The Krishna Key by Ashwin Sanghi [Book Review]

The Krishna Key.jpgTitle : The Krishna Key

Author : Ashwin Sanghi

ISBN : 9789381626689

Publisher : Westland

Genre : Thriller

Pages : 475

Source : Self

Rating : 5 stars





This is my first book of Ashwin Sanghi. A page-turner!

I was told that this is a rip-off of Dan Brown’s Da Vinci Code. The book indeed has glaring similarities with Da Vinci Code, though it is not as thrilling, and fails to give those spine-chilling moments that a book associated with this genre gives.

Professor Ravi Mohan Saini, an expert in mythology, is arrested on the suspicion of murdering his best friend, Archaeologist Anil Varshney. Ravi soon learns that Anil has left behind a series of clues that leads him to legacy left behind by Lord Krishna himself, the eight avatar of Vishnu, and decides to unravel the secret. Prior to his murder, Anil Varshney had left four seals that he had discovered with four of his closest friends, putting himself and his friends in the path of Taarak Vakil, a serial killer, who considers himself the tenth avatar of Krishna and is out to get what he wants and destroy everything that comes in his way. What comes later forms the rest of the plot.

Though The Krishna Key lacks proper characterization and structured narration, the book is very well researched and is a gripping read for history and mythology lovers. The book has a lot of reference to Mahabharata, the Indus Valley Civilization and the Sarasvati Civilization. The author also talks about a lot of historical and present-day conspiracy theories throughout the book.

The most interesting part of the book is that every chapter begins with the story of Lord Krishna, narrated by Krishna himself, and covers everything from his birth in Mathura to the Mahabharata war at Kurukshetra. This helped me brush up my knowledge of the Mahabharata.

Throughout the book the characters travel to many places like the present-day Dwaraka, the Somnath temple, Mount Kailash and lastly the Taj Mahal. Along the way, the protagonist, Ravi Mohan Saini solves, unlocks and makes sense of the countless puzzles, Sanskrit Shlokas, riddles and hidden messages.

All in all it’s a great book and kept me hooked until the end and that’s what matters the most. If you’re a history and mythology buff, then this is definitely a must read.

Buy yourself a copy here.

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The Bridges of Madison County by Robert James Waller [Book Review]

Bridges of madison county.jpgTitle : The Bridges of Madison County

Author : Robert James Waller

ISBN : 9780099421344

Publisher : Arrow Books

Genre : Romantic Fiction

Pages : 171

Source : Self

Rating : 5 stars



Doesn’t matter if you are a reader or not, you MUST read this is a small book of metaphors.

I cannot find the right words to justify my experience of reading this.

A love story that is beautiful as it gets, may be because of the novelty of it all and how lucky they are to have that, even for a very small period of time.

I do not want to go over the story but let me just say that this story is amazing and painful. It also reminds me of what i was told once, “Say what you feel like before it is too late”. But here it never really was.

A man bringing such strong passion in a woman who decides to give herself up even to his absence marks the beauty in it. We all get that in the purest and simplest of forms only if we keep our mind open to search for it and acknowledge it without the society’s benchmark.

Please refuse to die before reading this book.

Reviewed by Pavan Kumar B C

Buy yourself a copy here.

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Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami [Book Review]

Norwegian-Wood-Haruki-Murakami.jpgTitle : Norwegian Wood

Author : Haruki Murakami

ISBN : 9780375704024

Publisher : Vintage Books

Genre : Contemporary Fiction

Pages : 389

Source : Self

Rating : 5 stars




May be this is the right way to end a novel. Leaving it for the readers to ponder as their mind would take them.

This is my second book by Haruki Mukami. A lot of friends recommended this to me and I am so glad I picked it up. Honestly I cannot find the right words to put together to justify this masterpiece. This is one of those novels that makes you ‘feel’. You must read to experience it.

Simple story of friendship, love, sex and depression thoroughly squirmed every instincts and thoughts that a person can afford.

It’s kind of hard to believe that a book can take you on an emotional ride like this one did! *Phew!*

The story is set in 1960s Japan and has been narrated entirely by the protagonist Toru Watanabe. I am not going to write about the plot.

The book has a very dark and murky feeling and it can leave you feeling a little empty. Before this I had read Murakami’s ‘South of the Border, West of the Sun’. If you have read two or more novels of Murakami you can sort of notice this pattern in his narration. It paints a picture of a cloudy, drizzly and gloomy atmosphere.

There is so much realness in his characters that you can’t help but feel like they exist somewhere in the real world. The characters speak to you. The book is a major page-turner and was an absolute roller-coaster ride for me!

