Book Reviews: Hong Kong, The Devil and Miss Pryn, & The Man Who Would Be King

Hong Kong by Stephen Coonts

It has been a long time since I read an action novel. I think it was before Jack Bauer in 24, and the last action novel I read was Robert Ludlum. I read the Bourne books one after another and after that, Sidney Sheldons seemed like child’s play. The complexity of the plots couldn’t match up and I got lost in the plots from time to time, to be honest. When I picked up Hong Kong, I had no expectations so the book didn’t disappoint so much.

Hong Kong by Stephen Koonts

Hong Kong by Stephen Koonts

There is a crisis in Hong Kong in the book, just like it is happening right now in Hong Kong. Protesters swarm into the central business district on the island, after the bank collapses. They want better leadership, they want democracy. And they will take it by force.

In all this one man, Jake Grafton, travels to Hong Kong to investigate the US Ambassador’s involvement in the rebel movement. He goes there with his wife, who is kidnapped by some bad guys. Working with CIA bad boy Tommy Carmellini, Jake Grafton is our Jack Bauer. He blows up bad guys left, right and center, and rescues his wife. The US Government is covertly involved in the rebels’ mission, supplying them with money, weapons and would you guess it, intelligent robots that learn from the environment and kill only the bad, aggressive guys. However, there is a traitor in the rebel movement, but who is it? The traitor reprograms one of the York robot soldiers, which then runs after Jake Grafton in the dying pages of the book, determined to exterminate him. Jack must use brains, brawn and macho bad assery to save himself and set everything alright.

Do the rebels take over Hong Kong? And even if they do, there is still a huge China with resources in terms of a huge military and weapons. What then? Read and find out.

It started out slow but I really enjoyed it towards the end. Wouldn’t mind a part two for those long train journeys, flights or boring Sunday afternoons.

The Devil and Miss Pryn by Paulo Coelho

This is the second book by Paulo Coelho that I am reading, after the Alchemist which I read back in high school. As I am now in my mid-twenties, that was 10 years ago! Coelho has an entire movement behind him now, including one of my best friends, Beautiful Rumi. (She is also into Rumi FYI, just Google, the search for spirituality should not end with Jesus Christ.)

The Devil and Miss Pryn

The Devil and Miss Pryn

Miss Pryn lives in a quiet village town and one day, the Devil arrives in the form of a lonely , middle aged male stranger. He has come to find answers about suffering, answers he will find by performing an experiment on the villagers themselves. He sets the experiment up, and only Miss Pryn knows what it’s all about. It’s a novel about discovering the true nature about ourselves, we are all cowards. We want change, but we are too afraid to get it. We are stuck in inertia etc etc.. you know there is an ambiguous lesson that every Coelho book tries to teach, and for everyone, it will be different. I could totally relate to the cowardice of leaving, I read this book in my last week in Kenya, when I thought that maybe I should never leave. But I had already handed in my resignation, and being jobless in Nairobi is not attractive. For every single day I live here though, I miss my son. Next year, he comes to join me here and maybe then life will be perfect? How do other mothers do this?

This book is a short read and worth the few hours you will spend on it. You might find yourself adding it to your library for future reference, even when you don’t agree with everything the author says. He’s not a god people. Or he is?

The Man Who Would Be King by Rudyard Kipling

It is a free e-book that comes with the Moon+ Reader app. It is available on desktop/Android, I don’t know about the Apple Store. #teamAndroidForLife

The Man Who Would Be King Movie adapted from the book

The Man Who Would Be King Movie adapted from the book

I read this short story really, a while ago and realized I forgot to write a review. It is a book about two men who left India on an adventure journey to become Kings. You come to understand why Rudyard Kipling is famous for his storytelling ability, for it is not only about the story itself but also how the story is told. If you ever watched Mowgli, the boy in the Jungle, he wrote the book. He was an Englishman born in India and was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1907.

Two men who are friends decide to leave India to become kings in distant lands, which at first seem like fabled lands. However, after many dangerous travels, they come to the lands they first dreamed about and conquer, and become kings (sorry to give away the plot!). But first, how did they manage to make the dangerous journey? Their story is nothing short of amazing.. they were the men who would be kings alright. But like any top position, getting there might be hard but manageable, remaining there is near impossible. Things start going downhill sooner than later.

Highly recommended.


I read both ebooks and hard copies. I seem to have discovered a middle ground where my love for printed books is balanced by my love for technology.


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