Posts Tagged ‘thriller’

UNNS – True to its name this book is truly Captivating

I am a big time fan of author’s first book – Finders, Keepers. Therefore, I read UNNS twice so that my fondness for Sapan didn’t cloud my judgement while reviewing his second book.

Let’s start with the cover page of the book – UNNS, the second stage of love, blue colored rose and the sub-title ‘The Captivation’. Everything depicted on the cover page beautifully carried the idea of what lies ahead. A young story, darkness of human emotions, love, betrayal, rage, regret and what not.

UNNS is story of Atharva and Meher. I said story because contrary to the fact, it is not a typical love story. This book is a soul who lived all seven stages of love again and again and finally breaks away the captivation in the end. Destiny bring a young couple together attaching them with the invisible string of fate. Same twisted fate tread different path for them setting them apart and then bringing them together again and again.

Story moves with a constant pace with flashbacks and current events along with the twist and suspense at the end of almost every chapter. Setting of the story and the sub-plots created all necessary elements.

I will not dig much into the story, instead I will elaborate some unique features of the book:

First – Title and the book even the blurb talked about all 7 stages of love. Sapan managed to arrange chapters of the book with the chronological order of all 7 stages along with the weather. And he did a full justice to each stage. I mean, if the stage is ‘maut’ then the subsequent paragraphs will take the story towards the same fate. What is phenomenal is that along with this, both Atharva and Meher lived there own 7 stages of love interwoven layer by layer in the story. Very few authors think about naming the chapters with such creativity and interlace it with something so complex yet succeeded to keep it simple.

Second – From very initial chapters Sapan started scattering breadcrumbs for readers to catch. You have to focus on every small details, tiniest hint to appreciate the book. Everything has a purpose, every paragraph has a reference. Even the details as insignificant as the favorite dishes of Atharva and Meher. This is a genius masterstroke by Sapan.

Third – Some words are best left unsaid. Sapan cleverly dropped some of the conversation at the cliffhanger. Trusting readers to guess the emotions embedded in the heart of the characters and in the process connect with them. I think this gave diversity to the book, not all readers think alike. You may have your own unique version and I can have my own version of the same story. It gave me a sense of purpose while reading this book.

Finally, Sapan’s UNNS is not perfect but the question we should ask – Who want perfect?

Atharva and Meher made different choices in life, choices which destroyed them, gave solace and closure. In the end, they both saw the order in chaos. Chaos of shrewd mind and innocent emotions.

I would like to mention two line of our beloved shayar Mirza Galib, which will give complete essence of UNNS – The Captivation:

Mohabbat mein nahi hai farq jeene aur marne ka,

usi ko dekh kar jeete hain jis kafir pe dam nikle

mainak_dhar

Dystopian novel with Not-So-Distant future and very interesting title.

It starts with a subtle story of ambitious cubicle dweller, celebrating his recent promotion. All hell broke down from second chapter.

Well thought dystopia thriller, which will keep you on the edge from the first page till the epilogue. Author created elaborated plots and sub-plots without any loose ends.

As a reader, first person narration always intrigued me and in this case author absolutely nailed it. Almost all aspects of the story along with the back stories, descriptions and setting were described beautifully from the prospective of the protagonist. This type of storytelling definitely restrict story to a boundary making protagonist center of the universe but Mainak handled it perfectly by attaching protagonist to threads of all events important for the pace of the story.

Best part of the novel was the transformation of common man from a fearful human to a brutal killing machine for the sake of survival. How societies turned into tribes and the raw human instincts kicking to tackle the hostile and brutal enemies. How the tranquilizing nature of human soul was tarnished with violence in the shadow of fear and death.

Mainak did a wonderful job in describing the inner conflict of keeping sense of repentance alive while killing brutally for the greater good. Effort to bring order in Chaos while dealing with the bigger questions in hand. Question which will haunt every reader till the end of the novel is, Will it ever be normal again?

Some aspects of the novel raise serious concerns on our technology centric life. How we forget the importance of a simple conversation over social media frenzy, how our patriotism doesn’t go beyond liking facebook pages and retweeting nationalism.

I got goose bumps while reading some of the chapters towards the climax. My heart was filled with fear and darkness while reading the first confrontation with the enemy.

I will not give any spoilers, but the setting of the story, selection of the enemy, survival tactics all very believable. God forbid, we may someday face similar kind of threat where the stakes are high and danger is potent.

In the end, I would like to quote last lines of the novel, which I think are the essence of the whole novel:

“It was in those days, that I learned that even if your whole world is painted black, you can start to light it up again. All it needs is for each of us to realise that we should stop waiting for someone else to provide the spark; that the spark lies within each of us.”

 

183;290;689ed0cf876280d5eba018da475dc9715d83515a

Plot: 4/5

Characters: 3/5

Writing Style: 4/5

Climax: 3/5

Entertainment Meter: 4/5

Unique in its own way, Svaha is a blend of rich Indian mythology and a super hero’s saga. After reading about Thor of Norse mythology and Zeus of Greek mythology finally we have a superhero from our own Indian mythology. It is a fictional story woven around the folk tales and Indian myths of our childhood.

Slash, young reckless naive girl found herself in middle of the grand plan of humanity’s destruction. However, she has a guardian angel on her shoulder, indestructible Soldier X. Flying man in a leather jacket who is cool in his own way.
There is no particular villain, but yes several very important characters. Some of turn try to open the portal between the two worlds to unleash one of the most feared villain of Indian mythology.

There are several sub-plots in midst of the story which creates a larger picture on the whole. Major Khanna from FORCE ONE, Paramacharya of the Trimbak math, The Council and The Deus Corp all trying to exploit the opportunity and achieve their own agenda. The key piece to save the world is ‘The Chosen One’ with Angel on her shoulder.

Can Slash save the world from destruction? Who exactly is Soldier X? Why is He helping Slash?
Pratik did a wonderful job, narrating the whole story in a short and crisp chapters. He avoided the details, which I personally don’t like but way he carried away the whole story with so many sub-plots is admirable. Backdrop of the protagonists and the antagonists are beautifully explained. He built the sense of excitement and suspense which is flawless.

Book ends on a cliffhanger with some loose ends clearly indicating the forthcoming sequels.

With ‘Svaha’, Pratik started an altogether new genre of Indian superhero writing which was long-awaited.

buy1._V192207739_