Sridatta's Reviews > The Immortals of Meluha

The Immortals of Meluha by Amish Tripathi
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Apr 04, 2012

it was ok
bookshelves: 2012, india, fantasy
Read from April 01 to 04, 2012

Well, this is a strange book. If I had to describe it by a sound, a deflated balloon would be more than apt. Considering the sophisticated and high-stakes fantasy fiction that is being shelled out these days, one can’t be wronged for finding this underwhelming.

In the introduction, Amish Tripathi says that he intends to explore the possibility of a real person similar to Shiva and solely concentrates on writing a realistic grounded character without actually placing him in a believable environment. Thus, he ended with a half-baked idea which serves as a poor political commentary which explores anachronistic stuff like superstitions and barter system. Which is actually ridiculous because the author makes the characters talk like internet forum users.

The plot was actually decent when it was not dominated by bad writing which constantly tires us with heavy exposition. When Shiva or Sati does something intelligent, instead of letting the reader realize it for him/herself the author makes everyone else around them rant about it endlessly. I appreciate the idea of declaring the destiny of the protagonist while simultaneously making us doubt whether he will be able to accomplish it. But this idea was executed in an ill-chosen manner. Also, the constant sheepish grins and poor jokes made me want to punch Shiva (Oh, I know it’s sacrilegious).

I understand that the author was trying to set up this as a standard fantasy affair where an obscure villager with a mysterious background realizes that he has a destiny to fulfill as soon as he decide to part ways with his normal ways. But the luxury that those fantasies enjoy i.e. vulnerability which comes as a part of the protagonist due to his humble background is missing here. The author couldn’t simply portray Shiva as a susceptible innocent person whose eyes can serve as an entry into a larger mythology. He was rather thrust immediately into the book as an extremely talented warrior with guilt on his conscience. In other words, rather than breaking new ground this turned out to be a standard affair. I wished so hardly that Sati be killed in the middle so that we could read something a little less predictable for a while. Thankfully, the page count (or rather I would say word count) was generous.

The librarian to whom I returned the book assured me that the second one is better. I’m gonna keep an eye for the latter one. After all it was written by an Indian and it has numerous filmy eye-rolling moments (yeah! I can be sentimental).
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04/04/2012 page 319

Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Gautam agreed

Elizabeth Joseph good review indeed

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