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The book opens on a bleak note, and it sets down the tone for the rest of the pages. And when you feel that there's absolutely no hope to clutch to, something miraculous happens.
The plot is designed to keep the readers hooked, and though not always unpredictable, it suffices to keep us enthralled.
The characterization is to the point, and although I find parallels between the characters of Peeta Mellark and Edward Cullen and Jacob Black and Gale Hawthorne, the similarity stops there. Well-etched and played out, it's easy to identify with them and see them humans stuck between the devil and the deep blue sea.
Somewhere before the last page, the lines between fact and fiction blur, and you're left wondering if Collins just has an imaginative mind or if art does imitate life at times.
Visually and emotionally evocative, Suzanne Collins has probably created one of the most impressive allegories of our times.
CBD has outdone herself with this one. I admit to being biased to magical realism, and even more so with CBD's narrative style, I couldn't have found a better application for the genre!
The book is a sensory delight; the imagery, the characters and the narrative itself unwind to show the machinations of a highly-imaginative artist's mind.
Panchaali's character is the only one she seems to have deemed worth developing-given that she is the life of the book. Consequently, only those characters that seemed to hold any meaning to her have been elaborated on, like Karna and Krishna.
And CBD, through Panchaali has given women what they want to read- a romanticised version of the Mahabharata, from the eyes of a woman who is as prone to human foibles as the next. So instead of portraying Panchaali as the heartless being that perpetrated the Great War, CBD has given Panchaali multiple dimensions - something to applaud.
And Karna, although in the Mahabharata itself, we see him as a generous soul, his portrayal here is an exact copy of the numerous *strong male, gruff exterior, gentle giant* qualities that women seem to adore in men, so as a woman you can't help but feel for the man who had everything to lose.
What I love most about the rendition is that as a woman, you tend to sympathize, empathize, love, hate and feel as Panchaali does - that for me is the ultimate literary achievement for an author!
CBD has taken fact and filled in a few gaps with fiction, and quite convincingly so, so that the end result is an absolutely delightful read!
Hats Off to Joanne Harris for writing a well-balanced, all-knots-tied-off novel. Unlike her usual style, she has attempted to create a fantasy-based post-apocalyptic world that relies on a balance of tradition infused with a heavy dose of the modern.
And pulls it off.
Despite not being adept at Norse Mythology, I found the narrative quite informative. While the first few chapters are quite a bit of a drag, the book is a definite page turner that keeps you asking for more.
I like the way she juxtaposes different events happening at the same time, and cleverly sets them apart in different chapters, ensuring a extra fast reading speed to get to know what happens next.
The characters, though uni-dimensional, are well-crafted. But I love how she's made an exception for Loki into the ultimate tragic hero-basically flawed, but tremendously human and likeable. Even Odin for that matter- very much a human with his foibles. The other gods don't particularly grab any attention, that's probably because the story revolves around the 3 central characters.
The plot is well-crafted, though not smooth at all times, but that makes it that much more intriguing. The story lends itself to a perfect retelling- and Joanne Harris has done a pretty good job with it.
The book is a work of a mastermind - the story, the plot, the elaborate intrigue of it all makes for a gripping read. That being said, Dan Brown could have found less ridiculous ways of turning, what could've been an exciting climax, into a falt-on-its-face anticlimax.
The sheer genius of his thoughts and ideas come into play here, but unlike the Da Vinci Code, which shares the puzzle-game-like plot, Angels and Demons is a rather hurried, incomplete piece of work that seems to have been left nursing an inordinate number of loopholes.
A decent read, nothing you will regret missing out on, though.
The storyline is gripping, but it could have been executed better.
The characters are well-etched out and I like the varied narrative viewpoints and voices. Not sure if the essence was somewhere lost in translation, but you can't help being pulled in by the plot.
Could have played out much better, cos eventually, there's only a sense of anticlimax-nothing dramatic or unexpected.
This case has survived numerous falls, scratches and bounces since Dec 2011 and apart from some wear and tear, is still standing strong. Love the fact that it has taken the fall, literally, for so many unintentional falls. Would repurchase!
Smells powdery/flowery and lasts a very long time. Extremely feminine, does away with the need for a perfume, interestingly, like in the TV ads, sprays like a perfume rather than a deo. Good stuff, would repurchase!