Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Book Review: 8 Hours by Upendra Namburi

Book: 8 Hours

Author: Upendra Namburi

Publisher: Westland Books

Genre: Fiction

Pages: 282


Aratrika Reddy, the charismatic CEO of ARYA Holdings Ltd., has just 8 Hours to save her company from certain bankruptcy.
The multi-billion dollar hotels to steel conglomerate, founded by her mercurial father, liquor baron Madhusudhan Reddy, has many suitors, all of them plotting a hostile takeover. Aratrika’s estranged husband, Siddhartha is one of them. His inside knowledge is the real ace up his sleeve. The Rathores, the Reddys’ arch-rivals are looking to buy ARYA too and thereby settle old scores.
Aratrika has to weave her way through a litany of lawyers, politicians, bankers, bureaucrats, investors, power brokers and her dreaded family. Behind the scenes, Jagannath Rao, her wily uncle, is playing a dangerous double game of manipulation. Her father Madhusudan is furiously pulling the strings from behind the scenes. To add to the confusion, overseeing the whole sale process is her old flame, Peter.
Over the course of a single night, 8 Hours to be precise, Aratrika must fight the demons at the gates of her company and those within. It’s a fight to the bitter end.
A fight that Aratrika does not want to lose…


Often times you come across a book which you carry everywhere. Because you need to know what happens next; 8 hours is one such beauty.

The story is of posh people, staying at a posh place and taking big; also doing big. It takes some time to get in the skin of the tale, it takes time to understand where all this is heading to but when you are into it there is no turning back.

If I talk in brief without giving any spoilers, the story is about a firm which needs some repairs in the next 8 hours and by repairs I mean some serious ones. How the tale twists and turns, who plot against whom and who come clean is worth seeing, it’s a glamorous show of power.

Characters were in abundance ranging from mere pawns to the real big showman’s. There were villains and villains, some bad for someone and some very bad for someone. I didn’t love any of them because not much was told about them, it was there story not there real selves which was projected. I liked Siddhartha, Aratrika, Aratrika’s father, Prince Said and some more people who come and go in jiffy.

Now I don’t like these characters for who they were but how much potential they had. They were always growing, showing something more, giving something extra to the book. It was a good parade of people

The plot was amazing. It was the one thing that held the book together, there were so many minute details so many pickup points that a great execution was must and the author was able to show the same. The placing of events around the 8 hours through which the story moves is commendable. I never missed a beat or felt off radar.

The environment of the book could have been better, the background setting too. I felt the story just started and ended, there could have been some bridging gaps. The little flashbacks were good but weren’t enough.

Externally too the book is appealing, the blurb, title, cover, font, quality, editing; everything was taken care off with precision.

There was no flaw in the writing but there was also no extra punch. There was a lack of something quirky, something edgy which could have helped the book to become unforgettable.

Summing up- The book was a great surprise, an extremely quick read and a page turner in true sense. It can be a great weekend escapade. There was but something off beat. The story started and finished. There was no spark. But all in all a good read. I can recommend it to those who are into suspense and thriller novels.

About the author:

A digital & marketing professional by day, an engineer & MBA by accident. Upendra is married and has a son. Upendra was first bitten by the writing bug when he was invited to write for one of India’s leading finance dailies. It soon turned into a love affair that turned him into an avid blogger and finally made him take the plunge into the unchartered waters of the Novel. Upendra now takes complex subjects like banking, consumer goods, mergers and acquisitions and turns them into nail-biting thrillers, making those dull and dreary numbers come alive. But he really hasn’t shifted his focus as such, for he still thinks of his books as numbers: 31, 60 and 8. 8 Hours is the third book in the Numbers series.

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Friday, 9 February 2018

Book Review: Prem Purana by Usha Narayanan

Book: Prem Purana- Mythological Love Stories

Author: Usha Narayanan

Genre: Fiction (Mythology)

Publisher: Penguin Books

Pages: 286


Stories of love and extraordinary devotion
No one is untouched by love, not even devas (gods) and asuras (demons), kings and nymphs. And when they face life’s unexpected tribulations, their love also undergoes trials. Read how Ganesha took myriad forms to please Riddhi, Siddhi and Buddhi, how Ravana shared an unbreakable bond with his true love, Mandodari and how Nal and Damayanti’s relationship was tested till nothing remained.
Tormented by passion, wracked by betrayal, torn by the agony of separation, love in its many splendored forms is the origin of these incredibly endearing stories of Prem Purana.


Prem-purana is one of a kind book which can transport you to a world which is so unusual and divine that you don’t want to step out. The book has three stories, three magnificent stories which can make you see different forms and feelings of love and reading it in the month of love made it extra special and revived the spirit of love in a new way.

From all the three stories there is something to learn, something to grasp and adapt in your life. Though the book can put you in a tight spot at times due to varied tales entangled in between the main story that is going on. This happened with me mainly with the first story which was not very engrossing and was wavering at times.

The first story is of Ganesh and his love life. The story was new for me as I have never read anything about Ganesh in any mythological book till now. So everything was way too much for me. So many names, so many details, so many things to take in. I liked the atmosphere but I didn’t connect to it as much as I connected to the rest of the two stories.

If I have to pick any character I would pick Siddhi, she was amazing, so confident yet so tender. She was perfect.

The second story was so amazing that I read all the way in just few hours without wanting to stop. It was so engrossing and the characters so well explained and interesting that it transported me straight to the world it was set in. I loved the aura of power and knowledge the story carried. It was enticing and I couldn’t like it any less.

I loved the character of Mandodari and Ravana. They were so powerful and their love was so pure and radiant that it made me fell in love with love. They had a different kind of bond and that is why I was attracted to it.

The final story of Nala and Damayanti expressed immense sacrifice and an everlasting love. The story was good but short. I wanted to know more about their hardships and blossoming of love. I think it was wrapped up a bit too fast then needed. But it was engrossing.

Summing up- The book is very different and unique. It surely has the power to attract a reader who likes the kind of genre it falls in. It does justice to its title but taking the reader on a journey of such varied love stories which are not very famous but are still present and are powerful enough to take ones breath away.

About the author:

Usha Narayanan had a successful career in advertising, radio and corporate communications before becoming a full-time author. She has written several books, including the suspense thriller The Madras Mangler and the fun office romance Love, Lies and Layoffs. Her books Pradyumna: Son of Krishna and The Secret of God’s Son have been praised as ‘Indian mythology at its fiercest and finest’. 
When she is not travelling, writing or editing, Usha reads everything from thrillers to the puranas.

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