Friday, 7 July 2017

Book Review: ABCs of Horror

Book: ABCs of Horror
Author: Anmol Rawat
Publisher: Self-published
Genre: Fiction|Horror
Pages: 150
Price: 49 INR


You have been warned: This book is cursed.

ABCs of Horror is a collection of ghastly tales that binds different forms of terrors together in a riveting narrative, which feels as real as the entity sitting right behind you when you are home alone, getting freaked out by even a gust of air.

There is a dreadful treasure here for every reader: haunted houses, rise of the Devil, paranormal sightings, Voodoo, and much more. The author has put together promising stories for every alphabet that are guaranteed to scare you out of your wits and question the presence of the supernatural.

Pick up the book as the night crawls by for feeling those chills creeping up your skin and your heart beating out of your chest.

My Review:

ABCs of Horror is a collection of 26 short stories on horror. The author has written these stories during the A-Z blogging challenge in the month of April and therefore, there are 26 chapters on the 26 alphabets. 

Writing 26 different short stories on horror is definitely a challenging task and the author has brilliantly succeeded in it because all the stories are different from each other. Not for a second, the stories seemed repetitive or bland. All the stories have some shocking twist at the end, which kept me on my toes. I couldn't predict the ending in most of the stories.

In this collection, Anmol has written stories not only on ghosts and evil spirits but also on Voodoo practice, the rise of the devil, black magic, witchcraft, mutation and monsters. I read 2-3 stories per day so that I could savor them one at a time. My favorites from this collection are "Circle of Life", "In lieu of", "Killer Doll", "Planchette", "Sinister" and "Yours Forever".

In "Yours Forever", we can see how the effect of black magic stays even after death. The ending of this story gave me goosebumps. "Killer Doll" was scary. The way the author has narrated the incidents gave me chills while reading the story. I remember after reading this story, I was looking at my soft toys with suspicion. 

"Planchette" is another gem of this collection. The ending is absolutely shocking. "Circle of Life" and "Sinister" had the horror element ingrained from the very beginning. "In lieu of" is another favorite from this collection. It starts as a simple story about a married couple who have shifted to a new house, but the ending will surely startle you.

The narration of the book is fast paced and the writing style is praiseworthy. Readers can easily visualize the setting while reading the stories. Special mention to Pikakshi Manchanda for the crisp editing that made the book a fabulous reading experience. 

I also liked the way the author has finished the book. The last story "Zapped In" is about a bunch of friends who get a book, the first page of which it is written, "The Book Is Cursed". A very clever way to end the book, must say!

I am going with 4.5 and would recommend this book to everyone who loves thrillers and horrors. Trust me, you will love the reading experience. Read it on your Kindle at night and thank me later.  

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Book Review: The Fragrance of True Love

Book: The Fragrance of True Love
Author: Roma Gupta Sinha
Publisher: Self-published during Blog chatter's eBook Carnival, 2017
Genre: Fiction| Romance
Pages: 58
Price: 96 INR


Priyam, an avid writer, is a girl who is haunted by her traumatic past but is determined to stay positive and works extremely hard to give herself and her family a happy and comfortable life. However, she is a lone traveller in her journey and she likes it that way. She has built strong walls around herself so that none can hurt her bruised heart ever again. But what happens when true love knocks at her door? Is she able to fight her inner demons and embrace life or she perishes unable to do away with her agonising past? Dive in to find out how Meer enters her heart in softest steps and what destiny has in store for the lovely duo.

My Review:

After a long time, I read a very innocent and pure love story. I believe this is the strength of the Roma's 2nd book "The Fragrance of True Love". If you are a person who believes in true love, you will surely feel the fragrance of true love wrapping you while you are reading the book. As I am fond of love stories, I cherished reading this book. I had a smile pasted on my face all the time when I was reading the book. 

"The Fragrance of True Love" is the love story of Priyam and Meer. They meet in college and fall in love. But Priyam's dark, painful past restrains her from embracing her feelings whole heartedly. She fights with her feelings as memories of her painful past haunts her. But J.S Park has rightly said "Real love doesn't meet you at your best. It meets you in your mess." That is how Meer's love helps Priyam to rise above her messy heart and painful memories. 

On the other hand, Meer who looks very sorted starts believing that he is a victim of ill-luck when he couldn't get a job in the campus placements. When he writes a letter to her saying his bad luck will pull her back, she promptly says that there is no Priyam without Meer. The way Priyam and Meer support each other in each other's ups and downs will surely touch the heart of readers. After all, love is all about not leaving your beloved's hand during adverse conditions, but rather holding it even tighter.

There are many touching moments in the book like their short vacation to Nainital where Meer gifted Priyam a multi-colored anklet with the alphabets PRIYAMEER, the first time when Priyam saw Meer in Skype when he is Australia and for a moment she gets so emotional that she forgets that they are on the internet and the first time when Priyam meets Meer's Dad. 

The book is all about how true love can heal the deepest wounds. It is all about how beautiful, patient and understanding true love can be. Here are some lovely lines from the book:

Holding her breath, your Princess waits here my Prince Charming
With the power of your kindness and love, wash away her pain
Lift her up in your arms and take her forever to your magical castle
Where only smiles and laughter rock your lives' cradle.

On the flip side, there are some editing errors, mostly typos that can hamper the pace of reading. Apart from that, if you are looking for a sweet and innocent love story, this book is the right pick. I am going with 4 stars. Make your monsoons romantic with this dose of romance from Roma.