Thursday, September 26, 2013

Another Interview of Mine ...Yipee!!!

After an amazing interview with Fablery last month, I was Interviewed by Blogger Interviews yesterday.It went something like this :

1.Can you tell us a little about yourself? Your blog, and your aspirations and your hobbies!! I am Nimi, a PhD student who tries to understand how the body defends itself from infection (immunology). I being a complete bookworm, my blog thereaderscosmos.blogspot.com is all about Books (reviews, interviews with authors, publishers, etc). I aspire to be all a Scientist ,a Writer and an Entrepreneur, for the later I have already begun with book promotions online since last year and it has been a great journey so far. Read the Full Interview at Blogger Interviews: http://bloggerinterviews.blogspot.in/2013/09/interview-with-readers-cosmos.html

My Interviews

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Mind Rocks!!! India Today Youth Summit 2013 - The Event That Rocked The Capital City



On a beautiful Saturday morning when the Sun was just out I started my journey to the most exciting day I had been waiting for since a fortnight, when I received the first invitation to it "Mind Rocks", the coolest and the most happening of all the events hosted by India Today. I was surprised to see when I reached Sirifort Auditorium at 8:30 that the place was buzzing with young people, students from schools and colleges of Delhi, bloggers like me and fun enthusiasts. I soon forgot it was the lazy weekend. As soon as I collected my cool delegate badge and entered I got my goodie bad with cool stuff, and yay I was looking forward to day that was already "Awesome". We quickly hogged on to our chocolate donuts, sandwiches and amul cool and the RJ started entertaining the crowd, singing songs, making the atmosphere more vibrant. TV reporters buzzed around with mike and camera's trying to capture the delightful mood.

And with a bam! as soon as we found the best possible seats for ourselves in the glamorous Sirifort Auditorium (one of the best ones in Delhi where the greatest of Scientists/Politicians and Artists) have adorned the stage, Antariksh band the winner of MindRocks finale performed. The music energized us for a 12 hour fun filled session lying ahead of us. Kavery Bamzai, editor in chief India Today group gave a warm welcome address. I loved that the highest position of this prestigious organization was occupied by a woman and she was smart, I heard her for the first time and now I am a fan. 

Leander Paes one of the greatest athletes began narrating his story. He told that he was conceived during the four days which were the only time in the history of olympics that the games were at halt because of a terrorist attack, thus at the end of every dark night is a brighter day. He gave various examples of hardships from his life and career and how he overcame them. The words that motivated me the most was his statement " Indians can be world- leaders". " You can be anything you want to be, just surround your self with the right kind of quality people". However at the Q& A session he gave very diplomatic answers about only cricket and not other sports being favored in India. I honestly don't appreciate anything but straight from the heart truth and therefore didn't enjoy it much!

The next speaker was the one that buzzed the stage with her "I give a damn" attitude and her hip-hop rap Hard Kaur. It was great to understand that though she was brought up abroad, she had the same set of parents wanting her to be a "typical girl" and she had always been an "outlier" and a smart and successful one at that. Next came Dhruv Shringi, co-founder and CEO Yatra.com. This was a man who had failed in multiple earlier business, lost a lot of his parents savings but emerged like a phoenix. He was a straight from the heart, politically incorrect and my type speaker and an individual there was a lot to learn from. What I loved about him are these words "Things wont happen to you, You have to make them happen". He also believed that the economic slowdown had a positive side to it, the loss of jobs etc, will make people who have one value t more and work well instead of taking it for granted.

Post these sessions came a very serious Panel discussion with Dr. Kiran Bedi, Gul Panag and Nishtha Gautam. They individually presented their views on how the juvenile act is the mode through which crimilas pass off and through many examples that they just grow worse adults, spoiling more lives. The topic arose from the fact that one of the convicts of the "Nirbhaya" or Jyoti Singh Pandey's rape cases has been sentenced just 3 years of imprisonment, he is only months away from being 18. The Indian law however considers age over crime. Dr. Kiran Bedi, the best of all speakers began with explaining what "The Juvenile Act" was and how it came into force and how with time many countries like USA modified it, except for India, but now is the time for a change. Jyoti's parents were present at the event and her mother in a very simple and subtle manner requested the youth to continue helping victims of such incidences. She also voiced that she felt that her daughter or any girl who is raped should hide or feel ashamed, she didn't do anything wrong. Delhi cried with her words. Dr. Kiran Bedi put a beautiful point that Jyoti fought a battle that night and very bravely she did, her picture therefore should be made public for it to find place and respect in peoples heart as we honour the martyrs, her parents had no issues to this request and I really wish Dr. Bedi's words to come true and we do get to see her and remember her always for her courage. Watch some moments here http://indiatoday.intoday.in/video/gul-panag-mind-rocks-youth-summit-2013-uvenile-jusctice-act/1/311041.html

