Story about two cripplingly shy love-birds told from everybody's point of view, except theirs. Cute, right?
Only, not so much.
After what seemed to be t...moreStory about two cripplingly shy love-birds told from everybody's point of view, except theirs. Cute, right?
Only, not so much.
After what seemed to be the millionth POV of an utterly random stranger (with no connection whatsoever to the two leads) who gushes about how special the two are, and how there is just this chemistry between them and how they are so sure that the two are just meant for each other, I decided to throw in the towel.
So, SO much telling, absolutely no showing. Zip. Zilch. Nada. None.
The book started off funny, and had it remained that way for the rest of the story, I would have loved it! I mean, a caveman trying to...moreSuch potential!
The book started off funny, and had it remained that way for the rest of the story, I would have loved it! I mean, a caveman trying to get with a 21st century woman? That's comedy goldmine right there. But, no. It just had to turn in to an epic romance saga that transcends time.
At first, it was amusing to read about Beh adjusting to the neandrathalic way of life. Ehd was adorably clueless about Beh and her odd clothes and the annoying sounds coming out of her mouth (read - speech). It was cute to see that he came to genuinely care about her, wanted her to be his mate, that he would do anything to protect her, and, most importantly, wanted to put a baby in her.
That was at first.
But when the same things were repeated over and over and OVER again, it got a tad tedious. When in every page Ehd started waxing poetic about Beh and how he loved her and how glorious she was and how, just how badly, he wanted to put a baby in her, I started skipping pages.
After the incessant sex started, I skipped all the way to the end and found out I had missed nothing - Ehd was still completely clueless about the sounds coming from her mouth, they were still living in a cave and having sex in every other page - only now they had four kids and were well into old age.
One of the reasons I didn't enjoy the book as much as the rest of the reviewers was probably because there is minimal dialogue in the book. The story is told from Ehd POV, and since he is a caveman without an ability to speak, the entire book is told in passive voice in the form of his thoughts, which made it really, really boring after a while. I wish the story (or at least part of it) would have been told from Beh's POV; I might have liked it more then.
P.S - I did, however, like the epilogue; It tied up the whole story nicely. But it might have been better if the story had started from there, instead of ending at that point.(less)
While I enjoyed the author's previous book, "You had me at hello", this one made me mad enough to throw the book at the wall (if...moreWhat a disappointment.
While I enjoyed the author's previous book, "You had me at hello", this one made me mad enough to throw the book at the wall (if I was reading a physical copy of it, anyway). Positively RIDDEN with clichés!
- Fat girl bullied at high-school? Check. - Bullies are super-skinny and popular girls with brains smaller than that of an ostrich? Check. - Girl has a crush on the most popular boy in school? Check. - Popular boy doesn't giver her time of the day and makes fun of her because she's fat? Check. - Girl grows up, loses baby fat, gets a makeover and becomes super-hot?! Check check. - Girl can't find a decent man to date who is sensitive and understanding and caring and not at all a pervert who likes to discuss bedroom antics on the very first date? Check. - Girl has two (a guy and a girl) super-loyal, super-funny and super-awesome best friends who alone know and love THE REAL HER? Check. - Girl runs into high-school crush again who suddenly finds her OMGATTRACTIVE because she's all skinny now? @#$&-ing check. - Girl hates crush because he was an asshole to her while at school but, oh! He's so hot and maybe she still has feelings for him? CHECK.
I could go on but I stopped reading at this point because it became too excruciating and cringe-worthy.
I hadn't read any of Sanghi's books before picking this up, but if his writing skills in the Krishna Key is anything to go by, then I can safely say I...moreI hadn't read any of Sanghi's books before picking this up, but if his writing skills in the Krishna Key is anything to go by, then I can safely say I dodged a couple of bullets. I won't waste space pointing out the innumerable similarities between the Krishna Key and the Da Vinci Code, as it's been done to death by the other reviewers on Goodreads. Instead, let me put together a list (in no particular order) of stray observations I made while reading this book. It's going to be a LONG one, so please bear with me (Or skip to the end for the TL;DR version) -
1. If anybody is labouring under the delusion that this is a book with a plot or a story, filled with action, intrigue, conflicts, resolutions and happy endings, let me stop you right here. This isn't so much a novel as one giant-ass lesson in history, mythology and theology. EVERYTHING that happens in the book is done for the sole reason to allow Sanghi to include as much of his research as possible into the book.
2. While the amount of research gone into this book is commendable (and I admit there is no way I can read through all the material mentioned in the appendix to verify or refute his theory), at times it feels like Sanghi is just trying a little too hard to connect everything (literally) to India/Krishna/Vedas (I mean, Noah (He of the Ark) actually comes from Naoh (Hindi word for boat)? Really?)
