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Author: Sarwat Chadda

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Audio Review: Ash Mistry and the City of Death by Sarwat Chadda

Posted by Irish in Audiobook, Middle Grade, Review1 Comment

Audio Review: Ash Mistry and the City of Death by Sarwat ChaddaAsh Mistry and the City of Death by Sarwat Chadda
Narrator: Bruce Mann
Series: Ash Mistry Chronicles, Book 2
Also in this series: Ash Mistry and the Savage Fortress
Published by Listening Library on 29 October 2013
Genres: Middle Grade, Mystery & Detective, Urban Fantasy
Length: 10 hours 23 mintues
Format: Audiobook
Also by this author: Ash Mistry and the Savage Fortress

Place(s) Traveled To: London, England // Calcutta, India // Lanka, India (Fictional)

First Line(s): “I can’t do it,” said Ash. He’d beaten a demon king. He’d faced an immortal sorcerer. He’d saved the world. He shouldn’t be scared of anything. But fear now grabbed his chest with icy fingers. “It’s suicide.”

Ash Mistry and the City of Death by Sarwat Chadda is the second book in his middle series the Ash Mistry Chronicles. This is a series that is perfect for all Percy Jackson fans and those that just love edge of your seat action. I found the Ash Mistry Chronicles to be better written and more exciting than the Percy Jackson books. The Indian mythology is fascinating and I loved learning more about it. Though there were times when the things that Ash said or did were a bit cringe-worthy. But he is just a teenager and human and as such is prone to making some bad life choices. What is important is that he eventually learns from this bad choices and finds the right path to take.

There is so much to love in this book and I found myself wanting to listen to it every chance I could just to see what would happen next. How would Ash and Pavrati manage to overcome this newest obstacle. What stupid decision would Ash make next and how would he deal with the consequences. Because there are always consequences and that is what I love about a Sarwat Chadda book. Things happen, there is a cause and effect and the characters must deal with the fall out…for good or bad.

Another thing that I loved with this story was the appearance of Elaine. If you’ve read Chadda’s Young Adult series then you’d know her from her role in those books. I loved this cross over and how the two worlds are both the same and different and it just adds a whole new level of awesome to it all. The only that would make it better is if Billi SanGreal had made a cameo of some sort. But then I mentioned that in my review of Ash Mistry and the Savage Fortress and I am sure that it will be something that I will continue to wish for long after this series is over.

The only drawback on this one for me was the narrator, Bruce Mann. I remember enjoying his style in Savage Fortress but this time around there was just something so slow and stilted about it all. It often reminded me of William Shatner back in his 1960s Star Trek days where it seemed to take him 20 minutes to say something that most normal people would spit out in 5. When I tried to speed up the narration it just sounded a bit tinny and cartoonish and so I was forced to deal with the overly slow speaking style.

Despite the poor narration style the story was gripping and engaging enough to keep me engrossed in the story. The action is crazy and over the top and I sometimes forgot that I was listening to a middle grade story. But the worst part of this book, the super most horrible thing…was the ending. Oh Em Gee. That ending! What a killer! Such an edge of your seat, totally took me by surprise cliff hanger ending. And yet at the same time it totally made sense and was so perfect for the story. Its the perfect set up for the third, and final book, Ash Mistry and the World of Darkness. Which is oh so cruelly NOT available in the US. Thankfully though the kind folks at Foyles UK were willing to send it across the pond to me. (Oh internet, how I love thee!)

If you are looking for a new read then you should really check out this series. It is just filled with everything you could possibly want in a book and then some. I am not much of a middle grade reader but if more of the age level was written like this I would definitely be a bigger reader. This series just makes me all bouncy with excitement and I want everyone to read it. So much so that I am giving away the first book in December 2013 and you can enter to win it by CLICKING HERE. Now all that’s left for me is to read the final book…and yet at the same time I don’t want to read it as I don’t want it to end.



Saturday, November 9, 2013

Audio Review; Ash Mistry and the Savage Fortress by Sarwat Chadda

Posted by Irish in 5 Stars, Audiobook, Middle Grade, Review1 Comment

Audio Review; Ash Mistry and the Savage Fortress by Sarwat ChaddaAsh Mistry and the Savage Fortress by Sarwat Chadda
Narrator: Bruce Mann
Series: Ash Mistry Chronicles,
Also in this series: Ash Mistry and the City of Death
Published by Listening Library on 26 February 2013
Genres: Fantasy, Middle Grade, Mystery & Detective
Length: 8 hours and 8 minutes
Format: Audiobook
Also by this author: Ash Mistry and the City of Death



Place(s) Traveled to: Rajasthan, India // Varanasi, India

First Line: “That is so not a cobra” said Ash. It couldn’t be.

