Friday, October 18, 2019


The Red Mask by D R Downer is written in his signature style. Short and to the point.

Coming to the story first, it's about a young man, Ranjit, driving in the dark. He had to suddenly stop his car, thinking someone had stepped in front of it. The readers are told that it was not the case, which makes me breathe again.

He still gets out of the car and meets the sweet and innocent child Shanno. Shanno leaves a lasting impression on him, and even as he returns to his daily life, he can't stop thinking of that child.
Life takes a twist, and all I can tell right now is that that ending will shock you.

For a short story, this book is well written. It took me about five minutes to finish this book. As with every short story that I read, I feel that that author could have done so much more with this story. For, eg. I never got to meet Jennifer. I could not even understand why Ranjit's background was given so much importance, which had no impact on his present. But his personal life in the present situation was washed over.

The language of the author is very gripping, and he has kept the emotions under a tight reign. Perfect for the short story. The ending was the golden crown of the story, and I am sure many readers will not be able to reach a conclusion due to the twisted turns [or should I say false alarms?] the author has taken to reach there.

One thing I would like to say is that this is not a thriller or a suspense novel. It's what we call a slice of life or a drama fiction. There was no instance where I asked who was she or where did she go? But yes, questions about Ranjit's present life and the people connected with him. I wanted to know what his relationship with Jennifer was. If she was a wife or lover? Who is Srini, the name that beeps when he is with Kamini?

Many unanswered questions and many instances mentioned, which either should have been taken further or not mentioned at all. On this public platform, I would sincerely request D. R Downer to write his full length of a novel and not leave his readers closing his books with so many unanswered questions. As a fan of his books, I will return every time so I can demand more. Can't I?

Grab a copy of her book here... AMAZON

Next Review Coming Up..... Unmasking the Shadow Man by Debbie Herbert

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You Beneath Your SkinUnmasking the Shadow Man#JustRomanceRahat MiliLost and Found: An almost love story: A feel-good contemporary romance

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Book Review: More Unfairy Tales by T. F Carthick

Today I have on my blog 'More Unfairy Tales' by T. F Carthick. But before that, let me request you to subscribe to my newsletter to keep updated with the latest book news and my upcoming books.

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Coming to my recent read, More Unfairy Tales, I think Carthick has coined a new word - Unfairy. Well, whether it will be added to the Oxford dictionary or not, only time will tell. For now, he has brought out characters to the forefront, who are either the antagonists or the side characters.

If On a Winter's night: 
The POV is of the dwarves. Those cute little things we tend to ignore in our narration of Snow White. Carthik has brought their irritation, their love, and their protective nature for Snow in his unique style.

Lost love's labors:
One of the best in this series as the feelings of the witch is taken into consideration. Why she turned the young prince into a beast has some exciting twists. The ending for a romance lover like me, was disappointing, especially after all the tribulations mentioned.

The Jungle Tale:
Again a unique perspective, though complicated. A tinge of sadness too. A little girl, unloved, is sent out to the woods to meet her grandmother.  A wolf follows her journey, but he is not the main villain in the story. How the huntsman comes and helps out, and why does he help out, forms the base of the story.

Daughters and Lovers
The story of Rapunzel. The most positive story in the lot where I liked the ending. Especially after reading the rest, I loved the fighting spirit of the girl. Here a special mention must be made on the character sketch of the witch. Carthik gave her a heart - which seems to be missing even in the original take.

Shoes and Man is a portrayal of human greed, which is never-ending and unrealistic. Societal norms of having more than others are often a measurement of our happiness. Even the elves are left bewildered at the demands of the humans.

Coming to the character portrayal, I have to say that the author loves to experiment. Even in his first book, Unfairy tales, he had brought out many shades of the characters. While the first book is perfect for children and adults, I am a bit concerned about the way this book is written. Satire at its best, but a tinge of cynicism can't be overlooked.

