Books Review

Thinking of picking up a good read? Here's a dekko at some of the new books on the shelves.

books Updated: Aug 21, 2010 00:28 IST
Hindustan Times

Not at all like the Cullen
Book: Beyond Twilight
Manuela Dunn Mascetti
Publisher: Shree Book Centre
Price: R395

If you’re fascinated by vampires — their origins, the myths that surround them and whether there’s any truth to their existence at all, then this is the book for you. Author Manuela Dunn Mascetti goes beyond Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight universe, to take a look at the history of the creature. In Mascetti, vampires are not at all handsome and sweet smelling like Edward Cullen — the heartthrob of girls across the world.

Instead, they have foul smelling breath and ugly physical characteristics among other not-so-flattering attributes. However after the first few pages, you feel like you’re in a biology class about the anatomy of a vampire. Medical terms such as fundo vetriculi, ventriculis ortis have been used and the physical descriptions are quite gory and repulsive. However, the book is well researched and there are interesting pictures smattered throughout the book. There are gripping anecdotes and detailed historical stories attached to the myth.

Namya Sinha

Good read, abrupt ending

Book: The Magician’s Apprentice
Author: Trudi Canavan
Publisher: Hatchette India
Price: R395

The story, as the title suggests, is about a young girl named Tessia who discovers magical powers and is apprenticed to an older magician — Lord Dakon — who also happens to be the lord of her land. Until the war breaks out between the sorcerers and the evil Sachakan tribe, the book is compelling. Tessia is an eager tutor, and the rivalry between her and Jayan, the other apprentice, has undercurrents of a cute teenage romance.

But, it’s a 696 page tome and a large percentage of pages takes up endless descriptions of war and strategy — nowhere in the league of Tolkien. There are some interesting cross references to Canavan's fictional universe — like the formation of the magician's guild and Tessia’s discovery of how magic can come to the aid healing.

There is a sub plot reminiscent of the myths around the formation Sappho’s island of Lesbos. However intriguing, the story is unnecessary to the larger plot and takes too much time. Despite that, it’s a fast read albeit with a somewhat-abrupt ending.

Damini Purkayastha

First Published: Aug 20, 2010 17:57 IST