Next session was a talk by a man most of my readers would love to know all about , the author of record breaking success in Indian literary world "The Shiva Trilogy" Amish Tripathi. Amish spoke about self belief and belief in ones work. He advised people not to leave their jobs to follow your passion but cut off everything else in life apart from work that helped you sustain, your family and your passion. That was his mantra for success. My only regret is I didn't get to ask him a question :(.

Post this was hot on plate Politics, just pre-lunch with  Deepender Hooda - MP, Sanjay Kaul - spokes Person BJP, and Arvind Kejriwal - founder Aam Aadmi Party. Deepender Hooda just went on and on about 65 years post Independence how India progresses, not at all coming to the point of what did congress do in the past session? His answers were vague, never to the point and the crowd was totally bored. Sanjay Kaul on the other hand spoke well, to the point, ofcourse Narendra Modi's image and Gujarat's growth statistics speak for it all. However the show stealer was Mr. Arvind Kejriwal, well thought, precise , simple and an educated politician. He didn't promise big but a cleaner, corruption free India. He was very well received by the audience who hooted and cheered after most of his statements. He gave his reasons for forming the party and their objectives post coming into power. I loved his simple examples and the opinion polls at the end the sessions clearly showed that AAP is going to win in Delhi. I truly hope so and wish that Mr.Kejriwal can accomplish the humungous task of cleaning India of the corruption. He began and ended with "Bharat Mata ki Jai" and as he moved out, he didn't just walk away but waved with a bright smile to the crowd who gave only him out of the three speakers a standing ovation upon his entry and exit.

After the lunch was filled with the delicious food, we had an amazing session with Lawrene and Salman the winners of Dance India Dance. Lawrene looked lovely and the guys just wanted to be with her on the stage, while the girls wanted to dance with Salman. They performed some cool moves and the audience danced along. Then came the UNICEF awards wherein those children who despite being in immense poverty and with no resources but just the will to become something did something to help people around them live their dreams, were identified and awarded. The winner of the event (I apologize deeply I cant recall her name) was a girl from a small village in UP, who had studied with the help of little educated women in family until UNICEF built schools and educated them. Her spirit was undying. She helped school dropouts join school again and taught other children in her spare time. She made me feel small, she indeed had done a lot at such a young age.

Followed by this entered the stage a man girls wanted to kill themselves for "Virat Kohli". The crowd was just mesmerized to see their hero on stage and the hooting and cheering went on for good 5-7 minutes, which made Viraat conscious. He revealed a lot about how the success did make him get a high and loose track, how he got back on it, how he idolized Sachin Tendulkar and also danced to Gangnam style, watch it right here, right now http://indiatoday.intoday.in/video/the-dressing-room-is-like-a-college-canteen.-no-virat-we-dont-believe-that/1/311145.html. Some lucky people who got to ask him questions he enjoyed got an autographed bat, that is called something now. isn't it?

The session post this was Aditi Rao Hyadri speaking about love and relationships,I frankly feel she had no clue what to speak about, she just repeated the same things again and again. Next came Ajay Bijli, Chairman and MD PVR Cinemas or as my favorite host Kaveri Bamzai put it, the man who chaged the way we spend our weekends. He began talking about his journey with PVR Priya (where I watch most of my movies) to envisioning and building multiplexes. He also revealed that PVR priya will soon be IMAX, how cool is that Delhi-ites? People in other metro cities, you to will soon experience PVR Directors cut, the royal way to watch movies, near you soon!