Ash Mistry Chronicles Series Order:
Book 1 – Ash Mistry and the Savage Fortress
Book 2 – Ash Mistry and the City of Death
Book 3 – Ash Mistry and the World of Darkness

Ash Mistry and the Savage Fortress by Sarwat Chadda is a middle grade fantasy adventure story that will keep readers of all ages on the ed of their seats. I thought that Sarwat Chadda had some crazy intense moments in The Devil’s Kiss and Dark Goddess but in some ways those books pale in comparison to this one. Perhaps Savage Fortress is a tad more shocking as it is a middle grade story and you expect things to be more safe and tame even while the main characters are going through a grand adventure. This is not the case in Savage Fortress this is no safe and tame story but one filled with the gritty realities of life. Ash Mistry and his sister Lucky are visiting his aunt and uncle in India and what was supposed to be a hot and boring trip quickly turns into a race for survival. Not just for Ash and his family but for the entire world.

Chadda wastes no time in bringing the reader into the story and its not long before events really start to unfold. At first there are just a few inklings that something is not quite right and so you peek over the edge for a closer look. When you are pushed from behind and remain in free fall until you smack into the end of the story. As a reader you are helpless to do anything but travel along side of Ash as he makes various choices and hoping with each one that its the right one. For the consequences of making the wrong choice can be dire.

This is one of those audios where I found myself making excuses to go for car rides just so I could get in more listening time. The narrator, Bruce Mann, did an excellent job bringing all the various characters to life. He even did a decent job with the female voices. But where Mann really brings this book to life is with all the pronunciations. Looking through my print copy afterwards there are words and names I know I would have read incorrectly if Mann hadn’t been there to read them for me. He is also pretty brilliant at bringing out an angsty, bored, and oft times sarcastic teenage boy to life. Listing to Ash Mistry and the Savage Fortress and I totally believed that a teenaged Ash was telling me his story. That paired with Chadda’s amazing descriptions and action scenes really makes you think that you are in the story seeing and hearing everything that is being described.

If you are a fan of Chadda’s young adult books then you really need to pick up his middle grade books. Nothing about this book felt middle grade, other than the age of the main character. And if you haven’t read anything by Sarwat Chadda then you really don’t know what you are missing out on. Every book is just filled with amazing story telling and writing to be envious over. These are books that I can’t recommend enough and are brilliant for all ages. Young and old can enjoy these stories and I for one can not wait to dive into the next Ash Mistry adventure as I wait in vain for more Billi SanGreal books. But at least there was a mention of Billi and the Templars in this book. This gives me hope of a potential cross over and no one better pop my bubble of hope if you know what’s good for you! Now go, do yourself a favor and go read these books!


Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Favorite Books With Non-US Settings

Posted by Irish in Top Ten Tuesday7 Comments

Graphic is not mine, found via an image search on Google, if you know source LMK and I will link

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish and today’s topic is all about the settings that we love. For the purpose of this TTT I am going to focus on settings that are outside the United States. So many great books are set outside the American borders (and inside of them too) that its hard to narrow it down to ten but here are the ones that came to mind first. Also, to keep this list manageable I’m only going to focus on places that are real. Perhaps one day this topic will be revisited and I will focus on places that are off planet or in another world.

1. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins (Paris, France) – My Review

Andi I am including this one for you 😉

2. The Devil’s Kiss by Sarwat Chadda (London, England – my review) and also The Dark Goddess by Sarwat Chadda (Belovezhskaya Pushcha & Moscow, Russia – my review)

3. Raw Blue by Krysty Eager (Sydney, Australia) – my review

4. Stolen by Lucy Christopher (Outback, Australia) – my review

5. The Last Queen by CW Gortner (Granada // Toledo // Tordesillas, 16th century) – my review

6. Anne of Green Gables by LM Montgomery (Avonlea, Prince Edward Island, Canada) – my review

7. The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak (Berlin // Molching, Germany) – my review

8. Song of the Red Cloak by Chantel Acevedo (Sparta, Greece) – my review

9. Waterfall by Lisa T Bergen (Siena // Tuscany, 1342) – my review

10. From What I remember (Tijuana, Mexico) – my review

To see all the other places that I’ve traveled through books, the real and the not so real, click here.


Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: Authors Who Deserve More Recognition

Posted by Irish in Top Ten Tuesday7 Comments

Graphic is not mine, found via an image search on Google, if you know source LMK and I will link

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish and today’s topic is all about the authors we love and feel don’t get enough recognition. This is both an easy post to write and a difficult one.

1. Cindy Pon, author of the Kingdom of Xia series – Silver Phoenix (my review) and Fury of the Phoenix (my review).

Fantasy series set in a world that is based on ancient China. The heroine is smart and kick ass and cute Asian boys abound. Also, Pon does the impossible and makes me like and sympathize with the very evil bad guy! This is such a rich, well written world and I wish there were more books set inside it.

2. Sarwat Chadda, author of the Billie SanGreal series – The Devil’s Kiss (my review) and Dark Goddess (my review)

Speaking of kick ass heroines you can’t get much more kick ass than Billie SanGreal who is a girl Templar. Yes, THOSE Templars. She’s snarky and makes mistakes and deals with the consequences. There are cute boys (both good and evil) and a little romance but its Billie and the battles she fights that really make these books.

3. Chantel Acevedo, author of Song of the Red Cloak (my review)

This is one of the first self-published books that I ever read and boy was I super glad that I did. Set in ancient Greece and deals with Spartans, mistaken identity, and some magic. I read this book in its entirety on the train from  Boston to NYC and felt such loss when it came to an end and I had to leave the world.

4. Susan Ee, author of Angelfall (my review) and World After (ETA: 19 Nov 2013)

Another book that I almost skipped because it was self-published. Its because of Ee and Acevedo that I am willing to read Indie publishers because their books were so good. Ee’s post-apocalyptic world is scarily real and I love her take on Angels. These Angels are terrifying and I loved every minute of the book. I’m eagerly awaiting November when I can finally see what happens next!

5. Kim Harrington, author of Clarity (my review), Perception (my review), and The Dead and Buried (my review)

I have a love of mysteries and so rarely am I stumped but Kim managed to do so in Clarity, at least partially. Her heroines and filled with snark and smarts and I really want more books featuring Clare Fern! These books help fill the gap that is missing since Veronica Mars was cancelled.

6. Chelsea Campbell, author of The Rise of Renegade X (my review)

Superheroes and Villains? Seriously, what is not to love? This book is well written and so fresh and unique that I don’t understand why it fell below the radar. Its filled with snark and mystery and the hero (or is he a villain?) is so filled with internal conflict that makes it so easy to connect with him.

7. Cath Crowley, author of A Little Wanting Song (my review) and Graffiti Moon (my review)

One of those amazing Aussie writers that has made its way to the world of US publishing. The stories that Crowley creates are absolutely amazing. So well written and such real characters and these are stories which stuck with me long after I finished reading them.

8. Swati Avasthi, author of Split (my review) and Chasing Shadows (ETA: 06 Aug 2013)

Split was such a heart-wrenching well written story that will just blow you away. Its such strong writing and defies the stereotype that abusive homes are only for the poor and uneducated. Its a book with poor choices and conflict as well as hope and consequences. I am so glad that soon there will be another Avasthi book in the world and I can’t wait to read it!

9. Rhiannon Hart, author of Blood Song (my review) and Blood Storm (need to read)

I fell so hard for Hart’s writing in Blood Song and begged and pleaded with a friend in Australia to send me book 2 the moment it was released. He did and I have been afraid to read it ever since. Not because I fear it will be bad, because I know it won’t, because the 3rd book isn’t available and I am not ready for that long torturous wait.

10. Kristy Eager, author of Raw Blue (my review)

Such an amazingly well-written character driven story! I read this book in a single sitting and even after it was over it stayed with me. This is new adult before new adult was a thing and totally how new adult should be. Its about a girl who is 19 and who elected to not go to college to deal (or avoid dealing as the case may be) with her demons and to indulge in her love of surfing. I’ve read this book several times over since my first read and it never gets less heart-wrenching.

There are so many other authors that I could feature here and I hate that I can’t list them all. But these are very near and dear to my heart and I think that everyone should read them. So if you haven’t done so yet then what are you waiting for?!? You are missing out on some seriously amazing reads.