Friday, 18 November 2016

Skyfire by Aroon Raman: a review

You know what’s the first thing that comes in your mind once you see Aroon Raman’s latest book, Skyfire? That one line by Hindustan Times on the cover that says “India’s answer to Robert Ludlum.” And then you know that no matter what, this book is a must read. Privileged at being one of the very first people who could get their hands on the book, I couldn’t stop myself from liking it after I had my eyes on it for the first time. Upon turning the book, the blurb of course made me want to read the book right away. So before turning on what do I have to say about the book, here is the blurb of the book for you to read.

According to the blurb- May 2012. India is hit by a series of freak weather disturbances and startling epidemics that threaten to bring the country to its knees. At the same time, children are disappearing from the slums in the capital and nobody seems to care. Stumbling upon these strange and seemingly unrelated incidents, journalist Chandrasekhar, historian Meenakshi Pirzada and intelligence operative Syed Ali Hassan start upon a trail that leads them into the drawing rooms of Delhi’s glittering high society before reaching a terrifying climax in Bhutan, where they come face to face with a force of unspeakable power and evil. Bestselling author Aroon Raman’s third novel, Skyfire, is a heart stopping thriller that will chill you to the bone.

Now that you’ve read the blurb I am sure that you are thinking what I was when I first read it. I’ll first talk about the characters. Chandrasekhar, Meenakshi, Hassan; the main protagonists of the novel deal with a spine chilling incident that lead them to places that are shown only in films. I loved the way the author has dealt with the characters and has given them the shape and sturd that they much needed. The intricacies of their relationships, the chemistry, the love and the bonding between the trio is so strong that you cannot help but be jealous of them. That apart, there are many other characters in the book who come and go at their respective times and who bring with themselves the much needed twists and turns in the book.

The story. A typical thriller as you might feel from the blurb, this novel is something that you would not even expect it to be. You can feel that from the beginning that this is not an average thriller that you would read on an everyday basis. The way the “freak weather disturbances” and the sightings that have been described in this book is something that I feel is what the author’s speciality. Being the first ever read of the author by me, this book didn’t disappoint me at all. Is this even imaginable that change in weather and missing children can be interrelated (or related at all?) Aroon Raman in this book shows just that and how wonderfully does he do that. I am not giving up much of the story because that would mean saying a lot of things which I don’t want the readers to be left off from reading.

The narration has been done wonderfully but somewhere down the line I felt that the book has been a bit too fast paced and crisp. After one point, even a few set of readers might feel the end was expected. The details have been written and the experience of reading this book is almost equivalent to that of watching a film but hey! Isn’t that supposed to be what a book should be about? There were no grammatical errors in the book and I felt that having said all the good things, this book could’ve been a bit more stretched which it didn’t. Of course, whenever you have a good book in hand, satisfaction cannot be achieved anyhow and we always expect something or the other. For me, expecting and looking forward to more books from the author, this is 4 out of 5.

PS- This book was given to me a part of the Flipkart Book Reviews Programme.

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