The last speaker was partly the reason I went to this event Farhan Akhtar, one of the thoughtful film-makers in India. I believe the host Kallie Puri annoyed him a little as she went on and on about Bhaag MilKha Bhaag making 100 crores, rather than really talking about why he dis, what films he wanted to do etc. The whole session lacked quality questions from the host and the audience. So we just got to see him and have some fun moments captured here http://indiatoday.intoday.in/video/farhan-akhtar-bollywood-actor-mind-rocks-youth-summit-2013/1/311101.html. Kaveri Bamzai should have certainly been the host of this session.

Finally Bam again! the evening ended with everyone dancing to the tunes of Hard Kaur and going talli ;). http://indiatoday.intoday.in/video/mind-rocks-2013-finale-concert-by-hard-kaur/1/311057.html. Don't worry we were talli with music and fun with an awesome day with a great combination of fun and experience and I hope everyone reached their homes safely :P. 

I knew that day when I woke up that it would be a day I will remember all my life, yes I will and for now I am not gonna shut talking about me unless someone puts a tape on my mouth ;). My Mind is Rocking! Thank you India Today for this great event, hoping to be with you for more! And last but not the least KUDOS! to the organizing team who made it all happen, its you guys who truly ROCK!




Monday, September 23, 2013

And The Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini

Title: And The Mountains Echoed 
Author: Khaled Hosseini
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Date:  2013
Price: Rs. 599
Pages:402

Snapshot: This time Khaled Hosseini brings to us another story from his land Afghanistan. This story does not have the Taliban times described at length. Its about relationships and feelings that last over time and conditions and prevail above every situation. It is also a great piece of writing in terms of understanding of the human nature at its utmost complexity, the difference between wanting and doing and the workings of the mind and heart on the road in between. 

The Story:  The beginning of this book is a blockbuster, a story within a story told by a poor father to his children an elder ten year old son Abdullah and a two year old daughter Pari, on the way from a small village Shadbagh in Afghanistan to the capital city Kabul. Little do they know the fairy tale would be their life someday. That soon they would be separated and the poor father would dell his daughter to the family her step uncle is a servant of for money. They are inseparable and though Pari slowly forgets her old family, being too small and begins to consider that the couple who adopted her are her real parents. Their father does cut the chords with Nabi, their uncle who he believes was the root cause of implanting the very idea in his mind. Here we loose all connections between them and the story comes to a halt.

The author now begins with a letter from Nabi to the current occupant of the bungalow whose owners were the couple who adopted Pari, the Wahadati's. Mrs Nila Wahadati leaves Afghanistan soon after her husband gets Paralysis with her daughter Pari to France. The husband who is now discovered to be having secret romantic love for Nabi, is left with him as Afghanistan goes through war and till he dies. Khaled Hosseini always has some sexual secret in his books and this is it. Post his death he leaves all his property to Nabi, who decides to give it to his niece Pari. Therefore he leaves this letter for Mr. Markos through which the author fills in some gaps.


Then he goes to the next part where Nila now in Paris saved her daughter Pari from the Afghan crisis, but still is unhappy with her. When she passes away Pari discovers how much her mother hated her, that her father had preference for men through one of her interviews. Pari grow to become a Mathematics professor but always feels a hollow. She feels something in her life is incomplete though she cannot answer that. Just around the time she finally decides she should go to Afghanistan, to her roots to get her answers, she meets the love of her life, gets married and discovers she is pregnant. After her kids, the hollowness in her life does decrease, though not lost completely. In this phase I particularly felt that when Pari was dating guys it all went slow and then zoom the author moves to fast suddenly into her having a family. I have doubts it might be the editors job too.


However the slow pace begins now when there is the story of victims of the Afghan situation and foreigners who come and help them. It is depicted by story of Idris who wishes to do everything to adopt an Afghan girl and get her brain damage surgery done, when he returns to Afghanistan. However when he returns back to the U.S his schedule occupies him and slowly it becomes just one of the stories you heard. The author draws a very comprehensive picture of human nature here and though you find this part unconnected with the rest of the story, the philosopher in you will love it.


