Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Tantra by Adi - A book review

Author: Adi
Publisher: Apeejay Stya Publishing (2013)  
Genre: Black Magic/Occult/Fantasy Thriller

I have read my share of vampire stories. I have read my share of black magic stories. I haven't ever thought of them together. The vampire scene is slightly tarnished because of the twilight series. Who can think of Robert Pattison and think of anything but mush? Its difficult to think about sinister and evil now.
Anu Agarwal again the name here brings the namesake heroine into my mind. Not someone I like to think of as a vampire hunter in leather. I don't know about the boys, though! OK but its just a name. I erase the Bollywood heroine and try to create a vampire hunter in my mind. 
The first chapter fails to do anything to my imagination. India and Vampires don't get together. Somehow vampires are a more European concept for me.
But I moved on and I wanted to see whether our Indian Vampires hold any interest. But the author also cleverly knew I think that in India and in an Indian Novel, it wouldn't do much just with vampires. We have the babas and the tantras and the skulls! Now we are talking. This is where the story becomes gripping to me. As Amit, another vampire hunter from the novel, himself says its not all about vampires. Thank God for Black Magic! Frankly it scares me the most , of all the horror themes that have come up till now.
Within the mix of high funda tantra s and mantra, the poor heroine also has her own personal demons to deal with. To add to the fun, she is also subject to the matrimonial meetings that every single girl has to grow through in India.
The author doesn't really introduce or explain the Vampire Hunters worlds to us. Terms like "shift" and how the organization is structured and how kids are chosen and trained are very vaguely and loosely explained throughout the book. The universe that the author has tried to create isn't very clear in my mind.

Now what I couldn't digest in the novel is that the heroine is told she could master the astras with just chanting the mantras and meditating. I always have thought it should take years of penance, if at all possible. It almost feels that the heroine is doing the impossible.
The "Panch" and Chandra being ally to the humans sounded too familiar an idea to me,too.

About the writing, I found the sentence construction really simple and effortlessly flowing. Sometimes, I felt as though the sentences were thought of in Hindi and translated to English. The sentence construction, somehow,reminded me of how Hindi is written. 

There are a lot of threads left loose in Anu's storyline. I think, thats for the sequels or the Anu files. Do I look forward to them ? Not like the Harry Potter series or even the Twilight Series but I will read them and look for completion of the stories started in the novel.

Overall, the novel is interesting in parts. I managed to stay interested in it till the end. Though, I may not read it one more time.

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