His description of Watanabe and Midori kind of makes it effortless for the readers to relate with them. One of the books that kept me hooked after a really long time.

It is a gripping novel and a must read!

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Immortal by Krishna Udayasankar [Book Review]

Immortal.jpgTitle : Immortal

Author : Krishna Udayasankar

ISBN : 9789351950080

Publisher : Hachette India

Genre : Mythological Fiction

Pages : 408

Source : Publishers

Rating : 4 stars



First off, I’d like to start by thanking the author Krishna Udayasankar and the publisher Hachette India for sending us this review copy of ‘Immoral’.

This is my first book of Krishna, known for her famous retelling of Mahabharata through The Aryavarta Chronicles(Govinda, Kaurava and Kurukshetra). Govinda, her debut novel was a bestseller and she’s regarded as India’s best author for Mythological Fiction.

‘Immortal’ is the story of the cursed immortal, the man who cannot die – Asvatthama, son of Dronacharya, friend of Duryodhana, who fought together in the Great War in Mahabharata.

Asvatthama is living in present times, under an assumed identity of Professor Bharadvaj as a Historian. He is almost about to change his identity when he gets a call from his partner, Manohar, regarding a search for a historical artifact, said to have mythical characteristic, the Vajra. The Professor immediately doesn’t buy into this as it is something he has been searching for centuries along with other scientists, historians and alchemists of his generation and failed to find it.

However, when Maya Jervois, shows him one of its pieces, the professor agrees to pursue it and sets off on a journey with Manohar and Maya into an adrenaline-fueled adventure. What happens next forms the rest of the plot.

The story is narrated by the protagonist. The book is very well-researched and I love the author’s writing style, the plot and the secondary characters. Her description of the characters makes them seem very real and relatable. The book gives a very ‘Dan Brown’ and ‘Indiana Jones’ feel.

Asvatthama has lived through the centuries under different identities and this can be seen by the historical references he makes throughout the book. His life is entwined with history and he’s participated in a lot of great wars and other historical events, and met and worked with a lot of eminent personalities like Subhash Chandra Bose and Genghis Khan, to name a few.

The best part of the book is the journey of the trio. They travel across geography in search of the Vajra, moving from the shores of Gujarat to the temples in Dwaraka, the legendary home of siddhas in Nilgiris and finally to the deserts in Balochistan. They move through caves, forests and water bodies.

The description of every location is detailed and vivid and will make you feel like you’re part of their journey. However, I felt that the author could have included a few more details about Asvatthama and his past.

All in all it’s a great, fast-paced and easy read, quite a page-turner with a gripping suspense and intriguing story and the thriller will keep you hooked to it till the end.

Highly recommended for mytho-fiction lovers.

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Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma [Book Review]

forbidden.jpgTitle : Forbidden

Author : Tabitha Suzuma

ISBN : 9781862308169

Publisher : Definitions

Genre : Romance

Pages : 432

Source : Self

Rating : 4 stars



You’ve always been my best friend, my sould mate, and now I’ve fallen in love with you too. Why is that such a crime. 

I must agree that this not a happy read though it made me chuckle here and there once every 200 pages. The words are beautifully woven to make a complicated fabric of story which it a taboo all in all. Incest. This story is highly relatable for any kind of affection that is marked derogatory by the society. Never have I read something so powerful and alluring in a really long time. I had to slow down and marvel at the simplicity of the language and the thousand emotions it conveyed.

The plot revolves around a father who has walked out on his family, a mother who refuses to cope with it and lost all interest with her family and ever really their for her children and of course, the protagonists, Lochan and Maya on whom the burden of the family falls down. At parts, it seemed quite unrealistic for these two teenagers to literally show the attributes of parents in taking care of their 3 siblings, but circumstances can bring out something too well that it can be too deadly. I think what really triggered these emotions between Lochan and Maya were the situations where they were forced to be the Mother and father for their brothers and sister. I liked how it is made clear that incest is not always the cause of a bad childhood or a traumatizing experience that they would have faced as grown ups. The book is written in a way that makes you question, “All they did was love”,”Why should that be a heinous crime only because they were born from a same woman?”,”Can this society be so prejudicial to not see where they were coming from?”. It is a thought stirrer, truly.

It was predictable for most part of the story that the story was not going to be rainbows and marshmallows but I really disapprove how things ended up with Lochan. I could definitely see where he was coming from but I would hate to believe that there was no alternative. Or may be there was not.

It had some beautiful moments, extraordinary lines that I had to read twice to savor it, jaw dropping instances and some fine erotic versus that were so subtle and yet magnificent to read. I would suggest anyone to pick this up and give it a read, a little slow paced but it will be worth it, I promise.

Reviewed by Pavan Kumar B C

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