Book Review - Agniputr : When Agni First Spoke


About the Author
IMG_3423Bommadevara Sai Chandravadhan, ‘Vadhan’ is in Transactional law practice, advising Indian MNCs on compliance frameworks for their business in India and ten other countries in North America, China, Asia Pacific and Europe. His company, Sand Legal Services Private Limited, is ranked amongst the top 20 compliance service providers in India and is recipient of two international awards. He writes novels, sometimes with poems in them and can sketch reasonably well. His first published book is Shatru, Kronikles Book-1… {Source : Bommadevara Sai Chandravadhan}

The Book – Agnuiputr
bookThe plot is an intriguing one spanning 6 decades in its entirely, starting with the disappearance of a person from a village in South India… a man who apparently gave up his life to protect the village and the people form a terrible evil force. His sacrifice succeeded only in holding and limiting the evil force to a large mansion, waiting either to be unlocked – or till it became powerful enough to grow out of its controls imposed by the sacrifice.

This sacrifice is known to one or two people – one of whom goes into politics. The owners of the mansion migrate from the village and settle in the cities, where one of them becomes a top lawyer. Complicating matters is a local scientist, on the payroll of one of India’s top research places, who investigates a strage phenomenon – and promptly disappears; but nor before alerting his superiors, who send a team to investigate – a team which walks straight into a massive political and lethal game of power and control, as rival forces fight – one to harness the force for self; the other set to destroy the force, for only he can…

The Review
The book is based on science-fiction plus science plus Indian Literary History plus Fantasy theme plus thriller genre, which is pretty unique, at least in my reading experience. And that is what makes this a fun read; this is from the first page, a riveting read not just because of its other parameters, but due to its newness and freshness. You have to suspend reality in some ways – but that happens automatically, as you are pulled into the intriguing concept right from the first page; this is a hold that lasts, and continues for the entire book.

It is a rapid, fast paced book which manages to hold interest throughout the length, without slipping on its pace anywhere. This is something we expect from a thriller, but the way this has been handled in this book is remarkable. At no point does disbelief come in, you are too engrossed to think  of the real world. And therein lies the real power of the book and the concept; this has been done in the way the plot has been entwined across multiple genres, and quite effortlessly.

The author has successfully married hardcore science, Indian History {I don’t consider it fictional – having read many ancient documents myself, so will not use the term mythology}, fantasy and science fiction is quite a treat, and has been effortlessly done. And the setting, the backdrop of the story being in politics and the Army has added a flavor of thrill to it. The race of the good and the evil has been set in contemporary settings, with plots and counter plots from both as each team tries to best the other.

The characters are sufficiently well-etched, with detailed background development of the principle characters involved, which is in keeping with their actions as the story unfolds. This is another strong point of the story – as the supporting case just has minimal and functional character development, which makes for a very nice and rounded story. Characters and their optimal development are central to writing great fiction – and here we have an author in full control of that faculty, and that is a definite plus.

That is the gel, the holding power : the plots and counter-plots, and the rather unique treatment of the central characters and the way they move from being a part of the evil team to the good, and succeed in fully supporting the family member of the mansion in his quest to stop the evil from overcoming all is frankly breathtakingly done, and very adroitly handled. That makes for not just rapid reading, it also pulls you further into the story as you are glued to the book, not wanting to give up or stop reading until you see what happens to the characters in the book.

This also helps you in continuing to suspend your views and beliefs – which is critical in the enjoyment of the fantasy genre, wherein you have to perforce keep aside all known science almost! Quite simple, you are too absorbed in following the intriguing interplay among characters and the plot twists – which have nothing to do with either science or fantasy or fiction. In simple terms,  this a highly skillfully crafted book that deserves good shelfspace in retail as well as consumer interest both.