Hollywood Detective with Magic

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Hex-Rated: A Brimstone Files Novel

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James Brimstone is Jack of many trades: former child magician in circus, Korean veteran and now a licensed private investigator. His new life starts with his mentor’s funeral and his first client Nico, the scarred beautiful actress with a tale of black magic, demons and revenge on the set of a pornographic film. With knowledge of the hidden dark magics and no money in pocket, Brimstone takes the case that takes him to places which he vowed never to visit again. 

When I started reading Brimstone felt like bombastic combo of Dan Turner (Hollywood Detective), Jake (Chinatown) and Dean (Supernatural).

Then why just 3 stars?      i-want-answers

I was all over this book the second James Brimstone was introduced. Sleek, charismatic and a wonderful liar – the stupendous ragged hero. Nico was introduced perfectly as the damsel in distress of a pulp. Everything was super even the needless sex and action scenes were spot on as per a pulp. The LA setup is wonderful and tasty, the mystery is intriguing and the book is full of magical action. With ‘sexy’ written all over and weird magic gluing all together, I had set my mind to the extreme gear of ppppulp novels. But then I realized how flat the characters are. Generally, characters of pulps are written a bit ‘over-the-top’ which compliments the book and fits like a jigsaw. Hex-rated has characters which are transparent and have good and bad written on their forehead as soon as they are introduced.

All these being said, I still loved it. Somehow  it grew upon me and the ride to the last page was very satisfying. I sincerely hope to see more of a better Brimstone.

 

Damn it I almost forgot: Thanks to Netgalley and the author for providing a free copy for this review. 

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‘Pledged is pledged!’

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Wytches Vol 1
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Take all of one’s deepest darkest fears, with blood of course and stir them well for handful poignant pages while enjoying an unopened bottle of artistic masterpiece.

You know, when a comic’s cover contains this-
Captureit’s gonna be good, goood, goooooood!

Snyder take a bow and Jock take my left hand and teach me how to draw like that.

wytches_03_04.0All your fears are hear. Sailor is a teenage girl accused of murdering her missing classmate. Her family moves in a new town to start a new life only to realise, they have entered a one-way hellhole of horror. The more Sailor tries to run the more ‘they’ come. Everyone wants something and ‘they’ only want somethingone in return.

A bloody triumph in horror genre. Horror is already polluted and cramped yet this is so new. So unique. It scores everything out of the park. Wytches is graphic, bloody, meaty and spooky to the best. Synder’s story and Jock’s art fit each other so well that its class is set even before the end.

I suggest reading this before sleeping to get perfect graphic nightmares.

‘Pledged is pledged!’

81HOHp3nwWL

 

 

Wytches Vol 1
1 (1)1 (1)1 (1)1 (1)1 (1)

 

Take all of one’s deepest darkest fears, with blood of course and stir them well for handful poignant pages while enjoying an unopened bottle of artistic masterpiece.

You know, when a comic’s cover contains this-
Captureit’s gonna be good, goood, goooooood!

Snyder take a bow and Jock take my left hand and teach me how to draw like that.

wytches_03_04.0All your fears are hear. Sailor is a teenage girl accused of murdering her missing classmate. Her family moves in a new town to start a new life only to realise, they have entered a one-way hellhole of horror. The more Sailor tries to run the more ‘they’ come. Everyone wants something and ‘they’ only want somethingone in return.

A bloody triumph in horror genre. Horror is already polluted and cramped yet this is so new. So unique. It scores everything out of the park. Wytches is graphic, bloody, meaty and spooky to the best. Synder’s story and Jock’s art fit each other so well that its class is set even before the end.

I suggest reading this before sleeping to get perfect graphic nightmares.

Steve in the Forbidden Zone

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Book 1 and 2  –  3.5 stars

Our beloved Captain America gets himself stuck in the ‘Lost Dimension Z’ and raises a child he found, against all the odds.