The story then goes to the current day in Afghanistan and we know from another story that Abdullah's step brother migrated to Pakistan during the war but when all is over and he returns back, his land is illegally taken over by a very rich man, whose image is that of one doing great charity. His story is seen through the eyes of his younger son almost worshiping him and his soul searching and acceptance of fate when he understands his father truth. The end of this chapter shows that nothing had truly changed in Afghanistan, just that the enemy was your man this time.


The circle is complete in the last half when the story comes back to Abdullah who has moved to USA. Will the two meet? This part tells you a lot about ones connection to ones root , no matter if you don't technically remember it, it stays within you for life.


The Review:

Positives:  If this were published as a philosophy on human nature, it would have been amongst the greatest piece of work ever. However if one compares it as a fiction with Khaled Hosseini's previous works that touched your souls and shook it, this one fails to create such an impact. As I said before the human nature is beautifully been researched upon and I cant come to imagine that an author can draw his characters so deep. 

Negatives:  The style of narration is different. The book is divided into parts and through some bits we try to solve the puzzle. Its all in flashback. I don't know why author chose this style. He might have enjoyed the challenge writing it but I would have preferred the flow of continuation as was in A Thousand Splendid Suns. Also, the story is predictable and doesn't have the Hosseini's boom that one experienced in his previous works. 


The Verdict: If you love philosophy and a huge Khaled Hosseini fan like me, do try this one. If you are looking for more about stories based in Afghanistan only the first part will interest you. The Rating is 3.5 on 5.



About the Author:
Khaled Hosseini is an Afghan-American author. He is currently the Goodwill Envoy for United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

He has written two books, which are The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns.


Hosseini was born in Kabul in 1965, to a diplomat in the Afghan Foreign Ministry and a teacher. He was raised in Kabul for the first eighteen years of his life, after which the family relocated to Paris, and eventually to San Jose, California. He finished high school in 1984, after which he earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from the Santa Clara University in 1988 and an M.D. from the School of Medicine, University of California, in 1993. He practiced medicine for almost ten years. He lives in North California, with his wife Roya and two children.
http://www.flipkart.com/and-the-mountains-echoed/p/itmdhuggbtzkg5hc?pid=9789382951001&icmpid=reco_pp_recoBundle_book_tab1_2


I thank Bloomsburry Publishers for a review copy.

Tall Man Small Shadow by Vipin Behari Goyal


Title: Tall Man Small Shadow
Author: Vipin Behari Goyal
Publisher: Cyberwit.net 
Date:  2013
Price: Rs.240

The Review:
Since many days, Indian Film Industry experienced a typical juncture which eventually gave way to an evolution. From early 90s, along with the masala movies released a sort of movies which were then called “meaningful”. Later, as the craft got popular – they were tagged with an even more fascinating name “parallel movies”. Budgets were low. Subjects were contemporary and real. The main point of these movies was the smooth and excellent screenplays – those were very close to the heart. In the same way, in the masala-content dominated paperback industry – Vipin Behari Goyal’s Tall Man Small Shadow – is a parallel or a meaningful entry.

The book revolves around the lives of Salil, Aalya, Seema and their families. The story goes ahead with their lives. The protagonist Anupam coins philosophies for day to day prosaic events. The second protagonist his wife Sulekha believes coincidences happens with artful manipulations. The story flows and curves along with their lives.

Existentialism is a philosophy that proposes that “existence precedes essence” – individuality over perceived image. The author with many philosophical interpretations has established the basis through his characters or the knitting of the plot.

The book is not a mere travel read. It has many deep insights of life. The philosophical interpretations were never boring. It all relates to our life and thoughts. With a fine sweet pace and lucid language – the book is a pleasure to read.

The plot touched many aspects of a normal life with an uncanny reality. The feelings portrayed through the characters were awesome. The style of narration was mind-blowing. The author took several paths to explore an incident. And, a single point was explored by several characters with several viewpoints. In international realm – this style of story-telling is called Rashomon style after the movie of the same name made by the veteran director Akira Kurosawa. Though the style suits mainly for a mystery/thriller storytelling – it was adapted well here still the mystic nature remained with the plot. As the plot gained ground – the author took a procedural approach with a classic twist at the end.

Though the end-twist for this genre is unexpected – the establishment of the second protagonist’s belief got fragile and baseless in a couple of pages. Wasn’t the last page twist too meek and too unbaked to suit such a mature plot? – I wonder. The sudden ending was like a rash amputation.

