Today I am very excited to be hosting my stop on the blog tour for The Other Side by Faraaz Kazi and Vivek Banerjee organised by awesome fellow blogger Sarika @The Readdicts.
As part of my post I will be posting my review of this gripping book.
Publication Date: 31st October 2013
Published by: Mahaveer PublishersPages: 320
Source: Received a copy for the review tour
"A slow rasping sound made me turn. I jumped back, the cell phone leaving my hands and smashing against the concrete floor. Someone was seated on the chair, rocking back and forth. Through the fallen light, I could see those hands placed on the arms of the chair, two gruesome wrinkled limbs with ugly boils plastered over the black skin. The red bangles on its wrists shone in my eyes, momentarily blinding me. That thing and I call it a thing because I could sense it wasn't human as no human could have such a hideous form, as vile an existence as the one seated opposite to my horrified self."
From a honeymoon in the hill that goes horribly wrong to an obsessed lover who wants his first love in life and in death; From a mentally deranged man who collects body parts of various women to stitch together his dream girl to a skeptic who enters a mansion of horrors to win a bet and much more, this book is filled with scenarios that are guaranteed to give you goosebumps and sleepless nights.
'The Other Side' is a collection of thirteen tales of the paranormal; a world that our eyes refuse to see, our ears deny hearing and our senses ignore the feel of. This is a book for someone who is brave enough to take up this invitation to journey through uncharted waters along with the authors, who were inspired by some bizarre experiences to pen down this work where the lines of reality have been blurred by the footsteps of imagination.
Each story takes you on a tour de force of unadulterated horror and draws upon the deepest fear in the human mind- the fear of the UNKNOWN!
When Sarika offered me a spot to join this tour I got really excited because as far as I can remember I have never read any horror books/stories so after reading that synopsis I immediately accepted the offer and eagerly waited for my copy to arrive and when it arrived after reading few pages and checking out that trailer I got a little apprehensive about reading it thinking I might not be able to handle it. But thank goodness I read it, I would have regretted if I hadn't.
The Other Side is a collection of thirteen stories each with different paranormal activities and if you include the awesome Prelude and Epilogue you'll get 15 awesome (in creepy way) stories.
Each story is different from other. If one had tortured but good souls other had the most ruthless killer, if one was come unknown creature other was a loving and innocent soul of a motherless child and so on.
I lost into the book right from page one (i.e Prelude) where our main characters are both the authors who are trying to brainstorm a theme for their new book. And then the stories. I am going to share my feedback on each story:
1. That Fateful Night (4/5): This was a very nice start to the book. The story is about an aged couple who died century ago when no one stood up to help them. It shows us the good side of the "other" world. I also liked the hidden message in the story- never neglect old people in our surrounding.
2. The Long Weekend (2.5/5): The start was interesting with all the planchette reading and Ouija board but I was lost, confused towards the end. I could not understand what happened (but maybe its just dumb me ;) ).
3. The Man Who Did Not Fear (5/5): This was my favorite. It made me shiver, had my heart beat faster and I had goosebumps even after finishing the story. It was awesomely filled with horror which left me sweating in this biting cold. It is about a college guy who considered himself fearless and agreed to stay in an old hunted house for a night when his friends offered him cash as a bet.
4. Strangers In the Night (4/5): Nicely written story that surprised me at the climax. It had the perfect start with a guy giving lift to a beautiful girl who was standing outside the cemetery.*SPOILER* All along the story I thought that 'bad guy' was the girl and then bam! it was other way around- you are introduced to the famous paranormal creature the Handsome Werewolf. (So ladies be careful before taking that lift just make sure you are not with some sickeningly handsome werewolf ;) ) *SPOILER END*
5. The Muse Comes Calling (5/5): Another awesomely superb story with the amazing theme. It features a guy named Abhijit Mukherjee who has become a bestselling author. What Happens when the characters you created comes to life? And they didn't at all liked the way you told their story?
Wanna know? Read this story and you'll get all your answers *evil smile*
6. The Lady In The Pub (3/5): It was a nice story but was not horrifyingly creepy which could make me excite or jump. It is story about a girl who never got the love of her life and now she comes searching for him periodically.
7. A Mother's Love (3.5/5): It was a sweet paranormal story. It have a couple who longed to have a child but for some unexplained reasons couldn't, it has a old bungalow from British India period and cute ghost of a little boy who was motherless since his birth. I liked how the authors interconnected the events in the story and gave us such a nice ending.
