Friday, July 20, 2012

Percy Jackson, Kane Chronicles

I have heard often enough from people , "but these are children's books". Of course it doesn't help that my nephew who is in the 9th std also reads them. Percy Jackson is his hero I guess. The super cool demi god with powers. I would have loved him too.. when I was in 9th std.

Percy Jackson is a demi god i.e. the son of a greek god and a mortal. Percy is Poiseidon's (god of sea) son and then you have various characters who's parentage includes Zeus (god of skies), Athena (god of wisdom), Ares (god of war), Hades (god of the underworld) etc. They embark on various quests which involve fighting demons, Medusa etc with the ultimate objective of defeating the Earth Goddess Gaia. There is this prophecy you see ..of course.. all these books have to have a prophecy. Have you read any fantasy book that doesn't.. in answer to my own question, I think Golden Compass does not have a prophecy. No, wait, I think it does. So the prophecy is of 7 demi gods defeating the ultimate enemy by uniting with the gods. The "heroes" series is the extension of Percy Jackson series.

Similar to this one is Kane Chronicles which has two central chracters Carter and Sadie, a brother sister duo. They are the last bloodline of pharaohs and born into magic. Here again, many Egyptian gods make an appearance - Horus (god of war), Isis (god of magic), Seth (God of evil), Ra (God of sun), Osiris (god of dead),God of chaos Apophis. And then there are various interesting gods :

God of crocodiles - Sobek
God of knowledge - Thoth who wears a labcoat and looks dissheveled
God of Baboons (they apparently serve Thoth) - Babi who is a giant Baboon
God of Vultures - Nekhbet
God of river Nile - Hapi who is perpetually Happy
God of Dwarfs - Bes
God of Cats - Bast
God of Scorpions - Serquet
etc etc etc. .

Which interesting god would you want to see?
In between these gods, there is a house of life i.e. the magicians.The entire series is about defeating chaos.

Why I like these -

a) I am very interested in mythology. Roman, Greek, Egyptian, Indian.. anything and everything. Which is why I like the angel books too!! 
Gods flit in and out throughout both the series. How cool is that! I mean what more could I ask for!! What I love is the portrayal of these gods. The personality traits are cleverly defined. In the Percy Jackson series, each of these gods almost have a human avtaar. For eg, Dionysis, the wine god, has a punishment posting to look after a demi god camp. Ares, the war god, rides a bike, wears sunglasses etc. None of them are perfect , some have a huge ego, some are prone to anger, some to laziness. It is  really interesting to see the human rendition of these gods.

In Kane chronicles, whilst they dont have a human persona, they can take human form by finding a human / animal host. They are quirky - I find myself unable to define them without repeating what I explained for the Percy Jackson series.I am sure you get the drift.

b)  I quite like Rick Riordan's easy writing style. It is humourous and a very everyday language that you can identify with. Kane Chronicles is a narrative by the brother-sister pair. I do not remember how the other one was now.

c) The characters are etched very well. Well, not as well as Harry Potter (just because it is my first love.. of course) but still. The initial jitteriness, the sense of awe  the confidence building stage to defeating the enemy. It flows easily. And the best part is each character is unique (why do I feel I am repeating what I liked about Potter.. Did you know some guy has written the extension series to Harry Potter.. more about that in the end of this post.) They have their own fears, their own sense of disappointment, excitement. And they are quite normal.. They are shy of the opposite sex, they keep embarassing themselves.. Yeah very similar to HP characters in that sense!!!

d)  Magic and Power entice me. These books are full of both!! It helps me escape the regular hum drum of life.

I think I should write another post on why I like Fantasy books.

e) Everytime I pick up the first book in a series, I hope I will enjoy it. There's nothing better than waiting for the sequel to a book you like!! And Rick Riordan does not disappoint.

I am becoming absent minded these days. Rajesh Khanna's demise put this post right out of my head. I cannot remember how I planned to end it. In any case I hope I am helping you,a little bit, to make up your mind about the so called "kiddie" books.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Rajesh Khanna

I cannot claim to have watched his movies. I used to constantly question my mom and my grandma.. why did you watch his movies. I don't think I ever got an answer except well he was Rajesh Khanna.

Yesterday grandma and mom were recalling the yesteryears - grandma remembered that they always used to run to the theatre to watch all his movies. She remembers going to watch Aradhana particularly. The crowd, the frenzy. They were trying to describe to me the craze around Rajesh Khanna. Many girls apparently tried to commit suicide when he got married. In my mom's school, girls would keep his picture below their pillow when they would go to sleep. They would cold compress his brow (in the picture) if he had fever in real.. and such!!!

A superstar my grandma says. She cannot describe why. Some people are just that.

A sad day yesterday.

Update : I have 351 friends on FB of which about 30% are very active. People write about everyone and everything!!! But there are only 3 updates on Rajesh Khanna. Its weird.

Friday, July 13, 2012

I recently read..

I re-discovered flipkart and found a new site called I keep checking these sites for new books, I read reviews, I look at lists enticingly called Cant' wait books for 2012!!

