My Foray into eBook Reading

eBooks??? I never really considered them to be books, forget reading them. I love my books in the physical form, holding them, smelling that intoxicating smell of new books, watching my bookshelf from time to time and enjoying the variety. Yeah, I’m a book-a-holic. No doubt about that.

But as technology is taking over most aspects of our life, many authors have resorted to releasing eBook versions of their novels and even releasing short novellas in eBook format only. Some of my favorite authors have released short eBooks before the release of their novels. All this convinced me to give this eBook reading a try. I tried reading on my smartphone and honestly, what a waste. Although my smartphone has one of the biggest screens in the market, still reading a book was not at all fun, as I had to squint at times and kept losing my concentration because of it. So I just gave up on the idea. Recently when I got my iPad and tried reading on it, it was a much better experience. Not much squinting and the size was appropriate enough to feel that I am actually holding a book. I am not favoring any brands here, just that I found eBook reading much more comfortable on a big screen. I’m sure other tabs will offer the same sort of experience, but I haven’t tried with any other brand.

Recently I read Steve Berry’s The King Deception and liked it a lot ( review here ). Before I started my next physical book, I thought to read Steve Berry’s eBooks. He seems to almost always release an eBook before his novel release. He has written four of them; The Balkan Escape ( followed by The Emperor’s Tomb), The Devil’s Gold ( followed by The Jefferson Key ), The Admiral’s Mark ( followed by The Columbus Affair) and the The Tudor Plot ( followed by The King’s Deception). Except for the last novella, the rest are pretty short. I don’t know how much they would be in physical pages but by iPad pages, they were 50-60 approximately. The last novella, The Tudor Plot was around 130 iPad pages and also my favorite of the bunch. Some of the characters and/or story plots of these novellas also turn up in the actual novel that succeeds them.

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The Balkan Escape involves a billionaire-cum-adventurer Cassiopeia Vitt, trekking in the Bulgarian mountains, in search of a buried treasure. But just as she manages to find it, she is caught by a group of nefarious Russians mining the area for uranium. Does she manage to escape their clutches and get the discovery out in the open? You have to read to find out.

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The Devil’s Gold is about an ex Intelligence operative Jonathan Wyatt who is out for revenge against the two agents who got him fired from his job, Christopher Combs and Cotton Malone (Steve Berry’s regular hero). He follows the former to Chile to kill him, but finds him acting suspiciously and decides to find out what he is involved in before killing him. Combs is questioning some ex Nazis settled in the area, in hopes of finding the treasure that Hitler had accumulated during his reign and had managed to hide away before the Allies arrived in Germany. Does Combs or Wyatt manage to find this fabled treasure? Download and read it to find out.

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The Admiral Mark‘s is Cotton Malone’s first novella, and takes place eight years back when he still used to work for the Justice Department and was still somewhat happily married to his wife Pam. Cotton’s brother-in-law, Scott Brown, dies under suspicious circumstances in Haiti and Pam asks Malone to go there and find out the real reason. When Malone arrives in Haiti, he finds out that Brown was involved in some treasure hunting that dated to the eras of Christopher Columbus. During the process, Brown conned a rich bad guy, who also wanted to know the location of that treasure. Does Malone manages to find out the truth behind Brown’s death? Once again, you have to read it. Lol. The actual novel  that succeeds this novella does not feature Malone, but the same bad guy returns, still searching for that treasure.

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The Tudor Plot is my favorite of the lot. It’s also a bit longer than the rest, long enough to be believable as a novel. The plot is also much more interesting. This also takes place seven years back when Cotton Malone was still working for the Justice Department and is sent to England for a trial involving international terrorists. Malone is summoned by the Queen of England herself, to help out in a possible plot to kill her son and grandson, the next heirs to the throne. A leak within the Palace is suspected and Malone has to find out the true schemers behind such an evil plot without any outside help. The reason for such an overthrow involves the reality behind King Arthur’s existence. I was thoroughly thrilled by this one. My love for novels involving the Royals continues. This one, you guys, should definitely read.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed my venture into eBook reading, and I have downloaded some full novels as well. I will read them, but not now. I have a bookshelf full of physical books that I have to finish first.

Hope you guys also give eBooks a chance. Let me know how your experience was.

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