Coming to the book, it is a genre that is not attempted much by Indian authors – paranormal thriller. The premise of this story in itself does not have much novelty as such but it is the execution that makes this work special. The narration is just immaculate and each character has been etched with care. The descriptions are vivid: the author works on the five senses of the reader and draws the reader into situations being described in the story. I seriously felt as if I was in the jungles of Sakleshpur while reading the story. Another thing I loved about the book was the authentic scent of local Karnataka culture that wafted from almost every page – be it the descriptions of the local cuisine, the locations, flora and fauna or the history. I liked how the story was linked to real events from history. That made it feel more real. Somehow the reader tends to respect an author who has done a bit of research rather than someone who pulls history or mythology out of his posterior.
I do not want to go into too much details of the story for the fear of giving out any spoilers. Of course this is not a cliff hanger whodunit where telling who the killer is will ruin the whole story. But it is more fun discovering events along the way rather than things being revealed before their time by a spoilsport reviewer. Also this story is laid out like a jigsaw puzzle where different seemingly unconnected pieces come together as the story progresses. So I would like to just share my impressions and leave the reader to discover the story.
Characterization is another aspect of the story that is superb. The book has so many characters and each character is so well etched that one can distinctly remember as many as ten characters at the end of the book. This is a big achievement as I have read quite a few books where even one character did not manage to remain with me till the end. However I felt some of the minor characters need not have been etched to that level of detail.
Given that it is a thriller, one can’t miss the aspect of pace. For a 377 page book, it remains quite taut and there is no point at which the reader feels like putting it down or skipping through pages. Something keeps happening all the time to keep the reader’s attention.
I did feel that the plot could have been a bit stronger and the narration a bit scarier. I don’t know if the author meant this book to be a horror. Things get disturbing at times but the reader will definitely not end up wetting his pants. But overall for a first time author, I would say it is a great attempt and way better than most of the books in the Indian market. I would definitely recommend this book to any reader looking for a light read with good language and narration.