Dread by Aseem Rastogi: Book Review

Title: Dread
Author: Aseem Rastogi
Genre: Horror

Fear is the background of this collection of short stories. Dread explores the dark emotions that arise out of unexpected encounters and circumstances.

The Book

This collection explores fear and dread in a range of situations. A jungle safari for a tourist couple turns a nightmare because they are adventurous enough to venture into unsafe territory.

Book cover of Dread. Dark pathway with mist
Dread by Aseem Rastogi

A flight across continents becomes an air disaster and turns the life of the lone survivor upside down.

Modern corporate offices are not the safe and secure places they are nade out to be.

The fear of the night, dark places and being in secluded buildings is a very real one for many. And so are nightmares.

Lives can change in the blink of an eye. The author looks at how tragedies like an airplane crash or a bomb blast in a train can affect an ordinary person. The fear of being thrown in jail or being mistaken for a terrorist are all fears that we have had a brush with at sometime or the other.


It’s a short book but packed with punch. The thing that leapt out of the pages was the original viewpoint which made it a good read.

The stories explore many scenarios of fear. The narration and pacing of the stories is good.

The characters are well developed in 3 of the stories. The Night That Was has the snapshot of an entire family. The flashbacks of memorable moments interspersed with the protagonist’s dark reality makes a very good contrast. It reads like the memory roll of a person about to die.

Dark Places and Into the Night are similar in tone and concept. However the modern reader can connect the story sequence and circumstances with his own life. Without using too much description, the author manages to induce fear. Empty office buildings at night are never going to feel the same again.

The Dark Secret of the Grasslands conveys the spirit of adventure adequately. The author has sketched the couple well, presenting the typical scenario in third world countries of a first world couple. This story has the potential to be developed further. Clues, action and what-happened-next can be extrapolated.

Flight or Fright shows how life can change in the blink of an eye.

What works well

The characters and backdrop are well etched in the stories. The reader can connect with the characters well. The language is good and the treatment of the subject feels very original.

The point of view of the characters is clear and the stories do not meander developing other threads or possible happenings.

What could be better

Some of the stories could be longer and the situations be better explored. The Dark Secret of the Grasslands can have more detail of the crime and the subsequent chase to get the criminals for a well rounded story. Into the Night and The Dark Places can also be developed further.


A well written collection that chills without being macabre or overly fearsome.

The book is published for Blogchatter Ebook Carnival and is available for free download for a limited time. Read it here.

A Month of Reading Wonderful New Authors

I grew up reading the classics and it was only in my later teens that I discovered the wonderful world of contemporary literature. Further along my reading journey, I understood that the most popular and the widely read books are not the only excellent reads; there are plenty of little known books and authors who are just as good and often better.

I spent most of June reading new authors and their ebooks on my devices. I posted all the reviews on my blog (these days I seem to be writing only book reviews and I am making the most of this only-reading patch). I am summing up the books here, for readers to find them all in one place.

Go for them. They are varied genres and cater to different tastes. They are all part of the Blogchatter ebook Carnival 2018 and most are free to download. I am including the links to the reviews I have written. You would find the download links in the reviews. Here is a teaser list:

The first one on my list was an audiobook. This was my first ever and I was curious to know what my experience would be. Break Free the Leader Within by Ravish Mani is a clear and accessible approach to the qualities of leadership. It has good, useful content and is a pleasing auditory experience.

The Life Lived by Preeti Negi is a collection of true stories from the author’s life, arranged alphabetically through A-Z. These memories range from her childhood, spanning her adolescence, young adulthood and her recent past.

The Contemplation of a Joker by Manas Mukul is a collection of 12 tales, with the overarching theme of love and loss. It touches on the various facets in relationships, about the coming together and the moving apart.

Another is a book about the writing of a bookHow I Wrote my Comic Book: The Journey by Priyanka Vermani. It chronicles the journey of creating a graphic novel or a comic book, with limited resources but with limitless imagination and creativity. It talks about all the stages of creating the book, right from the conceptualisation to the finished book.

Blogchatter eBook Carnival Season 3

Eighty Hours to Save Karen by Sitharaam Jayakumar is a racy, engaging thriller that keeps the reader hooked and spooked till the last page. It was really a very satisfying read in terms of style, pacing and the plot.

The word lover that I am, I chose to read Peiskos by Reema D’souza. The book Peiskos is a collection of unusual and beautiful words with little stories woven around each word. These stories bring out the beauty of each experience that the word evokes.

I also picked up a mystery which turned out to be very exciting. Deal of Death by Sonia Chatterjee has an intricate plot and an unconventional detective solving this whodunit.

Murder in the Palace and Other Stories by Priya U Bajpai is a delightful collection of stories where world building and exquisite language go hand in hand. There are plenty of genres with a very wide variety of settings.

Blogchatter eBook Carnival Season 3

In the theology genre, I picked up Insta Gita by Nupur Maskara, a book with a difference. Insta Gita is a transcreation of the Bhagavad Gita, a poetic version of the verses in the scripture with the author’s added poetry, giving reactions from Arjuna’s perspective.

I wrapped up the readathon with an inspirational book, Dare to Dream by Huma Masood. Dare to Dream is a concise handbook that guides you through the big and small decisions to an effective and fulfilling life. The book helps you chart out your vision and goals and gives tips on managing the stumbling blocks that you encounter along the way.

Head over to these reviews and download the books that you like.