Skip to main content

Review - Indian Fiction - CHAMELEON by Christina De Mello

It's quite rare that I get the chance to review the work of an author I know, an actual friend and it has been a most unusual experience. Lucknow author Christina De Mello is a smart, cheerful lady with a ready smile and a clever sense of humour.  So when I came to know that she was having a work of fiction  published, I was naturally curious to know what type of content the book would have.  I never, in my wildest dreams, could have imagined that she would come up with a collection of horror stories.  "Paranormal stories, right?" was my immediate reaction.  She gave me one of her charming smiles.  "Horror stories," she replied.  No two ways about it.  I always imagine the authors of such dark, forbidding stories. would have an appearance to match, but as it has been said before, 'looks can be deceiving.'  That's certainly true in this case.  This is a collection which is quite encompassing.  Nine stories in one volume and let me tell you, they chill the blood.  The author takes you on quite a journey, to a variety of locations, both Indian and foreign, from the material world to the supernatural.  The truth is that the natural world is not too far from the supernatural world.  A mere veil separates the two and sometimes that veil slips and the two intermingle and when they two, the results can be pretty terrifying.  

The stories are quite a mixed bag, some historical, some contemporary and some both.  There's quite a malevolence in the supernatural entities who make their appearance in this book.  The story featuring my city of residence, Lucknow, THE ROTTING FACE,  had me riveted. A bunch of middle-aged Anglo-Indian venture out on a trip to see a deserted temple and find themselves caught up in a terrifying situation.  The story brings alive the congested atmosphere of north India with that tension which is always bubbling under the surface.  ISLAND OF DOOM is a swashbuckling adventure set in and around South America, a few centuries back.  ANGEL OF THE DEEP brings you to a submarine in the early twentieth century.  CHAMELEON goes back to the time of the British Raj, when a young English lady arrives in south India to meet her fiance and finds him missing while the locals remain tight-lipped.  Then there's GUARDIAN OF THE WOLLEMI, which brings you to Australia, not to the big city Australia but to the wilderness and the old aboriginal haunts.  THE OUROBOUROS FACTOR introduces us to some Indian prisoners, escapees of a Japanese POW camp in the jungles of Thailand.  We also travel to Egypt and Japan and the mysterious Mount Kailash in Tibet.  And it's quite a journey.

These stories are very dark and redemption never seems to arrive.  Yet the author's voice is that of the true storyteller, hypnotic.  You find yourself turning the pages, eager for more.  There are no vampires nor werewolves (although I spotted one shifter, a must in paranormal fiction today).  For someone who's looking for a read to charm and intrigue and surprise, this book couldn't be more recommended.

A word of warning - you'll find yourself looking over your shoulder for a couple of days after reading this. You never know who's watching.


Comments

  1. Oooohhhh- sounds really scary! These sound great~

    ReplyDelete
  2. This book sounds deliciously horrorific! Would love to read it!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi Shelly and Adite. Thanks for stopping by.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Thanks for visiting me. Please let me know you were here

Popular posts from this blog

Global Peace - Is It Possible? LBC Post

I can't believe it's Friday already and time for another LBC post.  The Loose Blogger's Consortium (LBC) is a blogging group consisting of about half a dozen of us who blog together every Friday on the same topic.  We are indebted to Ramana (aka blogger Rummuser) for this week's topic.  Instead of just giving a straightforward topic like anyone else would, he posed a question instead.  Is global peace possible? he asked.  I decided to answer his question in a Tweet sized sentence.



Is global peace possible?  Of course it is. If everyone gets in harmony with each other.   But will it happen?  How on earth would I know?


As we say in Ireland (well, as they used to say when I lived there two decades ago), that's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Thanks to All-Free-Download for the photo.  Thanks to Lettercount for their character counting facilities.  And thanks to my LBC group for being there every Friday in blogging solidarity.

Good Intentions

I had great intentions for this week.  I'd write a thousand words every day, review six books, get my Loose Bloggers Consortium (LBC) post up well in advance.  And did I?  No, no, no.  I wrote about two hundred words per day and have been trying to read and review two books and still not finished reading.  My target of 19,000 words until today by now is around 15,000 on my 100kWords in 100 Days Challenge.  It seems I'm just not cutting the mustard.

I have the intentions.  I just don't seem to have the mojo to carry out the things I want to do. So many intentions, not enough time.  I've not been sleeping well lately.  Probably very tired.

So - my intention now is to try to get more sleep.  Then carry out the original intentions.That' what I intend to do.  As of now.  Meanwhile, my post is up one day late.

I had to go out to the bank this morning to get some pending work finished.  I clicked the above picture en route.  It seems that after a three week winter, we're…

April Fool (LBC Post)

One morning, when I went to school in 1977, or was it 1978, when I was a first or second year student in the Irish secondary school system (which is 7th or 8th Class in India) I noticed something very odd indeed. It was a notice pinned to the notice board. It read as follows:

THE INTER HAS BEEN CANCELLED DUE TO LACK OF INTEREST

'The Inter' or the Intermediate Certificate Examination as it was known then, now the Junior Certificate Examination, was a pretty crucial examination. It's called the 'Class Ten Board Examination' in India and the High School Certificate elsewhere.

I knew something was wrong, but couldn't quite figure it out. The notice sparked a minor frenzy. When the date was revealed to be April the 1st, everything made sense.

It's strange how the 1st April can take some people by surprise.

I haven't noticed anything unusual this year. Except that today, I have a rather horrible toothache. But I'll have to go get it sorted.

April Fool jokes are…