Book Review: Ink, Iron and Glass

Today I’ve decided to try out something new. By new I mean a book review. I’ve been procrastinating on writing this review for a while now so I’ve decided to get to business.

So what is Ink, Iron and Glass?

It is a young adult fantasy novel that has all the elements you need to carry an exciting storyline to have you hooked to the book (well that rhymed). The goodreads plot for the book reads:

Can she write a world gone wrong?

A certain pen, a certain book, and a certain person can craft entirely new worlds through a branch of science called scriptology. Elsa comes from one such world that was written into creation, where her mother―a noted scriptologist―constantly alters and expands their reality.

But when her home is attacked and her mother kidnapped, Elsa is forced to cross into the real world and use her own scriptology gifts to find her. In an alternative Victorian Italy, Elsa finds a secret society of young scientists with a gift for mechanics, alchemy, or scriptology―and meets Leo, a gorgeous mechanist with a smart mouth and tragic past. She recruits the help of these fellow geniuses just as an assassin arrives on their doorstep.

In this thrilling debut, worlds collide as Elsa unveils a deep political conspiracy seeking to unlock the most dangerous weapon ever created―and only she can stop it.

The story has steampunk themes mixed into it alongside the dreamy thematic elements of the fantasy genre.

For me, the story was slow to begin with at first. I found that I couldn’t quite connect with the story enough to not be able to put down the book. But gradually I did find myself to be able to get interested with the plotline. I quite liked the main character Elsa’s need to be a strong independent woman who wouldn’t need to rely on others. Eventually she does realize that she needs her friends to be by her side to help her solve her problems and find her mother.

Leo — Elsa’s romantic counterpart — is an interesting character. The disgraced son of a revolutionist — who could never live up to his father’s expectations — has much depth. He tends to deflect emotions by joking about his situation. He is someone I could relate to in a way.

Overall I think that although this book takes some time to get into, you are eventually drawn into the story. I’d give it a rating of 3.9/5.


The Moon

She was joyful. There was always a distinct smile on her face that you would notice when you saw her the first time. There was brightness to her face that awed you. It was not as bright as the sun but it was as luminous as the moon. The brightness was muted but nonetheless enough to catch your eyes. Her face too was almost as round as the moon itself.

If she looked you directly in the eyes, you would notice them to be as dark as the night. The twinkle in her eyes would remind you of the stars. That twinkle was frequent whenever she talked about what she loved or was passionate about enthusiastically. It appeared when she had a mischievous prank up her sleeve. For all the people who met her, they were intrigued by the shyness she displayed at first. She looked like a perpetual mystery and whoever met her felt like a detective, determined to solve the puzzling enigma that she was.

When she was comfortable around you, she was a different story. She was funny, outgoing and was always there to help you. She was willing to make a joke to make you laugh. Give you warm hugs when you were sad. Give you a helping hand at best as she could when you needed it.

She loved animals. So did these creatures. When she called with a soft tone, any creature would turn to her. Dogs would wag their tails. Cats would approach her with straight twitching tails. Both animals would flop to their backs and expose their bellies to show her that they were comfortable around her. Birds would approach her at her call. Some would sing beautiful songs which made her smile. She in turn would sing with them in a soft lilting voice that would make chills run down your spine when you hear her. When she was sad, these birds for some reason would show up to check up on her. The dogs would stop acting excited – as if sensing her mood – and the cats would meow quietly, as if they were asking her what’s wrong.

Everyone seemed to know her with the luminous façade she had on but no one seemed to know her other side.

Like the moon, she had a dark side. Sometimes, like the phases of the moon, this dark side showed up. They formed a shadow on one side of her face while leaving only a sliver of her luminous side. No one seemed to know the pain that welled up in her heart when she was in private. No one saw the tears that fell on her cheeks when she remembered her trauma or when she was in a dark place. No one felt the self destructive anger that bubbled inside her when she clenched her fists and dug her nails into her palm until they left a dark dent.

The memories would come like they were a companion to the darkness that haunted her.

