All posts by S. L. Faisal

A Library Professional with a twist towards anything 2.0 and beyond. Website:

‘Being Salman’ by Salman Khan

20180410_093504“Mein dil mein aata hoon samajh mein nahi” this was a famous dialogue from the movie kick released last year by Salman Khan. Famous celebrity of Bollywood, but he is known as the bad boy of b town. It is because of many of his works. From the black buck case to an accident he had been blamed a lot. But still, I would suggest this to all because this book is not to justify nor to influence anyone or even to prove any of his honesty, its just to understand what BEING SALMAN is…

Reviewed by N.Gopika Krishnan

‘Mockingjay’ by Suzanne Collins

B612_20180528_214954_409‘Mockingjay’- the book I chose for my FaB challenge, is the third and final book in the Hunger games trilogy and  has a lot of suspense awaiting the readers. We step into the shoes of Katniss Everdeen, a seventeen year old girl who narrates her story.

The  nation of Panem  is divided into twelve districts. Panem’s government is a dictatorship that maintained its power after a failed rebellion. Each year two children from each district are selected to participate in the Hunger Games, where they have to fight against each other in an arena. The Hunger Games are a reminder to show that everyone is just a pawn in the hands of the Capitol and that no one is safe. The televised hunger games are broadcast throughout Panem. Katniss and Peeta are the victors from the previous Hunger games.

In Mockingjay, Katniss is a role model and inspiration for the rebels who are struggling to fight against the injustice of President Snow’s dictatorship. As she is told, “You’re the face of the rebellion. You may have more influence than any other single person”. The plot is completely different from its predecessors where the story revolves around trying to survive the Hunger games. Mockingjay explores the psychological and emotional costs of war.

The story begins with Katniss and a few others being rescued from their previous hunger Games adventure. Nearly all of the districts are at some stage of rebellion against the Capitol. Katniss’s partner in both previous games, Peeta, is held captive. The story revolves around  the rebels trying to launch a propaganda campaign against President Snow, by operating in an underground bunker, where the rules are so strict that the people are tortured simply for stealing bread.

Although the rebellion is well under way, Katniss is in shock. Having endured two of the Hunger Games, she is traumatized by her experiences. For Katniss, there are many unanswered questions that she must face, now that she has the time to consider them.

By her side is Gale, her childhood friend with whom she hunted as a girl. Held captive in the Capitol is Peeta, who fought with her in two Hunger Games and who loves Katniss unconditionally. Both of them fight for her affections, but she is confused and can’t decide between the two of them.

Who wins in the end- The rebels or the Capitol? Was Katniss able to take her revenge on the cruel President Snow? Do all her loved ones survive? How will this war affect her? To find out all these answers, read the book.

This book is definitely darker and more violent than the other books in the trilogy, but not necessarily bad for all readers. You are able to melt in with character and experience what he or she is feeling. Collins has powerfully targeted the painful side of war; how it’s unfair and how people who are loved die all the time. Her storytellying is unique, with twists and turns in every part of the story.

However, I think Katniss’ character wasn’t as relatable to me as it was before. She becomes less likable in this book and I don’t like all the choices that she made. But she still has that aura and fire of strength and endurance which, in my opinion are the qualities that make everyone respect her decisions.

I recommend this book to readers who can deal with strong, serious and stressful plots. Mockingjay is a thriller and science-fiction. It is an adventurous book and I loved it.  I rate it 8/10.

Reviewed Kalyani Santhosh

‘The secrets of Droon’ by Tony Abbott

20180410_101406The secrets of Droon is a fantasy book. This is a story about three kids Eric, Julie and Neal ,who had found a secret staircase of the Droon, under the basement of there house, and their friends from the city of Droon. Keeah, a princess with amazing power, Galen, probably the greatest wizard ever known and Max, a friendly, orange haired, eight legged spider troll.

