Tuesday, September 23, 2014


Title : Skeleton Coast
Author : Clive Cussler

Another Cussler, this time featuring Juan Cabrillo, chairman of the Corporation, proud owner of the ship Oregon.

And the face to where CIA turns to when they need to do "dirty stuff". As usual. 

So this time Cabrillo, on his way to a rendevous with the Congolese army to hand in tagged weapons, found himself embroiled in a search for the missing HMS Rove and the sacks of diamonds rumored to be still on board. Sloane McIntyre, DeBeers cunning representative had pursued the clues in order to claim the diamonds, but can't seem to find it on the ocean floor of the coast of Nigeria. Cabrillo met her when she started exploring the giant metallic snakes that fishermen around the area told them about, and one thing led to another. They were also caught in the middle of a high profile kidnapping, which has deadly consequences to the environment. Driven by personal hatred, Dan Singer plotted revenge on his former colleague and a lesson to the world by spilling oil into the gulf and raising the temperature if the ocean by a few degrees in order to generate a hurricane to hit America. 

Usual Cussler stuff, full of action, yet it becomes almost monotony once you've been an avid reader of his books (yeah that's me). 

But I learned stuff about hurricanes. And I met Dirk Pitt again a wee bit. So that's worth the time.

PS : i'm getting slower at reading, aren't I?

Rating ; 6/10

Thursday, September 11, 2014


Title : The Historian
Author : Elizabeth Kostova


First up, I have never actually read that much about it. Not even Bram Stoker's. Not even a dracula movie, although I had glimpses of vampires on TV (where I had hurriedly change channels) due to my lack of interest. 

So this is my first formal foray into a fiction-y reading of Dracula, or real name Vlad Tepes. Oh wait. I watched a documentary on his descendants before. So this book deals with it's history, where Dracula was reigning in Wallachia, in the Transylvanian area of Europe. Okay help me out if I get some facts wrong, I really need to brush up my history and geography. So Dracula fought bitter battles with Mehmed II, the sultan of Istanbul at his time, and swore that he will outwit the sultan and his other enemies by being immortal. 

So this one PhD student, Paul, stumbled upon a strange book with a dragon engraving which he puzzled upon. He brought it to his advisor, who trembled visibly and began telling him about the supposedly legend of Dracula. Cutting things short, we are brought into a historical chase where Paul's daughter, with the aid of a young man, ran in her father's steps to retrace her own story while saving him from Dracula. In the race, she learnt about her mother, Helen, and the story behind Helen's disappearance and close ties to Dracula. All along things were learnt through writings of various individuals, and some lives were lost/ became undead through the process. 

We are brought through the streets of Istanbul (thankyou for the walk down memory lane!), Budapest (who would have known before that Buda and Pest is separated by a river?), Bulgaria, France, etc etc. 

Book was a bit confusing in the first pages (know who you are as the narrative) but it gets more interesting as it progresses. Family ties woven into a journey of learning. 

Sparked in me again the longing of learning history in good libraries, writing about it and sharing it in ways accessible to the world. Someday, when things are stable enough for my dream to be realized. 

Please be advised this is a historical fiction. Draw lines where you should. 
Rating : 8/10