News & Reviews

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A spooky night on Halloween by Comic Con India!

Donning horns smeared with zombie make-up and wearing Dracula capes, the party-loving fans could be seen at their “creepiest-best”, as they all geared up for Halloween night at the Goosebumps Halloween Party at Sante Bar organised by Comic Con India in Mumbai.

The fans were seen enjoying in the latest costumes inspired by movie and comic characters. The food menu was specially designed to suit this occasion. Drinks like Praying Mantis, Werewolf were the special highlight of the party.

Also, a special screening of the unseen Footage from the movie Goosebumps, was organised for fans at the party.

Besides, an action packed Mumbai Film and Comic Con 2015 entertained the audience at Bombay Exhibition Centre from December 19-20,2015. Comic Con India is part of the Reed Pop family of events, which is dedicated to producing world-class celebrations of popular culture around the world with events like New York Comic Con, Oz Comic Con, Shanghai Comic Con, Star Wars Celebration among many others.

The tales of the unknown

Name: Pradyumna Son of Krishna
Author: Usha Narayanan
Publisher: Penguin,
Price: Rs 299.00 Pradyumna: Son of Krishna is a book that traces the life of a lesser known hero whose story is captivating. Pradyumna was everything his father Krishna was, val iant Arjuna was, indeed making him an unsung hero. From a wayward youth who indulges in materialistic pleasures, Pradyumna transforms into a warrior prince as the mystery surrounding his birth unravels.

The story is set at the beginning of the Kal Yuga. Pradyumna played a key role in heralding the Yadava clan. Packed with details and nuances, the pace of the book does not slow down. Pradyumna is a multi-faceted youth and presented the reincarnation of Lord Kama (God of Love). In this book, his life is essentially torn between slaying asuras and battling the never ending ploys of his jealous step-mother and step-brother.

Relationships play a vital role in the story as each one of them is multilayered. Be it Pradyumna the lover, the friend, son or the warrior, he excels in each part. The book also traces the course of Mahabharatha and how the outcome of the war led to the Yadava clan being cursed to doom.

The book leaves the readers to ponder about how the sequel will bring out the contributions of Pradyumna to his clan. The book is a peek into mythology and oscillates between a serious and light tone from time to time. A sure way to keep the reader hooked to the plot.
– Janani Rajeswari S

The Web Trail

Author: Dr Ira Saxena;
Publisher: Virtuous Publications, New Delhi;
(ISBN: 9789350316320)

Dr Ira Saxena’s latest book, The Web Trail, is a young-adult detective novel which is set against the background of cyberspace and international terrorism. Young adult fiction in India is making headway since it reflects the concerns of the specific age-group which is quite distinct from that of children’s literature.

The Web Trail is the third of a trilogy of detective stories by the author – the others being Caught by Computer and The Virus Trap, both of which feature computer technology and the future of computing. Since young adults are involved in the field of computer programming and interested to know how technology can be used as well as misused, and also how they too can contribute to catching thieves and terrorists in a mind game. Little violence is shown here to disgust the reader – the most horrifying scene is that of the deadly a virus swallowing up vital data. The net becomes the haunt of secret terrorist organisations which pass on illegal money through the network, under the cover of universities, authorised financial networks and even the Border Security Force.

The protagonists are Anshuman and his friends, the Cygma gang – all smart, spunky, twelfth standard ‘screenagers,’(as the author puts it), who are computer science students of a New Delhi school. Exploring in Cyberia, the private computer chamber of Anshuman’s uncle, Deepak, they stumble across a huge money transaction by an unknown company, UT International, which, on investigation, turns out to be a terrorist organisation.

The pace of the action accelerates when a spate of bomb attacks on the capital begins. Instead of secret passages, the Cygma gang discovers secret pathways on the internet, and their weapons of offense and defence are constructed by themselves. As in conventional detective fiction, the presence of adults is limited.

Of particular note is the use of computer terms, jokes and the coinage of new words. The Cygma gang, true geeks that they are, translate everything into the lingo close to their heart. Siddhartha even swears “By my Pentium chips!” Manas jokes that the trinity of the computer era are System Installation (Brahma), System Maintenance (Vishnu) and System Upgrade (Shiva)!

However, keeping in mind readers who might not be very knowledgeable about computers, the author, who, astonishingly, does not have a technological background, explains in the course of the story computer terms progressing from the simplest to the most advanced, thus adding educational value to the story. The use and appeal of the book is further enhanced by the warnings against cyber/mobile snooping.

The book is a laudable contribution to the body of young-adult literature since it falls under a rare sub-genre which may be termed tech-detective fiction. It portrays educated and empowered young adult characters is a healthy and realistic manner, enables their participation in the defence of the nation is a practical way, and demonstrates the triumph of brain over brawn. The book, which is contemporary in themes and characterisation, makes an interesting, informative and thrilling read both for the young and the young at heart. – Dr Shobha Ramaswamy, assistant professor, Department of English (Aided), Kongunadu Arts and Science College, Coimbatore.

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