Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Where are the paper books going? :|

Books go a long way back in history, to the time when paper wasn’t even invented (or at least, reading and writing was). When it came around to paper books, it was a revolution. Knowledge spread, and so did books and reading. Publication houses opened up and bang! A whole new industry, all about books! I haven’t done any fact survey, but I’m pretty sure they did really well. I kind of love this industry, not just because it’s book-related (though that is a reason) but also because the whole process of creating a book seems magical and fascinating to me. (If anybody’s interested, I’d love to work in the publication industry! :P)

I’m a bit worried though, if the rate at which things are now going is any indication. I mean, the first thing I came to know when I returned home from a stupidly-useless day in college was that Penguin and Random House are merging to become one entity. Not that I’m against it, I am happy. I’ve always admired both these publishing houses, what with all those great books they come out with. But I have to admit my first reaction was slight disappointment. So instead of going, ‘Whoa! That’s great!’ as my parents expected (when they gave me the news), I went, ‘What? But why?’

They say it’s because there’s a decline in sales of books, thanks to the boom and increasing preference for e-books. That’s kind of sad, if I were to quote my personal opinion. I mean, removing all emotion aside, how do you dream of a world where there are no books? I can’t. I’d rather die. Seriously. If not, I’d die of boredom anyway! Even if people are not book maniacs like me, they’d still have at least some preference for paperbacks? How can you miss out on the thrill a reallyyy old book you find in the store room or attic gives you? Or the delight of seeing those volumes set on a shelf, gleaming and torn, old and new, paperbacks and hard-covers, tilting your head to read the spines, using your index finger to pull the book out? Just imagining a time where people will only have e-books gives me the shudders.

I cannot do this with an e-book, can I?
No, that’s not going to come true for some centuries at least, I think. (Am I hoping for too much?) But still, what’s with the decline? And it’s not just because of e-readers or reading apps on PCs/Laptops. It’s because of piracy, too. A book can easily be available on the internet, if you’re smart enough to find the right thing. Talking only about people in my city (and country) and I’m not generalizing, because I know all of us don’t do that, but it is a fact that many don’t like spending a lot on buying books. (Not that it increases libraries, or memberships there, in any case). Apart from the obsessed like me (and let me remind you, it’s not much appreciated either, being obsessed, I mean. But whatever), many go for cheap copies available with the redhi walas, for less than half the price, the only problem with them being the poor paper quality, which they don't seem to mind. Or for pirated books off the net.

Which is where I start feeling uneasy. I’d admit I tried finding a book too, when I couldn’t seem to find it at a reasonable rate, but I gave up after a few minutes of searching. It wasn’t right. But people do it, right? Apart from the obvious reason of saving money, I cannot find any other factor. And I don’t want to start about the differences in paperbacks and e-books and which is better and all that. It’s already been talked about a lot. I got a Kindle myself, but that’s not because I do not like paperbacks. I prefer them any day; in fact I haven’t been able to read more than two books on the Kindle anyway, thanks to its need for wifi, which I don’t have at home yet.  Besides, I got that only for the Amazon freebies that I’d been reading on the Kindle app on my laptop before. Those books are like ‘quick, fast and light’ reads for me. Somehow I’ve never been able to think of them as ‘books’.

Anyway, with the new Penguin Random House projected to be the biggest publisher (sounds mighty!), I’m also very happy to know that one out of every four books would be from this publishing unit, according to an article in www.guardian.co.uk. But even then, it’s not exactly comforting to know that two great publishing houses are now one. The numbers are dwindling and it’s kind of scary. I love you paperbacks, and I hope you’d be there forever! :)   

PS- This is probably the first ever post on this blog that isn’t a book review or a meme. I know that’s pretty sad and I think by now, those reviews-only posts ‘might’ just have made it monotonous. I blame my first blog, which pretty much carries my life’s weird stories and that's where I ramble when I’m either frustrated bored or emotionally charged up. Whatever pertained to books, I kept it here and now that I realize, I’ve never actually posted anything off the topic, or anything I’ve written randomly. This isn’t a post to deliberately break that norm either, but I did feel a lot about this issue and wanted to talk about it. 

Any views? What do you feel?

Saturday, October 27, 2012

In Other Rooms, Other Wonders...

