Suramya's Blog : Welcome to my crazy life…

June 28, 2010

Shades of Grey (Icarus Project Book 02) by Jackie Kessler and Caitlin Kittredge

Filed under: Reviews-Urban Fantasy — Suramya @ 9:09 PM


Shades of Grey (Icarus Project Book 02)
by Jackie Kessler& Caitlin Kittredge

Description:

AFTER THE FALL OF NIGHT

Jet and Iridium – best friends turned bitter enemies – teamed up to foil the evil plans of the rogue superhero known as Night, but in defeating him they inadvertently destroyed the secret Corp-Co transmitter whose frequency kept the metapowered heroes of the Squadron in line. Now these heroes have turned against New Chicago, ransacking the city they once protected.

Even worse, the powerful antisuperhero group known as Everyman has taken advantage of the chaos to fan the flames of prejudice against all superpowered men and women. Just when New Chicago needs them most, Jet and the small band of heroes who have remained on the right side of the law find themselves the targets of suspicion and outright hatred.

Things aren’t going much better for Iridium. When she springs her father, a notorious supervillain, from prison to help her fight the marauding ex-superheroes, she finds that Corp-Co still has some nasty tricks up its sleeve.

But when the most dangerous man alive, the sociopath known as Doctor Hypnotic, suddenly surfaces, Jet and Iridium will once again be called upon to set aside their differences. Yet in the process, deeply buried secrets will come to light that will change everything the former best friends think they know about each other and themselves.

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Rating:

Review:The second book in the Icarus project series picks up a few weeks after the first book ended and mainly covers how Iridium, Jet and the few remaining heroes deal with the extra-humans who have revolted against the normal humans and Corp-Co after they found out that they were being mind controlled into obeying them.

The characters were quite well defined and well written. The plot had some twists and turns in it some of which I could predict and some I couldn’t. In all it made for a good read.

The other problem that I had mentioned in the first book where parts of the book read differently than other parts of the book was not an issue in this book. So I guess they figured out how to completely mesh their writing styles together.

The book ending leaves the way open for the next book in the series and I am quite eagerly waiting for it to be released.

Final Recommendation: A great read

June 27, 2010

Black and White (Icarus Project Book 01) by Jackie Kessler and Caitlin Kittredge

Filed under: Reviews-Urban Fantasy — Suramya @ 9:03 PM


Black and White (Icarus Project Book 01)
by Jackie Kessler & Caitlin Kittredge

Description:

It’s the ultimate battle of good versus good.

They were best friends at an elite academy for superheroes in training, but now Callie Bradford, code name Iridium, and Joannie Greene, code name Jet, are mortal enemies. Jet is a by-the-book hero, using her Shadow power to protect the citizens of New Chicago. Iridium, with her mastery of light, runs the city’s underworld. For the past five years the two have played an elaborate, and frustrating, game of cat and mouse.

But now playtime’s over. Separately Jet and Iridium uncover clues that point to a looming evil, one that is entwined within the Academy. As Jet works with Bruce Hunter – a normal man with an extraordinary ability to make her weak in the knees – she becomes convinced that Iridium is involved in a scheme that will level the power structure of America itself. And Iridium, teaming with the mysterious vigilante called Taser, uncovers an insidious plot that’s been a decade in the making.a plot in which Jet is key.

They’re both right. And they’re both wrong. Because nothing is as simple as Black and White.

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Rating:

Review:This is the first book in the series and is a collaboration between two excellent authors. Although I haven’t read any of Caitlin Kittredge’s work yet I am looking forward to getting acquainted with her work.

The book was a good read and the character development was superb. However the plot line wasn’t that complex and about 3/4th of the way through I had figured out who the ‘big bad’ was. But even figuring that out early didn’t really spoil the book so don’t let that detract you from reading the book.

I think that this is the first time the two authors have collaborated and it kind of shows in the book, not always but definitely in certain parts where the style of writing shifted significantly between sections.

Final Recommendation: A good book.Looking forward to reading the next book in the series

June 26, 2010

An interesting start to the weekend: Dinner at UB City interrupted by fire

Filed under: My Life — Suramya @ 1:06 PM

So yesterday was an interesting start of the weekend for us. Me, Vinit, Surabhi, Anil and Manisha walked to UB City to get dinner at Tuscano’s (I think that’s how you spell it) with Dev and Chandani. While we were waiting to be seated I suddenly smelled smoke. At first I thought that someone was doing a barbecue and had burned the food a bit but then we could see the smoke coming out of the vent in the building.