Droon is a secret world under the basement of their house. It is home to strange creatures like six legged pilkas, Bangledorn Monkeys, the friendly fire frogs etc. But, on one side of Droon were the Dark lands of Lord Sparr, a wicked sorcerer as Galen was good. And there were Ninns, lots and lots of Ninns. Sparr’s klutzy red warriors. There was Kano, a fiery palace, Plud, Sparr’s forbidden fortress and under the Serpent sea,the mysterious caves of a witch named Demithe. Eric would never forget these caves.It was deep in Demithe ‘s Doom Gate that a jewel called the red eye of dawn was imprisoned.While battling Ohm ,the whispering evil spirit of the eye ,keeah had saved Eric’s life by zapping him with her powers.From that moment Eric had his own powers.Droon changed Julie to. On one adventure Julie gained the ability to fly .When they had dreams about droon,it meant that they were being summoned back to Droon. And this dream came true.
This story begins with a magical bottle given to them by prince of star.Everyone was surprised that a whole city resided in the bottle . City was called city of Ut.
Every hundred years ,Ut appears for a single day than returns into the bottle.But that is not the remarkable thing,some one is trapped inside.It was the seventh genie of dove named Hoja, wears a  whooping turban and spoke in odd,funny sayings.Eric,Julie and Neal have seen Hoja before. Because Hoja was a genie who could time travel when he desires . But the last time he went to the city of Ut ,he got trapped because it is a city of dangers .And Quill a magical feather pen told to watch for the blue flower, he also says that Sparr’s has something to do with it. The only way to get in the bottle and safe Hoja is to take the bottle to a faint sand dune in the Saladina Plains and – pfft ! – out of it will come the city of Ut. The Duke of Ut looks just like Neal and his sister looked just like Julie. So, they prevented as if they were the rulers of Ut and understood why Lord Sparr was here and defeated him. They rescued Hoja and freed him from the city of Ut. And this frenzied, adventure spree just ended right before their breakfast.
Reviewed by Apoorva Anilkumar

‘Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone’ by J.K. Rowling

20180404_200241‘Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone’ written by J.K. Rowling is the first novel in the Harry Potter series. It was first published by Bloomsbury publications in the year 1997.

Harry Potter is a bespectacled eleven year old orphan with a lightning-bolt scar on his forehead who has been living with his dreadful Aunt Petunia and Uncle Vernon and their son Dudley ever since his parents died in a car crash. His life isn’t very bright; he has to sleep in the cupboard under the stairs, never gets anything for his birthday and his nephew Dudley constantly bullies him. One day Harry starts receiving strange letters and is rescued by a giant man named Rebus Hagrid. Harry discovers his parents didn’t die in a car crash (as his uncle and aunt always told him), but that they were wizards, and that he’s one as well. But that’s not all; he even seems to not just a wizard, but also a famous one. The reason for this is because a Dark Wizard named Voldemort who killed a lot of people, including Harry’s parents, lost his power when he tried to kill Harry when he was a year old.

He enrolls at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry where he meets new friends Ron and Hermione, but also enemies. In the beginning of the year all the students at Hogwarts are told by Professor Dumbledore (the headmaster) not to enter the third floor corridor, unless they wish to “die a very painful death”. As the year proceeds Harry finds that the Philosopher’s Stone, a magical stone which is capable of turning anything into gold and prolonging life, is stored behind this corridor. He also discovers someone is trying to steal it.

Harry enters the forbidden corridor and passes the barriers set by the teachers of Hogwarts to protect the stone. But his Defence Against The Dark Arts teacher Professor Quirrel, does as well. It turns out that Voldemort shares the body of Professor Quirrel, as that is the only way he can live in his weakened state. Professor Quirrel, however, doesn’t get past all barriers. He can’t get over the last one, the Mirror of the Erised, placed by Dumbledore himself. In this mirror you will see what you most desire. Quirrel, of course, mostly desires the stone, but the mirror has been bewitched in a way that only someone who wants the Stone for itself, not for the powers it possesses, can see in the mirror where the stone is. Quirrel has the intention of giving the stone to Voldemort when he finds it, so he can’t see where it is. But Harry does meet this need of the mirror and finds the stone in his pocket when he looks into the mirror. In the next moments Harry and Quirrel are fighting about the stone. In the end Harry once again is able to overcome the Dark Wizard and keep the world save from his powers.

In my opinion Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone is one of the most interesting book I ever read. It can be read and enjoyed by people of all ages. I would rate this book 10/10 and recommend it to anyone who likes fantasy and magic.

Reviewed by Aparna Jose

‘The Lost Symbol’ by Dawn Brown

20180408_151615‘The lost symbol’ is written by Dan Brown. He is a mystery/thriller novelist. The lost symbol is third in it’s Robert Langdon series,however you don’t have to read read it consecutively,it’s more of a companion series just with the same lead character.

