone 

Favourite Quotes

About the author

Tanaz Bhathena was born in Mumbai and raised in Riyadh, Jeddah and Toronto. Her short stories have appeared in various journals, including Blackbird, Witness and Room Magazine. A Girl Like That is her first novel.

Trust Me Not

March 17, 2018

Book : Trust Me Not

Author: Ankita  Verma Dutta

Rating: 4/5

Synopsis

“An excellent account of today’s cut-throat world, told through an intense love story. The complexity of the characters and the story keeps you riveted until the unexpected end.” – Madhur Bhandarkar.

Rising corporate star Reeva Rai is offered a prestigious position in a top-notch PR agency. It is the opportunity of a lifetime. But working with Enigmatic Billionaire Kunaal Kabi was not going to be easy. Even as she develops feelings for him, she is determined to prove herself.

But when an activist friend turns to her for help with a real-estate scam, Reeva has to make a high-stakes choice. Can she retain the credibility of her prominent clients while helping hundreds save their homes? As she digs deeper to find solutions, a nefarious scheme unravels with unexpected connections. A no-holds-barred race ensues, blood is drawn and Reeva is trapped in the eye of a political thunderstorm. If she succeeds, powerful people will have much to answer

Review

Thanks to the BookFever team for providing me a review copy

Reeva is a young career oriented woman working as a director in the client management department,  in Creative Ad zone. She gets promoted and joins the new sub division MVPR as Assistant Vice President. On comes the handsome Kunaal Kaabi, who takes up the position as her boss. Kunaal Kaabi is the youngest executive to have headed the maximum number of media corporates.  They both feel the attraction building, but don’t want  it to affect their professional equation. Then there is Nihaal, who also has feelings for Reeva, which leads to a love triangle in our story. Shalini Ray, a new colleague also joins the MVPR venture. She seems to resent Kunaal,because of something which happened in the past .

In meanwhile MVPR takes up the political campaign of JBP which is led by Rishi Uttur. Some businessmen work towards sabotaging JBP’s image using The Fixer. The Fixer is an anonymous person , who is involved in manipulating people. A mutual acquaintance paves way for  the friendship of Reeva, with the social activist, Nandita. Nandita is working against an order of the upcoming demolishment of  an apartment complex. She receives threats to back off, which rings warning  bell in Reeva’s mind.

Who is sabotaging the JBP campaign?

Who is threatening Nandita?

Why does Shalini hate Kunaal?

Read to find out

It was a fast paced book. I haven’t read many political thrillers, loved this. This books has romance, suspense and as  well as talks about the corruption in the current world . Most of the characters were stereotypes, but still you enjoy the characters.  I didn’t know who the Fixer was until the last moment. Favorite character Nandita, the social worker and Reeva’s friend.  I dont like love triangles much,so the fact that Reeva was stringing along both guys didnt appeal to me.  I felt that the relationship between Reeva and Kunaal was weird.This book has all the material to make a Bollywood movie.

 

Excerpt Reveal Event: Earth To Centauri

March 15, 2018

 

Happy Excerpt Reveal!!

A 140-year-old secret throws three planets into chaos!

Tech for the geek. Thrills for the action seeker. Mysteries for the detective. Science for the uninitiated.

The year is 2095. Voyager 1 launched in 1977 with a golden record – someone has found it and is sending a signal back to Earth. With a newly constructed faster-than-light spaceship named Antariksh, and a crew which includes novices like Lt. Manisha, as well as seasoned professionals, including Commander Ryan, Captain Anara reaches the source of the signal at the nearest star to Earth – Proxima Centauri.

Before she can meet with the aliens, Anara must clear obstacles on her own ship, including a recalcitrant Artificial Intelligence and inexplicable radiation, which threatens the safety of the mission. The implications of what they find on planet Proxima B will resonate far beyond this first journey, exposing Earth to dangers on an unimaginable scale. And then Captain Anara finds out its creators buried a secret aboard Voyager 1.

22 Years ago, 2095 Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope, Pune the anomalous signals had been coming through since the New Year, but most SETI listening sites had ignored them, just because they did not monitor that particular bandwidth. However, the Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope (GMRT) near the megacity of Mumbai-Pune was incidentally on the correct frequency. But here, again, the signals were initially treated as routine

interference. The search for extraterrestrial signals was more than 150 years old and over time the study of such signals had become a mere routine, most getting stored for later

study. Despite numerous false alarms, nothing concrete had been discovered to date.