Initially there was only a little amount of smoke but later it got quite heavy. So we waited for a few mins to see what would happen and then left for another restaurant nearby. I did take pics but they didn’t come out well. All you can see is the building and a blur.

The funny part is how the fire was portayed in the media. The Times Of India headline reads “Fire at UB City scares diners” and here’s a blurb from the article:

BANGALORE: Panic ripped through the food court at UB City on Friday evening when the kitchen smoke started billowing across the the restaurant area. It was 9.50 pm. Customers having dinner mistook it for a fire and there was chaos at the venue.

This is complete BS. I was there. There was no panic or chaos atleast till the time we left which was about 10-15 mins after the fire started. People were still at their tables calmly finishing their dinners and there were some who were still waiting to be seated. Lots of people were taking photos (including me) and calling friends/family telling them about it. Only when they were told that the restaurant(s) were closed they started leaving.

Which in a way is quite bad. There should have been a fire alarm or something that went off and the security team from UB City should have evacuated the tower/food court. Luckily it seems like there was no major damage and no one was hurt.

Tonight going out with another group of friends and am hoping there will be no such excitement over there as well. 🙂

Well this is all for now. Will post more later.

– Suramya

June 22, 2010

Close Contact (Alien Affairs Book 02) by Katherine Allred

Filed under: Reviews-Science Fiction — Suramya @ 9:01 PM


Close Contact (Alien Affairs Book 02)
by Katherine Allred

Description:

GEPs just want to have fun . . .

A Genetically Engineered Person and self-proclaimed “party girl,” Echo Adams loves her diplomatic job entertaining alien bigwigs for the Galactic Federation. But the Bureau of Alien Affairs has discovered she’s much more than she thinks — that a rogue scientist endowed her with skills and psi abilities dwarfing those of common GEPs. And suddenly Echo’s luxury life is over, replaced with a far more dangerous one: a special agent expected to not only chase bad guys but eliminate them.

Echo hates being stuck on Madrea — a planet of technophobes off limits to Federation visitors — hunting for a stolen quartz crystal with a powerful alien life form embedded inside. She despises the Bureau’s restrictive rules — especially the one warning her away from the dangerously seductive commander of the king’s army. And if she doesn’t learn how to use her alleged super-psi powers soon, her partying days — in fact all of her days — will be over for good.

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Rating:

Review:The second book in the Alien affairs series is based 32 months after the first one and is told from the view point of Echo Adams who is a Genetically Enhanced Person (GEP) commissioned by the Department of Protocol to organize state events. But to her dismay tests show that she has a large PSI talent and because of that she is shifted to the Bureau of Alien affairs.

The book is a great read from the first page all the way to the end. I mean how can you not like a book that starts off with the following sentence “Kiera Smith should eat worms and die.”

The plot was not too complicated and the characters were quite well written and given enough of a background to make them interesting and not so much that I got annoyed. Some of the secondary characters could have used a bit more detail but it wasn’t that big an issue.

The ending was expected and wrapped up the current storyline quite nicely but enough new stuff was introduced to us that the next book in the series has a lot of plot lines to choose from.

Final Recommendation: A great read.

June 20, 2010

Moved to Bangalore and joined a new company

Filed under: My Life — Suramya @ 4:54 PM

Hey Everyone,

The past week has been quite hectic for me so didn’t get a chance to post anything before this. I have now officially moved to Bangalore last week (the 12th) and have joined Goldman Sachs in the Tech department. For now I am staying with Surabhi & Vinit but will be getting an apartment sometime soon (Before they are tempted to kick me out :p )

Things are going great and so far I like Bangalore and my job a lot. For obvious reasons I won’t be talking/posting about my work here (Not that I posted work related stuff earlier but still…) The only thing I have issues with is not having my desktop here. That desktop has been customized with all my settings and preferences and using a different system is really annoying. At present I am borrowing Surabhi’s old laptop and have installed a version of Ubuntu on it.

