Book Review: Snow Fever by Smita Bhattacharya

About the Book:

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★A spine-chilling techno-thriller novella★

Five went up the mountains. None returned. And it wasn’t the cold or the climb that killed them.

At fifteen thousand feet, an army rescue operation finds buried underneath snow dunes five trekkers, dead in their campsite. One of the dead is Indian movie star Kirti Pandit. Another is her boyfriend, and the rest are her entourage. No one can say how they died. It could’ve been due to intense cold, perhaps the sudden snowstorm, or merely altitude sickness. Only, their symptoms were unusual. The snowfall hadn’t been heavy, and they hadn’t climbed up too high. So, what actually happened?

A page-turning techno-thriller novella set in the Himalayas, Snow Fever retraces what happened in the last days of their climb. In the end, it wasn’t the cold or the altitude that killed them, but a force beyond their imaginations. And ours.

★Part of the Retribution Series of Novellas★

My Thoughts:

Let me start off by saying that I do not usually read short stories. I don’t always understand the plot or enjoy the quick reads. But, Snow Fever by Smita Bhattacharya has changed my opinion completely!

We follow Kirti Pandit and four other people as they embark on a trek in the Himalayas. Kirti is a famous movie star and the rest are a random miscellaneous group of people including her boyfriend. The story is told in about seven chapters, complete with a prologue, epilogue and a chapter in each character’s point of view. This style of writing intrigued me from the very beginning and had me hooked from page 1. The author describes the setting and the beauty of the Himalayas very well. I assume she draws from her own experiences from the treks she has been on (something to be confirmed with Smita at some point!).

This group of people have secrets that none of us would have imagined and we discover them one by one as the story progresses. We also follow the group as we retrace their steps in the time leading up to their deaths. Or was that murder? Who knows? Or maybe someone does! As readers, we do not know what is happening until the end when Smita hits us with a twist that will have us reeling from shock and then understanding of this ingenious plot.

This is indeed a spine chilling quick read that packs a punch indeed. In this short story, Smita delivers a powerful plot that is filled with intrigue and suspense until the very end. The author has a way with words that takes what could have been a simple and straightforward plot and turns it into a thrilling read. There is so much more to this story than what is obvious and it is all wrapped up nicely for us in this amazing Novella. I highly recommend this book to everyone especially to appreciate the way the book is written!

Review: The Seeker by Karan Bajaj

About the Book:

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A violent encounter on the streets of Manhattan forces Wall Street banker Maximus Pzoras to confront questions about suffering and mortality that have dogged him since his mother’s death. His search for a mentor takes him to the farthest reaches of India, where he encounters a mysterious night market, almost freezes to death on a hike up the Himalayas and finally, finds himself in an ashram in a small drought stricken village in South India where strange things begin to happen to him.

But are Yogis who walk on water, do impossible poses, and live agelessly for 200 years the stuff of fiction or fact? Can a flesh and blood man ever truly achieve nirvana? Max struggles to overcome his rational skepticism and the pull of family tugging him back home. In a final bid for answers, he embarks on dangerous solitary meditation in a freezing Himalayan cave. Will Max penetrate the truth of human suffering, or is enlightenment just a new age illusion?

The SEEKER is both a page turning adventure story and a journey of tremendous inner transformation, a SIDDHARTHA for our generation.

Note: I was given a free copy of this book in exchange for an hones review. Frankly, I am glad that I came across this offer and took it up. At first I did not know what to expect but as I persevered to finish the book, I realized that it was indeed worth it. Read on to know my thoughts about the book.

My Thoughts:

This is an enthralling and gripping story of a wall street banker’s journey on his path to self discovery. Max, an American wall street banker, has been through a lot in his life and has come up from the depths of poverty making something of himself. A chance encounter with an Indian yogi on the street sets him thinking along the lines of yoga and enlightenment.

Max sets out to India seeking a teacher and through the journey he treks up the Himalayas and then down to South India. Almost freezing to death in the Himalayas and later almost starving during the Drought in the village he goes to in the South, all shape Max into the person he becomes in the end. Throughout the story the author describes the trials he faces and how he seeks to overcome them. This is done beautifully without sounding far-fetched in any way. If you have any idea about the author’s background, it is easy to see that he has used some of his experiences in life to describe various incidents in the story.

The story is packed with adventure as Max treks up the Himalayas and then ventures down to South India with a stop in Mumbai along the way. The author brings out various lessons through the story without sounding as though he is preaching. The reader can learn a lot about how yoga and meditation can help one relax and be at ease through this story. The author’s style of writing is wonderful and he has woven a story that is ripe with adventure and learning. The reader will definitely feel as though he/she is personally experiencing what the characters in the book are and this is just an example of how strong the descriptiveness of the story is.

If I continue on this path, I will end up revealing a lot about the story which is not fun. So instead, I will stop here and just end my review with a strong recommendation to read this book. Who knows, you may also be inspired to follow the road to self discovery or at least take up yoga and meditation for the peace of mind and soul.