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Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Review: Digital Fortress by Dan Brown

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Publication Date: 1st January 1998
Pages: 430
Source: Own Copy

Synopsis

When the NSA's invincible code-breaking machine encounters a mysterious code it cannot break, the agency calls its head cryptographer, Susan Fletcher, a brilliant and beautiful mathematician. What she uncovers sends shock waves through the corridors of power. The NSA is being held hostage...not by guns or bombs, but by a code so ingeniously complex that if released it would cripple U.S. intelligence.
Caught in an accelerating tempest of secrecy and lies, Susan Fletcher battles to save the agency she believes in. Betrayed on all sides, she finds herself fighting not only for her country but for her life, and in the end, for the life of the man she loves.
From the underground hallways of power to the skyscrapers of Tokyo to the towering cathedrals of Spain, a desperate race unfolds. It is a battle for survival--a crucial bid to destroy a creation of inconceivable genius...an impregnable code-writing formula that threatens to obliterate the post-cold war balance of power. Forever.

My Thoughts

This is my first ever Dan Brown book. I have only seen a few movies based on his works and so I had high expectations of a fast paced thriller which would make me sit on the edge on my seat until I get to the end, as normally books are far far better than books.

I have been in kind of a very bad reading slump and only very few books are easy and quick read for me. This was not one of those easy ones. I had to push myself to finish it, as it that been months since I finished an entire book so I really wanted to read this one till the end. It took me almost a month to finish this one. I am happy that I was able to reach the end and the end was not so bad. But, the story was really boring in middle and I had to really drag myself to keep reading.

The start was good. It began with the fancy talks of computers and crypto, a big secret government organization and its enemy, all was set up pretty good. For someone who studied crypto basics just to pass her exams, reading it here was exciting, being able to identify what the characters were talking about and seeing crypto being used in an amazing way (not as just another subject) made me curious about what will happen. For me, crypto was a living character in the book. This book has raised a bit of my interest in crypto.

Once when the basic plot was set and almost everything was introduced things started to get real slow. I really had to push myself every day to read just a few paragraphs if not few pages. I really wished that the next twist or reveal happen already. This was the downer for me. This almost had me leave this book in the middle.

The ending was good. The big reveal was a bit unexpected and a shocker for me.

It was an OK read. Did not live up to my expectation. Was not at all fast-paced thriller which could have got my heart pumping double time or did not made me sit at the edge of my seat even by the end of the book. I did not have even the slightest connection with the characters. Initially, a little bit of connection did begin to form which eventually died because of the dragging.

The only consolation was that I was able to get to the end of a book after so many days and that I finally read something by Dan Brown.


My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
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Tuesday, October 25, 2016

REVIEW: TREASON (THE GRIMOIRE SAGA #2) BY S.M. BOYCE

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Publication Date: 21st October 2012
Pages: 430
Source: Ebook (3 books box set)

Synopsis

Kara Magari ignited a war when she stumbled into Ourea and found the Grimoire: a powerful artifact filled with secrets. To protect the one person she has left, she strikes a deal that compromises everything she believes in... and things don't go as planned.

Braeden Drakonin can no longer run from who--and what--he is. He has to face the facts. He's a prince. He's a murderer. He's a wanted man. And after a betrayal that leaves him heartbroken, he's out for blood.

To survive, both Kara and Braeden must become the evil each has grown to hate.

                       

My Thoughts

Wow!!! That was the most unexpected twist towards the end. I am just... I don't know what I am feeling. I just know I NEED to get to the third book NOW. But again my little stupid brain won't be able to keep the review exclusive to this book if I read the next.

OH, MY GOD!!! What was that? How did that happen? This is just amazing. I am speechless. I just want to move on to the next book, don't wanna do anything else. I need answers Right now!!! But I also need to write my review for this book or else it won't be possible to not mix it up with next book. So much is happening that I am expecting lots and lots of drama in book 3.

STORY- DON'T READ ANY FURTHER IF YOU HAVE NOT READ LICHGATES. 
The story picks up from where we left it in Lichgates. Kara n Braeden are still in The Village where Kara is training to be stronger fighter while waiting for The Big Unity Gala day. All hell break lose on the Gala day. 

Nothing is working in favor of our protagonists. Braeden is been sent back to Stele to Carden. Braeden and Kara are kept apart. The First Vagabond won't let Grimoire help Kara neither is he helping her until she makes more Vagabonds. Kara might lose her safety net of Adele and Garret. 