But the book deserves a read. May be for the fine philosophies of life – may be for the sweet pace – may be for the deep insight to many prosaic stuffs of life – but surely for the author who attempts a “meaningful” writing.

Just as the “meaningful” movies win over the masala flicks and changed the movie market which became more acceptable to sensible movies – we hope the book makes a step towards this in its own way. and, hope for an steady evolution in course of time!

Overall 3.5 stars on 5.


This book is reviewed by Sankha Ghosh: 
Sankha Ghosh was never born in that 'City of Joy', never dreamt of being a banker, never watched a Godard, never loved Kafka, never fell for that Solitary Reaper, never danced on a friend’s wedding, never fought for human rights, never had a crush at college and never ever aspired to work on a novel! Never was he as simple as this! #He wishes 

I thank the author for a review copy.


Sunday, September 22, 2013

Wise Enough To Be Foolish by Gauri Jayaram

Title: Wise Enough To Be Foolish
Author: Gauri Jayaram
Publisher: Jaico Publishing House (2013)
Date:  2013
Price: Rs.225
Pages: 216


Snapshot: This is the story of the author herself right from her childhood till the time she finds what her heart really wants, the universe she fits in! She, the central character is NOT what can be described as an ideal girl and the story is about her dealings with the world who always have notions about "how a girl should be". Its a hilarious shot at life!




The Story:  The author begins her story by sketching her character as someone who is "not the ideal daughter". She always therefore had difficulty to be understood by parents and was struggling to fit in. She loved sports and played football with guys, apart from hating school. In short she was a "Tom Boy". However she did posses good looks and smart brains.

The story ranges from her first crush motivating her to study (the unattainable one of-course), the love life of her friends which were mostly guys and her struggle with her parents. The first ten pages of the book are witty and cool, they grip you with a feeling that this is the best comical satire you have ever read. Then begins the exciting college life in Mumbai where she meets very interesting men, but the best part is her focus on what she wants not just professionally but personally too. The development of judgement, the decision making, etc. The author is humorous and honest here in accepting her mistakes and gets on with the tides and ebbs of her life at a good pace. 

She gets disinterested just a few months before marrying a really good guy, then gets married with another guy and finally feels her search has just ended with finding her soul mate and then "life happens". She describes this feeling all of us have at some stage and we are soon corrected by situations by saying "I always believe that life (as in the bad things) that you hear about, being cheated upon, falling out of love etc. happen to other people, people you hear about but then soon enough it happens to you". The dream breaks and she finds out her husband cheating. She doesn't give up, she believes she still can find the love of her life. The soul searching and the travel getaways appealed to the philosophical me here.

Past this revelation the story looses its pace, charm and humor and though I wont reveal more of the story I didn't enjoy it very much. 

The Review: 
Positives:  A good story, written in a simple language with a good message. The first half is brilliant.

Negatives: Looses its charm in the later half. However, if you love reading about human thought and behavior you will enjoy this part too.

The Verdict: A delightful read. Read it for the first half, for a debutant I would say Gauri has been brilliant and honest. 3.5 stars on 5.

Grab A Copy Now!!! http://www.flipkart.com/wise-enough-foolish/p/itmdhqhdxa6hp5fy?q=Wise+Enough+To+Be+Foolish&sid=search.flipkart.com&as=on&as-show=on&otracker=start&ref=0ec5c253-2638-4d9c-ada5-affbb72cd62c&as-pos=p_1&pid=9788184954562
I thank Jaico Publishing House for a review copy. 

Monday, September 16, 2013

Book Launch: Pandora's Daughters by Kalyani Shankar

The Ashoka Hotel & Blommsburry India invites you 
to

Book Launch: Pandora's Daughters by Kalyani Shankar

 on Thursday,19th September 2013 at 6pm,

Banquet Hall, The Ashok Hotel


Book Summary

Women in India have a long way to go to achieve meaningful empowerment but a beginning has certainly been made. The growth of political parties led by women is a hopeful sign and the fact that the number is only growing is also important. Social changes, increasing access to education and health, growing awareness among women to fight for their due place and, above all, the determination to achieve empowerment, provide a fillip to womens dreams. Pandora's daughters analyses the strategies deployed by eight prominent women leaders in modern India to achieve high levels of power in a male dominated world of Indian politics. The list includes Sonia Gandhi, Mayawati, Mamata Banerjee, Jayalalithaa, Sheila Dixit, Pratibha Patil, Sushma Swaraj, and Mehbooba Mufti whose personalities, tactics, manoeuvres, strengths and disadvantages are assessed in the book.


