Thursday, March 28, 2013

Amazon acquires GoodReads

Wow!!! I'm not sure what to think of this.... Amazon has been expanding its footprint in the world of digital publishing rapidly and without any opposition so far. Kindle revolutionized the way the publishing industry used to work and turned the digital print market - till then a nascent industry on its head and made digital publishing a market worth billions.

The other competitors were slow on the uptake and Amazon gave them no quarter. The online juggernaut was on at Amazon and there was no stopping it. If GOOGLE is synonymous with SEARCH then AMAZON is the godfather of the publishing industry.

Now Amazon has acquired GoodReads a social networking forum of bookworms. People like me who read too much and like to share their love of books with all asked or unasked. One of the primary reasons I moved from Shelfari another social networking book site was - you guessed it.. - Amazon acquired it and suddenly all Shelfari users had to login using Amazon accounts. It synced with your Kindle the moment you switched to Amazon account and auto published all the books present on your Kindle at Shelfari...

This last part for me became a little too much to digest. I'll share what I want to and of my own will not because Amazon or Kindle wants me to. Is a little privacy too much to ask in this digital age? The Shelfari login for those users who did not want to use Amazon account was buried under multiple clicks making life difficult for the users. It was either go Amazons way and get an Amazon account or don't login to Shelfari at all. All this made me look for alternatives and I landed up at GoodReads a couple of years back only to find that Amazon has followed me here too...

With the Shelfari experience fresh in my mind, I am as I said earlier not sure what to think of Amazon acquiring GoodReads. Has the time come for me to move on from GoodReads too?

The Oath Of Vayuputras - Amish Tripathi

The Oath of the Vayuputras (Shiva Trilogy, #3)The Oath of the Vayuputras by Amish Tripathi

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

The first book of 2013. I was eagerly anticipating this one and was very disappointed that I could not get my hands on the book while I was in India. The book released a week after I left the country and I was on pins and needles waiting for my friends to get me a copy of the book.

While my friend came through for me, sadly Amish Tripathi did not. While the first two books in the series were amazing their own rights, the last one sadly left me dissatisfied with how the series ended.

What could have been an magnificent odyssey was reduced to a mere meandering.... What could have been the biggest quest for understanding the 'Evil' and how to face it turned out to be nothing more than a filmy drama of revenge. He who was a 'Mahadev' was reduced to being a mere mortal by the end of the tale...

The 2nd book built up on the evil that was about to be unleashed beautifully. Amish has his moments when he unveils the 'Somras' as the root of all the evils, but the book left a lot of questions unanswered than answering all of them. This I believe is because the author had too many plots in progress and ultimately ended up making a mash of everything else.

Maharishi Bhrigu, though introduced in the 2nd book is never given enough air time, and neither are his views clearly explained. It does not even make him as fearful as the characters in the book are of his legendary powers. Similarly the Vayuputras come across as a half baked plot.

For tribe left behind by Lord Rudra, they come across as very complacent, and it is also unclear as they do not recognize Shiva as Mahadev or Neelkanth, are they existing in parallel with the tribe left behind by Shiva. The tribe left behind by Shiva is the biggest blooper IMO.. I mean the Dalai Lama... seriously???

The end for the book was also a bit disturbing with Sati being killed and Shiva setting off the Pashupati-astra against Devagiri. IMO destroying Devagiri was not necessary at all as Shiva, Kali, Ganesh, Karthik and Parashuram destroyed the Saraswati in the end. So it was a bit of overkill with innocents paying for the mistakes of the few. In short with one decision Shiva destroyed the perfect empire of Lord Ram that he so admired in the first two books.

Also Sati appearing as two different mirages to Ganesh and Karthik and asking two opposite things from each of them was a bit wierd. Kali's personage was also reduced to that of mere servant rather than what the Queen of Naga demanded.

All in all the end to the series was more disappointing for me. I would have loved for Amish to have really come up with something which was in the vein of the first two books. While "The Immortals of Mehluha" thrilled me, "The Secrets of Nagas" amazed me, I must say that "The Oath of Vayuputras" disappointed me.