Bloods have already shown their displeasure towards Kara in the previous book which continues here more stronger than ever. With already so much going on Kara has more to worry about when Niccoli himself enters the picture. The growing tension between Kara n Braeden is not making anything easier.

New crucial but irritating character is introduced named Stone, who I have a feeling is going to be a regular in rest of the series. 

Amidst all this tension and drama both our protagonists evolve and emerge stronger than ever with such new powers which they never thought themselves capable of.

CHARACTERS- Boyce is developing each and every character so beautifully that it is really exciting to know more and more about each one of them. Each character is a well-rounded individual having multiple facets, each with their own virtues and vices. Boyce reveals them slow and steadily layer by layer making them feel like real people. I even liked reading about Carden and the more I get to know him more my hate for him keeps on increasing.

Boyce have woven Ourea so beautifully that one can't stop themselves from falling deeper and deeper into it. Just like every other character Boyce keeps on adding more layers to this enchanting world.


I am giving this book a 4.5 star rating because after how book one ended I expected this book to start in a mid-racing-speed but it was really slow until the big fight. After that, I was all 'Woah! I want to kill him now?' to 'Nooo! Don't do this to him.' to 'wow! She's a real bitch, never thought she would be like this.'. Each twist or turn in the following chapters had me engaged so much that I would find myself reading those parts again because the first time I was very busy either cursing or being surprised or sad or just plain irritated. 
This part of the series had me completely invested in it and I can't wait to see what strong or mild range of emotions the next part is going to make me experience.

My rating 4.5 out of 5.

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Friday, October 21, 2016

Review: This Is Where It Ends by Marieke Nijkamp

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Publication Date: 5th January 2016
Pages: 285
Source: e-book

Synopsis

10:00 a.m. The principal of Opportunity High School finishes her speech, welcoming the entire student body to a new semester and encouraging them to excel and achieve.

10:02 a.m. The students get up to leave the auditorium for their next class.

10:03 a.m. The auditorium doors won't open.

10:05 a.m. Someone starts shooting.

Told from four different perspectives over the span of fifty-four harrowing minutes, terror reigns as one student’s calculated revenge turns into the ultimate game of survival.


                

My Thoughts

Read it on 28th Jan 2016 but forgot to post my review here, so here's my review direct from my goodreads.

oh my god! I just can't stop crying. Why do people have to be so cruel, why do we humans have to make such dangerous inventions like weapons. why can't people be more open to communication? why don't they just TALK?
this book brought back all the questions. This book made me realise how horrified those people have been who have ever been in any such circumstances. This book made my heart ache! this makes me want to reach out to people like Ty in the book before they take the wrong turn in life, to hug them to tell them that it's OK to talk that u are taking it all wrong, that you are not alone and that there is someone always there for you.


Some Coherent thoughts after almost two weeks(I like to think they are coherent :P )

This is where it ends (TIWIE) was an engaging story.
Initially the juggling between more than 2povs proved challenging and even made me put down the book as a DNF once, few weeks later when it appeared again on my kindle I thought to give it another shot. I am glad that this time I made through the entire book.
Starting the book was tiring task as I just kept getting confused with those 4 POVs but once I was 15-20% into the book everything got easy and then the multiple POVs didn't bothered me et all. In fact for me multiple POVs was the highlight of the book. It was great to see thought multiple eyes as it allowed me to better know the situation and helped understanding the fears and reactions of everyone who were directly or indirectly facing that brutual attack.
It was intense, gripping and a page turner. I was glued to the story till the last word.

I had read the blurb before so knew it was about a school shooting and this has been the most inhuman disturbing reality of our world. The most close to home for me was the barbaric Peshawar school attack. This made me request the book as I wanted to know what's happens in such situations and multiple POVs was the perfect avenue to experience that. While reading the book I just couldn't stop crying when some of the scenes and students made me remember the innocent angels of Peshawar.
Initially in the story we are introduced to the people at Opportunity High their dreams hardships were gradually laid in front of the reader and a new session after winter break has just started. The incident takes place just after the first morning meeting in the school auditorium.

It was a sad novel as it was evident from blurb, it made me cry, made me think about the people who are dear to me and how I would have reacted if they were in same situation. It made me curse the human nature of not clearly communicating more with each other. It made me want to hug tight my brother and to hit those who don't consider other peoples dreams n desires.

All in all reading it was an experience that made me feel an entire range of emotions. I just wish that it had more story about the characters that it didn't had to be restricted to just those harrowing minutes but had taken us more into the lives of those involved so that it would have been clear to understand what led to the attack. Also it would have been awesome if it had the attackers point of view too.

My  Rating 3 out of 5
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