I want to install Debian Testing on it, but since I don’t want to burn a CD and I didn’t bring my CD case with me to Bangalore (Weight considerations) the process has been an interesting experience. For some reason even though the bios lists USB as one of the boot options the laptop refuses to boot from my thumb drive. When I managed to get the system to boot into the installer then the stupid installer wouldn’t read the install files from the hard drive and insists on searching for a CD. I know I can fix it and get it installed but for now I have just installed the Backtrack Live CD (Based on Ubuntu) to the disk. This way I have a system that I can start customizing and that doesn’t get reset everytime I reboot the system, which is what would happen when I was using the laptop with the live CD.

Well this is all for now. Will post more later.

– Suramya

June 19, 2010

Skin Game (Skin Series Book 01) by Ava Gray

Filed under: Reviews-Paranormal,Reviews-Romance — Suramya @ 8:58 PM


Skin Game (Skin Series Book 01)
by Ava Gray

Description:

A beautiful fugitive’wanted dead or alive.

Kyra is a con woman and a particular kind of thief. She steals with a touch, but she only takes one thing: her target’s strongest skill. Which means she can be a fighter, an athlete, a musician, an artist’anything she wants’ for a limited time. Heartbroken, she turns her gift toward avenging her father’s murder; with deadly patience, Kyra works her way into casino owner Gerard Serrano’s inner circle. After pulling off the ultimate con, she flees with his money and his pride.

A hit man who never misses the mark.

Reyes has nothing but his work. Pity for Kyra, he’s the best and mercy never sways him once he takes a job. He’s been hired to find out where Kyra hid the cash’and bring her back to face Serrano’s ‘justice.’ Dead will do, if he can’t locate the loot. He’s never failed to complete a contract, but Kyra tempts him with her fierce heat and her outlaw heart. So Reyes has a hell of a choice: forsake his word or kill the woman he might love.

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Rating:

Review:This is a book that I had tired to read before and for some reason couldn’t read more that a chapter at the time. When I started reading it again I thought that it would be the more of the same and would probably end up abandoning the book in the middle. But to my surprise I really enjoyed the book the second time around and finished it quite fast. I guess the first time I read the book I wasn’t in the mood for the kind of story this book had or something. I am just glad I reattempted to read the book.

The main character of the book is Kyra who has the ability to steal the strongest skill a person has by touching them skin to skin and she uses this ability to con people. The book starts off by introducing us to Kyra in the process of conning someone in a pool game. The plot was pretty simple but interesting and the way the characters interact with each other kept the book interesting.

One thing to keep in mind when suggesting this book to others, it has a lot of explicit sex scenes in it so don’t recommend it to someone who gets offended easily or is not old enough.

Final Recommendation: A good read. Will be getting the next book in the series.

June 14, 2010

Thirteenth Child (Frontier Magic Book 01) by Patricia C Wrede

Filed under: Reviews-Fantasy,Reviews-Young Adult Fantasy — Suramya @ 8:54 PM


Thirteenth Child (Frontier Magic Book 01)
by Patricia C Wrede

Description:

Eff Rothmer is the twin sister of a seventh son of a seventh son, growing up on the edge of the “safe” settled area of the U.S. in the 1850s (though history has not gone quite the way it did in our world-the Civil War, for instance, happened in 1832, and Lewis and Clark never came back…)

This is the first book of a fantasy trilogy about settling the West in a world where magic works and the New World was not settled until modern magic (of Columbus’ day) made it
possible to fend off the dangerous wildlife (which includes both imaginary beasts like steam dragons and spectral bears, and real-life post-ice-age creatures like wooly mammoths).

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Rating:

Review:This is a book that I had been waiting to read for a long time. It took forever for the store to deliver it to me but now that I have read it, it was worth the wait to get it.

The book has been written for young adults and stars Eff who is the 13th child in her family and because of that is expected to bring bad luck to everyone around her. The only people who don’t believe her are her immediate family and her twin brother.

The book starts when Eff is quite young and then covers her life till she turns 18. During this period she learns more about herself and the world around her and how even though she is the 13th child that doesn’t mean that she would bring doom to everyone around her.

Its a very nicely written coming of age story that takes place in an alternate universe where magic is real and the wild west is actually wild and the frontiermen have to deal with both magical and mundane threats.

Final Recommendation: A great read. If you know teens who might be interested in reading Fantasy then I recommend that you suggest this book to them.