Title: In Other Rooms, Other Wonders
Published in 2009 by Random House India
Pages: 247
Find it at: Flipkart / Amazon
My Rating: 3.5/5

Goodreads Blurb!
Passing from the mannered drawing rooms of Pakistan s cities to the harsh mud villages beyond, Daniyal Mueenuddin s linked stories describe the interwoven lives of an aging feudal landowner, his servants and managers, and his extended family, industrialists who have lost touch with the land. In the spirit of Joyce s Dubliners and Turgenev s A Sportsman s Sketches, these stories comprehensively illuminate a world, describing members of parliament and farm workers, Islamabad society girls and desperate servant women. A hard-driven politician at the height of his powers falls critically ill and seeks to perpetuate his legacy; a girl from a declining Lahori family becomes a wealthy relative s mistress, thinking there will be no cost; an electrician confronts a violent assailant in order to protect his most valuable possession; a maidservant who advances herself through sexual favors unexpectedly falls in love. Together the stories in In Other Rooms, Other Wonders make up a vivid portrait of feudal Pakistan, describing the advantages and constraints of social station, the dissolution of old ways, and the shock of change. Refined, sensuous, by turn humorous, elegiac, and tragic, Mueenuddin evokes the complexities of the Pakistani feudal order as it is undermined and transformed.

My thoughts
When I began reading this book, I thought I understood the theme and definitely liked it. The first chapter, the story of an electrician in Lahore, at KK Harouni’s farm is a glimpse into the life of a very ordinary man working for a living, to give his family (his wife, 12 daugthers and a son!) a fairly comfortable life, at least as far as the low income families can go. It goes on to describe how he managed to get a motorcycle from Harouni, exploring new places for his work and earning a bit more. When he is confronted with a thief intent on stealing his bike, Nawabdin does all he can to save the thing that became an integral part of earning his livelihood. It was only when I reached the consequent chapters did I realize how the book’s been set up.

There’s a wealthy Pakistani family, with KK Harouni as the family elder. Each chapter is a story of different people associated with him, some his blood relations, some the servants serving him. It gives quite an interesting glimpse into the separate lives of connected people, displaying how we all can differ and how our separate lives are kind of a secret. Something our families really don’t know. Most of all, I liked the realism about the book (where I didn’t feel that way, is described further). It’s no fantasy story, the characters seem peculiarly real and the day-to-day instances and events have been described beautifully. You know how the Richie Rich guys are, how they behave, what all matters to them. You also know how servants live, having their own twisted lives, gossiping and chatting and loving. It’s all in the book, served as words, just as it actually is.

I will definitely say the book got a lot better towards the second half, probably because of introduction of new characters, getting out of Lahore for a while and learning about people’s lives outside the farms.

My favourite stories include:
About a Burning Girl’: Open display of how people play with words, even when both parties know the truth! I mean, it’s so ‘Indian’. I guess we’re not so different, after all. The shrewdness is in all of us.

Our Lady of Paris’: Primarily because it’s one glimpse into a fashionable and lavish lifestyle of the Harouni family in Karachi, as well as when the son, Sohail is in Paris with his lover, Helen. I think this Harouni is a cousin or something. I’m kind of confused with all those characters. Anyway, there’s the word play again, where Sohail’s mother indirectly shows Helen what she wants for her son and that Helen doesn’t seem to fit.

Lily’: A fashion-loving, partying girl loving Murad, a Harouni family member, living in his farm after their marriage, idling time. I don’t think it’s a complete story, just what happened and how they expect it to go forward. I nevertheless liked it for how easily it shows the confusions of our lives!

A Spoiled Man’: This is one story, the first half of which I can call ‘cute’. There’s an old man, Reazk who finds refuge with the Harouni’s weekend home above Islamabad. He had left his home years ago and was proud of his wooden cabin-like home with its easy-to-take-down windows, the red rug, his bed and drawers, the spittoon and everything. He carries this home where he lives, the latest one being the Ali Khan lands, four or five acres of land just up the road from the main house. Thanks to Sonya, Sohail’s wife from America, he gets a salary of 9000 rupees a month like other servants and thus gets more than he ever thought he would. I feel it’s kind of a satire on the way we live and the lives of servants. He’s called a ‘spoiled man’ because he gets little liberties he otherwise couldn’t afford.

