Saturday, 25 August 2018

Review: Wings of Flesh and Bones



Wings of Flesh and Bones by Cathrina Constantine
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Blurb from Goodreads:
An Angel. A Witch. A Demon. And A Choice.

Creatures from outer realms suck, as any gatekeeper worth their salt will tell you. Welcome to Rogan’s life, an orphaned seventeen-year-old who lives and trains with other misfits under her uncle’s roof, keeping Earth safe from non-human realm jumpers. Rogan’s biggest issue concerns her uncle’s short leash with her freedom—that is of course, until she’s taken by a notorious witch, and her life begins to unravel. Soon, the supernatural beauty discovers there’s a reason her uncle kept such a tight lock on her whereabouts, and that she has more than angel blood running through her veins.

Eighteen-year-old Max is an angel, and Rogan’s mentor and guardian. He’s well aware of her tenacious inability to obey orders, though he also knows she’s a fierce fighter. When he’s involved in a scheme that ultimately gets Rogan kidnapped, he must battle his way back to her in an attempt to save her from the darkness threatening to possess her.


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I seriously had taken a long time to read this and was always reading in breaks where I rushed from chapter to chapter between my classes, transit and what not. But one thing for sure, this book kept my interest all along that long period.

Well I was bit skeptical about the book when I saw the cover and the bio but well as I started reading I decided to kept my judgement a bit aside and just enjoy the read. The book had a bit okayish starting where it didn't give out any wow moments. But yes as it progressed it had me deeply engrossed in it. Again this book had a ton of biblical references as if you are someone who isn't familiar with story of lucifer and micheal and else, it might be a tiny bit confusion for it them. Although it wasn't like you'd need to know to understand the plot but if you did, it would be awesome experience as the context would be more enjoyable along the story.

I just loved the narration, perhaps I had the ARC copy it had some editing issues but I think they might not be present in the final published version. I feel wish they didn't had the cover changed. I mean I just loved the ARC cover and wished it could've been same on the published version. But no worries even this looks cool enough. As you go deeper in the story the plot keeps on thickening and loved the unexpected twists that had been placed on most unexpected places.

Down the lines, I felt this book was more of a mytho-fiction inspired rather than being a fantasy novel. Plus the references were so subtle and nice. I just loved the whole setting, plot and narration as everything was perfectly blended together.

I'd surely recommend it to ones who love the fantasy realm in the book world.

Book Buy Link : https://amzn.to/2wemVP5

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Tuesday, 21 August 2018

Do you need a Fitness Band or a Smart watch?

In this world of tech, where every other day new device pops up and then rises into popularity if it is able to impress a few set of manufacturers a new trend of fitness bands popped up in last few years. Myself was so intrigued by the whole idea of being able to measure how much of calories you spent or how much your stamina improved over the workout over the time.

But its been now 6 months of me personally wearing a fitness band almost 24/7 on my wrist and trying and testing most features of it and realizing something interesting. If you are someone who wants an answer whether you should get a fitness band or a smart watch then I'd explain you in simple terms. If you are someone who has money to be spent and forgotten whether the thing you spent it on is even worth it or not then you can happily go and choose whatever fits your pocket. Perhaps if you belong to the later category of humans who have this desire of always having worth of their money then I'd say better use that money for something else. Now, If you are still interested in why am I saying this then continue to read the post.

Lets dive into the story of Jack and get a better understanding do we really need these things or not. Jack was a tech enthusiast who constantly kept a track of latest tech and trends in the tech market. Alongside Tech Jack was a cyclist and also was a kind of stats nerd who loved to see stats almost wherever he can. He always used to watch reviews of new fitness bands and smart watches and used to think, 'what purpose do these things serve?'. His friends and fellow cyclists used to boast a ton about their fitness stats using those garmin and other fitbit fitness bands and used to proudly show their performance screenshots from strava app. He used to measure the similar stats using the google's fit app and well the stat's were approximately accurate to his understanding he somehow felt that a proper device could serve a better purpose.

After watching a lot of reviews he decided to invest a little amount and gift himself a budget fitness band which had all the basic features that he'd require. That band was praised a lot for its price to performance ratio and hence he ordered it online with enthusiasm. A week later of ordering his band, it arrived and he was finally excited to try out its all new features that he'd been listening about and watching in reviews.
He used to cycle regularly and used to measure his workouts. Apart from a few technical issues he realized that the fitness band wasn't showing any better results than the google fit app that he used to use before. He had to keep his phone connected with band with the bluetooth and GPS had to be turned on so that thing doesn't serve any major purpose apart from giving him a live heart rate counting all along his workouts.

After a few months he realized that all this while, he was just treating himself as a guinea pig. In the world where everyone is concerned about their data and privacy, he was giving much more sensitive data to random tech companies he bought the fitness band from, the very private data like his heart rates, GPS locations, what time is he active, how many notifications and calls does he get etc etc. He thought, all of this was even worth it? Surely the band had some of its own cons like everything has but, did he actually needed that thing in a first place or was it another fancy impulsive spending.

Now, if you imagine if I strip down a smart watch/fitness band without its notification functions, stop using its workout mode and enter workouts manually. Don't keep it connected with Mobile all the time or wear it all the time. It doesn't make any significant difference in my regime. Some stats that can be easily picked up if you are a pro athlete or a regular working out person. You don't need some random app or device to tell you about your health. Your body is way better indicator for that. Also, some people who are obsessed with step counting and calorie counts, those numbers are always a rough approximation. You can use a google fit app and keep it in your pocket while you walk and see how it gives you almost the same number unless you are using your phone.

