Bring him back?

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Pet Sematary – 5 stars

Louis Creed is a doctor who moves to a small town of Ludlow with his wife and two little kids Ellie and Gage. In a little town consisting of a highway full of big trucks and a pet cemetery, Lois makes friendship with their elderly neighbour Jud. One day Ellie’s cat named Church gets run over and is buried in the cemetery. But when Jud tells Louis about ‘the real cemetery’ which is an ancient burial ground once used by the Micmac Indians and helps him to resurrect Church, it starts a chain reaction of events beyond explanation. Few months later Gage gets run over by a speeding truck and driven by grief, Louis decides to revive his son too in the same manner. The rest is what makes this book another fine masterpiece written by Stephen King.

Yes, this is the book which has been followed, given homage, parodied, spoofed and made into a cult encyclopaedia of anything related to ‘resurrection‘.  e.g.

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As always Mr. King first defines a firm, soothing ground decorated with some lovely characters and makes them close to heart before dropping the bombs. Louis, Gage, Rachel, Ellie – all are very relate-able and we start caring about their lives and problems within few pages. Sometimes they may prick a heart sometimes they make us smile. But once the ground is set, Stephen King starts what he does best – slicing n’ dicing!

Writing is as expected from him: out of the park! Whenever I had stopped while reading, it didn’t let me concentrate on what I was supposed to do next. The pace neither slow nor hast. It slowly pushes you towards the peak of mountain and then lightly topples you over. Horror, goosebumps, irony, sarcasm, paranormal activity – this book left nothing out!

All hail the King?!

Two hostages. One bullet. One lives. One dies.

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Eeny Meeny – 3 stars

Two people (who know each other) are abducted and they are given a choice. A revolver with one bullet in it. Only one gets to live by killing the other (Saw – movies anyone?). Now DI Helen Grace and her team have to find the mastermind when these type of killings start happening all over the town. They have to catch the murderer fast before it starts getting personal. The story is pretty straight. One after another incidents and DI Helen starts to get the feeling that the murderer is actually targeting her and all of the killings may somehow be related to her(touché).

This book is one of those books which build up incredible psychological mysteries but sadly fail to deliver satisfying solutions. The writing style is very engaging and smooth. But the unnecessary chapter breaks are really frustrating. There are so many chapters which run maybe for just 1 or 2 pages. Scratch that, there are chapters which are even less than 1 page. Chapter breaks are important for a novel and I have read other books too which have many chapters (eg. John Verdon). But they feel fine only when those are relevant/necessary.

The psychological satire is very well written by M. J. Arlidge. The minds of the victims are explored deeply. But at the end the solution or the identity of the murderer is very sudden which makes it bland. Have you read Now You See Me or The 7th Victim? Because then you already know the answer! Although The 7th victim itself felt very simialr to Now You See Me, after reading both of those, Enney Meeney feels like a complete cliché novel at the end. But if you haven’t heard/read any of those mentioned, you are in for a great ride!

I had very high hope with the novel because it has mind scratching mystery, appealing characters and greatly explored human psychology. Only if the ending had delivered more, this book would have been awesome.

His arm grew back?!

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Amazonia – 4 stars

4yrs ago, a government scientific expedition team lead by Dr. Carl Rand had vanished in the unknown depths of the jungle of Amazon. Now after all these years one of the team members- a special force soldier comes out of the jungle and dies within hours from multiple diseases, scars and molestations. But, he has come out with both of his arm although he had gone in with only one! Now the government decides to lead another expedition to trace back the missing years following the dead soldier’s path with a team of scientists and soldiers. They also enlist Nathan Rand(son of Carl Rand) who wants to solve his father’s death at any cost with the help of his friends. But little does he know that there is one more contender of their findings who lurches behinds them hiding in their shadows while the unseen horrors and ancient secrets of Amazon waits for all of them!

Ok, I was hooked with just the premise itself! The plot is very engaging. I have read many science fiction and adventure novels but mostly those focus on technologies very much. But rarely comes novels like Amazonia which focuses on the nature and its horror! the wilderness, the jungle, its animals, weird bugs, medicinal leaves – all of these knits a gripping and enjoyable story which is decorated with stupendous action, chase and one after another twists. The jungle’s description and the actions are written so well that it feels like happening in front of the eyes like a movie (will come back to this point). With betrayal, revenge and a good villain thrown into that, James Rollins has really written a fantastic gripping novel.

Each of the characters are living through the pages and feels very very realistic. Manny, Prof. Kouwe, Tor-Tor became friends of mine too along with Rand. Nathan Rand is one of the best heroic characters that I have read. His anger, sadness and bravery really leaves a mark on the reader’s mind.

Sadly the books is very very cinematic at some places. It kind of does feel like a sci-fi adventure movie with little bits of Predator thrown in. But what really hurt me was that the 2nd half of this book is almost a blue print of the movie AVATAR by James Cameroon!! Amazonia came out on 2001-02 whereas AVATAR was out on 2009. The jungle, animals and intriguing story elements are so similar that it feels uncanny to be ‘just a coincidence’! It even felt as if Mr. Cameron ripped off some of the pages of this book to write the script. I usually like movies of Mr. Cameron but this sad realisation left a bitterness when I finished the book.

I highly recommend this book to any science fiction or adventure lovers.

‘You shouldn’t have done your dirt’

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The Bronx Kill – 3 stars

The Bronx Kill offers a traditional mystery with little of surprises in it. An aspiring writes goes off to a tour for some days only to find his wife missing just after he returns. The police pins him down as the murder suspect and whole thing becomes a media circus. Everything happening around him points towards the novel he is obsessively working on and while the writer refuses to take any help from his DI father, the world around him keeps throwing him in more and more cryptic situations just to make him question more about his own family history.

Although the baseline of the story seems very regular, Bronx Kill offers some new twists too. The family drama and history is very enjoyable. Tying the past with present is a very good way of writing a mystery and Peter Milligan has done that uniquely. But even after all these things the conclusion/showdown seems bland and many of the twists feel unnecessary. Bronx Kill could have been much more because it surely had the potential and calibre.
In the art department, James Romerger scores very very well. Te gritty nature of the city and raw emotions are portrayed very well. His scribbling lines suit the mystery perfectly but at some places the faces are too much distorted and at some pages you might have to stop to identify who-is-who first.

Although it is full of ambitions and offers some memorable twists, The Bronx Kill fails sadly to reach the hight it could have reached.