The Night Bird

If you can’t already tell, this book is gorgeous <and so that’s why I bought it>. But let’s not (just) be superficial.

The book in itself was pretty great. It was the typical psychological thriller that focuses on whether trauma and the memories associated should be repressed or expressed. Repressed memories, I feel, always come back and haunt you in ways you cannot imagine. They seep back into your life and wreak havoc in your life because fact is that our experiences make us who we are. Our retention of our memories is what shapes our lives and our sense of self. I believe if we bottle up memories of trauma, if we try to forget instead of shed, we are essentially choosing to retain those memories and they, in turn, shape us, the path we are on, and hence, the rest of our lives.

This is what that book was about. Although it was a psychological thriller, I felt the author truly was trying to make a statement.

The book in itself was very interesting. I flew threw it. It was an easy read and was in simple language that even a teenager would enjoy. My only fear is that this, like so many other books I have grown to hate, have become a series and that the quality of the work will decline as the pressure of minting money intensifies.

Passenger to Frankfurt

This book was a total disaster. Which is surprising, since this is an Agatha Christie. I guess it was one of the few that bombed but it was so far from what you would expect.

Obviously, she was out of her depth when she wrote this. It was meant to be a sattrical spy thriller. Unfortunately, it was just a bore. The cover may be beautiful, but the contents were far from it. So much so that as soon as I closed the book (and I remember I was on the verge of abandoning it), I promptly forgot everything about it. I don’t even remember the characters, the plot, or anything else about it.

I guess I am writing this review so that somewhere down the line, when I feel like re-reading some books or reading Agatha Christie and come upon this book, I remember I wrote this review and decide against re-reading it.

Murder on the Orient Express

Oh, how I love this book! Just look at the cover!

Now that the movie is about to come out, I AM PSYCHED! And the cast is stellar too! I could gush about it for another two hours, however, this post is supposed to be about the book.

I’ve read this book about 4 times over the years. Now, the thing with the sheer number of Agatha Christie’s book, I read a lot of her books and promptly forget about them. I think this is a great thing. This means that I can return to these books and enjoy them again and again.

There’s something about Agatha Christie books that are synonymous with coziness. They just make you want to curl up on an armchair with a blanket, some hot chocolate and some dusty Cheetos puffs, stuffing you face with crumbs all over but who cares!? YOU’RE READING AGATHA CHRISTIE! They’re an easy read, and they’re so interesting, and you know no one you really care about it going to die. It’s awesome!

This is true for the Murder on the Orient Express as well. This book is not like the usual run-of-the-mill Agatha Christie, however. It’s not what you would expect. You cannot solve this by being smart and looking through the diversion techniques. It is spectacular. I won’t talk about it much, since the movie is going to come out. You should watch it or read it yourself!

Ancillary Justice

“If you’re going to do something that crazy, save it for when it’ll make a difference,”

Excerpt From: Ann Leckie. “Ancillary Justice.”

This book is one that can only be classified as an epic Sci-Fi. It felt like it was setting up for a long haul and that you should probably stick around for the next few books. It was different enough to be interesting. It was about how spaceships were controlled by omnipotent and omniscient Artificial Intelligence. It is about politics and revolution in a science fiction setting.

It is about an Artificial Intelligence being betrayed by a dictator who in itself is another Artificial Intelligence. It’s a game of cat-and-mouse that is being played over aeons by two splinters of the AI dictator and the AI which is the protagonist of the book is used as a pawn and it takes it upon itself to make the fact that the dictator is split known to the world. Admittedly, there was a certain dept to the book and I think, for me personally, it will require a re-read sometime during the future. Since the concept was new and the avenues explored were quite unique, the book was a little difficult to digest at first and needs a little more concentration and deliberation.

Overall, it was an interesting read. I thought it could have been made more interesting. The switching from flashback to the present and vice-versa was kind of too quick and abrupt and left me kind of reeling from what felt like whiplash. I realized it was setting up for a trilogy or a saga so I guess I will have to read the rest of the books to figure out the gaping loop-holes that it left in the narrative.

You – Caroline Kepnes

This was one creepy messed up book but it was totally in keeping with the new-age twisted storytelling techniques that today’s authors are employing to shake things up and make them interesting. This book was from the point of view of a stalker and how he went about life obsessed with one seemingly normal girl. It was fascinating and I think this study in the mind of someone off-the-rocker was pretty apt. Specially since, in all honesty, we all have the tendencies to be kind of mental, and are all prone to stalking and sometimes manipulating and needling our way into the lives of those we think we love. We all have the tendency to construct these fantasies in our mind around our world that are just blatant lies but somehow we convince ourselves that they are true. Or maybe that is just me…

Back on topic: the book was creepy. The antagonist was fascinating and the object of his interest was annoying enough to make a person root for the stalker. If that was the feeling the author was trying to evoke: job well done Miss. It was a little long-winded and I found myself getting mightily annoyed at the whole situation (and in all honesty I wanted the woman he was stalking dead already) and was getting really mad at how the stalker was so blind as to the flaws of this woman he was stalking. Kind of how I feel when my friends are usually the ones making the same stupid and very real life-changing decisions. By the end of it all, I was starting to think of the stalker as a long-lost friend; reminiscent of a very real friend I have had for a while now. Overall the book was a job well-done, even if it drag for a tad longer than I would have liked.