3. Sanghi has made use of the omniscient POV (my least favourite kind) while writing this book. This means that we get to know everything, everyone of the characters is thinking or saying or doing at all times - which can be an overload of information. It also means, we don't get to spend enough quality time with any of the characters to be able to develop an attachment to them, and end up not caring about anything that happens to any of them -
One of the characters nearly dies in an avalanche! (Don't care.) He is bleeding to death! (Yawn.) All of a sudden, with nothing leading to it whatsoever, they're in love now! (Watching paint dry is more exciting than these two.) They are trapped in a cave-in! (Can we get on with the story already?)
4. The writing is awful. Just...no. The descriptions of characters are extremely cringe-worthy and give the impression that Sanghi has only the vaguest ideas of how most Indians look like -
- [He] had been blessed with godlike physical charms and unblemished complexion... - [She] had the body of a Rajput warrior queen and the analytical mind of a Tamil engineer... - [His] outward appearance was that of a geek - ill-fitting clothes, uncombed hair ... face was blemished with acne and his personal hygiene left a lot to be desired...
(this last one made my blood boil a little because, not only do I consider myself a geek and find this extremely offensive, but, also, it is SO CLEARLY stereotypical and LAZY, that it leaves no room for any doubt that Sanghi doesn't give two hoots for his characters - he only needs them as a mouthpiece to show off his research)
- On his balding head was a straw hat that gave him the appearance of a mafia don...
Half the time, the characters say things that are so unbelievable, that even suspension of disbelief doesn't quite work here. Imagine, if you will, an Indian cop who says things like -
"Cat got your tongue?..." "Your femme fatale friend..." [Talking about jail] "Welcome to Hotel California. You can check in any time but you can never leave!"
5. The editing is careless, to say the least. I can recall two instances (page 301 and 389) where Radhika and Saini are referred to as Priya, respectively.
6. At one point, Saini, an Indian professor, says to Priya, fellow Indian - "For your information, a yojana is about nine American miles...". Excuse me?? Since when did Indians stop using the metric system?? It is things like this that make me loathe to pick up books by Indian authors! From this one statement, it is SO OBVIOUS that Sanghi has written this book keeping (probably non-existent) American readers in mind, while the truth is that almost all of his readers will be Indians (because, c'mon, which American in his right mind will want to read a Da Vinci Code rip-off?). Know your audience, Sanghi. DO NOT ALIENATE THEM.
7. Sanghi has a habit of over-sharing. Throughout the book we are told that the characters are wearing Reebok shoes or Levis jeans or carrying a Samsung Galaxy XCover or using an Apple iPad or driving a Yamaha bike with a 150cc engine or smoking a Cohiba cigar....!! Are you being paid to endorse these products, Sanghi?? No? Then quit it, because (and I cannot emphasize this enough) NOBODY CARES. Give us a gist of the scene and settings, and leave the rest to our imagination. Do not spoon-feed us and insult our intelligence!
8. Speaking of insulting the reader's intelligence, Sanghi also has a habit of re-iterating key passages of the book during a big reveal. In italics. I can almost hear his voice in my head going, Look! See! Here's the twist in the story BUT I HAD ALREADY HINTED ABOUT IT BEFORE. See how smart I am?!?!?! And since you're too stupid to figure it out on your own, I'm going to remind you about the hint by typing it again! In italics! Because that's how it's supposed to be done!!!!!!!
9. Finally, let's talk about the plot. Can I say, contrived much?
So we begin with a Mr. Varshney, who starts off the whole thing by giving Saini a VERY IMPORTANT ancient seal. He tells Saini to safeguard it for him as he is afraid his life might be in danger. Question, WHY is his life in danger, Mr. Sanghi? What gave him the idea? What did he figure/find out that led him to believe that what he has in his possession is also wanted by dangerous people who will stop at nothing to obtain it, and that he has to give it to FOUR different people to keep it safe, all of whom HAPPEN to be descendants of Krishna? How did he convince those people to do this favour for him?
Also, Every character we ever meet conveniently has an abundance of knowledge on Indian history and can spout them at will. Even the so-called "mob boss" knows the ins and outs of Krishna's escapades, as well as detailed info on nuclear transmutations(!!!!!)
Don't expect us to just go along with your story, Sanghi, make it believable!
10. The ending. Oh God, the ending! The norm in reading a book is that the ending is supposed make the rest of the journey worthwhile. That's the whole point of the book. Sanghi spectacularly fails in this. The ending is so abysmally done, you feel like tearing at your hair and throwing the book at the nearest wall, for having wasted your precious time on this drivel. Through the whole book, they gather the seals, escape from death, travel across the country, only to be told, and in turn tell us, that (paraphrasing) "we should aim to be better people in life and only then we can be happy". Not a peep about the seals or the Krishna Key after that. So everybody in the book died for this?! I READ THROUGH ALL THAT CRAP FOR THIS?!?!?!
