Book Review – The Revenge Of Kaivalya by Sumana Khan

REVIEW:

The Revenge Of Kaivalya opens with the story of Kencha, a forest dweller who tags cobras in the Western Ghats, when he dies under mysterious circumstances with some words branded on his skin in an ancient Kannada script. On the other hand, in modern-day Bangalore, young Neel wakes up from a nightmare and a sickening smell of charred flesh and realizes he has wet his bed. I felt the first pang of fear when I realized that the smell was not just in the nightmare; Neel’s servants and his friend VJ felt it too! Then comes Shivaranjini of the Kudala Sangama estate who ventures into the deepest parts of the Sakleshpura forest and comes back with a pendant. She soon experiences a devastating seizure and emerges with a dangerous new personality. Though she has a history of panic attacks, this one reads different; it’s almost like a possession!

Right from the first chapter, the author captured my interest as the story kept moving at a fast pace. Many simultaneous threads in this one but all culminate to a single point of contact – Kaivalya, who has risen from the dead on the eve of the Tsunami to seek revenge from someone. But who is that someone? It couldn’t be Kencha since he was the first one to fall as a victim. Is it Neel who saw her in the nightmare? Or is it Shivaranjini whose body the enraged soul has possessed? And the most important question of all – who is Kaivalya and why does she want revenge? You must pick up the book my dear friends to know the answers to these questions and believe me, you won’t be disappointed.

The author used immaculate language in this book and painted the scene in front of my eyes. I consider any story that can evoke an emotional reaction from the reader to be brilliant and The Revenge Of Kaivalya does just that. I devour horror and thriller stories and there’s not much I haven’t seen done but this book left my pulse racing and the fear factor was a definite turn-on. Not only did I read the story, I smelt the charred flesh, listened to the deafening silence or the howling winds and claps of thunder and tasted the rice idli with melting butter on top. The author has been successful in evoking all my senses as a reader and that’s brilliant.

The book does seem a little bit slack towards the middle and perhaps a bit more wordy than usual but the language is fresh and flowing and leaves a strong impression. The climax, however, left me a bit disillusioned. Without giving away any spoilers let me just say that I’d have liked it better if the protagonists had got rid of the spirit themselves without ‘divine intervention’.

Overall, This is a must-pickup-to-read book if you love the paranormal genre or if you are just looking to get a little (or a lot) spooked. I thoroughly enjoyed the book think that this is a brilliant effort for a debutante.

Disclaimer: This book was provided by the author in exchange of an honest review.

 

The Revenge of Kaivalya by Sumana Khan

 

 

 

The Blurb

 

Deep within the womb-like forests of the Western Ghats, an entity manifests itself at the malevolent moment when the ocean rises to devour hundreds of thousands. Kencha, an unwitting witness to Its birth, is soon found dead – his body branded with a strange message written in HaLegannada, an ancient version of modern Kannada. Even as Dhruv Kaveriappa, Chief Conservator of Forests – Hassan division investigates Kencha’s death, he senses an unseen danger in the forests of Kukke, Bisle and Sakleshpura. Animals drop dead; plants wither away and just as he feared, the forest claims its first victim. Shivaranjini, on vacation in Sakleshpura, suffers a devastating tonic-clonic seizure moments after she returns from a visit to the forest. Soon, she begins to exhibit a bizarre personality disorder. Perhaps there is an outbreak of an unknown rabies-like disease? Or, as ridiculous as it seems, could it be a case of tantric witchcraft? 

 

The truth unfolds in a dizzying maelstrom of events – a truth far too terrifying to comprehend…

 

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Meet the author

 

 

The Author’s Thoughts

 

In the early stages of my manuscript, I knew the title of my novel had to be the name of the principal character. And it could not be just any name. It had to fit into the storyline – from a time perspective, as well as setting the atmosphere. It had to sound ancient and also define the character. Tall order!

As I read up on the history of Vijayanagara, I hoped to come across a good, strong name…but history, largely, is about men and their wars and conquests. I hoped to select a name from our puranas. But nothing clicked. What about our stotras? Maybe the lalitha sahasranama? Or ashtalakshmi stotra? One evening I sat mulling on ‘Kausalya’…thanks to the most famous line ‘Kausalya supraja Rama purva sandhya pravarthathe’ from the Suprabhata 🙂 I went to bed with that line in my head.

The next morning, somehow, ‘Kausalya’ had transformed to ‘Kaivalya’. I did not remember coming across the name in any of my previous research. Curious, I looked up what ‘Kaivalya’ stood for. And was fascinated.   Read More ……..

