Parvathy's Reviews > The Secret of the Nagas

The Secret of the Nagas by Amish Tripathi
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Jul 08, 2012

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bookshelves: fantasy-politics, light-reads, living-vicariously, movie-material, mythology, past-lives, thought-provoking
Recommended for: myth lovers
Read on July 08, 2012 , read count: 1

I still maintain that this book is a great concept. Taking an Indian God like Shiva with multiple facets to his persona and coming up with such an elaborate tale takes a different kind of imagination. Having grown up hearing stories about Gods like Shiva, Vishnu, Rama, Krishna etc curiosity was the one thing that drew me towards the first book in the series. But the curious thing about this book is that even though you want to be surprised and confronted with out of the world conspiracy theories with each turn of the page it is the very same predictability that keeps you hooked. Be that in the case of Shiva's marriage, his friendship with Nandi, Bhagirath and Veerabhadra or any other stories associated with his myth, the fun part of the book is seeing how each story fit into place. For me this was the fun part but now that brings us to the next question. What about a person who has not yet heard of Shiva or his story? Will this person find the book enjoyable? This is not a book for such a person. In such a case the person tends to evaluate the book on the basis of the writing and that leaves much to be desired. Amish Tripathi is more of a conversationalist than a writer. His creative energy seems to be high when his characters are engaged in conversations but that doesn't also prevent his dialogues from being a little childish. All the philosophies about life, good and evil etc are engaging but it has a distinct Yoda to Skywalker kind of conversation aura that you learn nothing new from the venture. One thing I did find odd though was the ease with which people fall at the feet of Shiva. He is supposed to be an ordinary man in this book. But that promise is not delivered, it seems Shiva became a legend because he was already a legend which doesn't make the slightest sense. Also even the strongest opposition is won over by Shiva's humility, without even a second thought. The constant reference to India is also nerve racking as there was no India at that time and that undermines much of the credibility in this story.

The story however is more or less the same. We have Shiva who is prophesied as the destroyer of evil but having trouble understanding the true evil. Since the Chandravanshi threat has been taken care of the only thing that can now be considered evil is the feared Nagas. But are the Nagas truly evil or are they just misunderstood?. As Shiva searches for answers he comes across shocking revelations that may change everything.

Even though "The Secret of the Nagas" try to bring as many twist and turns as possible to the story you can smell all the big twists from a mile away so these twists are not the highlight of this book. So don't expect to be surprised, what you can expect however is an enjoyable read which keeps your attention despite the flaws.
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