One of the perks of being a passionate reader is being able to explore a lot of virtual worlds. In our quest to find some interesting books to read we came to know about some amazing talents which are not that popular as of now.
Author Neelabh Pratap Singh is one of them.
We found his book First Rodeo: A Rapid Fire Read, first installment of Scorpion Ops book series; available for free to read for Kindle Unlimited subscribers. We grabbed the chance and read it. We found it worth talking about and shared our unbiased book review for the same. Here is the quick link:
We were curious to explore other books in the series and found the second book – Trained To Kill: A Rapid Fire Read – available under the same offer! How could we miss the chance?
|Trained To Kill
A Rapid Fire Read Scorpion Ops - 2
|Neelabh Pratap Singh
|# of Pages
|3259 KB; 139 (Kindle EBook)
|# of Chapters
Let us start with the cover page of this book.
This Is Here In For You
It is obvious for casual browsers as well as seasoned readers both, to be attracted towards a book with a well designed cover page when looking at the possible choices. Hence, sometimes, even a fantastic book miss catching a potential reader/buyer’s attention.
As, you can see, the cover page of Trained To Kill: A Rapid Fire Read is quite attractive.
We see the female protagonist seeing towards a modern city. It reminded me of the cover page of the previous book in the series. The significant change is the backdrop. And, that actually works pretty well. As, the protagonist is about to deal in a metro with the same intensity!
The details in the background is quite visible as it is a high resolution cover page.
The book title, tagline and author name uses readable fonts.
Let us take a bird’s eye view of the book plot.
The protagonist Rehanna Rasool, after the successful execution of her first mission cum litmus test, is the sole member of the covert operations team. Of course, in addition to her boss, Jaspree “Jas” Kaur.
Their team is still a hidden government entity.
She is now living in Delhi as per the job requirements. Her days as a single girl living in a small flat are almost uneventful. She appears to be just another working girl.
One day as a small change in her boring life, she got a call from her boss. She was quite thrilled till she knew she had to just look into some details involving a local gangster. Despite her disappointment (of not getting some thrilling mission where national security is at state), she started doing what is expected from her. She was told:
… A dreaded gangster of Delhi- NCR is our mission. …
But, as her nature is, she dig deeper than she is expected to. There, she found a hunch to possible bigger conspiracy!
So, without worrying about the danger lurking ahead and the powerful enemies she is going to make, she put herself in the danger’s way.
Was her instict right? Was there any bigger game was at play or was she simply overthinking? Will she caught in soup where she cannot be rescued, even by her boss?
Well, you need to read this book to get your answers. Over the course you will meet with Rehana Rasool, Jaspreet “Jas” Kaur, Aurangzeb Rasool, Home Secretary Anil Kamath, special secretary Sudhakar Mishra, Omendra Rathi, Abid Aziz, Gogi Yadav, Pradeep Narwal, Jenny, and others.
Views And Reviews:
This book is a good thrillers for sure.
One more thing I wanted to check with this book “whether someone can read it standalone”?
The answer is “Yes”.
If you’ve read the previous book in the series, it makes your reading experience more fulfilled for sure. But, even otherwise also, you won’t face any problems like: some details missing, or unable to get link to some events etc.
It is definitely one of the key element for any book that belongs to a book series and is not the first installment in the same.
Neelabh Pratap Singh is good at creating strong characters regardless of their gender, social status, the side they are on (protagonist/antagonist), and other attributes.
Rather than giving lectures about feminism and other such trends, the author lets his characters speak for themselves.
I like this approach.
In short, a commando is a commando, whether he is a male or she is a female, doesn’t make a difference, and that is true for people from all lines.
A pleasant surpise we get here is the exploration of Aurangzeb’s character. Incidents from his life and their links to this story are intriguing.
I like the way the book starts. It summarizes the timestamp, state of the mind of the protagonist and overall enviroment, without using so many words. For example:
As the clock ticked closer to the new year, Rehana Rasool couldn’t help but feel a twinge of scepticism. Would the flip of a calendar page truly bring about any meaningful change?
And provides more detail about her.
She had uprooted herself from her beloved home in Kashmir to become part of something that didn’t exist– Scorpion, one of the deadliest and most secretive intelligence agencies of India.
She is very clear that:
I can’t afford the exorbitant entry fees at those fancy pubs. My bank account would probably have a heart attack.”
Interestingly written block filled with sarcasm, right? Such character defining lines are there for almost all the characters. For example:
It was evident that Jas was a woman who was used to being in control and had little patience for nonsense.
In terms of atitude towards work, here is one line uttered by Jas.
Jas affirmed with a nod. “In my line of work, working overtime is like breathing. It’s just something you do without even thinking about it.”
And, Jas is caring about her subordinate’s well being too.