So here's what I have read recently :
 The Hush Hush (not a trilogy, what do you call a series of 4 books?) series : Becca Fitzpatrick

The fourth book is yet to release. The main protagonist Nora falls for a dark broody character aptly named Patch. He is a fallen angel. WAIT! Before you think this sounds likes Bella and Edward, let me assure you it is not absolutely not like Twilight. It is an interesting book. I am not sure if I love it. But it is interesting and definitely not weird (unlike the Twilight series). I couldn't put the book down one instant! I had read the first two books much earlier when I accidently ran into Silence. Of course I re-read part 1 and 2 before starting on the third.

My take : its a good read. Please to buy!!

I 've got your number : Sophie Kinsella

Its a cute book like all other Sophie Kinsella books. A guy loses his mobile number which a girl picks up. And she starts intervening in his life - personal and work. A nice breezy read.

The Rozabal line : Ashwin Sanghi

 I had very high hopes from this book as I had loved Chanakya's chant. That was a racy book from the start to the finish. This book has a nice concept - it is based on the theory that Jesus traveled to India. While the historical plot is fascinating, the story keeps jumping time frames and locations. It was a bit tedious to read.

I absolutely love the writing style of Rick Riordan. For those of you who are not aware, he wrote the Percy Jackson series. And no it is not childish. It is delightful. I like the idea of Greek / Roman gods. It is like escaping into another realm altogether. The portrayal of each god with the characteristics that define them was phenomenal. It is because of this series that I picked up the Kane chronicles. And I was not disappointed at all.

The two key characters are Carter and Sadie Kane. They are a brother - sister duo.The entire book is written in first person. And this series has Egyptian gods. The two children are the descendants of pharaohs and and hence are born into magic. They have spirits of Horus (the war god) and Isis (I forget what she was) residing in them. It is a lovely read.

Worth a buy if you like fantasy!!

The books in waiting that I want to read right now!!!

I have already read Angelology. It is a super duper book. Waiting for the sequel Angelopolis now.

Others am contemplating to read : Fyre(Angie Sage), Insurgent (Veronica Roth - Good reads has a good rating for this one), Krishna (Ashwin Sanghi), The mortal instruments (Cassandra Clare - Good reads again)

I haven't added Fifty shades of grey. Reviews are frightening.. MB like books!!

What are you reading right now? What are you eagerly waiting for? Do you all have any additions to my list?

 Update: I just realised all seem to be fantasy books!!! And most of them series. I love series actually.. I like the anticipation of waiting for something familiar that I loved previously.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Shifting loyalties

I must say this one thing about myself, I am one of the most loyal persons you could meet on this planet. Loyal to what I like.. no matter how much they deteriorate.. old fading celebrities, over crowded cities..

And it pains me immensely to acknowledge the fact that I am "over" something I have liked for ages OR more likely associated with something wonderful over the years.

As you can guess, one such thing has just made its way to my mind yesterday. I had put a post on this too! :((

I am talking about Outlook Traveler, the magazine. I started subscribing to it in 2006, immediately after I got know, the freedom that comes with marriage got me to subscribe to it. I don't mean to say I was confined when I was staying with my parents - but you know you are answerable for whatever you do in terms of spending money.

And So, I fell in love with my new found freedom aka outlook traveler. It also I guess denoted to me the freedom to plan a trip to some far out place without having to take any permission :) .. of course taking permission from my parents was the easiest thing.. I traveled to Malaysia on my own, Shimla, Nainital, Goa with friends..of course I took all the liberties possible "under their guardianship".. lol. But I digress.

Am sure even though am sounding unintelligible, some of you understand what I am saying!

Its been 6 years since I have been reading Outlook Traveler. I used to absolutely love its editor, Kai Friese. Earlier, he would not ever appear in the magazine. And then one fine day, they published his silhouette and then his face. Damn cute the guy was!! The blow came when he left the magazine. The zing was missing. And then Lonely Planet launched its magazine edition in India.

Ooooooooooooohhhhhhhh. It was NICE.

It became much easier and nicer and friendlier to read. It has nice sections - pictures by readers, 5 easy trips, some main theme, 10 things to do in a new city... I just found it more engaging!!

But I cannot be disloyal to my magazine. So now I order both. Of course, the top lists theme I find to be much better in OT. Even the "ask marco polo" is a better section.

But still I am sad (even though am ordering both). I must not let go of old loyals, favourites.

I think somewhere I have forgotten the entire point of this post . Never mind!!!


I feel like taking off on a trip. Someone went to Alaska and has posted pictures on FB. Hrrrmmmphhhh.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

MC Australia Favourites

Already!!! Well, it is a work in progress list. I am sure as the series progresses, I will weed out more names, add some, rethink on others. But in the meanwhile, this is my first list.

I like : Andy, Ben, Kylie and Tregan and now, the quietly confident Mindy.

I definitely do not like : Kevin -Thank god he is out!! Could not stand his over exhuberant personality!! What an ass - entire credit to himself for getting kicked out of the competition.

Alice - Over confidence will fail her for sure!!!! At least I hope it does. With her giant specs, the over confident fashionista.

Mario - He just talks too much.

Who are your favourites?