TL;DR - Less thrills and more facepalms. Terrible writing. Shoddy editing. Contrived plot. No story. Severely lame ending. Too much historical information stuffed into one book. Don't bother reading unless you're a Indian mythology/Conspiracy theory buff.
P.S - I am embarrassed to admit that I didn't see the reveal of Mataji coming. But that might be because I really didn't care about the story at that point.(less)
ARGH! NO! NO! NO! IF I HAVE TO READ ONE MORE ASININE CHAPTER, WRITTEN FROM A FIVE-YEAR OLD'S POV, ON THE MUNDANE THINGS THEY DO IN THE ROOM ALL DAY, W...moreARGH! NO! NO! NO! IF I HAVE TO READ ONE MORE ASININE CHAPTER, WRITTEN FROM A FIVE-YEAR OLD'S POV, ON THE MUNDANE THINGS THEY DO IN THE ROOM ALL DAY, WITHOUT HAVING THE PLOT PROGRESS EVEN REMOTELY, I'LL... I'LL...
After the first two books, I had high hopes. The writing was good, the plot was good; it had purpose - "Evil"...more
I am sad. Mr. Tripathi... what happened?
After the first two books, I had high hopes. The writing was good, the plot was good; it had purpose - "Evil" had risen in Meluha, Shiva had to stop it. Simple, yes? Throughout the first two books, we were given the impression that evil, in the form of some not-so-nice people, was lurking in the shadows, ever-growing, ever-menacing, threatening to disrupt life as they knew it,and it must be stopped at all cost.
And then came the third book.
As soon as I started the book, I knew something was wrong. Instead of the story being about Shiva and his ultimate, glorious triumph over evil, we were being told that, suddenly, the balance between "Good" and "Evil" had been destroyed and that Shiva must rise to the occasion quickly and remove "Evil" and restore "Good" (All this was told over 50 or so pages with the words "Good" and "Evil" being thrown in my face about 20 times per page. It is safe to assume by the end of it, I was nursing murderous feelings towards the author/editor)
Only, turns out "Evil" is not a person, or even persons, but, in fact, is the Somras. ... I know right? Ooooh, an elixir that gives you immortality and perfect health! SO EVIL!!!!
A vague and half-assed explanation was given about how that though the Somras is beneficial to some, it can cause side-effects among others (Nagas, Brangas) and so, even though it started out as "Good", it has now (out of nowhere) been declared as "Evil" and must be destroyed. Actually, no, let me correct myself. It wasn't declared "Evil" out of nowhere. It was declared "Evil" only when Shiva came to the conclusion (THIS was out of nowhere) that Somras was "Evil".
Don't even get me started on the contrivances in this book. Apparently, it was all planned from the beginning that Shiva was going to be the Neelkanth. His Uncle had given him some drink when Shiva was a kid (which Shiva conveniently remembered just now) that would ensure that his throat would turn blue when he drank the Somras, which would happen only if he drank it at the right time (Was his uncle psychic?) and that "Evil" would be recognised, or something would be accepted as "Evil", ONLY when Shiva decided it so (Does this mean, he could have pointed at a rock on the ground and declared it "Evil" and people would have accepted it blindly?!)
The good thing is, Amish has Shiva think like the readers and question the credibility of this whole shebang. The bad thing is, Amish tries to explain it away with a feeble "everything happened exactly the way it should because the universe conspired it so". Ugh.
Let's talk about Kartik, Shiva and Sati's son, a bit here. In this book, we find him as a superior warrior, defeating even the likes of Ganesh; leading vicious, bloody battles ending in victories; preaching and counseling even wise men like Maharishi Brighu. Which should sound perfectly fine - history is rife with brave, wise men like this. My problem? HE IS SIX F***ING YEARS OLD
Ultimately, what was most disappointing about this book (I had put it down for two days and completely forgot it pick it up again, I was that unenthusiastic) was the terrible ending. (view spoiler)[Sati is killed in what was one the most unnecessary deaths I've come across in a book in a long time and Shiva goes crazy and decides he's going to destroy the entire city along with the people who knowingly, as well as unknowingly, have contributed to her death. He has King Daksha and his Meluhan soldiers remain in Devagiri, while getting most civilians, including Brahmins who were involved in making the Somras, safe out of the city. He then sets a nuclear weapon on Devagiri and annihilates the entire place.
Let me get this straight. The goal was to destroy Somras or at least stop its consumption, but instead they save all the people with the essential know-how of the Somras and demolish a city, with innocent people STILL INSIDE, for no other reason than to avenge Sati. The end.
I have to ask - WHAT WAS THE BLOODY POINT OF THIS BOOK?! (hide spoiler)]
I give up.
P.S - What oath? What Vayuputras? Holy misleading title, Batman!["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)