They can’t touch me but you’re vulnerable to the enemies of the country. Not the external ones. The ones who’re sitting inside the country.”
These quotes must have given you a idea about how well defined characters are, in this book. Such details help you making a mental image of respective character with ease. And, that, connects you to the story strongly. I consider it a positive attribute of this book.
Usually, the no-nonsense people live the minimalistic life. They care only for the things that really matter. Rehana has the same approach for her life.
Rehana was unapologetic in her fashion choices and refused to let anyone’s expectations dictate her appearance.
But, why does that matter?
Well, there comes a time in the story when she have to appear as a modern girl who has a lot of time to spare and is interested in lurking for the wealthy fellows to get her needs fulfilled. So, her visit to a dance bar club where she got drunk and ready for hook-up, look natural!
There comes another time when she has to appear as a business woman. And, she does what she needs to do regardless of her personal preferences, as part of the job. Here is one segment in this regards.
“Excuse me, can you show me some formal wear that screams ‘I’m here for business, not for the free coffee’?”
You can notice her aproach reflecting her true character, though. This is very importantant. Regardless of different avatars you don, your true nature remains as is, throughout your life. The author picked this nerve rightly. A very special attribute of the book for sure. A few more such lines from the book:
After returning home, Rehana slipped into her new formal attire. She cleverly left the price tag intact, tucking it away like a squirrel stashing away nuts for the winter.
After all, why spend money on clothes when you could just exchange them for something else?
Regarding the noisy new year party and her reflection towards the same is something you shouldn’t miss reading. Of course, she is unwelcoming of noise:
She futilely attempted to block out the deafening noise by burying her head beneath the thick duvet.
I like the way the famous hindi song (that played during this party) is weaved in a wordplay in an aftermath scene.
Ten minutes later, she heard the wailing siren of a police car approaching. As if someone had pressed a button, the music stopped abruptly. The party speakers knew it was time to shut up and behave. Because aunty had finally called the police.
She is brave, fit and combat ready, and at the time is intelligent enough to know about when to get into fight and when keep herself from doing foolish act. In other words, when to act and when to stop.
After all, who wanted to be the belle of the ball when surrounded by beasts?
The author is good at exploring scenes, be it about surrounding or nature, the descriptions are quite faithful.
The sun was shining was coming out of the haze,
Badshahpur, located in the Gurugram district, was situated on the outskirts of the bustling city on the Gurugram- Sohna Road.
And he gives additional information where he think “it is needed”. For example:
“A home secretary is the second in command of the Home Minister.
The book has its own sarcasm filled lines which irks a smile on the reader’s face.
Delhi’s traffic offered a thrill ride that would put any amusement park to shame.
For the lovers of wordplays, this book is a good option.
The homeowner’s expression transformed into a mixture of annoyance and disgust, as if she had just bitten into a mouldy lemon.
He donned a pristine white kurta pyjama and a sleek black waistcoat, all paired with a pair of flashy Puma running shoes. It was a combination that screamed “fashion disaster” to the onlookers, but in this particular region, it was a widely accepted and sought- after- style.
Jas killed the call.
The fight/combat/chase related lines are interesting ones. A thirller is expected to have them, right?
Stakeouts, she realised, were about as exciting as watching paint dry. The reality was far from the spy movies.
Rehana exploded forward with a rabid intensity and headbutted Bloody Nose’s already broken nose.
As Rehana stood there, her body suddenly seized up with fear, as if an invisible hand had reached into her chest and squeezed her heart.
The kinetic energy transferred from her legs to the man’s chest threw the man stumbling back off his feet.
In the heat of the moment, adrenaline had masked the pain, but now, with the rush subsiding, the injuries seemed more serious.
The book is not only about bravado, it also brings some wisdom lines like:
“The thing about politics. You never know for sure who’s on your side and who’s not. Moreover, the allegiances change every week.
If I need to quote only one line from the book, I would possibly go for the following one, which is an advice for Rehana.
“You are special, but you aren’t a superhero.”
The book could have been better if the phrases like “introverted nature” are taken care of.
Some lines could have been written better, for example:
Narwal retracted his hand and grabbed his.
I don’t think such small issue affect the reading experience of a regular reader.
The quotes we have mentioned so far must have given you a fair idea about the attributes of the writing here. I have tried keeping the spoilers at the bay as far as possible.
It is definitely an interesting thriller where you will find deception, thrills, chase, fight, humor and other stuff with a dose of patriotism. I liked reading it.
Around 7.5 to 8 stars out of 10.
Quick Purchase Links:
- Buy - Trained To Kill by Neelabh Pratap Singh - Kindle EBook - Amazon IN
- Buy - Trained To Kill by Neelabh Pratap Singh - Kindle EBook - Amazon US
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