Sunday, December 15, 2019

The Silent Patient, by Alex Michaelides

The Silent Patient, by Alex Michaelides

A silent patient and a determined psychotherapist who will try his best to make her speak.

This was what I thought the book would be about when I first read the blurb. It sounded like a book about lengthy psychological talks and a lot of hospital scenes and technical terms. All in all not a very good first impression. It didn’t sound like the first book you’d pick up or something that would catch your attention. Yet when I read the blurb something about it caught my attention. It could have been the quote at the top or the fact that I wanted to know what the patient was hiding. Whatever the reason was, I decided to give the book a shot.

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

TimeRiders Book 1

TimeRiders (Book 1), by Alex Scarrow

Let me jump in and explain a few things before I really get started because the book is quite confusing at the start.

Liam was a steward on the sinking Titanic in 1912 and was about to drown; Maddy was on a plane with a ticking bomb in 2010 and was destined to die; Sal was about to get crushed to death in a fire in 2026. However, all three of them were rescued by an old man just before they died.

To cut a long story short, they wake up and find the old man who saved them. The man introduces himself as Foster and tells them he works for an agency called TimeRiders, the same agency that the three of them were recruited for. They would work with the agency and their goal would be to prevent time travellers from altering the past. When they went for a walk Maddy notices that they are in New York. However, the Twin Towers were still part of the skyline. Foster explained that they were in 2001 on 10th September, the day before the 9/11 attack. The three of them would be the New York group of the agency. The room where they woke up would be their field office where they would be living and working. The field office was in a time bubble of 48 hours and would reset on the night of 11th September. Therefore, the three of them would be reliving the 10th and 11th of September over and over.Each one of them had a particular role. Sal would be the observer as she was very observant and would immediately notice if anything had changed or if time travellers had changed anything. Maddy would be the analyst and would discover where and when the change occurred. Liam would be the field agent and would be sent back in time to fix and correct the timeline.

Monday, August 5, 2019

Magisterium - #2 The Copper Gauntlet - Review

The Magisterium Book 2: The Copper Gauntlet – by Holly Black, Cassandra Clare

I had recently reviewed the first book in this series. Now I’m reviewing the second book that is called “The Copper Gauntlet”. (Minor spoilers)

Call will soon be heading off to his second year at the Magisterium. He feels unexpectedly relieved, at the thought of going back and escaping the strained silence that had invaded his home ever since he had gotten back. Alastair was angry at the fact that Call had attended the Magisterium and was going back. This had led to an awkwardness and had put a strain on their relationship that hadn’t been there before. With only one or two weeks left, he is longing for the holidays to end.

One day, Havoc, his pet wolf goes missing. Call is horrified to find him tied up in his basement. Adding to his horror are the pair of shackles that seem to be for a teenage boy. Call confronts his dad and it ends in a huge fight that leads Call to leaving his house. Call goes to Tamara’s house and goes to the Magisterium directly from there. His joy at being at the Magisterium is diminished when he realizes that someone had tried to steal the Alkahest, that was a dangerous object used to destroy Makars. He is even more shocked when he notices the uncanny resemblance between the Alkahest and a drawing he had seen in his dad’s notebook. Call is gripped with fear and uncertainty because he thinks Alastair tried to steal the Alkahest. He tells Aaron and Tamara who in turn tell the Masters at the Magisterium. Now, there is a manhunt for Alastair Hunt, involving all the mages in the world. Call decides to set out and find his father before the mages so that he could at least try to prove Alastair’s innocence. He knows he has to try because the alternative would mean certain death for his father. Aaron and Tamara insist on coming. The only hitch in the plan was having to kidnap Jasper, a fellow student to ensure that he didn’t snitch on them.

Now, Call and his friends are in a race against time to find Alastair before its too late. And on the journey Call must prevent his friends from discovering his secret, knowing that they would hate him if they knew.

The second book was as good as the first. Maybe it was even better. Holly Black and Cassandra Clare know how to spin a very good tale. They haven’t copied any of the age old clich├ęs but instead have created such fresh and new ideas you are surprised at every turn. My favourite character has to be Jasper. He adds the spice and sarcasm to the book. My favourite parts are when Call and Jasper start arguing. Then, you just can’t stop laughing. Their sarcastic and snide comments are hilarious. While the book has its humour, the series never loses the darkness that was so evident in the first book. In every chapter you can sense the darkness in Call and his frustration and fear that his friends would discover his secret. The air of mystery still remains and you are still amazed by the ideas and the plot.

© 2019, Anika Agarwal. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Magisterium: The Iron Trial, by Cassandra Clare

Magisterium: The Iron Trial (The Magisterium), by Cassandra Clare

(Minor spoilers)
This is a slightly unusual series in some ways. It is a mix of new and old. The old part comes from the fact that it is a fantasy tale and talks about magic, mages, unusual creatures, etc. The new part is the fact that the story has an unwilling protagonist. A 12 year old boy who hates magic and is unwilling to go to the Magisterium.

Callum Hunt, the protagonist of our story has a sad past, his mother is dead and his left leg was shattered when he was baby. Another thing that makes him unusual is his hatred for magic, but it is quite understandable as his mother was killed in the Third Mage War. Despite all of this he has a relatively normal life, far away from the world of magic. His life starts to unravel on the day he is taken to the Iron Trial. The Iron Trial is a mandatory test that any child who shows signs of magic has to take. At the end of the test, each Master could choose up to 5 apprentices to teach.

Thursday, March 14, 2019

The Vedas and Upanishads for Children, by Roopa Pai

The Vedas and Upanishads for Children, by Roopa Pai

The title of this book is the Vedas and the Upanishads. To give you a little information, I’ll give a short summary. The Vedas are one of the most sacred texts of the Hindus. There are 4 Vedas, which in order of composition are, the Rig Veda, the Yajur Veda, the Sama Veda and the Atharva Veda. They basically describe the rituals, sacrifices, who were the Hindu gods, etc. Another important thing is that the Vedas were not written for a long time but were instead composed and kept in the head. The Vedas are also made up of four layers and this is where the Upanishads come in. The Upanishads are the last layer of the four layers that make up a Veda. They contain stories and myths that explain the different possible meanings of the first three layers. It is also kind of similar to the third layer of the Vedas. I know this is all very confusing and you also must be wondering why I am reviewing this.