What was different this time was the signals that were being repeated. It took a few hours for the signal to be downloaded, verified and cataloged. When they repeated again, the system flagged it off and it was only then that the night shift grad student noticed the pattern. It was late the following night when the guards found her running across the campus to the Director’s office, alongside the head of her own department.

They burst into the Director’s room and told him the news just as he was about to leave. His stature at GMRT did not give him the opportunity to be able to jump for joy at this piece of information and he had to be content in punching the air several times. The thought of going home was now forgotten as he poured over the data. He flagged a message to the Director of Indian Space Command. In matters of such importance GMRT

usually deferred to the ISC headed by Director Srinivas. Director Srinivas’s reaction was a bit staider. He pulled out his best team of analysts and put them on the job together with the team from GMRT. The finding was classified ‘Top Secret’ immediately and, the bureaucracy notwithstanding; the news reached the PMO within a day. In his characteristic way, the Prime Minister decided this was to be run by scientists and not civil servants. He personally put Srini in charge of the whole project and made Dr. Aryan second in

command.

********

The ISC team had taken over the entire signal analysis block at GMRT having unceremoniously evicted the inhabitants. Four days had passed since the signal had

been received and it was time to bring everything together to decide what the next step would be.

“Morning, Director,” Doctor Aryan greeted. “We’ve completed our first cut analysis of the signal.

Surprisingly, it was easy once we put together the repetitions in a sequence.”

“So, what’d you find?”

“It’s in Morse code, dots and dashes,” replied Dr. Aryan with a deadpan expression while smiling inwardly. He knew exactly what would follow.

“You mean it’s a rogue,” sighed Srini, his excitement suddenly wearing off. Rogue signals were Earth-generated signals sometimes captured in the giant radio telescopes by accident. There had been plenty of those across the world.

“No, Sir. I mean it’s Morse code, but it’s definitely extra-terrestrial. Its frequency would never be caught by our telescopes if it were transmitted from Earth,” stated

Dr. Aryan, still holding on to his flat expression.

“You don’t say, Aryan! That’s outstanding! And what’s in the signal?”

“It’s a SOS.”

“Are you serious, Doctor? You are telling me that we finally have a signal from outer space and it’s in Morse code that went out of use over a hundred years

ago? And that it signals ‘S.O.S’?” Srini exclaimed in surprise.

“Yes, Director.” Aryan’s face finally broke into a smile. “I was as surprised as you are, but my team is absolutely certain about their facts. It cannot be anything

else.” There was complete silence around the room as the six men and women digested this piece of information. Srini was trying to make sense of the news. “Aryan,

how’s this possible? Even if some other intelligent life discovered the basic principle of Morse code, they’d certainly not use the same set of symbols, would they?

This is illogical. You’ve made a mistake. Check again.”

“There’s no mistake, Director. I’m dead certain of my findings. And to quote my favourite 19th century detective: ‘If you’ve eliminated everything else, whatever remains must be the truth.’ I am forced to conclude that someone outside the solar system has sent

this signal to us. They have managed to learn the simplest code that is able to travel long distances and which can still be understood by us. The ‘how’s and ‘why’s are beyond me at this moment. But I believe it’s not an actual call for help, but rather a signal in its

simplest form telling us that our message has been received, understood and sent back as confirmation.”

“So what? Maybe someone on Earth generated a morse code signal that travelled across space, got reflected or refracted around one of the outer planets and is being repeated by one of our satellites?” Srini persisted with his counter argument.

“No, Sir. That’s not possible. The strength of a terrestrial signal would not be able to exit the solar system. I’m completely sure; this is from some other origin. I must also point out that this is a signal directed at us and not merely a general transmission that’s fallen

by chance in our lap. Its strength and the focused band indicate that it was specifically directed at Earth.”

Srini finally capitulated. Aryan had logical answers to all his objections. He decided to accept the fact that the signal was genuine. For now, at least.

“Do we know anything more about its origin?” he

asked.

“After extrapolating all the data, the most likely permutation gives us an approximate distance of five light-years to the source of the transmission. That would of course mean that it’s at least five years old. That’s the minimum amount of time it’d require to travel this distance at the speed of light.”

