Books

May In Books

Vicious

How might one become Extraordinary? Get superpowers?

Perhaps, as in this foreboding fantasy, you get the superpowers based on what nearly kills you in a near-death experience.

Two best friends figure this out only to realize that in gaining their powers they have lost something else. And they spend the rest of their days as mortal enemies.

I got Vicious from my book club where my friends and I exchange books we’ve enjoyed reading. I had no idea what to expect when I chose it. I loved reading fantasy when I was younger, but as I ventured into adult fantasy, I was disappointed by the uninteresting, often sexist, hackneyed storylines (notable exceptions include The Way of Kings and Assassin’s Apprentice). But, this book! It’s designed to surprise you at every turn. Mildly-horror-fantasy, who knew that was even a genre? And even more that it would be an enjoyable genre, especially for someone who really really hates horror movies?

It’s an excellent subway read, especially because it’ll either make you miss your stop (me) or imagine marvellously wicked lives for fellow riders (also me).

Inferno

This year I decided that I needed to read at least one epic book. You know, tomes that are never-ending and need a lifetime to finish? War and Peace, Frankenstein, The Inheritance of Loss, A House for Mr. Biswas and the like? Yeah, I figured I should get through them by reading them a book a year. So I set my sights on The Divine Comedy. I tried to start with the first of the three books, and the only one that I had actually heard of: Inferno. Page 1 of the poem, I’m wondering if I should have tried my hand at Paradise Lost instead.

So I abandoned my ambitious undertaking and turned to the book that’s decidedly not Dante Alighieri’s classic – Dan Brown’s Inferno. Hey, in my defence, the book is based on the classic!

I loved Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code. Angels and Demons was all right but that’s because I guessed the ending, which of course people who read the two books the other way around say about The Da Vinci Code. Inferno is much the same. There’s intelligent and attractive Prof. Langdon who is unaware of his sex appeal. There is a clever, beautiful woman thrown into an adventure with him and of course sparks fly. Unexpected twist and that’s a wrap folks! Surely Dan Brown was going for a bookish James Bond.

Unfortunately, just like James Bond, Langdon always has all the answers no matter the situation and the gorgeously resourceful lady has the same personality in each book just with names and nationalities changed. Would the lady be a Mary Sue or a Manic Pixie Dream Girl? Mostly the former, with a sprinkle of the latter and I’m so done with two-dimensional characters.

Inferno is a fun masala book for people (like me) who want to feel smart that they now know what The Divine Comedy is all about. It’s a thrilling beach read, which would have been a timely post that was meant to be published at the beginning of the summer but I’ve procrastinated all the way to the end of it.

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