I love the writing style, no doubt. It’s quite descriptive and is able to give readers a feel of the place and events. It’s too easy to imagine what all is going on, the images, the people. Full marks on that! There are a couple of things that personally didn’t seem too right to me, somehow. One, I can’t call it a novel, even though the stories are about people living together or at least belonging to one place, but it’s a bit difficult to interlink. I guess that’s mainly because there are just too many servants, considering the family’s size. I mean in terms of land and not just one home (there’s a different summer home in Islamabad, for instance. Plus some members are staying in the US and their stories are based in different countries, along with Pakistan).

That’s where the second thing comes. I felt there was a lot of cheating-on-your-spouse thing and what made me squirm inside the most was the old members of the family getting attached to the young maids. And not just emotionally. True, that happens, but when you see a lot of it in just one family (and also among the servants themselves), it becomes too weird to be true. While it does make a lot of sense: of different people having different backgrounds (sometimes disturbing stories), the need to be loved and respected, that it comes down to being a human after all, it seemed to be in a lot of stories, so much so that I kind of expected the same thing to happen in those stories towards the end, where thankfully, it didn’t.   

Overall, the book gives you a peek into Pakistan as you never knew it. It was a different kind of a book for me, a break from all those fantasy stories that cloud my head ;).

Thank you Random House Publishers for this book! 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Word-O-Logy Wednesday!

Tanya, the blogger at Coveted Dreams is hosting a fun game about associating things with a set choice of words! Write whatever first comes to your mind, that's the essence of the game. Follow the link above to know the rules of the game and all 55 words, 10 of which we've to choose for the word association.

I know I've been only posting book reviews for a while now, no fun stuff. While it is very tempting to post random words/phrases that jump to my mind, I thought I'd give it a twist. I'll write the name of whatever book immediately comes to my mind based on the 10 words I choose. The chosen books would be those that are related to, or themed according to those words! :D (Though there might be better ones, but I'll be posting what came to mind first).

Friendship: Harry Potter series

Life: Incarnate 

Love: The Last Song 

Fashion: Being Nikki

Hills: Jump

School: Belle Teale 

Pink: Pink or Black 

Black: Which Witch

Women: Little Women 

Dreams: Peter Pan 

I'll explain why these books!

Friendship: Harry Potter series (J.K. Rowling)
If Harry, Ron and Hermione aren't the best role models for friends, I don't know who else is!

Life: Incarnate (Jodi Meadows)
Ana isn't supposed to be born, she's a new soul, unexpected, supposedly taking the place of one beloved soul. How better to learn the meaning of life from one whose life is seen as a mistake?

Love: The Last Song (Nicholas Sparks)
I finished reading this today and contrary to what people say, it's not only about first love. It's a lot about love in a family, which is why I loved adored this book so much! It made me cry, and not just once.

Fashion: Being Nikki (Meg Cabot)
This book is the second in the Airhead trilogy and is based on the life of a geek-stuck-in-the-body-of-a-super-model (click on the link to read my review, you'd understand!). A lot of stuff about modelling and fashion, apart from the main story.

Hills: Jump (Elisa Carbone)
A story of two teenagers who love rock climbing! A lot of hills and rocks here!

School: Belle Teale (Ann M. Martin)
A small school in the countryside, a little girl in class five, a time when migrants are coming into the country, but not well received. Belle Teale's school is now open to kids from the Negro community and it's a story of how Belle Teale perceives and copes with the racism and unfairness.

Pink: Pink or Black (Tishaa Khosla)
A young debutante's book, based on a girl's life in a school hostel, who is on the path to self discovery and who learns the meaning of life from a scary incident!

Black: Which Witch (Eva Ibbotson)
Among the first fantasy books I read. It's about witches who essentially perform black magic, which is what they're proud of. In fact, a young witch who's white, tries hard to perform black magic in order to be accepted!

Women: Little Women (L.M. Alcott)
Again, among the first books I remember reading and re-reading. A classic based on a family where the dad is gone off to fight in the war and calls his daughters 'Little Women'. Quite some story! :) 

Dreams: Peter Pan (J.M. Barrie)
Neverland! Dreams! Famous quote from the book, “You know that place between sleeping and awake, that place where you can still remember dreaming? That's where I'll always think of you.”

Cool, right? :) If you wish to participate, check out Tanya's post and add your link to the list! :) 

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Review: Jinx!

Title: Jinx
Author: Meg Cabot
Pages: 262
Published: August 2007 by Harper Teen
Price: Rs. 227 at Flipkart / $8.99 at Amazon
My Rating: 5/5!