Brilliance – not so brilliant

So I just finished another supposed sci-fi. Brilliance by Marcus Sakey. I’d honestly give it 3 of 5 stars and that too only because of the premise and the promising beginning. However, overall the book was just disappointing. The premise was that there is now a police force that polices a bunch of X-men-ish brilliant people with super-genius savant syndromes without the anti-social tendencies. (yeah right! I wish)

So anyways, the story starts of with this badass agency man (who is a brilliant himself) who hunts other brilliants who have totally wronged humanity in some way. Seriously at this point I would like to add that we human beings are a total bunch of assholes who stick their heads in the dirt to avoid the future. Case and point: this book, x-men and any other super-hero book in the world. Anyways. Like a bunch of dirtbags, we capture kids who are brilliants and put them into shitty academies. Basically it was like the Holocaust and how the jews were put into the concentration camps. I was definitely feeling it. Life became specially unfair when one “terrorist” brilliant decided to go ahead and kill like a bunch of people.

*SPOILERS AHEAD*

Now I’ve noticed this in a lot of TV shows and books recently and I’ve realized that the root of the drastic measures the government usually takes against individuals or organization is usually when something this severe happens (a bunch of people getting killed by a lunatic). It makes logical sense to the reader until it is usually discovered later on that the lunatic wasn’t the lunatic behind the rampage in the first place but the government itself. I’m guessing the author is American. So is House of Cards. Really makes you think what these writers are thinking and what is this whole new genre of literature telling us? I mean I’ve heard of conspiracy theories but this is just out-of-control.. A whole lot of pop culture is now rooted in government conspiracies and the bad kind. Now if the politicians in this world are so messed up, honestly, how can you as a public let your opinion change believing the bullshit that is being peddled by the media!? I mean this is a serious question that has nothing to do with the book but it honestly made me question the world. Honestly, if that was the aim of the book; to drive you not to believe a word the government tells you about the enemies of the state then what the hell are you supposed to do and what is expected of you? Everything is a lie. I come back to my life’s motto. Live your life, the best that you can, without causing harm to any other by just being selfish.

Maybe I’m just too pissed off at the world right now. After all, I am reading Marvel’s Civil War side-by-side. Governments are pissing me off recently.

Another thing I don’t understand is how this macho bad-ass hero protagonist turned into a soppy teenager and ran off into the forest crying when he found out that he had been out-maneuvered by a brilliant chess grandmaster-turned-activist-labelled-terrorist. I mean what did you expect? He was a brilliant whose gift was supposedly strategy. And how can this big ass macho man be turned into a whimpering-tantrum throwing clown who proceeded to have sex in the wild with the woman who was THE pawn that totally played you throughout the game. I mean. I don’t know. I’m guessing the author either got bored with the book and wanted to finish it or the editors of the book told him he needed to heat things up and allow this character to have some personality. Wrong path to take. It did not lend the character any depth whatsoever.

Gahh! Read this book for the questions it makes you ask, not the story. That is my only piece of advice.

Area 51 – sci-fi level: mind blown

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So I’m guessing by now everyone is aware that I am a sci-fi buff. I’ve been reading sci-fi for a very long time, its just that I never really realized that I was reading sci-fi. I always classified this genre incorrectly. Unless it ha spaceships and aliens, it wasnt sci-fi and I didn’t consider myself a fan. Well. Newsflash!!

This book pushed the limits of my imagination.

This is one of my first and most favorite sci-fi books of all time. It combines history, fiction, mystery, thrill, conspiracy, and all the other sciency wibbley wobbley stuff that fires up my brain. Love at first sight.

What was amazing about this book is how the author; Robert Doherty has managed to stitch the story in such an intricate way so that he has a solution and an explanation (and a very very plausible one at that) for every bit of confounding myth or mystery surrounding the historical monuments of the ancient world that are shrouded in enigma. It was brilliantly written and left no loose ends. It was so absorbing that I finished this book and each one of its sequels within two days and was left craving for more. Brilliant. There is just no other word for it.

Concepts to do with real world since, mixed with myth and alien technology. Aaaah. I loved every minute of it.