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Book Review – Tuki’s Grand Salon Chase by Parul Sharma

Tuki’s Grand Salon chase is a Chick Lit by Parul Sharma of the Bringing up Vasu: That First Year fame. Tuki is a talented hairstylist who is working steadily and diligently towards The Plan of her life, opening her own Salon Blues. When catastrophe strikes she realizes that she has nothing to fall back on; she doesn’t have a Plan B. She escapes to Goa and tries to pick up the pieces of the Jigsaw puzzle called Life. This is a heartwarming story of dreams, love and friendship in Tuki’s life.

The starting of the book is fairly interesting as I immediately wanted to know the reason why somebody will be screaming like a banshee inside an upmarket Salon like The Factory. The intriguing start, however, was lost on the numerous characters I was immediately heaped with starting with the minions to the senior stylists. I kept going back to read who was who and If the book cover hadn’t told me that the protagonist should be someone called Tuki, I would have missed her appearance altogether. It took the fun element out of the story but things soon picked up as the characters became more well-rounded, interesting (and few).

Tuki as the protagonist of the novel is a well-sketched out character. While I loved her empathy levels and her fierce sense of pride, I sometimes wished she would stand up for her rights or speak her mind. I understood, of course, that nobody is perfect and this makes reading the story more fun when we root for the characters, when we plead to them to stop doing something obviously stupid or when we cheer them on to go do it. Of course I was urging Tuki to see through the facades people (like Renee or Sweety Bhabhi) put up and urging her to speak her mind to her love interest. The men in the story were absolutely delectable too starting with the eccentric writer Bijoy to the neighborly and well-meaning Faraaz as well as the sexy and suave Arvind. Even though I wanted Tuki and Arvind to pair up, I couldn’t help but feel sad about Faraaz too. Even peculiar Bioy and formidable Paromita were well-liked characters. After reading the book I can confidently say that I love ALL the characters in this book.

The story itself was full of twists and turns and there wasn’t a dull moment. As soon as I thought I was on familiar ground, Parul Sharma would fling a twist at me and I was left wondering “what next?” Tuki’s grand Salon chase is a wonderful read and I would highly recommend it to lovers of this genre.

 

Tuki’s Grand Salon Chase by Parul Sharma

 

The Blurb
 
AFor most hairstylists, the move from the dingy Lovely Beauty Parlour to the upmarket Nancy’s Factory would be reward enough. Gifted, young Tuki though has her sights set on a bigger prize – her own salon! Her well-laid plans start going awry as soon as the striking tattooist Faraaz joins Nancy’s Factory. Tuki needs to handle Faraaz’s advances, figure out the mystery behind the disappearance of the elderly, eccentric, brilliant writer Bijoy Dutta and rescue the multilayered Sweety Bhabhi from destitution.
 
Finding herself at the heart of one storm too many, Tuki decides to run away from the leafy lanes of Bandra to the old-world Portugese villas of Goa. In the comforting embrace of the village Aldona, she finds herself struggling with her rather untimely attraction to her enigmatic neighbour, the charming Arvind and sharing house with Bijoy, haunted as he is by the ghosts of his past.
 
Armed with nothing but a pair of scissors and the jigsaw pieces of her broken dream, Tuki has to navigate through Mumbai, Goa and London to find out if the universe is conspiring to make her or break her.
 
Tuki’s Grand Salon Chase is her heartwarming tale of finding love and hope in the unlikeliest of places.
 
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Meet the Author

 

 

Parul Sharma grew up in the small towns of Uttar Pradesh. This was fortunate because it ensured that she ran into some rather quirky characters pretty early on in life. Once done with schooling, she made the rather dubious choice of studying Economics, a sentiment with which Economics agreed, no doubt. This made way for a degree from Mudra Institute of Communications, Ahmedabad where many inspiring cups of tea were consumed, among other things. 



She has worked with the corporate sector for several years in companies such as Genesis Burson-Marsteller (New Delhi), Arvind Brands Ltd (Bangalore) and Indian Market Research Bureau (Mumbai) in marketing communications and qualitative market research, but she also writes novels. 



The bestselling Bringing Up Vasu: That First Year was her first book and described the travails of Mira, a young, first-time mother. Her second novel was By The Watercooler – the story of Mini and Tanya, young women who find that the corporate ladder is actually a greasy pole. All her books have been published by Westland. She has also contributed stories to the Chicken Soup For The Soul series and to Femina.



Parul lives in Mumbai with her husband, two children and sometimes, if she’s lucky, Kittu, the street cat. 



Parul is passionate about animals and their welfare and would like to open an animal shelter in the future. 

 
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