Saturday, September 19, 2015

FULL BLACK BY BRAD THOR: A Review

Brad Thor’s greatest achievement is the courage to expose, using the language of fiction, the most double-tongued enemy of humanity at the moment—terrorism. One the one hand, our society supports murderers and terrorists in the name of political correctness, and on the other, accepts victimization as a natural course of things. In Full Black, Brad Thor is evidently intolerant toward double standards of all kind.

A thriller is supposed to hook the reader from the first page and take him or her on a journey of excitement, fulfilling adventures, and invigorating drama. Full Black offers it all in full quantities. Action and bloodshed are common in American thrillers. Full Black is no exception. This is the beauty of Full Black that it knows its way around in the maze of the craft as well as in the business of thrilling a reader. The novel gives us another adventure in the life of Brad Thor’s celebrated protagonist Scot Harvath.       

Former Navy SEAL Team 6 member Scot Harvath realizes that a software with evil intentions created to track down and locate terrorist links in the US has been sold in black market and has been altered and reworked on by the intelligence services of certain other nations. This software can search through emails, phone calls, text messages, electric and water bills, etc. And, yes, bank records too. Nothing could be scarier than this. What do we do when we come across information that is scary or unsettling while reading fiction? Often, we tend to say, ‘Oh, it’s just a story,’ right? And feel comfortably housed in our small world of banalities. Full Black does not give us that option.
Image Courtesy: coffeeandmarkets.com

In Brad Thor’s own words, Full Black is a faction. A faction is a mode of writing stories where the author uses facts to support fiction. The difficult part in this type of a novel is to separate fact from fiction. There simply is not enough room for such an act. The evil software is real, as real as your computer screen on which you read this review right now.

PROMIS is the name of that deadly weapon. And US intelligence did use it to track down those who are under suspicion. This software could also be used to track any other individual. For those who have already known that privacy is a myth in twenty-first century, technological inventions such as PROMIS is no surprise, but cause for concern.  

For Scot Harvath, saving people in apparent danger from the exposure to lack of privacy is impossible. What he can do though is to use the same program with the help of one of his colleagues at the organization he works for against the enemies of the state. A patriot to his bone, Scot Harvath exposes many attacks planned by Islamic terror groups on the US soil. Then Harvath learns about “one of the biggest terrorist threats the United States has ever faced: complete and total collapse.” When the identity of the people involved comes up Harvath realizes that he is unable to trust anyone, except the guys he works with. This forces Scot Harvath to go ‘full black’. From page one to the ending line of the book, Brad Thor keeps the reader hooked and wanting more.
Image Courtesy: Google

Mr. Thor’s storytelling strategy is copybook style. He does not experiment with his craft much. For any newbie writer, Brad Thor is a good example to learn how important it is to stick to the basics in professional writing. The impact of the book is undeniable.

The Carlton Group, a private intelligence organization working for the CIA under the leadership of former Navy SEAL Reed Carlton has only one policy to follow when deploying their top gun. To Scot Harvath, Reed Carlton would only suggest a three word mantra: find, fix, finish. The same was the motto of Carlton group.

The phrase “full black” is also from a formal designation some black operations have in real life. There are black operations that exist in the shadow of the secret operations community. Full Black opens with a description of what is known as ‘unrestricted warfare’, a secret strategy device by the Chinese to “assist in and to encourage the destruction of America”. As you move on through the book, amazing facts and surprising twists await you in this edge-of-the-seat thriller. Full Black is full of thrills.

Brad Thor thrillers Get a copy here: MySmartPrice.com   

Saturday, September 12, 2015

MOUNT SERMON: BOOK RELEASED!

“Anu Lal, has done it again! A new Salman Rushdie in the making!"
___Siggy Buckley
Author, Next Time Lucky

Dear all,
The moment of childbirth, to see the graceful face of that new born, is one in a lifetime occasion. What I feel right now is not less than that. I am joyous to announce that my fifth book, Mount Sermon has been released in Amazon Kindle Store, as expected.

Here is the link for the book page: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B015923JX8


“In harmony with the fantasy-sating landscape of Cannanore and some of the characters from Wall of Colours and Other Stories – the first part of the trilogy, “Hope, Vengeance and History”, the author’s newly-cast storytellers and listeners of the written word entice their reading audience into an almost physical interaction from this book’s onset as well.”
__hülya n. yılmaz (Ph.D.) author, Trance (a tri-lingual book of poetry), senior lecturer, The Pennsylvania State University.

I hope you enjoy Mount Sermon and post your reviews Amazon and Goodreads.com.

Thank you for your continued support for my writing ventures.
God Bless you.