June 13, 2010

Blood Song (Blood Song Book 01) by Cat Adams

Filed under: Reviews-Urban Fantasy — Suramya @ 8:18 PM


Blood Song (Blood Song Book 01)
by Cat Adams

Description:

Bodyguard Celia Graves has definitely accepted her share of weird assignments, both human and supernatural. But her newest job takes the cake. Guarding a Prince from terrorists and religious fundamentalists is hard enough, but it seems like the entire supernatural world is after this guy too. When she is betrayed by those she is employed to help, and everything goes horribly wrong, Celia wakes to find herself transformed.

Neither human nor vampire, Celia has become an Abomination – something that should not exist – and now both human and supernatural alike want her dead. With the help of a few loyal friends – a sexy mage, a powerful werewolf, and a psychic cop – Celia does her best to stay alive. On the run from her enemies, Celia must try to discover who is behind her transformation.before it’s too late.

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Rating:

Review:This is a book by C T Adams and Cathy Clamp who together write under the pseudonym Cat Adams. The book covers the story of Celia Graves who inspite of being a ‘vanilla’ human is in the bodyguard business against supernatural threats.

During an assignment to protect a prince she is attacked and partially turned into a vampire. This gives her some of the strengths of being a vampire along with the vampire looks. So she has to figure out why she was turned and kill her sire before she is turned completely.

The book had a simple plot and not too many twists. In fact a large part of the book was setting some of the background for future books in the series. In spite of this the book was a good read and the characters were relatively well developed. Some of the secondary characters were not that well defined but that didn’t spoil the book for me.

Final Review: A good read. Will be waiting for the next book in the series before I make a decision about the author.

June 11, 2010

The first foldable dual screen ebook reader/netbook is out

Filed under: Computer Hardware,Linux/Unix Related — Suramya @ 2:07 AM

If I would ever get a ebook reader I think I will go for this one or something similar.

This is an Android device which has a 9.7″ E-paper Display and a 10.1″ LCD Touchscreen Display. So you can have a book open on one side and surf the web on the other side. Or have a programming manual open on one side and code on the other.

The enTourage eDGeâ„¢ Specifications are as follows:

* Dimensions: 8.25″ x 10.75″ by 1.0″ (closed)
* Weight: approx. 3 lbs.
* Internal Memory: 4 GB (3 GB for user)
* E-reader File Formats: ePub, PDF
* LCD Touchscreen Display Size: 1024 x 600 (10.1″)
* E-paper Display Size: 9.7″ e-Ink®(1200 x 825), 8 shades of gray
* E-paper Input: Wacom® Penabled®
* Operating System: Linux with Google® Android®
* Screen Rotation: 90 and 180 degrees
* Connectivity: WiFi 802.11 b/g, Bluetooth capability
* Battery Life: 16+ hours utilizing the e-reader screen / up to 6 hours running the LCD screen
* Battery Type: Lithium-ion polymer
* External Memory: SD card slot, 2 USB ports
* Audio and Microphone Jack: 3.5 mm each. Includes internal microphone and speakers.
* Audio playback: MP3, WAV, 3GPP, MP4, AAC, OGG, M4A
* Video playback: 3GP, MP4, Adobe Flash Lite (H.264)
* Input: Stylus input on e-paper and touchscreen. Virtual keyboard. USB keyboard (optional)

The cost is $499.

– Suramya

Source: Handle With Linux.

June 10, 2010

Demon Hunts (Walker Papers Book 05) by C E Murphy

Filed under: Reviews-Urban Fantasy — Suramya @ 8:17 PM


Demon Hunts (Walker Papers Book 05)
by C E Murphy

Description:

Seattle police detective Joanne Walker started the year mostly dead, and she’s ending it trying not to be consumed by evil. Literally.

She’s proven she can handle the gods and the walking dead. But a cannibalistic serial killer? That’s more than even she bargained for. What’s worse, the brutal demon can only be tracked one way. If Joanne is to stop its campaign of terror, she’ll have to hunt it where it lives: the Lower World, a shamanistic plane of magic and spirits.

Trouble is, Joanne’s skills are no match for the dangers she’s about to face – and her on-the-job training could prove fatal to the people she’s sworn to protect..

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Rating:

Review:In this book Detective Walker has finally started accepting her legacy and powers. But the latest case is one where even magic seems to give no clues as to who the murderer is.

The book was a good read where a lot of gray area was tested. Some characters returned to the book that were though to have passed through and we get a glimpse of how Walker grew up to be the person she was and what her childhood was like.

The plot was interesting and book was a fun read. Nothing too heavy or anything but still a good read.

Final Recommendation: A good read

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