Saturday, February 28, 2015

Book Review: Kalyug by R. Sreeram

Book: Kalyug
Author: R. Sreeram 
Genre: Socio-Political Thriller
No. of Pages: ~380

Author | Ex-entrepreneur | Consultant | Trainer - That's how the author describes himself on his website. He seems to be quite active on his website although his GoodReads profile seem to have been ignored. 

Kalyug is R. Sreeram's debut work. But that should not, in any way, relate to the quality of his work. And it very well, does not! 

Kalyug is a Socio-Political Thriller that imagines a coup in one of the world's largest Democracy - India! It tries to explain all the planning that had to go into pulling off something of this scale and also all the pain and frustration that led to this happening. All explained through the eyes of the protagonist, an author, who had "predicted" such a situation much before it happened!

My Views:
The theme itself is new and refreshing. As a child, I often imagined myself one day taking over the reins of the country and "setting everything right", thereby creating Utopia! I think, a lot of us have had this very naive dream. But Kalyug went one step further and actually explained what would be required to pull something of this scale off! I thoroughly enjoyed the concept. +1 to the author for that!

The book itself is simple, never going over the top by using a lot of unnecessary words or military jargons. Most events are self-explanatory or can be inferred. It did not, at any point, make me want to stop and look up the meaning of something. This has become of primary importance to me these days - that I can just read and enjoy a story rather than try to figure out what each word means, just because the author thought it is "cool" to add a lot of words that are not commonly used.

Some of the characters were not too believable. Of course, pulling off one of the biggest coups in the world will require some unbelievable characters. But, that is not what I mean. The characters have very less depth even though they seem have an air of mystery around them. Better character development was definitely required.

The romantic thread seemed completely out of place and forced. Why is it that two of the most important people in the story HAVE TO fall in love with each other? Why this cinema-esque craze to pair people up! It feels like it was added just for the heck of it and could have been completely avoided.

I rate the book a 3 out of 5

Overall Kalyug actually managed to keep me up till 2 in the morning, because I just had to find out how all this was going to be wrapped up. And that in itself is a major achievement. I think R. Sreeram should continue writing such amazing stories - not rushing into them - but taking his time to think of a plot as intriguing as this, before penning his next.

All the very best to Kalyug and Sreeram!

Disclaimer: A review copy of this book was provided by the Publisher.

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