Content:
Sonia Gandhi

Mayawati

Mamata Banerjee

Jayalalithaa

Sheila Dixit

Pratibha Patil

Sushma Swaraj

Mehbooba Mufti

The key speakers are:  

Mrs Sheila Dixit, Mrs Sushma Swaraj, Mr Digvijaya Singh & Mr Rajdeep Sardesai

More details  in the poster here:

Waiting to see you there!!!

Mind Rocks!!! India Today Youth Summit 2013

Hello Readers!!!

Are you ready for the greatest youth summit of the year? India Today brings to you "Mind Rocks!!! India Today Youth Summit 2013" on 21st September 2013 at Sirifort Auditorium, New Delhi.


 

 Mind Rocks is an event designed especially for the youth. The daylong conference is a forum that allows bright young minds to interact in an open two-way conversation with their icons. A space where inspirational leaders from different spheres of life share their success stories. A festival that celebrates through ideas, music and art by recognizing the best in the field and also giving youth a stage to create, perform and engage


 
This event has the history of bringing to the youth the greatest and the best youth icons till date like Chetan Bhagat, Kumar Mangalam Birla, Ajay Devgun, Arvind Kejriwal, Yuvraj Singh, etc. This year they have a list most amazing speakers ever, they are:

  
Virat Kohli :  Vice Captain , Indian Cricket Team

 Hard Kaur : British Indian Rapper And Hip Hop Singer

 Farhan Akhtar : Actor, Producer & Director

Mahi Vij : TV Actor & Model

                                                Jay Bhanushali : TV Actor, Dancer & Anchor
 
                Dr. Kiran Bedi : Former IPS Officer and Social Activist

                     Amish Tripathi : Author

                     Ajay Bijli : Chairman & MD, PVR Ltd

                     Gul Panag : Actor, Model

Shraddha Kapoor : Actor

Leander Paes : Tennis Player

 


Activities:
  • Interaction with the speakers
  • Live Rock Band Session
  • Digital RFID; Photo Booth; Like-man; Gesture Music Game Kiosk etc. powered by TagLabs
  • The ‘Real Youth Icon’ an initiative to recognize and reward the ‘Unsung Heroes’ in our society in association with UNICEF India
  • ‘SingAlong’ - Online KARAOKE Contest and their winners singing Live at the event in association with Singchana (indiatodaymindrocks.com/SingAlong)

 If you wish to sing with your favorite stars then there is a Sing Along contest: 



 
More details here : http://indiatoday.intoday.in/youthsummit/delhi/2013/singchana.jsp

 
So what are you waiting for??? Register here now!!!
http://subscriptions.intoday.in/subscriptions/youthsummit2013/registration.jsp

Sunday, September 8, 2013

The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon

Title: The Bone Season
Author: Samantha Shannon
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Date:  August 2013
Price: Rs. 499
Pages:480
Blurb: The year is 2059. Nineteen year old Paige Mahoney is working in the criminal underworld of Scion London, based at Seven Dials, employed by a man named Jaxon Hall. Her job to scout for information by breaking into peoples mind. For Paige is a dream walker, a clairvoyant and in the world of Scion, she commits treason simply by breathing. It is raining the day her life changes for ever. Attacked, drugged and kidnapped, Paige is transported to Oxford, a city kept secret for two hundred years, controlled by a powerful, otherworldly race. Paige is assigned to Warden, a Rephaite with mysterious motives. He is her master, trainer and natural enemy. But if Paige wants to regain her freedom she must allow herself to be nurtured in this prison where she is meant to die. The Bone Season introduces a compelling heroine and also introduces an extraordinary young writer, with huge ambition and a teeming imagination. Samantha Shannon has created a bold new reality in this riveting debut. 

