He still has it

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Spiral – 4 stars

When respected and beloved Nobel laureate Liam Connor is found dead and his death is declared as suicide, search of a virus hidden since World War II is ignited. Soon Liam’s collaborator Jake, Liam’s granddaughter Maggie, and Maggie’s nine-year-old son Dylan find themselves in a conspiracy of bio-warfare spread over the world and decades of research. With an assassin, an infamous Japanese criminal and US military also in the same race, the only chance of survival of human live over the world depends on who gets to the virus first.

A fantastic debut. Paul McEuen is a nano scientist and has written a sci-fi thriller with an excellent mixture of science and fiction. Fast pace and continuous twists are what makes this book worthy of praise. Whenever I felt ‘I know what will happen now’, the book had something exactly different like it knew what I was thinking! And that really kept me glued to it. I am a science student and all those nanao-science and DNA coding stuffs just fascinated me. But none of those are hard to understand. Actually the book has so much base in real research, it never felt stretching or unbelievable. With just one step crossing the line of real science, Paul McEuen has written a great novel.

The actions and logics looked a bit thin sometimes but otherwise I really loved it. It has some invisible hook that pulled me towards the last page so fast. A well written sci-fi thriller with a healthy dose of science in it.

“That, my friends, was Titus’s mistake”

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The Last Ember – 4 stars

Jonathan is an american lawyer who has a nice profile for case related to relics because he was once a doctoral student of classics at Rome. But when he is called back to Rome for a simple case related to an ancient stone piece, he finds a message encrypted in it. With help of a few friends from the past that he had left behind, he discovers a conspiracy so hidden and ancient that no one knows or believes it. But little does he know that the terrorists are also trying to destroy every trace of it which may cause an unrepairable damage in Jewish-Christian history. With a shoot-at-sight on his own head and terrorists at his heels, his only way to survive is to find it first.

This by far the most underrated novel I’ve ever read. Dan Brown, Steve Berry, Sam Bourne and numerous authors have made “Treasure hunting” a highly popular genre among today’s books and as too many writer are writing, one starts to notice some clichés and to get bored with same formats and pitch-perfect characters where no one forgets anything they ever had read or done. And that is where Daniel Levin has entered with a a very very fresh take.

Daniel Levin himself is a lawyer and if read carefully, it can be felt who the hero Jonathan is a traced on. The writing is fluid and the book doesn’t give headache with unnecessary infos(take that David Gibbins). But what I liked most about this book is that the characters are not perfect. Not as good or bad, I mean no one is a perfect professor(don’t get me wrong, I like Robert Langdon but still sometime he feels like a computer) or assassin or collector and everyone has their shortcomings and lacking. Thus they feel very realistic and grounded. With some little poke in religions and a very nice threat hanging over head, Mr Levin has written a stupendous book.

Nothing feels forced or too much complex in the Last Ember and that simplicity is what makes this very enjoyable. As a début novel, this really strong and others really have to watch out if Daniel Levin develops more.

I highly recommend this book to any mystery, thriller, treasure loving readers.

Books were safer than other people anyway

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The Ocean at the End of the Lane – 4 stars

In a nice and easy old-school lane full of houses, there is a pond named Ocean. And when a death disturbs the balance between worlds beyond our knowledge, something horrible made of nightmare, lust and fear comes in our world using a little boy as a door. But the only help he will get is from the mystic girl who named the pond- Ocean.

Do you remember how it was like when we were children? Neil Gaiman remembers (or maybe he knows or maybe he is). At this point I am ready to believe anything he writes.

“Adults follow paths. Children explore.”
“Adults should not weep, I knew. They did not have mothers who would comfort them.”

Every child has a superpower – imagination. The more we grow up the more it fades. ‘Age’ is the Kryptonite for Imagination. Remember the times when we saw something that we could not comprehend but somehow always managed to wrap it up with our stories by our imagination?
“I lay on the bed and lost myself in stories. I liked that. Books were safer than other people anyway.”
Let that last line settle and it will leave a scar.

This book brings tear in eyes when I think about how much we have forgotten about our childhood where everything was new and knowing nothing about those was just what made us happy. The explorations, little magic that gave our hero the strength and the chilling cryptic horror that gave him goosebumps affected the same way on me too when I was reading the book.

How did you manage to say so much with so little Mr. Gaiman? Finishing this tiny book felt like being shot with an emotional canon. Did you left the ending open for me to finish it by imagining another chapter with my own imagination Mr. Gaiman? Because I did and you made me imagine again like I used to when I was a kid. Thank you, Sir.

This book is an ‘Encyclopedia of Children’ for adults. I recommend this to all the readers who want to smile again remembering how precious our childhood were.