She was three. The world was sunshine and rainbows to her. There were no good or bad people to her. She laughed at every person who would pull her cheek. She was friendly with everyone because she thought everyone loved her. Evil incarnate appeared to her in the form of an uncle.

Her father had gone to the grocery market to stock up for the month. She was left to play with her dolls while her uncle kept a watchful eye on her. She didn’t know that when her uncle called her with the adoring pet name her parents gave her he would harm her. She didn’t know that the chocolate she was offered was made to sedate her as she sat on his lap. She didn’t know that while she was feeling woozy that his hand would go in a place she didn’t want. This memory was hazy but she distinctly remembered the feeling of her underwear after he was done. She remembered feeling uncomfortable afterwards. When these moments of fleeting memories rose, she would try to dodge them away until she couldn’t. Until she broke down crying one day from the mere haunting memory.

She was seven. She had no semblance of her long curly hair. Her hair was cropped short in a boy cut. She had some notions that bad existed. She knew all too well that adults themselves seemed to harbor it the most. She had no idea that even children her age could harbor this evil.

She learned this the hard way when a boy her age humiliated her in front of her class. This boy was in constant support of everyone else that picked on her just because she was smaller and didn’t have many friends. She was always reliant on mother figures to protect her from evil like that. Yet when she turned to the mother figure that her teacher was supposed to be, she was shocked to find that even her own teacher had turned against her. It wasn’t until she was bed ridden with an illness that almost killed her did that teacher develop a soft spot for her.

She was thirteen – a freshly developed teenager. She was going through puberty much like her friends. The mention of boys made her giggle and blush. From watching all those romantic teen movies, she knew what young love was. She was sure of it. On one fateful day, she and her cousins had plans to hang out at an expensive place. It was going to be fun. They’d take pictures and crack jokes and laugh.

By the poolside restaurant, they sat together, chatting about life. That was when an old man with the smell of alcohol clinging to his skin approached her. She felt that man’s stubble rubbing against her soft skin uncomfortably as he placed a big kiss on her cheek. The man had her in a grip that made her feel uncomfortable but she didn’t know why. She didn’t understand until her cousin had told her afterwards. She had wanted to rip off her skin that day.

She was fifteen when the world seemed a bit too much for her. There was pain everywhere and she felt like she provoked the pain to come to her. She felt like she was also inflicting pain to everyone she loved along with her. She had too much of life. She’d wanted to take her life. Her mother had stopped her from doing anything drastic. She had held her that day for the longest time.

She was nineteen going on twenty. The battle with the world had left her weary yet she had an anger inside her that festered. That anger sometimes got worse. In times of this anger, she felt like hurting herself. She tried not to for the sake of herself. She stumbled sometimes but she was in a spot which she could call the middle ground. The world wasn’t just good or evil to her now. To her the world was a mixture of both. It was a grey world for her.

So she was the moon, bathing people she met in her luminous glow and drawing people in with her mystery.

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Porcelain doll

I didn’t think that the day I addressed my mental illness would come until much later but here we are now. With the recent death of Kim Jonghyun from SHINee – someone I deeply admired – I felt like I have to address this to feel better. At least that was my therapist’s advise.

I am part of the 5% of the world’s population who suffer from depression (pardon me if my grammar is off in this statement, English isn’t my first language).

Depression is honestly the worst feeling in the world. Due to various circumstances growing up, I fell victim to the demon that depression can be. I can feel its presence around me now, hovering over me, waiting for me to have another breakdown.

I feel like a porcelain doll to be honest. I act as if I am fine yet there are cracks on my pale iron-deficient face.

I feel as if I am going to break if something happens to me.

I hold in my emotions a lot and honestly I try to act happy for people. I try to be optimistic for them because I want to give them all the love and nurture that I never got. Yet, I am empty on the inside. I am devoid of emotions on the inside.

The only thing I feel is sadness. And loneliness.

Sometimes, I feel so much sadness that I want to not exist any more. I want to stop feeling by not existing any more.

