Posted in Books

Book Review: The Adventure of the Missing Girl, by Roy Segal

Impressions from the description:
A promising case of the legendary detective… one more personal than most since the client this time is Detective Lestrade. The case is like a short story itself, so to bring the problem and solution quickly would be a challenge.

My thoughts on the book:
When a Sherlock Holmes mystery is written by someone other than Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the first thing a die-hard fan of the legendary detective would look for is to see if the plot and the narration would be nearly as good. Sherlock leaves such an impression on us that anything below par would stand out easily.

Roy Segal’s two-part e-Novella “The Adventure of the Missing Girl” starts by Watson’s introduction that Holmes had gone back to his vice, the 7% solution of cocaine since the cases that he gets are so easy that it isn’t a challenge to his brilliant mind. Holmes perks up when Lestrade arrives at his doorstep. The case he brings with him, as Holmes nicely deduces, is of a personal nature, his daughter’s running away from home. Analyzing further, Holmes finds out that it is a kidnapping rather than the girl running away.

Wasting no time, Holmes sets out on the trail and analyzing the clues he gets from particular places, sets out to find the missing girl. He learns that the girl is being held for a very deadly secret, and that not only her life but also her classmate’s is in danger, so he has to save more than one life. We see Toby, the dog make an appearance as he helps Holmes on the trail of the girls.

Overall impressions:
Being a die-hard Sherlock fan, this story didn’t quite gel together for me. The idea is good, but perhaps it could have been explored more. Over 50 pages, the novel felt like it was being hurried through just to end it rather than the quick, anxious-to-know-what-will-happen pace of a Sherlock Holmes detective fiction. There is contradiction, with the description telling it’s a 14 year old girl being kidnapped and Lestrade declaring in the novel that his twelve year old has run away. I could find some typo errors, a couple of times even Holmes’ name is misspelled. I can’t quite understand a couple of points: a secret that was kept very well for most of the book is abruptly revealed at the end, when sense would dictate it rather stayed a secret. The second point is the clue that leads to the adventure mystery being solved. It felt too little and too generic. I’d conclude by saying the book would have been better as one part rather than split into two. There is a lot of promise in the story idea, but the short nature of the book sort of fizzled the expectation.

Rated 5/10
Rated 5/10

Book details:
Title: The Adventure of the Missing Girl
Author: Roy Segal
Genre: Mystery / Crime Fiction
Pages: 50 (Approx.)
Parts: 2
Price: $2.99 (P1) + $0.99 (P2)
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services


This is an author-requested review, given for a review copy of the book but no other payment.
The opinions expressed in the review are my own, and remain unbiased and uninfluenced.

Also for First Reads challenge at b00k r3vi3ws.


(February 5th, 2013)

Posted in Books

Book Review: Like the Flowing River, by Paulo Coelho

About the Author:
Paulo Coelho is a Brazilian lyricist and novelist. He’s one of the world’s most-read authors, and the author of bestsellers like The Alchemist and Eleven Minutes.

Impressions off the back-cover:
This book is of short stories… maybe not stories, but thoughts of the author. I’ve only read two of his novels to date, so it’ll be a change for sure. Looking forward to it.

My thoughts on the book:
Like I said earlier, my reading experience of Paulo Coelho’s work is limited to two novels, “The Alchemist” and “Eleven Minutes”, both of which are excellent (and I shall review soon).

“The Alchemist” is about motivation, that dreams are achievable if you believe in them. “Like the Flowing River” is of small thoughts and reflections that do the same in one way or another.

For inspiration, this book is one I can turn to. To take an example, there is one story in it that I like very much. That story is titled, “The Story of the Pencil”. It tells us five things we can take away from a simple pencil and put into our life. Another one I like is “In a bar in Tokyo” which tells us that love and memories can give more happiness than money. The story “I can’t get in” talks to us about looking at a different perspective. “How to climb mountains” talks not of trekking but goals like mountains and how to succeed in them.

Overall Impressions:
Every story in this book has a meaning. If it is openly shown, then we enjoy the read and take away the meaning easily. If it’s hidden, then we enjoy the search to find it and take it away. They’re not complex tough meanings, but mostly simple ones that we can try. They might not seem realistic, but they’ll give you a sense of belief. They are beautiful because of that.

