Friday, June 13, 2014

Book Review--> A Prayer Series #1- A Silent Prayer by Samreen Ahsan

Title and Author: A Silent Prayer by Samreen Ahsan
Series: A Prayer Series #1
Print Length: 330 Pages
Publication Date: November 2013
Language: English
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Paranormal

Book Review:

An intense love story between two people from different worlds, Samreen Ahsan narrates the poignant story of a damaged woman, Rania who is running from her past demons and a Casanova, Adam who feels an unexplained connection with her.

There is nothing common between them but still they are pulled towards each other. With a paranormal twist to their relationship, the author gives the readers a love story with a novel plot. The cover as well as the blurb are average and don't give the reader a clear insight into the story. It is only after you start reading the book that you are able to understand the significance of the cover which then truly unfolds as the most intriguing and beautiful representation to the story. 


The plot is novel and I was hooked from the start. The paranormal twist is also very admirably delivered which binds the reader by increasing his curiosity to know more. The pace is fast with the settings changing quickly but the story just lags. The story development is too slow and drags the same thing over so many pages when it could easily have been confined to half of that number. 

Great insight into the beliefs and culture of the Muslims with a very innovative way of using the Arabian Nights story in the book, I just loved Rania and Adam. Their characterization is noteworthy and I was able to empathize and connect with them instantly. I could feel their confusion, helplessness and the conflict that they faced at every step be it their cultural differences, their different beliefs, their faith in God or their approach to living life. Their emotional journey of discovery and of gaining each others trust is very beautifully portrayed. The attraction between them is intense but handled in a very novel way. The intensity of their emotions is so strong that it almost sears the reader. The other characters also do their part and help support the story which revolves mainly around Rania and Adam.


The suspense and mystery element is used admirably and the author is able to intrigue and keep the reader glued to the book.


"What if I tell her she looked exactly like that woman I met nine months ago, who was dancing with invisible people? More like shadows. Would she believe me...But it's hard to believe. That place never existed."


"She looks at me with wide eyes.

'Who are you, then?' Her question shocks me.
'You show up everywhere I go, like they do. If you are not a ghost, then who are you?'
What is she talking about?
'You are not my shadow. You are not one of them. Then, who are you?' "

The writing style of Samreen is simple, captivating and it sparks your interest. The male and female POVs give a deeper insight into the characters and kept my interest alive without making the story seem dull. She does need to work on conveying more with less words and I wish her all the best for the future. She has the flair for writing which she effectively portrays in her story with some very interesting quotations from other noteworthy people and several of Wordsworth's enchanting poems.


"Beauty is worse than wine, it intoxicates both the holder and beholder."-Aldous Huxley (1894-1963)

"Never lose an opportunity of seeing anything beautiful, for beauty is God's handwriting."- Charles Kingsley (1819-1875)


"...in every man's heart, there is a secret nerve that answers to the vibrations of beauty?"- Christopher Morley (1890-1957)


Although I loved the story and was duly hooked to the book, I still felt frustrated with the snail like development of the story where Rania and Adam just practically stop at the same stage of gaining trust. The story practically stops with only the settings and scenarios changing but essence is the same. After the 200th page, I started getting bored and wanted to skip the pages but still kept going because I wanted to know the secrets these two held and also I had hope that now that almost every thing was done, they would finally confess and the story will end. Imagine my frustration when at the last page I met with an abrupt end and was shocked to know that after 330 pages the book ends in a cliffhanger and the next book is again 280 pages long! I felt betrayed at that point which I just didn't like. While I am not against cliffhangers, I do feel that this story could have been wrapped in this book itself or atleast the book made less lengthy with more effort spent on making the story concise and working more on giving speed to story development. Had the above points of frustration been handled, this would have been a 5 on 5 book.


Recipient of many awards like WINNER OF 2014 LOS ANGELES BOOK FESTIVAL, WINNER OF 2014 PARIS BOOK FESTIVAL and HONORABLE MENTIONS, 2014 NEW YORK BOOK FESTIVAL, I liked the plot of this cross cultural love story and the paranormal twist to it but was disappointed with the lengthy approach to narrating the story and then leaving the reader hanging with a cliffhanger. 
A 3 out 5 to A Silent Prayer from me. 

I received the book from the author and I am very thankful to her. The above review is my honest and unbiased opinion and in no way influenced.


***A Prayer Series reading order***

Book 1- A Silent Prayer by Samreen Ahsan
Buy From:
Amazon.com: Hardcover | Paperback | Kindle Ebook
Amazon.in: Hardcover | Paperback | Kindle Ebook 

Book 2- A Prayer Heeded by Samreen Ahsan
Buy From:
Amazon.com: Paperback | Hardcover | Kindle Ebook 
Amazon.in: Hardcover | Paperback | Kindle Ebook 




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