About the Book
Jean Honeychurch, a sixteen year old girl seems to have a very bad luck and not just because there was a terrible storm when she was born. Her family calls her 'Jinx', considering how bad things keep on happening around her (not gruesome bad, but embarrassing bad). She lives in Hancock, Iowa but because of a particular 'reason', she comes to spend part of her school year at Chapman School, New York, living with her mother's sister's family, the Gardiners. Tory, Jean's same-age cousin is drastically different from how Jean remembered her from five years ago, from an impish chubby girl to a hip, drug-taking girl who's also part of a witch coven, believing she's a witch (as predicted by their great great great something grandmom Branwen, who happened to be a famous witch). 

Only Tory doesn't know what happens when you play with magic, not knowing what you're doing, something that Jean knows only too well. She tries talking Tory out of it, but it's of no use. Jean takes a fancy to Zach, their neighbour and school mate on whom Tory also harbours a major crush. Not that Zach is interested in Tory. For the major part of the book, Jean believes Zach loves Petra, the Gardiner's au pair (who has her boyfriend and is old for Zach anyway). Jean and Zach form a close friendship, especially after Jean saves him from a speeding bike messenger. There's something secret all through, about Jean, the thing she's running from and pure magic. 

My thoughts
I love Jinx! The character and the book. The way Jinx's 'bad luck' is emphasized, isn't really 'in-your-face', but subtle and thrown in at the appropriate moments. I too, am a really clumsy person and I could totally understand those little incidents Jean's struck with. She's a strong character and really smart. The best thing I like about Jean is that her bad luck thingy doesn't come in the way when she's faced with trouble. If Tory's teasing her, she knows how to react (or how not to react, for that matter), she's considerate, sweet and loving, stuck with her image as a 'preacher's daughter', though going off track to do what's right, nevertheless. And oh, she's daring too! 

Needless to say I loved Zach's character as well. Of course I wanted Jean and Zach to be together, of course I loved the chemistry between them, those tit-bits and sweet stuff! (Not sickly sweet, I might add. Like me, Jean doesn't like that mushy stuff too). A good looking, smart guy, not-popular by choice, falling for a girl at 'I haven't been to King's Island'! The way he feels for Jean and how he feels 'amused and exasperated' when she doesn't seem to know that, is just so cute. As for Petra, she definitely is a sweet person! And a whole lot helpful too, I might add. Tory is a troubled teen, incredibly jealous and who goes to unimaginable lengths for revenge. *Shudders* I liked the way she's been portrayed and possible reasons as to why a person behaves in that mean way. 

The story went in a typical Meg Cabot style, this time mixed with fantasy. No, not like the Abandon series that's based on the Underworld, but a plain story that has a background of magic. I like it that way, you read about a high-school sort of a story and only get to the magic part of it towards the end. Moreover, there's an element of mystery all through the book (all those times when Jean thinks about her past, or anything related to witchcraft, for that matter), and that kept me hooked. The ending was good, evenly spread out, all things falling in place. What I didn't much enjoy was how Tory ends up. True, she deserves that, but the exchanging-places thing that happens (those who've read this would know) isn't really how I think it should've been. I mean, Tory might just end up feeling worse. Anyway, there's definitely something charming about the whole story, you wouldn't want to leave it in between. I think I read this is record time! ^-^ (Or would have, had I not have to worry about minor things like college :|). 

Quote from the book: "I really meant it too. Because the best, most long-lasting love has a magic all its own, and doesn't need any help from witchcraft."

It's an easy, light read that you'd like to read for fun. :)

Recommended for: Teenagers, Young Adult readers, chick-lit or high school stories lovers. 

Sunday, October 14, 2012

How to be Popular!!!

Title: How to be Popular
Author: Meg Cabot
Published: in 2006 by HarperTempest
Pages: 288
Price: Rs. 211 at Flipkart ($8.99 at Amazon)

My Rating: 4.5/5!

Blurb from Goodreads!
Do you want to be popular?
Everyone wants to be popular or at least, Stephanie Landry does. Steph's been the least popular girl in her class since a certain cherry Super Big Gulp catastrophe five years earlier.

Does being popular matter?

It matters very much to Steph. That's why this year, she has a plan to get in with the It Crowd in no time flat. She's got a secret weapon: an old book called what else? "How to Be Popular."

What does it take to be popular?

All Steph has to do is follow the instructions in The Book, and soon she'll be partying with the It Crowd (including school quarterback Mark Finley) instead of sitting on The Hill Saturday nights, stargazing with her nerdy best pal Becca, and even nerdier Jason (now kind of hot, but still), whose passion for astronomy Steph once shared.