A rating of 8/10
A rating of 8/10

Book details:
Title: Like the Flowing River
Author: Paulo Coelho
Genre: Short Stories/Fiction
ISBN: 9780007246304
Price: INR 299
Publishers: Harper Collins


The book is a personal copy. The opinions expressed in the review are my own, and remain unbiased and uninfluenced.

(February 4th, 2013)

Posted in Books

Book Review: Muses of Wandering Passions, by Chimnese Davids

About the author:
Chimnese Davids is South African, accounts clerk, bookkeeper and freelance writer. Her first publication was with an online magazine Allthings Girl in 2010.She had also been published in two anthologies, Step Into My Shoes published through Jafansta. Inc in June 2011 and Love In Creativity, published through Jingle and Gooseberry Garden Community in March 2012. She was 12 years old when she started writing and won a contest in 1996. Her debuted poetry and prose collection, “Muses of Wandering Passions” is her first book published.

Impressions off the description:
A book of poems, that are supportive, giving hope and passion to those heartbroken, and expressing a belief that any broken heart is destined to heal, by understanding life through acceptance of sorrow.

My thoughts on the book:
Poetry is an art of the heart, I feel. Not to say that other arts aren’t, but when you write a poem, and when you do it because you want to and not have to, it comes out very beautiful and touches the heart of the reader. It’s like those words say what you wanted to.

Some wise man once said, “You must have felt pain in your life to write and understand the power of poetry.” Whereas I’m not completely agreeable to that notion, I think it holds true in the context of this book of poems by Chimnese. Each of the poems have a few drops of sorrow, if not a river.

The book is divided into seven parts.

Part 1: Spiritual Reincarnation – My favorite poem from this part is titled “Walking in the Rain”. I love this poem as it reminds me that the rain can be symbolic of His presence in our lives, as He tells us to move on past the pain. I love rains for another very personal reason, so I could relate with this poem because of that as well.

Part 2: A Heart Left in Vain – My favorite poem from this part is titled “Through your eyes”. Again, this is one I could relate to personally, and I’m sure a lot of us can as well. It’s a poem about our life changing after we met that someone special, one who made us better than we were before.

Part 3: Incandescent Darkness – From this section, I like the poem “The way she moved”. I like it for it tricks us into something else, and that leaves us surprised at the ending. The ending also gives us confidence and hope, and also understanding in no small amounts.

Part 4: Muses of Wandering Passions – I like the poem “Forever and almost” from this section. We may all have different muses for our wandering passions, but we have had that one special person in our life who we felt was only for us, only for fate to intervene. This poem is similar, and it gives a happy ending.

Part 5: The Poet’s Voice – “The Empty Vase” is one poem that is memorable. Again giving hope to the broken heart that a first breakup might not be the final ending always. This of course, might not be reality always, but I feel as poets, we look to be optimistic in this imagination.

Part 6: Pondering Heartbeats of Prose – This is a section of prosaic poetry. It wasn’t one of my preferred reads.

Part 7: Seasons – The poem on “Spring” is very understandable. The feeling of joyful, colorful, happy spring season after the cold, white and dull winter is something we all can relate to. Not only literally but also symbolically to say after heartbreak (the cold times of hopelessness), love will come into our life again (warmth and happiness).

Overall impressions:
Poetry isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but Chimnese Davids’ poetry is something that most of us might be able to understand and follow. What she has written is written from the heart. It not only shows the hurt of a broken heart but also an understanding touch that can heal that heart as well. There is depth, far more than I can gauge at times, but there is also simplicity. I don’t know if there is an award in her future, but I think she can be sure of getting a lot of rewards in the form of hearts that were healed atleast a little after reading the poetry.

A rating of 8/10
A rating of 8/10

Book details:
Title: Muses of Wandering Passions
Author: Chimnese Davids
Genre: Poetry
Publisher: KREATIV SA
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services
Price: $0.99 / INR 56


The book is a personal copy. The opinions expressed in the review are my own, and remain unbiased and uninfluenced.

Also for the Reading the Alphabet Challenge at A Bookworm’s Musing, First Reads challenge at b00k r3vi3ws and Mixed Variety Challenge at ALOP.

(February 1st, 2013)