La noche es de color rojo (The Night is Red)

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Noche Roja – 4 stars

Actually 3 + 1/2. Extra 1/2 is for the artwork!

Before I even start on the book, I want to talk about the art. Incredible! The play of black, white and many if their shades and prints are a visual treat for the eyes! The little looks, emotions, actions, shadows, motions, panels and details are drawn so smoothly as if its nothing but just stop and look back again to a page before turning to the next one; you’ll feel the art is the hero of this book. Artist Jason Laour tells the story more than Simon Oliver (no offence).

An american private investigator/alarm mechanic is called to look into a series of killing of teenage girls in the land caught up with all the dirt of North and South America at the middle. While he looks into the mystery of the working teenage girls he gets caught up with the past he had been running for 11 years and it that will take him to places which he wished to forget!

The story seems familiar while the characters shine the brightest. Simon Oliver has written some memorable characters but but the story feels s tiny little bit slipping at the middle. But other than that it is fine because of Jason Laour’s pages!

Red night (Noche roja) may not be must-read book but it is a very good read!

John Constantine’s popularity is off the scale!

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Dark Entries – 5 stars

Dark Entries is a John Constantine story. Yes, the one and only John Constantine. But don’t worry because it doesn’t require any previous plots or base about read about him. Just to make sure you are on board, Constantine is a British exorcist. But in the most kick-ass way without any faith or holiness! Now that it is said, lets talk about the story.

John is called by a TV production house to check a reality TV show set on the basis of ‘fear’, in which willing contestants stay in a locked house and are watched 24 hours like Big Brother. But unlike that show, this one’s publicity explores and showcases the horror among the participants induced by the show runners. But what if the house decides to have so fun on its own and tries to scare the people in ways which are beyond the production?

This is a classic example for novels of horror, ghost, exorcism, monster, spooky genre! Ian Rankin starts the story as if the plot is small and easy and just another Haunted-house story. But with one after another surprisingly enjoyable twists it becomes so huge and so epic (from Heaven to Hell all the way) that it is beyond explainable!

Somehow it simultaneously roams around the fields of murder mystery, thriller, suspense with excellent balance and grabs 200% attention of the reader’s mind. The writing is so smooth as if we have already been reading about this long ago. The characters, the twists, action, the dialogues are top notch! No, seriously top notch! And Mr John F’ing Constantine is at his best in the book luv! (Satan can go n’ eat his heart out. Wait, does he have one?)
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And what can I say about the art?! There are just clean black and white lines. That is all. not even any shades of them. Werther Dell’Edera’s drawing is crisp, clean, cutting edge, sexy, smooth and immensely enjoyable! The monsters, the action sequences, the spookiness are on a whole a treat for the eyes. His art walks on the line between simple and complex art and still stands out from all of them!

A must read for any horror or suspense or graphic novel lovers! An unmissable for Constantine fans!

In one month, the country will be gone. In two months, the world!

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The Strain – 4 stars

A plane lands with no one alive on board (except for a few). All are dead. But no sign of any contamination, any attack or panic. But the more Doctor Eph searches for answer, he discovers a world where medical expertise goes crazy in the rehlm of supernatural! What if vampires are not just mystical creatures from story books? It is a plague, an epidemic spread among humans just like any other plague but in a bloody-sucking gory way! The dead from the plane are standing up and if Eph doesn’t find a way, humanity might be lost forever!! In this book, a man says, “Think more along the lines of a man with a black cape. Fangs. Funny accent. Now take away the cape and fangs. The funny accent. Take away anything funny about it.”
Does that not sound great??! Hell Yeah!
You’re supposed to be scared of vampires. You are supposed to feel something crawling at the corner of your room when you think about vampires! And surely for god’s sake not to be in love with them. Take that Twilight! The Strain is the book we deserve and it is also the one we need!

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Guillermo del Toro is a master of horror. The way this book balances itself is just amazing. Horror, mystery, demon, science, pace. You give any of that too much, the book could loose its purpose. You give less and it could looses focus. But nope! This book deals with all of these smoothly!

But we get some clear-as-water characters on run. Heroes and villains are labelled who they are permanently as soon as they are introduced. Thus it does feel that the characters don’t have much depth. And that is the only weak point of this book.

The strain is now a trilogy, multiple comics series, a running TV show! Thank you Mr Toro for restoring the balance in stories about Vampires!

“He bit off her tongue”

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Triptych – 5 stars

A gem in the world of Crime and Suspense Thrillers. I had seen this book on many lists as one of the top contenders. And I am glad to say it really is.

The plot is quite straight forward – a convict is released after doing his time and a series of killing starts which is very much similar to the the one he was guilty of. There is the plot, there are some cops and interesting characters; so there you go – you have a thriller. Then what is it that makes this book so good?