Who needs red dwarves when you're invited to the hottest parties in town? 

But don't forget the most important thing about popularity.

It's easy to become popular. What isn't so easy? Staying that way.

My thoughts!
How to be Popular is one book that I had first saw when I was a young teenager in a bookstore and it had instantly grabbed my attention. One, the lovely cover! Two, the blurb that talked about a girl who’s very much like me. I mean, I wasn’t really the most popular person in my school. Not that I wanted to be one, but people acknowledging your existence feels good nevertheless. Anyway, I never actually got around to getting that book, until I started using my new Kindle! (Yes, I got one! :D). It’s the first book I read on that device and I’m so happy I chose this one! I knew Meg Cabot can never disappoint me. ;)

Steph Landry has been hugely unpopular, just because she once spilled a Super Big Gulp on Lauren’s white D&G Skirt. It’s been five years, and the school kids and the whole of the town of Bloomville in fact, knows the phrase, ‘Don’t pull a Steph Landry’, coined by Lauren as an expression for something weird or embarrassing anyone does. It’s actually too much for Steph, who decides to get back at Lauren by becoming popular herself, thanks to a book she found in Jason’s attic, called ‘How to be Popular’. It’s a funny and humor filled story about how Steph goes about becoming popular (and grabbing the attention of the school’s cutest guy on whom she harbours a major crush). Steph as a person is quite determined, a total smart alec when it comes to arithmetic and calculations (she handles her mom’s bookstore’s cash counter. I wish I had a bookstore too!) and whatever she does to make things in her favour, she’s also sensitive and kind. I liked Steph as a character except for the fact that she takes a hell lot of time to figure out her feelings, which seem kind of obvious to the reader. But then, she’s like any other sixteen year old. Confused.

The good thing is that the book doesn’t get off track. As in, it stays focused on the main characters and doesn’t delve deep into the lives of other family members who’re mentioned, except for Steph’s grandfather and Jason’s grandmom, who’re getting married. Also there are related excerpts from the book Steph found, that pertains to tips on how to behave in order to be popular. The funny thing is, they’re actually helpful. ;) How to be Popular retains Meg Cabot’s trademark style, the protagonist as a teenage girl with a problem, well defined main characters, detailed with a happy ending! I love happy endings. The writing style is as usual, in first person, conversational and filled with humor. I guess the USP for this book is that it’s a realistic story (though Lauren making her life hell just over one incident seems like too much, also the love thing with Becca and Jason and Stuckey).

Some quotes from the book:

“Popularity can be compared to a house.
It has walls, a strong foundation, and many different rooms.
The more deeply the foundation is sunk, the stronger the walls are and the more rooms that can be added on.
That is why, just like there is no such thing as a house with many rooms, there is no such thing as having too many friends.”

‘Popularity is the easiest thing in the world to gain, and the hardest thing to hold’ ~ Will Rogers

‘Avoid popularity; it has many snares and no real benefits’ ~ William Penn

‘Avoid popularity if you would have peace’ ~Abraham Lincoln

In short, it’s a fun, light read recommended for teenage readers, YA readers, and those generally wanting a light, fun book. :) 

PS- I recently created a Facebook page for this blog. I would love it if you would join that! Click here.

PPS- Now I’m reading Jinx, another standalone novel by Meg Cabot, again on the Kindle! Even though it’s the basic model, I so love it, especially since I’ve discovered how I can actually use it to read while I’m sitting in a boring class. ;)

Friday, October 5, 2012

Review: Private Games

Author James Patterson
Title: Private Games
Author: James Patterson, Mark Sullivan
Published: 2012 by Arrow Books
Pages: 479
Price: Rs. 599 (Flipkart)/ $8.24 (Amazon)
My rating: 4.5/5!

From the book's cover
The Olympic Games are under attack. Only Private, the world's most exclusive detective agency, can save them. 

July 2012: The Games have arrived in London and the stage is set for one of the greatest ever showcases of sporting excellence.

When Sir Denton Marshall, a key member of the London Olympic organizing committee, is found brutally murdered, Peter Knight, head of Private London, is called to the scene. Private are working with the organizing committee on security for the Games, so Denton Marshall was a valuable client. But there is a more personal link: Denton was also the fiance of Knight's mother.