Every character is well defined. All the stories run smoothly except The Jungle Tale. While stories like Daughters and Lovers and Lost love's Labour took me to another world,  The Jungle Tale confused me. It was after putting away the book did I realize that there were a few missing dots. I couldn't connect the two wolves. On the other hand, when I met the witches in Lost Love's Labour and Daughters and Lover, I could relate to the witches. Tells a lot about me. :D

What makes Carthick apart from other writers is his ability to twist things, the foundation of which was laid a long time ago. You need to keep your focus on the stories, or you will never know where the twist is coming from. Great language with a considerable dose of imagination - Carthik I hope is on his way to write Many More Unfairy Tales.

Grab a copy of her book here... AMAZON

Next Review Coming Up..... The Red Mask by D.R Downer

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Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Book Review: The Magician by Sonia Rao

Don't Judge a Book By Its Cover...

The woman, on the cover of The Magician by Sonia Rao, called out to me from the day I saw it for the first time. With her proud aristocratic nose and her hands claiming to embrace the fantasy world had so many facets that one can't but question what the book is all about. 

What's her role in the story? Is she the protagonist?  There were so many questions that burned in my mind. The first thought was maybe it's a supernatural one. A woman controlling the lives of many? 

While the supernatural part was far from it, but my last point proved to be correct. A woman controlling the lives of others. The Magician in the deck of Tarot, controlling the lives of three women who are connected through friendship.

The Story of Stong Women...

The story is about these women. Sasha, Nilima, and Shanta. Sasha is an elite housewife bound to her husband by an arranged marriage. She has dedicated all her life to her family until she does not see another woman hanging onto her husband's arm at their anniversary party. To top it all, the card of Death settles on her fate that night. Who that other woman is and how the Card of Death is related in their lives is for you to find out by reading this book. 

Coming to the second character, Nilima, one finds a woman next door, totally in love with her husband. A perfect marriage, an ideal career, everything a girl can dream of. But then dreams are made to be broken. How that happens forms the soul of this book. 

Shanta is my favorite of all the three protagonists. A tarot card reader with a heart full of love. She finds love in the most unusual places. Every time the question that pops out is if he is the one. When she meets Danny, the bartender, the question finds its answer. Or does it?

Identifying with the Characters...

The Magician does not follow a straight path where the protagonists reach from point A to point B. Sonia Rao had layered them with emotions that seem to pile up as the story progresses. Shades of Grey, not the fifty shades kind, but where the good against bad merges into a thin line, can be found in many instances. I had to question myself many times - what would I have done in this situation?

If I have to find the 'base' of the story, I could say that the Tarot, though forms the background of the story,  does not take over the story as I had initially suspected. A clean-cut women fiction where the lives of the three women are analyzed, broken, and mended to such an extent that as a woman, I am forced to identify myself with one of them. Which one? I am so not telling. But if you tell me which one is you, I might tell you mine. :D 

Naughty Sonia Rao...

Sonia Rao has been naughty in a few scenes too, But being her debut novel, I could sense, as a reader, that she is holding back. The scene between Nilima and her husband was a clear indication of the author changing her mind suddenly. 

But then again, this book does not claim to be an out and out romance. It's more about the journey of a woman in different phases of life. Ms. Rao has done an excellent job of catching the insecurities in a marriage, extramarital affairs, and yet kept the innocence of love alive throughout the novel. 

Bring them on...

I am looking forward to reading more from this author. Whether she sticks to dramas or jumps into the bandwagon of romance, readers will be able to find out in her next novel, which, if the grapevine is right, is coming out soon. 

Grab a copy of her book here... AMAZON

Next Review Coming Up..... More Unfairy Tales by T.F Carthick

Have a look inside the book before you buy it..

If you want your book to be reviewed send me an email at

Rubina's currently-reading book montage

The Red MaskUnmasking the Shadow Man#JustRomanceMore Unfairy Tales

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