This whole idea of treating yourself as a lab rat has many caveats in itself. So unless you are someone who desperately needs a way to spend out extra cash and doesn't wanna invest or donate, you can buy these useless fancy items and let data companies collect all the data about you like a lab rat. I know it sounds a bit rude and blunt but that's the truth.

Please do comment and let me know what do you think about it? I'd love to know your thoughts on it. Also if you wanna read more from me and wanna support me then do subscribe to blog because its free :P.
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Tuesday, 14 August 2018

Truth Behind the Bestseller tag.

It's been a long time I had done a blog post on any topic which wasn't a review. There's this question that someone or the other keeps asking me whenever the topics of books and sales pop up, 'How come every other book is a bestseller?' then its followed by a number of conspiracy theories about someone hacking into databases or someone paying amazon or retailers to give the book a best selling tag and what not.

Apart from those bizzare theories, let me tell you there's nothing as such. Behind this 'every other book becoming best seller' is a very smart ingenious and tricky marketing plan that only people investing tons into their book launches can afford. This marketing plan is something that isn't a choice or option for an average joe or a newbie like me.

Being in this world of Internet, I realised that its very easy to misguide people by faking the number of likes,shares and what not. But when it comes to marketing where you have to sell any actual products these things don't work quite in that manner. Our bookish industries have made up and devised a really nice and smart plan to I'd say misguide the readers. Although, I'd call it smart and not cheating or a scam, even though it feels like one.

Lets say your average Joe has written a book and now he has a wish of getting it published, he went through the tedious procedures of publishing houses and their plans. Although he wanted to self publish but the tag of getting published with a publishing house sounded really nice to ears. It was a thing of self validation and ego satisfaction altogether.  Apart from that now as his book was now ready to hit market his marketing team came up with a nice plan for him.

His book was priced at 100 bucks (considering random amount and currency), which was although slightly above the market price where other popular books were been sold at 75 or 80 books for super lengthy books. His marketing team wanted him to sponsor them with amount from which he'd be able to buy 200 copies of his own book at least.

A few days before the book launch his marketing team connects with several reviewers and gets them collected, here some huge and popular ones are paid and while most aren't. This team of reviewers is now sent the amount to buy the book and for the paid ones their original amounts of review as well by any of the favorable means usually which are giftcards.

Now its the day of launch, each of those reviewers is now asked to buy the book by using the amount sent to them beforehand. They don't ask all of them to buy those books at once since that'd trigger the seller who'd then know that this book is trying to get into best selling charts by non fair means. Hence to avoid the suspicion the reviewers are asked to buy books in different time slots.

Now as the books are been sold every hour or say every other day, the retailer thinks that this book is selling like hotcakes, hence the book after a limited period of time say, one week will be seen in best selling charts. Now my average Joe is so happy that for his next book he can use the bestselling author tag on the cover of his book as well as he actually thinks that his book did so well that it became a best seller. Although in reality he'd have been buying 200 copies of his own book and giving it for reviews and total sales would be ranging from 700 - 800 books if the book is decent enough and might be more if its actually good.

Also the boost from the reviewers and then after getting the TAG of best seller, there's a very fine campaign of ads everywhere, from where you come to know about your new best-selling author and next time would even buy from him.

That's all for this time. I hope you liked this and do comment down and share your stories with me. I'm planning to do all such publishing related stories soon over the blog as soon as I get some free time to write down from my UNI-and personal coding projects. Also do subscribe to my blog and show me some love. ;)
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Monday, 13 August 2018

Review: The Pendant Path




The Pendant Path by Jane Barlow Funk
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Blurb from Goodreads :

Kenji Okado has a secret. Trained since birth to be the ultimate weapon against a threat that might not even exist, he is struggling to navigate high school. His world changes for the better when popular student Hyrum Decker becomes his lab partner, but little does Kenji realize how his newfound friendship will be tested when he and Hyrum discover the hidden potential of a family heirloom.

Elsie, an apprentice clockmaker, is struggling to achieve Journeyman status in a place where being half British isn’t an asset. Recently, she can’t shake the feeling that someone is watching her. But that’s the least of her problems, now that her brother Xan has stolen a priceless artifact from the local crime lord.

Two teenagers. Two parallel worlds. Destined never to meet until they stumble upon the secret of the pendant path.

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I usually don't take books by cover but this one is an exception where I liked the cover so much that I decided to give it a try. The blurb was interesting as well and hence it didn't took me long to dive into this book.

The story is a mix of fantasy and history, which is a very unique and creative blend as compared to other fantasies that I had been reading since last few months. Certainly, the plot was very well developed and characters were also well developed with a great bonding. I liked the way it began with kenji being trained for unknown things that he thought his father was paranoid about but later those very things came to his rescue.

Some really key good points that I really liked in this book are great blend of historical plot and their references along with the story's progress although as more if the story is been happening in the historical phase. Also another thing I liked is that there wasn't a cliche turn where the characters had to romance with each other, which is another weird trend seen in the books these days but this one was a huge relief to that annoying trend.

Also some minus points I felt were that, the plot of fantasy could've been explored much more. Like there wasn't much of a talk about pendant, its powers etc.. I felt that was a bit left ignored? Also since major of the part happens in the past, the story-line could've been much better as the present one isn't bad but it could've been much better exploring much ups and downs instead of singing the same tune till the end.

The climax although surprised me and had a nice stable ending. There were no weird things that would seem like a plot-holes but I felt much of the plot was left unexplored especially in the Fantasy portion where I felt history was overpowering over everything. There's action,drama and nice banter between young teens. I'd surely recommend this for children and also for those who want to avoid romance for once in a while.

Buy this on Amazon : https://amzn.to/2MKAEmP
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