Disclaimer: Author of this book is brother of one of my close friend. However I have given a neutral review. You can order book from Here Below is my review
To be frank, I was not aware of this book till my friend told me. I was happy that brother of my friend has become an author. Science fiction is a genre that I don’t usually read and I bought this book only for my friend. The premise of the book is interesting and the book starts in an interesting manner.
As the story starts in a interesting manner, it manages to sustain interest for most of the time. Though the story starts as a science fiction, it goes back and forth in time and even goes few centuries earlier and touches a wide variety of topics including freedom struggle, philosophy, devotion, self realization, social system and setup etc. And the author has linked everything by a fine thread. At times the characters and the time when the events happen confuses you and needs heavy attention from you.
For a debut book, author has taken a wide canvas and touched upon many things including caste system, sati etc. Author should be appreciated for not taking any specific side on many issues and has approached a topic from various perspectives. He has taken a neutral and logical stand. The fact that author has bought in social systems of different eras , caste organically in a science fiction stands as proof for authors capability. I specifically liked the part about Nayanmars and Pakistani portions. The book underlines the importance of humanity and need for open mind and sensitivity towards others in a subtle manner.
At the downside, you get a feeling that though the book touches various aspects, none of them are discussed in detail. An established author like Amitav Ghosh would have written volumes about a topic which is covered in few pages in this book. However given that this is the first book of author, I can understand the dilemma of the author and his urge to keep the book short, crisp and precise and I dont blame the author. Infact even great authors first book are very concise. Bulkiness does not necessarily make a book classic.
For the genre, The book is very easy to read. It is written using simple words usually found in Chetan Bagan books. However in the next book, I would be happy if author takes a topic and takes the viewers into the world where the story is happening. This is currently missing in the novel. Reader always feels alienated from the scene due to lack of detailing.
Verdict : If you are not expecting a classic book and want a book which gives a different perspective about god,religion, and philosophy, go for the book. Even if those premise aren’t your cup of tea, you can give this book a try. Because rarely you see a début Indian author venturing into science fiction and philosophy on their first outing and yet giving a impressive book. That effort and attitude should be lauded and that will encourage a promising author.