"Anu Lal’s stories have the breath of ancient storytellers, the wisdom of old days, and the immediacy of our contemporary age.”
___Irina Serban
Author, Hiding the Moon

“Author Anu Lal cleverly explores the psyche of his characters and analyzes the fine line between imagination and insanity while teaching us the strange relationships that exist between the characters and their environment,”
___Lena Winfrey Seder.
Author, The Metamorphosis of a Muslim - Autobiography of my Conversion

Thursday, September 10, 2015

MAKE THIS BOOK YOUR WEEKEND READ

Mount Sermon is my fifth book. In Mount Sermon, I have attempted to perfect one of my well acclaimed strategies in fiction, which is, a story inside a story.  

In Mount Sermon, I have attempted to tell the story of a storyteller. Within the story of this amazing man, you may also discover the story of another gifted man. I would not want to reveal all the surprises here. But I can tell you, with Mount Sermon, I have taken my craft to a whole new level.


Wednesday, September 9, 2015

MOUNT SERMON AND REVENGE

Vengeance is an all too human phenomenon, an emotional state that may separate man from beast. The paradox is that this very state transforms one’s humanity into the worst thinkable nightmare. In Mount Sermon, I tell the story of Kathik, who encounters a moment of choice. I would like to share with you a wallpaper my team designed for Mount Sermon, pre-release anticipatory campaign.

Mount Sermon will be released in Kindle on 11 September 2015.  

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

SOME STORIES MAKE YOU CRY

News! News! News!

My new book is a novella titled Mount Sermon. Today, I would like to share with you a wall paper my designing team has prepared for creating in readers an emotional empathy with the characters and mood of the story.

More updates are on the way.
Stay here, and listen. 



Wednesday, September 2, 2015

INDIAN FESTIVAL OF ONAM: Debating Regulations

Part-3
The longing for Onam’s past is a pain one shelters in the deep recesses of one’s mind and intends to reproduce at will. This involves certain defeat. No one can replicate what they tell you in a story. It’s the storyteller’s version played out in your imagination. Your version may be miles away from the version the storyteller had actually told you. Such nostalgic past may have a bearing in reality. I don’t want to negate it and hurt someone. But that reality may be doubly removed by the time it reaches us through a television show.

If Onam is a Hindu festival, maintaining the powerful nostalgic content associated with it, there is no religious nostalgia with it, for as I said, even Christian churches make floral carpets and partake in the festivity by serving feasts on the occasion of Thiruvonam, the prime day among the four-day festivities. On the other hand, if Onam is an agricultural festival and the Hindu imagery associated with Onam is a way of responding to ‘culture’ in Hindusthan, then the nostalgia content is certainly market driven. The Onam nostalgia is mostly about our agricultural past and its various nuances. In the contemporary world, as Kerala is no longer an agricultural society, this nostalgia of a golden past plays out in the consumer market. In fact, Kerala has been transformed in one of the prominent consumer states in India.  

Image Courtesy: Youtube
‘Sell whatever you have to celebrate Onam,’ proclaims an old adage. The focus of the earlier generation was on selling. This too may suggest that Onam is an agricultural or trade related festivity.

Whatever the meaning and purpose of Onam, I still celebrate it in the best way I could. Ask me why, and you may discover yet another complexity of having a festival celebrated in India. The truth is, I celebrate Onam because if I don’t, I’ll feel bad. Everyone celebrates Onam.

Recently, a few of the Onam celebrations that took place in some colleges in Kerala incurred scathing criticism. A college girl was killed in the hyperbolic and pumped up festivity conducted by the students of a college in the south of Kerala.

Criticisms have a way to grow into debates. Debates often grow into laws and regulations. Unhealthy as it is, this cultural phenomenon, this mentality to regulate every act of its individuals claims no depth at all. On the one hand, high intensity celebration of Onam detaches itself from tradition and traditional values, and on the other the political centers impose restrictions upon such “aberration” in Onam celebrations. The question I asked in the beginning was if this tradition is religious, or agricultural and in essence secular. Either way, it seems Kerala society has passed on a very disturbing message to its younger generation about the tradition of Onam.  
Image Courtesy: Google

Now, I believe it doesn’t matter at all. It’s not an affiliation that causes centres of power to ban extreme celebrations but the associated nostalgia itself. When extreme celebrations cause damages to property and turn fatal to individual lives, it’s better to take measures to prevent these occurrences. However, these measures inevitably expose the cultural traces hidden in the festival of Onam—that is the unending nostalgia for a disciplined society. The Wikipedia article about Onam still proclaims it a Hindu festival. Someone should have revised it. 
The End
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