Archive for the ‘Young Adult’ Category

30
May

Saving the World, The Kalki Way

Review of The Wordkeepers; Jash Sen; Duckbill Books; Rs 225

– Shana Susan Ninan

The first book of a series, Jash Sen’s The Wordkeeper is an interesting read in the Young Readers mythology/ fantasy genre. The cover caught my attention right away – glossy dark photo of a shiny green eye.

You’ll find humans, superhumans, gods, demi-gods and yakshas as characters, and the story is set at the end of the Kaliyug. Anya Sharma is a happy go lucky young girl whose life suddenly takes a turn. From her house in Bangalore to the out of space residence of the Supremo, and forest dwellings, Sen takes us through many locations, introducing characters as the plot thickens. Anya the wordkeeper has to find the Kalki avatar, Bilal, a young boy from a far off village. Does she find him in time? Who helps her? More questions and quests follow…

Considering I was reading a similarly plotted novel alongside Sen’s book, the Kalki avatar-Krishna’s legacy plot was a little dragging for me. So was the easy and lucid reading. But for a pre-teen or an adolescent, this is a great read, especially if they’re into Indian Mythology with contemporary leanings. The fantasy and adventure elements are sketched out well.

The pace lags a bit in places, and the story could do with some tight editing. Hoping the next two books will keep up the momentum.

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Rating: 8.7/10 (7 votes cast)
10
May

Gotcha. Catch Me If You Can!

Review of Mocking Jay; Suzanne Collins; Scholastic; pp 390

– Sharon Pradeeptha

Mocking Jay… does it ring a bell? Yes, the very bird which imitates voices as if it were mocking us. That’s exactly what Katniss Everdeen, the two-time survivor of the Annual Hunger Games was called to become. With Peeta enduring the mental and physical torture of President Snow, and the other survivors of the Hunger Games in mental depression, Katniss, along with Gale, is prepared to fight for the Rebels against the Capitol. All the districts of Panem lay desolate with fire, but District 13, thought to be forgotten, slowly built up in nuclear power and posed a great threat to the Capitol.

President Snow is planning on paralysing Katniss’s mental strength by causing immense pain to the people whom she truly cared for. Unable to bear Peeta’s torture, Katniss, against her wishes, had to become the Mocking Jay of the Rebels. She undertook this tedious journey to save Peeta and grant immunity to the other survivors, along with her daring message – I kill President Snow. Her decisions have to be taken with utmost carefulness, as the slightest deviation would cause a great threat to the districts, like the fire which broke out in District 12.

Agreeing to be their Mocking Jay brings about the rescue of Peeta, but he is hypnotised by the Capitol, into thinking that Katniss is his enemy. With her striking grey suit, specially designed by Cinna, Katniss undertakes charitable work in the districts, just as a means of gathering her troops for the final war of revenge. Katniss, the girl on fire, really set the Capitol on fire by her revolutionary steps and deadly weapons. Enduring endless torture from bombings to rose-scented mutts and frightening nightmares, she finally manages to come into the arena with her final mission – I kill President Snow.

Will Katniss along with her whole team take the honour of executing President Snow, or maybe not? With an exciting finish, as like in the Hunger Games series, this book gives the readers enough curiosity that they can’t but have a peek at the last page.

The series of Hunger Games is very gripping and filled with rich adventure with unexpected twist and turns at the end. Really, hats off to Suzanne Collins for her fiction work.

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Rating: 7.7/10 (3 votes cast)