Knight is devastated by Denton's murder, but it soon becomes clear that this is no isolated incident. The killer is targeting the Games itself, and the lives of everyone involved are under threat.

My thoughts!

Private Games is a story based in London, Olympics 2012 to be precise. There’s a maniac, who worships the ancient Olympics where according to him, the games were played with true spirit, while the modern Olympics are marred with corruption. He identifies himself as Cronus, who was actually that Greek god who ate his children! Two stories run parallel through the book, one of Cronus and three women whom he recruited as his ‘Furies’. The women were sisters from the Balkan war around 1995 and had turned into savages with incredibly high killing instincts. Cronus himself is a mystery resolved only towards the end. With the Olympics taking place at a large scale in London, the moment Cronus and his Furies have waited and planned for since the past seven years, it’s going to be a bumpy ride! The other story is that of Private London’s investigator, Peter Knight, single father of two year old twins Luke and Isabel, lost his wife Kate during childbirth. Peter plays a major role in the investigations about Cronus and his activities.

The story is thrilling (of course, it’s a thriller!), events cleverly planned and I must say, surprises turn up every now and then. Maybe because I read the first half bit by bit spanning a few days (thank you college), and the second half in a couple of days, the later part seemed to be more fast paced. Really, you know that wonderful feeling of being on a great ride? That feeling coupled with the thud thud of my frantic heart was how I can describe what I felt while reading it! I've mentally hit myself for not having read James Patterson earlier (don't kill me, but it's true), he's an amazing writer! Great story, well defined characters, wonderful descriptions of places, people and events (you know how I'm such a big fan of good descriptions!). The book took two different POVs. One was that of Cronus and the other was written in second person, the story about what was happening, with Knight and Private at the center.

Even though I did not fully understand why Knight's family and his story was the focus, along with the killings at the Olympics, I definitely admire the way they've been projected. A man with a responsible job and babies no nanny can control, no wife, his mother's love murdered, torn between work and home. I like realistic stuff and this was a great example. I also admire Karen Pope, a reporter who plays a key role as she gets sent letters from Cronus relating to the murders. She's a smart woman, with a quick tongue, but a good heart. The Olympic part of the story is also very interesting, especially considering that the actual Olympics happened after this book was written and published! The descriptions!! Love them. Cronus seems like a maniac but you get to understand an important aspect of life. Those who suffer, unfairly and subjected to all that isn't humane, can easily turn into people full of hatred and feelings of vengeance. See? Another solid reason why everyone is to be loved, or made to feel that they're loved. Anyway, when the reality about Cronus was finally out in the open, I swear I could not believe it! Told you, surprises everywhere! 

There was just one thing I wished could have been made better. At some places, like when the Furies executed the triple Chinese murders, the precise role of one of them (Marta) wasn't there anywhere. That made it confusing. Similarly, when Luke 'saves' his dad by biting the assailant (not getting into details, it might spoil the thing!), it seems unrealistic. Seriously? A three year old? And if it's so important to keep Knight captive, the captor would go and take a three year old to the washroom? Seems kind of silly. The way it all ended was good, though. Everything fell back into place gradually, not like in some books where the ending is cramped in a single chapter. All possible questions from a reader's perspective seemed answered. I did not enjoy one aspect of the ending, which I've mentioned in the spoiler, but then, that's a completely personal perspective. A story is a story, however it ends. :)

Too many murders, I would say, but it was still okay. One thing I really liked was the way it concluded saying that the theory about modern Olympics being driven by corruption doesn't really hold true. Consider these lines from the book:

' You see that Cronus? You can't snuff out the Olympic spirit because it doesn't exist in any one place; it's carried in the hearts of every athlete who's ever striven for greatness, and it always will be.'

To summarize, a great book with a well narrated plot, well defined characters and seriously, new techniques to cause damage! :P 

Recommended for readers who like thrillers and mysteries, young adult and adult readers!

Now the spoiler. Read only if you don't mind knowing bits of the story. 

Okay, what about Karen Pope? I so wished she'd be the one Knight would go for! But when she gets with someone else, I felt like stopping it right there. I had already expected that they'd get together. As for what finally happens with Knight when it comes to 'a-mother-for-his-kids', it seemed just okay, nothing very exciting, especially since it was described in just a page. True, we could now connect how Knight was drawn to her when she performed, but it could have been more. Something more solid, maybe?

Thank you Random House publishers for this book! :)


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