We all know Captain is the ultimate ‘Goodie-shoe’ when a man’s principles are considered, right? But where did his principles come from and why do they matter so much? Mr Remender has gifted us with a heart warming story to answer. So when such a righteous man finds a baby being used for biological experiments, it is no surprise that he will escape with it and raise it as his own. He sinks himself in more danger when the baby turns out to be the son of Warlord of this dimension. The Lost Dimension Z is messy, full of muties (not the lovable X-men kinds) and a war raging for years and ages. Frankly the story is sometimes too much to wrap your head around. But that flashback story about Steve Roger’s childhood is so spot on that it makes me wonder if we ever get to see a book just about the little Steve. Mr Romita Jr is as aggressive as always. Head too big for body, ribs wider than tanks but somehow gives a visual treat (don’t worry, he always delivers) so enrich of colour and action that the plot-holes seem less important.

The story contains various cliché formats of needless-sacrifice-for-emotional digging, enemy-becoming-righteous and elephant-dropping-plot-holes. But still the story somehow passes off due to its purity. Read it for our good-ol’ Cap’s sake.

Spider was hating society before it was cool

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TRANSMETROPOLITAN Vol.1 – 5 stars

Fu*k Society! Cyber punk dirty future world has come to life by Warren Ellis and Darick Roberson just to bear a Son of a Dogfu**er Gonjo Journalist like Spider Jerusalem! I don’t hate you or him, I hate you all – a moto that rings through time and space. A war of a single mo**erf**ker against society and so called face f**king protocols. His pen (read computer) is mightier than the sword (read guns and gongs) because he can write like – “Take a good look at the City before I scuttle back into my little fucking luxury hole”!

I don’t think I have got the balls  to write about this book. Just read it and enlighten your minds from the gutter hole we call society!

Save us Oh Coinman!

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Coinman: An Untold Conspiracy – 4 stars

Coinman: An Untold Conspiracy is the story of a usual normal boring ‘mad’ man who is trapped in webs of boring petty normal life. Wait a minute, did I say normal? I meant the mad mad world where insanity might be the only option for sanity!
Our oh so mighty hero is a low level employee in a office where he is the joker for all. With a wife obsessed with acting at home and the whole paranoid world throwing one after anohter oddballs on his way, jingling coins in pocket seems to be the only possible way to remain ‘normal’.
This is an odd book. Odd like I’ve never felt before. The book started as if it was missing a few first chapters but slowly it started gaining upon me. The mad cap paranoia, the unusual yet familiar situations became too luscious for me to stop. I should mention here that I’ve never read sarcasm like this before from such a young author. For me, sarcasm is the best thing served on plates by this book. I just loved that.
It is a sad dark time for Indian novels where reading a third book feels like a repeat full of same old funny/romance cliche with sex thrown in to make it crispy. Thankfully we have authors like Pawan Mishra and a few others who are not afraid to dive into unconventional grounds to make a difference.
I got this book from Pawan in exchange for an honest review. Thank you for giving me the opportunity.
I invite all the readers to this mad house where all you got to do is jingle some coins!

Oh yeah I will Jingle it baby!

Our Friendly Neighborhood Serial Killer!

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Darkly Dreaming Dexter – 5 very bloody stars

Dexter the oddball. Forensic Analyst by day and Killer of Killers by night. Our lovable friendly neighborhood serial killer! No one knows the secret that he vanishes the murders slipped through fingers of law. But what if some one knows who he is or who he was? Will Dexter discover himself or destroy?
Jeff Lindsay is an incredible writer. Using simple words and exceptionally calm wordings, he can create suffocating suspense. Dexter, Debra, Harry – all are products of mesmerizing characterization. I can never stop reading this book over and over. Dexter is one of my top most favorite fictional serial killers (I know, I know. That is a very very odd thing to say). Never ever have I have rooted for a murderer this much. In my opinion never has the POV of a serial killer been explored like this before. But I am afraid that saying anything much about the book might be revealing.

So it is a humble request of mine that any thriller, suspense lover should read(taste) this.

PS. Separate your mind from the TV series to experience the true flavor.

A guidebook of using cliché formats with zero integrity

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2 States – no stars?

From the writer who almost single handedly lowered the standard of Indian writing by setting cliché yet popular young adult format for many other writers and by showing that anyone (literally) can write books (quality doesn’t matter) – comes a new (*sigh*) story of “a boy falling in love with a girl from totally different culture in college and their struggles of winning hearts of the in-laws before their marriage.”