So this book starts with Robert Langdon,a art history Harvard professor and a famous symbologist .He is summoned by his colleague Peter Solomon,also a long time friend and mentor,who is a philanthropist, historian and scientist to U.S. capitol building to give a lecture.And from there everything starts to go down hill, first a served hand is found in the rotunda with strange tattoos.And then Robert realised that he was manipulated to came here and Peter is missing and he receives a strange phone call from a man who says  that Peter is with him and unless Langdon unlocks a ancient mystical portal which is does not exist according to Langdon. And then CIA gets involved. CIA director Sato , directs comes to the rotunda and says that it is a matter of national security crisis and that Langdon complies to the man’s wishes,which Robert found to be complete bullshit and combine it with the frantic search for the portal through the depth of the capitol building and the turbulent chase to get away from CIA. And cue in Freemasons,the secret society or the  society with secrets as Langdon says.Tally it with Ancient Mysteries,a legend with a promise of vast knowledge and power. And couple it with Noetic science -the modern but the ancient study of mind and body ,even proving that our thoughts affect the physical matter around us, with masonic secrets and Albrecht D`urer’s painting and magic squares. and hitch on o evil mastermind blinded by lust of power, is so ambitious and relentless in pursuit of what he seeks that he doesn’t even blink before a cold-blooded murder or torturing people to death,tot up the decoding the intricate symbols and puzzles and add countless cliff hangers.And lastly jazz up twists and turns which are always around the corner ,which you never really see,which is often ,and BOOM!! …..There you have it,a jaw -dropping …… gripping thriller.
And one thing about this book is that ,a puzzle or a code is related to a thing which is present in real life, varying from paintings to monuments and even journals of famous people.The solving or decoding is done,which is so relevant,so interwoven into the artifact that once all the pieces click together, You will be like ,Oh My God!!! The answer was staring straight at my face all this time .
This book is a fictional work but the historical references to buildings,paintings,discoveries is so accurate,that you will doubt reality itself .
This book is constructed so well around the architecture of the city of Washington as the architecture of the city itself. I was so intrigued by the book that it took me several moments to collect my bearings.
This is the very fast-paced book,one thing will jump into another so fast that you will be unable to distinguish between one from the other and it’s a complete lead on.
This book will leave you gasping at the edge of your seat,hands trembling, heart thundering mind racing as the story eventuate ,hooked and captivated wondering what the hell did just happen!!!
Trust me…!! when I say it will take a much stronger but than your average one to digest it all.
Reviewed by Rhithuparna

‘Tiger’s Quest’ by Colleen Houck

20180408_141618“The dark threads were as needful in the weaver’s skillful hand
as the threads of gold and silver for the pattern which He planned”

‘Tiger’s Quest’ is the second book in the series of Tiger’s Curse written by Colleen Houck. Warps are the vertical threads in a cloth onto which the colourful wefts, the horizontal ones, cling to. The story revolves around a girl, Kelsey, who’s ready to accept any risk to break the tiger’s curse. She’s the warp onto which the half tigers, Ren and Kishan, cling to.

The story starts with Kelsey going back to Oregon after breaking a part of curse. Staying away from the half tiger Ren, her true love, made her life hard but without losing hope she moved ahead making herself busy to forget Ren by preparing herself for the quest. Her life went on like this until things changed on the Christmas day. Ren came to her! Soon Kelsey’s life became exciting with her love around but fate had something else for her. The evil minded Lokesh had come back for the magical amulet. He took Ren away from Kelsey making her retun to India. She wanted her tiger back and for that she had to complete the quest.
Kelsey along with Kishan, Ren’s brother, and Mr. Kadam started their journey to complete the quest. They sought the ocean teacher for guidance and made their way to the paradise. They had to pass the tests of the four houses; the house of gourds, the house of Sirens, the house of bats and the house of birds but more than that they had to keep alive the faith in them. The journey was hard; they had to face dangerous creatures like the giant snake and the metal bodied birds, but they were victorious having the blessings of goddess Durga with them. the much harder task was the rescue of Ren. They had to fight Lokesh to get Ren back, but would it be easy to fight someone like Lokesh? No! They were celebrating their victory over the evil when suddenly it occurred to them that Lokesh’s evil moves took Ren much farther from her, Ren couldn’t remember Kelsey.
The book being a great entertainer, I really had a good time reading. it portrays the depth of love and care to risk one’s own life to save others. I would rate it 8 on 10 and recommend this book to adventure seeker.
Reviewed by Rhethika S.