Book Review: Once Upon A [Stolen] Time by Samreen Ahsan

We are once again delighted to post our review  of the first book in the new series written by Samreen Ahsan. The book is yet to be published and is currently available for pre-order. We received a complementary copy of the book in exchange for an honest review. Her first series was the Prayer series which is already reviewed on redpillows.

About the Book:

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2015…

All her life, Myra Farrow has been obsessed with medieval castles—and the kings and princes who once inhabited them. Now, wealthy videogame designer Steve Bernard wants her to model for a princess character in his new game. Myra can’t resist his offer, especially when she learns that Steve plans to film inside the mysterious Hue Castle—a cursed, barren, colorless place forbidden to visitors for centuries. But unknown to Myra, her soul is bound to Hue Castle by blood and sorcery. When she enters its doors, she awakens dark powers that will reach through time—stealing her past, torturing her present, and rewriting her future.

1415…

Edward Hue, the last of the Hue royal bloodline, has never stood in the sunshine or held a living flower. Cursed from birth to live in darkness and bring death to all he touches, he is at the mercy of his cruel, tyrannical father, who will not rest until he shatters Edward’s soul and makes his son into a diabolical copy of himself. Edward’s one hope is the mysterious woman who haunts his dreams—who will either break his curse and bring him out of the darkness, or destroy him utterly.

For Myra and Edward, past and future collide in a tale of love, obsession, betrayal, and the hope for redemption.

My Thoughts:

This story is a romantic fairytale where the author will take the reader on a magical ride. The story follows Myra and Edward, and how their lives intersect. Myra lives in the present day world but is lost in her dreams of princes and kings and kingdoms. She loves everything to do with history and castles and their stories. Edward on the other hand, exists in the 15th century and has grown up seeing a particular woman in his dreams. His story is quite different, he is a prince and the next in line for the throne.

The author weaves a wonderful plot as we are shown the worlds of the two characters, the people who inhabit them, and their destinies which lie in each other. The supporting cast or characters are well developed and add much flavour to the story. However, there are a few times when the story does seem a little unbelievable, but if you put that aside and just fall into the world of magic and fairytales, you’ll realise that anything is possible.

The story is well written, the dialogue interesting and the descriptions precise enough that the reader can easily create an image of the scenes and settings in their minds. The story does justice to the theme of fairytales and has a good amount of fantasy in it that holds it strong. The fact that it is filled with romance adds further to the beauty of the book and the ending is a cliff-hanger which will ensure that the reader is left craving for the more.

Overall, this is a great read for all those who love romance and who do believe in fairytales. Do keep the magic alive by reading and enjoying this book as much as I did.

Review: God is a Gamer by Ravi Subramanian

About the Book:

god is a gamer

Imagine a scenario where you cross this powerful virtual currency with a Gamer, Banker, Politician and a Terrorist. The result is GOD IS A GAMER – the worlds first Bitcoin Thriller.

A thriller which moves from Washington’s Congress to Delhi’s finance ministry, the beaches of Goa to the corporate boardrooms of Mumbai. A thriller set in a world where money means nothing, martyrs are villains, predators are prey, assassination is taught by the ancient Greeks, and nothing is as it seems.

God is a Gamer is author’s personal favourite. A lot of effort has gone into researching the minor details to make sure that you enjoy every page of this thriller. As they say, a good thriller is one where the page turns by itself. Hope the pages of God is a Gamer turn by themselves and the book stays in your hand imploring you to finish it before you put it down.

About the Author:

Ravi Subramanian is India’s numero uno thriller writer, having written six bestselling books. An alumnus of Indian Institute of Management (Bangalore), he is currently head of a leading financial institution. A career banker and financial services professional, Ravi has worked with various multinational banks (Citibank, ANZ Grindlays Bank and HSBC) for over eighteen years. As a result of his extensive background in foreign banks, writing about banking comes quite naturally to Ravi. Each one of his books thus far have been set in the backdrop of a foreign bank.

 My Thoughts:

I received this book via Blod adda in exchange for an honest review and I really enjoyed this book from the moment I started reading it. This is the second book I have read by Ravi Subramanian and I believe this book is as different from the previous as it is wonderful to read.

God is a Gamer is a story of revenge, a story that touches upon the various emotions of betrayal, trust, lies, love and family. The story starts off with the murder of a high profile person in America. The prologue introduces us to a discussion between the President of Mastercard International and the CEO of Visa International followed later by the emergence of Wikileaks and its impact on the US Government. The author then talks about the existence of virtual money called bitcoins, slated to be the future of money and thus is formed a plot that will turn the world upside down. An explosion that kills an American Bureaucrat has the FBI running around trying to solve the case as soon as possible.

In India, a prominent banker, Malvika dies by falling off a rooftop at a party held in her house which raises quite a few doubts. Aditya Rao owns a small gaming company that suddenly becomes well known all around the world once Varun joins the team. There is a lot of internal politics that arises within the Bank where Malvika worked and the author has drawn this out beautifully. The concept of virtual money turns out to be a part of a darker plot and the internet doesn’t seem to be such a safe place anymore.

Ravi Subramanian has woven a master plot that will keep you hooked till the end. Throughout the story, he will keep the reader guessing, wondering what is going to happen next. The author manages to keep the suspense till the very end when the entire plot unravels in a brilliant ending. This story is as much an expose on how various agencies around the world function as it is an in depth analysis on how people think. The base plot is strong and the sub-plots help in strengthening it.

The style of writing is wonderful and the author keeps up a good pace throughout the story without losing track. I particularly enjoyed all the information he has incorporated regarding Bitcoins which shows just how much research has gone into writing this story. I love the characters he has created and the way each one has an important role to play. In the end every loose thread is tied up and the whole plot is laid as the author ends the story in style.

All this boils down to a fast paced thriller that will have the reader on the edge of their seat reading until the very end without a moment’s pause. The reader will keep turning the pages of the book just to know what happens next. The way the author has indirectly said that God is indeed a gamer and we are all just a part of his game is a brilliant take on how this world functions This is a must read for all fans of thrillers and mysteries.

 

 

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