“And…?”

“That’s all I have for now, sir. We’re still isolating some other signals from the background noise and we’re hoping to get some more clues. It’s going to take some time, I’m afraid.”

“Fair enough. Let’s meet again tomorrow. You do realise, don’t you, that if this turns out the way you are expecting it to, then it’s monumental! Now, get on with it and come back with even better news, will you? And, good job!”

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Kumar is a passionate tech enthusiast and social media newbie. He loves traveling and is fluent in seven Indian languages. His engineering background and love of science fiction helps him bring technology alive in his books. Earth to Centauri is Kumar’s first book. It is easy to read and understand and is suitable for a wide range of age groups. Earth to Centauri, as well as the second book in the series, Alien Hunt, are both based on themes of adventure, thrill and drama, with a positive outlook at what the future may hold for humanity.

A third book in the series, Black Hole: Oblivion is currently in the research stage.

He can be reached on Twitter @Captain_Anara or at www.facebook.com/AntarikshAnara or on Instagram as KumarLAuthor

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Rani Padmavati : The Burning Queen

March 14, 2018

Book : Rani Padmavati : The Burning Queen

Author: Anuja Chandramouli

Rating: 3.5 / 5

Synopsis

Padmavati is the most beautiful queen Chittor has ever had. Everyone who sees her is enthralled by her grace and goodness. When the greedy gaze of the Sultan ofDelhi, Alauddin Khalji, falls upon Chittor and its queen, Padmavati’s flawless beauty turns against her, because it inspires both love and hate in equal measure.Beset by the threat of an invasion and scheming political rivals who are envious of her immense popularity, Rani Padmavati must rise to the demands of war and fight for everything she believes in. This is the story of a remarkable woman who lived gently, loved passionately and embraced her destiny with unmatched courage.

Review

Thanks to the author for providing me a review copy

The prologue starts with  the introduction of the villain, Alauddin Khalji murdering his father in law Jalaluddin Khalji. Then starts the story of Padmavati, the daughter of Mahisamara and Leelavathi. They lived at Siwana, as Mahisamara was the nephew of the King of Jalore, Kanhadadeva. Padmavati is a beautiful and intelligent girl and has lots of marriage proposals pouring in. To strengthen a political alliance she is married to Rawal Singh Rathore of Chittor. Even Though it is a political alliance Padmavati and Rawal fall heads over heels in love with each other . This causes dissent among his other wives .Padmavati wins the hearts of the people of Chittor as she believes in helping the poor, rather than sitting indoors all decked up. The author takes us through the internal conflicts in Chittor and how that impacts the war between Khalji and Rathore.

The first time I read about Rani Padmavati was in school, we had a chapter which described the Jouhar. Where the queen and all of the women walks into fire while the men have opened the gates for a one last battle. I felt this was missing from the story. I love Padmavati’s character . The author doesn’t depict Khalji as the cruel deplorable villain, this was new to me , as i had thought of him as someone who wanted to possess Padmavati. Padmavati reminded me of Helen of Troy , the beauties for whom wars were fought,but the author tells the story differently

Recommended for historical fiction fans

About the author

Anuja Chandramouli is a bestselling Indian author and New Age Indian Classicist. Her highly acclaimed debut novel, Arjuna: Saga of a Pandava Warrior-Prince, was named by Amazon India as one of the top 5 books in the Indian Writing category for the year 2013. Kamadeva: The God of Desire and Shakti: The Divine Feminine are her other bestsellers. Currently all three books are being translated into Hindi, Marathi, Gujarathi and Bengali, a real achievement for one so young. Her epic fantasies called Yama’s Lieutenant and its sequel has received an overwhelming response.
Her newest books are on Kartikeya, Padmavati and Prithviraj Chauhan.
An accomplished orator, she regularly conducts workshops on Creative Writing, Story Telling and Mythology in schools, colleges and various other platforms. Her motivational speeches have also been well received. According to Chandramouli, her work with youngsters in the rural belt helping them improve their Spoken English and Writing skills has been wonderfully satisfying and enriching.
This happily married, mother of two little girls, lives in Sivakasi, Tamil Nadu. She is a student of classical dance and Yoga.