Maninee's Reviews > The Immortals of Meluha

The Immortals of Meluha by Amish Tripathi
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Oct 10, 2011

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Read from October 09 to 10, 2011 — I own a copy

When I first heard of the book I was a bit apprehensive for a few reasons.
1) I’m not a fan of Indian mythology, I adore Greek mythology and I am mildly interested in Egyptian but Indian mythology never appealed to me.
2) The author had said in an interview that he worshipped Shiva. People tend to sometimes show their own heroes/idols in a supreme being/perfect way therefore I assumed that Amish Tripathi had done the same.
3) The Indian market is full of books written by authors who come from fields which are completely un related to Literature. They write books which are poor in writing and are completely devoid of any plot. Catering to the mass Indian audience who love that sort of chick lit writing they get away with a lot of money. Please don’t get me wrong, I’m not being a snob and saying only those who study literature come out as good authors. There are plenty of good authors who have never studied literature and have yet written excellent books, writing is an inborn talent. What I am trying to say is that not many of these chick lit-YA authors do not have that talent yet write books anyway.
Anyway, I was sure I’d give the book a miss. But then on my 14th birthday a friend of mine gifted me this book and so I gave it a read.

I’m not going to say that the book blew me off completely and that I was left gasping for breath and cursing my own stupidity for not devoting my entire life to Indian authors. But it did give me a few pleasant surprises.

I liked the way the characters, especially Shiva, developed throughout the book. Tripathi, instead of giving away the full magnitude of each character’s personality at their very introduction let them unfold throughout the book one by one like the many layers of a cake. Almost all the characters grew through the book, blossoming slowly to reveal themselves as complex human beings, not just cardboard cut outs. The only main character I can think of who remained more or less the same till the end of the book is Sati.

I was proved wrong in my opinion of the book being another outlet of hero worship. Shiva wasn’t an all mighty, all powerful god who knew everything, never made any mistakes, never strayed of the path of dharma; he was a hot tempered youth who lead a tribe, smoked marijuana and swore in almost every other thought. In fact, if anything, he swore too much. I liked the way he grew in the book, gaining knowledge, experience and wisdom and never losing his humility though everyone worshipped the ground he stood on.

The writing, however, was poor. The author used over powering adjectives, melodramatic comparisons and seriously strong description. At one point in the book when Shiva first met Sati, Tripathi wote:

“…he(Shiva) continued to stare at the dust with intense jealousy. It had been fortunate enough to have touched her”

What?!? I get that the guy’s in love, but don’t you think that’s a tad too melodramatic?

The concept of the book was nice. I liked the way the author contrasted the two civilizations of Suryavanshis and Chandravanshis. The detailed descriptions of the city were, I think, based on the Mohenjo Daro civilization. Especially that part of the drainage system and the houses being at right angles with each other and the great bath. The society of the Suryavanshis was fascinating. I found myself wondering if it was actually possible to follow their beliefs and system in our society. Also the justification of the vikarma practice showed that the author gave great attention to the grays of the society where often the happiness of a few have to be sacrificed for the greater good of the others.

Overall, I liked the book, though I can’t say I fell head over heels in love with it(my heart, I’m afraid, was stolen by the Potter books and I am yet to have it back). I look forward to the next book and I am glad that an Indian author has emerged who has been able to bring Indian mythology into the word of YA literature.
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Reading Progress

10/09 page 130
32.0% "Like Shiva the rockstar. I think Sati may turn out to be a mary sue though."
03/31 marked as: read

Comments <span class="smallText"> (showing 1-24 of 24) </span> <span class="smallText">(24 new)</span>

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message 1: by Srinidhi.R (new)

Srinidhi.R Srinidhi.R I saw this book in the bookshop..thinking of buying this..

Maninee You should if you like Indian mythology.

Mith Overall, I liked the book, though I can’t say I fell head over heels in love with it(my heart, I’m afraid, was stolen by the Potter books and I am yet to have it back).

Hear, hear!

Maninee Or, as George would have said it,
Ear, ear!

Mith Ha! I wish Goodreads comments had 'like' buttons :)

message 6: by Maninee (last edited Oct 12, 2011 02:07AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Maninee :D

Harshita U should read lord of the rings as is very well written and introduces u to a whole new world...the middle earth!:)

Maninee Am avoiding it a bit at the moment. It's so big it's scary.

Amit Maninee wrote: "Am avoiding it a bit at the moment. It's so big it's scary."

Lord of the Rings is the best book ever! Period. Come on - You have to read it! Skip the songs in it (Yep there are- pretty bad ones aswell) if you want though!

message 10: by Amit (new) - rated it 5 stars

Amit The scary one is Silmarillion. The prequel to both 'Lord of the Rings' and 'The Hobbit'

message 11: by Srinidhi.R (last edited Oct 13, 2011 05:27PM) (new)

Srinidhi.R Srinidhi.R I love 'the lord of the rings'..

message 12: by Ash (new) - added it

Ash @Amit: I must read Silmarillion. Scary in what sense? size of the book or the story?

message 13: by Amit (new) - rated it 5 stars

Amit Its scary cz its so confusing. They hv put omething like a million years into one short book. So first time u read it u keep going back to see who is descended from whom. They hv added a family tree thing for that. Tolkein died before he could expand it properly so his son just published what he had which is basically an outline. But nonetheless its a brilliant book. I love it. But ur left with a sense of what could hv been after you read it. His son has expanded some of the stories in it though but my fav 'The story of Beren and Luthien' sadly hasnt been expanded yet. Its drawn from the bible and other mythologies but still its brilliant

message 14: by Mith (new) - rated it 4 stars

Mith Anyone read the Tom Bombadil book? How is that?

Harshita u should read the hobbit first...its a cool atory on its own and is the prequel to lord of the rings as its easier to read...and once u get a sense of the setting u can move on to the fat book!:P

message 16: by Amit (new) - rated it 5 stars

Amit Tom Bombadil is ok. I would suggest strictly for fans. I enjoyed it but most people would find it too slow.

Maninee Yeah, read that one. But a really long time ago. You guys think I should re read it before going on to the Fellowship of the Ring?

message 18: by Ash (new) - added it

Ash I dont think so Maninee. I read The Lord of the rings before reading The Hobbit and still enjoyed it.

Tanvi Well... I would strongly disagree that the characters 'developed' over time. They are flat and cannot be related-to much. You can read my full review beneath. BTW, are you only 14? :) I am a Potter-lover as well.

message 20: by Maninee (last edited Dec 27, 2011 06:22AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Maninee Well, the characters are of course, nothing as admirable as those of other books/series. But I do have soft spot for them.

And yes, just 14...but on the bright side, well on my way to 15!

Tanvi :) Very happy to find a young voracious reader with such profound understanding...

Harsh Rakesh you certainly will not find anything related to mythical Indian gods. This book is a try to make myth into reality and then if you don't know about Lord Shiva, you might find this book difficult to understand.

Sanika Very nice review. Covers many aspects of the book!

Ananya Ghosh Of all the reviews, I agree with yours the most. It wasn't the best book, but not that worse either. It was pleasantly surprising at most times.

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