The past week was just that. Feeling sad periodically and feeling angry at myself for existing. And also wanting to not exist.

I only got a little better recently after talking to my therapist. And then broke down when I got the news of Jonghyun’s death. I was reminded that depression was going to stick with me wherever I would go. I was reminded that this demon was living inside me and making my life a living hell even when I tried to befriend it to make the pain feel less…painful. It was in that moment that I got the feelings of not wanting to exist yet again. The angry voices inside telling me that I should end it all came back again.

I hope to whatever higher power up there that my feelings of sadness go away again and this time for good. I hope they never come back.

I will end this post with a link to the song I am listening to at the moment and the song which I relate to so much. Ironically the title of the song and the picture I added to this post use the same words.

Rest in peace to Jonghyun. Thank you for all your work. Thank you for your undying support of the LGBTQ+ community. Thank you for speaking out about your mental illness. Love you. Hope you are happy wherever you are.

If you are someone who experiences the same emotions as me, please get help. Talk to someone who you deeply trust. Talk to your therapist. If you immediately need help because of your suicidal thoughts, please check this link for suicide hotlines in your country. Suicide is never the answer. 


In the 200 billion stars of the Milky Way, there was a solar system with eight – sometimes nine – planets revolving a star simply known as the Sun. In one of the eight or nine planets, there was one that teemed with life. It was known as the Earth. Of the 7.6 billion people living on Earth, we are just two specks with different lives.
You are someone revered and known worldwide. People love or hate you with burning passion.
I am someone who is trying to find her way in the world and dreaming of achieving what you have now. And maybe I am someone who wants to feel what you’re feeling and be with you. Maybe I want to hold your hand as you go through the tumultuous life of yours involving rewards from your hard work.
Maybe I want to comfort you when you are going through the hardships of life. And maybe I want to see right through the mask you put on for the world.
Isn’t it beautiful how of the infinite timelines I could have been reborn into from the cycle of birth I was born in the same timeline as you? Isn’t it beautiful how despite being five years apart we were born – according to an ancient pseudoscience which says that the stars and planets determine our looks, personality and fate – under the same ecliptic that the Sun was in? Isn’t it wonderful how fate put us on the same continent? Isn’t it wonderful how we’re only 3,827 km away from each other?
On nights like this, I like to lie in bed and think about this. I like to consider myself lucky despite the fact that I can feel the distance between us grow. The distance I feel isn’t just physical but also mental. I can feel you slowly grow farther and farther away from me.
Despite this, I have this hope. This feverish hope grows inside me telling me that I can be yours. That I can be the person who has beautiful melodies dedicated to her. That you can keep being my muse except this time you know it’s me who writes these things for you.
I attribute this to Pisces – that ecliptic path we both share.
I try and try for this hope to disappear. I put this hope away from the light where it grows and fills my mind. Yet it is like an indoor plant. Even if you keep it away from the sunlight, it keeps growing. It fills my mind with beautiful flowers of dreams that I have about you. And these dreams are what I hope will become fruits. Yet another part of me knows they are pointless and tries to kill the indoor plant that is the hope.
I try to assure myself with the hope that – despite us not being together physically – we wake up under the same sky. We see the same moon and the same sun shines on us and lights up our features. I tell myself that we see the same stars that are sprawled across the sky. We breathe the same oxygen.
I tell myself it is enough.
Yet some part of me wants more. Some part of me craves more. I know it will lead to heartbreak so I keep quiet and shove that part of me that wants more aside. And I try to live in the moment and live in the now.
I try to be happy that you at least exist in the same timeline as me.

First blog post

I opened this blog to post my musings and my writings.

I figured, Might as well have a writing blog if I consider myself as a writer. 

So this is one of my many attempts to keep a writing blog and to keep it running. I hope I keep this blog for the years to come. And I hope this blog sees the growth of me as a writer.

As of 28th November 2017 at 10:57 PM,

I – Symphony Chakma – declare this blog open.