Snapshot:  This book is about clairvoyants and their world. These are people who can read the future, communicate with spirits, sense auras etc. Set in London 2059, its full of surprises that will keep you hooked all along the journey.
 

The Story from A Critics Perspective:  The author begins by developing the central and the most powerful character Paige Mahoney whose job in the underworld to invade people's mind for information. She can speak to spirits and also use them for her protection. She is one of the highest levels of voyants called "dream walker" as she can see and invade people's mind. The normal people ofcourse don't think its natural and therefore the Scion London police is always on a hunt for these. She also dwells deep into voyant classification and that really built up my interest.

However, its not just about running away and hiding from the normal people called "amaurotics" but soon Paige is kidnapped into another world ruled by organisms different than humans called "Rephaites". Rephaites/rephs believe they are superior to humans. They capture voyants every 10 years and train them, test their capabilities and make them serve them depending upon their capabilities. In short in slavery that differs in magnitudes. However their main motives are two, the land they are in called "the tower" that resembles "Oxford" (well i didn't like this part as Oxford to me has lovely castles and of course Hogwarts not a place for filth creatures, imprisonment and slavery) has dangerous creatures called "Emim" and the voyants are mainly hired to keep them away from the Rephs. The other motive is what one can call the hobby of their leader "Nashira" to kill voyants with different capabilities and enslave their spirits by doing so she gains those talents. Her dream is to now catch rare voyants and therefore Paige.  Each season of capture is "Bone Season" and hence aptly the books title. Paige is a captive of Bone Season XX. 

Each captive is tortured and if survives then claimed by people who are their masters and who train them.Paige is claimed by Nashiras fiancee Aructus and therefore it is clear from the beginning that she has a special interest in her and soon will be killed and her spirit enslaved. However Paige also has been shown to have a kind heart for she tries to help other captive friends with food, medicines whatever she can. In fact she is so kind to even save her Reph master's life when he is attacked by the Emim. She is keen to know all about Rephs their weakness and above all a way to get out of there. Aructus on the other hand is not a usual Reph master, he gives her the toughest training to develop her gift but he has a side unknown to her. He treats his human servants differently. He has a history too, a motive in that place and even some chemistry with his current student. What exactly is Aructus's motive? Will Paige ever be able to get out of there? Will she figure out how? Well read the story for that.

The Review:
Positives:  The book was hyped a lot before it was released and the author was even compared to J. K. Rowling. Then when the first reviews came people said otherwise. However I believe a work should be judged in singularity and that is what I will be doing.
First of all the author has done a great job in drawing the central character "Paige" very well and also developing the voyant world extremely well. This is very important as in such fiction stories either the reader is bombarded with too much at a time or too little and hence one is lost. Ms. Shannon scores an Ace there. The story is novel and well written.  As for comparisons its unique not similar either to The Hunger Games or The Harry Potter Series at all.

Negatives:  The Rephs are not completely portrayed in terms of what creatures they are though the author does give bits and pieces here and there but I will give her benefit of doubt that she is saving it for the sequels. The entire novel is set in London, and the Reph place is Oxford, I would have loved it more if it was some really well described out of imagination location that suited the Reph image. 

Also at a lot of places I felt my interest fading however just a few pages after that there was something that gripped me again. So if you are reading it and get bored, make sure you go a little further and you wont be disappointed. Some parts could have been totally avoided like the cousin Finn chapter.

She should have been more strategic in giving away little by little and yet enough to satisfy the reader and keeping enough for sequels, yes I know its too soon to say that but its an art to be learnt from Rowling certainly.

The Verdict:  A very novel story, well described and projected. A must read if you love the world of spirits. I am surely waiting for the sequel. Overall 3.5 stars on 5.


About the Author
:
Samantha Shannon was born and raised in West London. She recently finished her degree in English Language and Literature at St Anne's College, Oxford, where she specialised in Emily Dickinson and Principles of Film Criticism.

In 2012 she signed a book deal with Bloomsbury Publishing to publish the first three books in a seven-book series, beginning with 'The Bone Season'. Film rights to the novel were optioned by Andy Serkis's London-based production company, The Imaginarium Studios, in November 2012.
 

I thank Bloomsbury Publishers for a review copy.