For me, it was the narration. There are many books narrated from various point of views and time periods. But this one doesn’t follow any one character through out and the time periods are distributed through out the whole books in various time slots. It makes the reading very very interesting and enjoyable. The book has some really bloody and gore-some portions but still the book feels somehow a bit soothing! The expertise of writing shows itself in every little details.

And the characters! Ms Karin Slaughter has written with her heart out. Each one has his/her certain appeal – weather it is a little boy or an old retired teacher or a grief struck mother.

It is not about the mystery or some ‘baffling problem’ but it is about the journey towards the last page that is so good.

Fool me twice, shame on me…

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Sweetheart – 3 stars

First of all, Ms Chelsea Cain writes like a sick, twisted, mentally ill person. No, actually she is a very witty, clever, wonderful writer whose books make you feel that way. This is the second book of Gretchen Lowell series and sadly it stumbles sometime comparing to the marvellous previous one (HeartSick).

The books wastes no time in setting up mood or any type of ground formation. It jumps right in the middle of a war zone after just a few pages and grips readers on a spine chilling ride. This time Gretchen the stunning, ruthless, cunning and deviously beautiful serial killer is on the loose and Archie has to save his wife, children and friends. But it is actually him who she wants. So what will Archie do? The emotional satire between a cop and a serial killer is so sickly beautiful that they don’t care about family, rules, society or anything at all.

And man, what should I say about the language and situations. At some pages I had to stop and think, “What in the name of holy hobbit hole did I just read?”

A growing problem is that the series is already two books down and still there is no background of Gretchen. Why does she kill or why did she start killing? There is no explanation. Dexter had child issues, Hannibal was hungry etc. So why does Gretchen kill? There is no answer. Scratch that, there is nothing about her past or anything at all. One more bugging thing is that Gretchen is too much perfect. She is so much manipulative but we never get to see any of that. Her perfection sometimes really gets a bit frustrating too.

But overall the series is a good adrenaline rush and I am going to read the next one too.

YOUR CHOICE. YOUR LIFE. YOUR DEATH

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Think Of A Number – 5 stars

You receive a letter which contains  another envelope in it. It says “Think of A Number” and when you open the 2nd envelope, there it is – the number you just thought is written in it! And it also wants some money to shut up about more mysteries of your life.

You know what you get? You get hooked to the book instantly!

Dave Gurnery is a retired New York City Homicide Detective who is trying to live a quite life with his wife Madeline. But when an old college friend contacts him about some mysterious letter, Dave has to come out to help him. The letters are sinister and most shocking puzzles that Dave has ever seen. And when the friend is murdered, Dave finds finds himself in a cobweb of baffling mysteries and multiple homicides!

This is hands down my all time favourite Mystery Thriller! I had found this book by mistake and since then I have never missed any of John Verdon’s books! This was John Verdon’s début book which was a surprise to me because the book’s writing feels as if the author has already written many books in the genre.

Back to the book. This book taught me a term – “impossible situation”. It is a situation that is nowhere possible with any logical expression! Once you are in it, you will keep guessing the solution non-stop while reading more. The book almost merges your mind with the pages and you can’t put it down until you know – how? I don’t want to spoil anything but I really wish I could talk more about those situations!

Also, the characters are some jewels scattered all over the pages. They are heartfelt and feels very familiar as soon as they are introduced. Dave’s professional and personal life is so well balanced that I felt sad for him and kept vouching for him at the same time! His wife Madeline and his friend (as if) Jack are some of the best characters I have ever read.

If you love a good mystery or a puzzling thriller don’t ever miss this book! This is truly a gem in the field of mystery thrillers!

It’s a Boy…It’s a Girl…It’s Ranma!

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Ranma 1/2 – 5 stars

I know the title sounds as if someone is confused about his own sexuality. But don’t worry its nothing like that. Ranma 1/2 = total ridiculous pandemonium with romance and martial arts.
Ranma, a teenage boy travels with his father to China to be trained in martial arts. But while practising around he gets dunk in an ancient cursed spring and voilà – he turns in to a girl! Since then he changes in to a girl when ever he is splashed with cold water and the only remedy for the reverse is a splash of hot water! But wait there is more because his father has already promised a friend that Ranma will marry the friend’s daughter. If you think that is enough chaos then wait and repeat the same process for other characters with them changing into goose, pig, cat, panda (aww yisss, a big full shaped panda) and more. Multiple identity crisis, stupendous martial art action and some beautiful characters : do you need more?

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I was in school when this anime series came to telly for only a few months. But it was so funny that I read the manga later on the first chance I got.

Adult humour + martial art + identity crisis + fantastic characters and art =  DO NOT miss this if you like a good laugh any-time.