Publishers- Frog Books (www.leadstartcorp.com)
Genre- Fiction/ Thriller
Price- Rs 400
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A mega novel by Sapan spanning for more than 600 pages and containing researched bits of mythology along with some thrilling psycho-killer/ murder mystery backdrop- is how one can describe this book in my hands. It is surprising to see that the author is a BTech with a career in engineering. It goes on to show how in India, to be anything, you have to be an engineer first.
The artwork on the front cover is fascinating. The image of almighty Shiva always evokes reverence in the eyes of the beholder. Sapan nails it with the content of the novel. It is the current hot favourite among Indian fiction fans. A wild goose chase with mythology in the background.
The book falls in the much too familiar slot of historical/ mythological puzzles and a bunch of guys trying to put the clues together to look at a larger picture. There is nothing new in the premise of the novel but, if you like the genre, you will perhaps like the book.
The book’s USP lies in its content. The clues and the parts where the protagonists Shoumik Haldar and Ishan Vajpayee put them together to decode the mystery. Ancient historical sects, brainy guys chasing them, murders- you can almost fit Ashwin Sanghi or Dan Brown’s name on the cover, had it not been Sapan’s excessive toil behind creating the clues. He has worked quite hard on it which is evident from the lengthiness of the book.
There are a whooping 108 chapters- all untitled. This is where Sapan has let go of a good branding opportunity. The chapters appear shabby without taglines or titles on the index page. The book could have easily been divided into different parts and sold as sequels.
All this book needed was a good editor and it has been kept bereft of the same. Surojit Mohan Gupta has let the typical Indian errors in the syntax creep in the narrative. They are distracting. It is so difficult to put down a novel which you know has great thrill quotient but some cringe-worthy English. For the most part, the language is good, but there is a colloquial element to it.
The publisher could have done a better job with the branding and design as the book appears too plain for all the thrill in contains. The blurb at the back cover is not quite up to the mark. The book could have been presented and edited better. It shines though, in parts, like a lotus in the mud.
I will give it 2 and a half stars out of 5.