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Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Book Review: Tantra by Adi

Book: Tantra

Author: Adi

No. of Pages: 335

Genre: Fiction, Contemporary Fantasy, Thriller

Publisher: Apeejay Stya Publishing

Frankly, I wasn't very sure about an Indian Author trying to write a 'vampire' book in Indian settings. First of all, we don't really have a history of the traditional vampires in India so putting together vampires and New Delhi was not easy to digest. Top it up with our own Indian lady vampire hunter and the digestion sure was challenged. The back cover blurb also talked about the vampire huntress dodging the social arrange marriage scene … making the indigestion complete. So I had pretty low expectations when I started reading this 'weird' combination.

BUT … I was in for a surprise. Adi has mixed the above weird concoction really well and infused Tantra (yeah … the Tantrik wala Tantra) very well into the mix

The story is about the Vampire Huntress who takes a 'transfer' from New York to New Delhi with a hidden agenda. She is the best they have and thinks Delhi would be a cake walk for her only to realize gradually that the 'scene' out here in India is very different and vampires are not the only problem .. in fact, they are otherwise at time.

The story had a touch of Indian mythology in the sense that there is the presence of the now-famous (made by Ramayan and Mahabharat serials of course) Brahma-astra and Agni-astra.

If this were a movie, there is some Matrix and Harry Potter style action packed into the fabric of the story as characters fight at some sort of a super-natural level (Brahma-astra and Agni-astra style) … where the ability to go into hyper-drive action comes into play.

I liked the character of Anu Aggarwal … the vampire huntress … who comes in confident at first and is then humbled by the experiences and begins to learn and discover herself. Enemies turn allies and her perspective of things, people, facts, faith, life, her job … all go through a gradual transformation.

The book is not without its fair share of occasional humor and it is a pleasant but exciting thing to read. The pace is good and the story keeps giving you stuff to look forward to in next few pages, making it difficult for you to insert a bookmark and take a pause in the reading. I liked the kind of humor in the novel … Adi weaves humor into the story and its situations without resorting to the typical run-of-the-mill routine and boring comic sequences.

If I were alone on some business tour with a weekend at hand, I would have probably finished this off in a single or maybe a double sitting within a single day. Being at home and going to office daily made the book reading stretch to 3 days. I would definitely recommend this book – in fact, I am going to handover the book to best friend and my book guide, for reading.
Not to forget the Cover Design ... very interesting. The Moon morphed into a Skull took me by surprised although the girl on the cover does not really match the girl and her dressing in the book :) But thats ok ... chalta hain !!

What I did not like is the loose ends at the end of the novel. The authore surely intends to write a sequel, a continuation to the story BUT leaving loose ends … especially those which seem central to the story from the beginning to the end … leaves a sense of being cheated ... sense of having read an incomplete novel ... sense of a few pages missing from the end.

One more thing though, not really a criticism, but more of an expectation I had which did not get fulfilled. The New Delhi setting offered the author plenty of historic and interesting places to use in the story. This did not happen. Except for a few references to the safety of women and metro travel, Delhi was missing in the novel. Wish the author took more advantage of what the city had to offer to the novel. Surprisingly, the cover design also neglects Delhi ... Delhi and its recognizable monuments could have served as a fantastic backdrop to the already good cover design.  

This review is a part of the biggest Book Review Program for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda. Participate now to get free books!

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