Wow! Talk about ground breaking unique stories! Only the mastermind Chetan Bhagat can produce this. Pour down funny elements ripped of from decades of Indian movies in the most cliché format, mix inter-cultural jokes which might be of our father’s times, slap in some sex scenes to make the story raunchy for young people and give us an ending that we all knew from just looking the cover – yet he produces a best-seller! What a genius!

Live Large or Die Trying

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Romantic Bouncers – 4 stars

Millions of Indian teenagers dream of putting on the jersey of Indian Cricket team but only the brightest of all gets the chance. Rabin is one the dreamers with a shining girlfriend, a few friends of the same feather and a father in Narcotics Control hell bent on him having a traditional and safe ‘naukri-wala’ life. But little do people know when drug and corruption slip in ever-day lives and dig their claws in the flesh of innocence. A story of a ambitious dreamer’s struggle to lurch out of the dark alleys of Kolkata and stepping in the limelight of playing for a cricket crazy nation.

Let me take a moment to talk about current status of Indian novels. A huge portion of Indian writings are now done by bored out IIT/IIM passouts or Bankers whose products can be simply put as “less than 200 hundred pages of funny/romantic things done by young and horny people whose lives suddenly take nice turns within last 30 pages”. It is a sad dark time for Indian novels where reading a third book feels repeat full of same old funny/romance cliche with sex thrown in to make it crispy. And then come authors like Ram Vignesh who not only breaks free of these ‘setups’ but also takes daring risky steps of writing books which digs deeper in to the psychology and dark corners of human mind.

Frankly, I don’t read romantic novels. For me, “Romantic Bouncers” was a cringe-worthy name but somehow the premise at the backcover promising an unique blend of Cricket and Narcotics felt appealing. Although the name sounds like a book of love and even though the book contains the love life of our hero, Romantic Bouncer is not a romantic book at all. It is dark, deep, realistic and sometimes raw. But the strongest is the narration – abrupt, discreet and complex with going back and forth. I am not saying that it’s never seen before but it felt incredible to hear an Indian voice finally taking things up a notch. Our protagonist Rabin feels like the-boy-across-the street from the start and we can all relate easily to his struggles. But even before I knew, I had completed the first half of the book and realized that the book had sunk me like a quicksand. And damn those pages about drug lords and streets of Kolkata! When we watch/read foreign TV shows or crime thrillers we all somehow feel that “those type of things are too much for our alleys”. Ram Vignesh has excelled at that part. His descriptions are neither over the top, nor lousy. And apart from being a little cinematic at some places, they are tight, hard and as real as our knuckles.

I will not get into the story much to avoid the risk of spoiling anything but one thing is for sure that Ram Vignesh is one author to keep an eye out for. I recommend this to any romance, fiction or crime fiction lovers and request to welcome this new wave of Indian writing.
P.S. A warm thanks to Mr Vignesh for providing a copy to review.

Do you remember that thing?

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Who Goes There? (The Thing) – 3.5 stars

Remember that weird bloody gory sci-fi movie that we all have watched once? Yes ‘The Thing’! Curt Russell using firebreather allover! Who Goes There is the book based on which The Thing was made. 

An alien dead-body is found by some research works of a station at Antarctica. But little do they know that it’s not dead. It is a shape-shifter – human or animal doesn’t matter! There begins a bloody gore-some paranoia in the station.

The story is pure hunt or be hunted type with fantastic voids to be filled with readers’ imaginations. Sometimes the amount of blood and gore in a science fiction feels unnecessary but for this it doesn’t. All the killings and violently described situations are very very fitting in the novel. There can be two types of reception of this book depending on whether you have or haven’t seen the movie. If the movie is seen before reading the novel, it does feel a bit bland because the movie actually created much more visually enjoyable paranoia than the book (which is very rare in the history of cinematizations)! But if the book is picked up first then it feels like an immensely enjoyable novel that has stapled horror and science-fiction in spectacular manner. The only thing that stumbles is the narration; feels a little discontinuous or sudden sometimes.

A bloody (pun intended) well written scary sci-fi to be read again from to time!