Month: July 2013

Book Review on The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith

The Cuckoo's Calling Book CoverI was looking through the newly released books when I came across this novel. I got curious about it and thought it would be worth reading. Boy, I am so glad I took my chances to read it! Cuckoo’s Calling is such an awesome story packed with mystery. Robert Galbraith (J.K. Rowling’s pseudonym) has done a superb job in writing a brilliant crime debut novel. Who would have thought it was Rowling all along? The quality of writing, the superb sense of place and the profundity of the characters are what set the novel apart from the overpopulated genre of P.I. fiction.

A private investigator, Cormoran Strike, is hired by the brother of a distressed high profile model who was found dead after allegedly falling from the balcony of her Mayfair apartment. Police treat the case as suicide as the entirety points to it. However, as I dig deeper into the novel, I can vividly see that everything is not what it seems to be. Cormoran Strike’s character is perfect for the plot. He’s a fiercely independent ex-military who is going through a bad breakup with his fiancé. With Strike, venturing into the detective business, he finds himself in actual financial trouble. You can feel that the other characters seem like they are real and the exchanging of conversations is convincing. Overall, the depth of mystery in the story is agreeably complex with a wonderful conclusion that I am sure that other readers did not see coming too.

The story brought to life by Galbraith’s true-to-life descriptions makes me feel as if I’m there helping Strike and Robin solve the mystery. I’d say this is somewhat an archaic type of crime fiction novel stressing on cross-examining witnesses and collecting clues instead of directly going into action. It extremely aided me in the development of characters. I’m certainly hoping that Galbraith will add more books in the series. They ought to be worth reading if they are released.

The Hunger Games: The Mockingjay and Katniss Everdeen

Mockingjay Pin BadgeFive years ago, my niece gave me a personalised fingerprint charm keyring with my name etched to it. It melted my heart away and now I could not believe that she’s growing up fast. Every time I look at the keyring, it reminds me of her sweet, angelic smile. This reminded me of the Hunger Games Mockingjay pin badge that Katniss wears during the game to represent District 12. In the Hunger Games, every tribute is permitted to bring one item that reminds them of their family and friends in their respective District. The small pin with the image of the Mockingjay in flight is similar to the personalised fingerprint jewellery that I have. It has so much symbolism in it.

Before Katniss left for the Capitol to join the Hunger Games, the mayor’s daughter, Madge, gave the pin to her. Eventually, Katniss fails to recall the pin while she’s training but her stylist, Cinna, never forgets to put the Mockingjay pin badge on her suit deliberately before she goes to the arena. In book one, he tells Katniss that the pin hardly cleared the review board because they think Katniss might use it as a weapon. Ultimately, we know that there is more to it than meets the eye. It is indeed an extremely influential and significant weapon in a special way.

The Mockingjays have many associations in the story. First, the hybrid birds remind Katniss of her father who was fond of Mockingjays, whistling and singing with them. Second, Katniss’s ally and friend, Rue, uses one of her bird signals to inform Katniss that she is alive and fine. But, the same signal has put Katniss into danger with Rue being held hostage by another tribute from District 1. Rue dies before Katniss gets to save her. Katniss sings a memorial song for Rue and the Mockingjays are heard repeating the tune of Katniss’s song, spreading it throughout the forest.

Finally, the Mockingjay pin signifies a living being with a spirit of its own. The hybrid bird symbolise resistance and rebellion. They are the clear example of creatures that have escaped from the tyranny of the Capitol. They are living proof that the Capitol is incapable of imposing their influence to all beings. As the novel progresses, we see Katniss gradually showing the qualities of a Mockingjay.