8. Red Bangles (2/5): It was an ok read. A 'stay in the background kind of teenager' boy who felt an instant attraction towards his new classmate and then the rejection and then finally the extreme step of kidnapping her but with a paranormal touch. I don't think it was strong theme for a paranormal story.
9. The Mark of The Beast (3.5/5): Nice read but didn't had anything new. The story was very similar to various tales popular among old people. A cursed creature and his encounter cursing the people who came across him giving them a fate harsh then death.
10. The Mystery Lake (5/5): It was based on the folklore related to the famous Roopkund Lake. I stumbled across the folklore few months back and since then have been attracted to the mysterious place. And reading about the same story with an another angle was superb experience and it was almost believable to me .
11. Possession (3/5): It was an amazing story but I found it similar to the movie 'The Exorcist'. Had I not seen the movie, I am sure I would have surely liked to read the story and would have been scared to the core.
12. Unfulfilled Desires (4/5): It was a bit common theme of a back stabbing lover who killed his so called love and made people think that it was a suicide leaving the girl dead with 'unfulfilled desires'. But the way authors weaved the mystery and made our protagonist solve the mystery was amazing.
13. Dream Girl (4/5): *shudders* This was really creepy. It had a psychotic killer who is making some kind of 'creation- his creation'. While reading it I recalled the movie The Silence of The Lambs and shivered imagining all the gory killings. *shakes of that creepy feeling*
EPILOGUE: It was the perfect ending. It felt amazing to read about Bhangarh (another place which I have find very facinating) Having heard so much about the place and living just 80kms from the place I have always wished to visit it and I hope my father takes me there soon.
OVERALL the book was nicely written, with amazing detail and with almost imagery language, which made it more fun (in horror kind of way) to read it. It was an wonderful experience and had raised my interest in the genre.
Thank you Sarika and Faraaz for the awesome opportunity. :)
P.S.: All views expressed here are my impartial and honest thoughts.
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About The Authors:
The winner of the 2013 National Debut Youth Fiction Award and also the recipient of the YCOF National Excellence award in Creative Writing apart from being the first Indian author to win the coveted ‘Best Debut (Romance)’ title at the international Goodreads choice awards, FaraazKazi has been tagged as the 'Nicholas Sparks of India’ by many and is rated amongst the top male romance writers in the country.
A certified soft-skills trainer and a three-time post grad, Kazi is the Founder and CEO of DigiImprint Solutions, India's first exclusive promotional agency for authors and artists that recently forayed into handling corporate brands. He also consults for a few public relations firms and publishing houses. Felicitated by numerous institutes, bodies and organizations alike, Kazi is a well-known name in the social media and literary fraternity. He is fondly referred to as 'The Young Marketer' and operates a revolutionary blog with the same name and writes for major media houses.
Kazi is a fellow member of the esteemed 'Film Writers Association of India.' Truly Madly Deeply, his debut mainstream romance novel is the only Indian book to have seven category nominations in the Goodreads annual readers' choice awards and is also the only Indian book in the 'Top 100 YA Global Fiction' list. Kazi is a voracious reader and counts singing as his second love.
A pediatrician by profession, Vivek Banerjee is an author by accident.He lives in Saharanpur with his parents, obstetrician wife and two children. The pressures of his profession leave him with little leisure but he still finds time for his varied interests. An avid traveller, he has covered the length and breadth of the country in real life and the rest of the world in his imagination. A voracious reader, music lover, self-confessed geek and an amateur ornithologist, he would rather walk the road less travelled, given the time and opportunity. A Bengali by birth, he has grown up in various towns of North India and studied in many different schools and colleges. He started writing on Rediff blogs where he is known as Ben and went on to write his debut novel THE LONG ROAD.
He has also been published by Westland in 'Chicken Soup for Indian Doctors Soul', Grapevine India in 'Shades of Love' and APK Publishers in 'Shades of Black'.
He won an all India short story competition for his story 'The hunter'which was published in 'Kaleidoscope' by Parlance publishers.
An anthology of stories about the paranormal, 'The Other Side', co-authored with FaraazKazi is a recent offering.
He is also a part of 'Carnival' by Litizen.com
INDIA ONLY (ONE PHYSICAL COPY OF THE OTHER SIDE)
INTERNATIONAL (ONE E-COPY OF THE OTHER SIDE)