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The Colossus

4.14  ·  Rating details ·  72 ratings  ·  45 reviews
A diffident catering company owner, Max Rosen, learns of the existence of a coded research document authored by her late scientist father. This research is linked to health pills that were unearthed from the site of the Indus Valley Civilization in ancient India. The pills were once the mainstay of German pharmaceutical giant Berliner that Max's grandfather worked for. And ...more
Paperback, 254 pages
Published February 7th 2015 by HighLine Editions (first published December 1st 2014)
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4.14  · 
Rating details
 ·  72 ratings  ·  45 reviews

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Ranjini Iyer
Oct 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
For the Kirkus review of The Colossus please visit:

Below is my review:

So I'm writing a review of my own book. It's sort of like asking someone to describe their child in an unbiased manner. Guffaw, guffaw.


Let's give it a shot anyway.

The Colossus is not the best piece of literature out there. Of course, it isn't. But it's not the worst either. Pithy beginning, eh?

This is how it came about. I wrote a much more literary book a few years before the Colo
Apr 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This was such a great thriller with some history and of course romance. I really enjoyed the book and am happy to give it 5 stars. It very much deserves it and this is the authors first book. I hope there are many more to come. I would like to see more books with Max and Jullian, too! Thanks for offering this book on goodreads where I won it.
Paula  Phillips
May 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
Are you a fan of the Stephanie Plum Series or Darynda Jone's Charley Davidson series ? Do you enjoy your mystery novels with a hint of light-heartedness and not too deep that you can often get a bit confused or on the dark side of life ? That's what I found when I was reading The Colossus as we meet Maxine aka Max Rosen who works by owning her own catering business - a real different career choice than those she grew up around in her family as we discover that her family's background was scienc ...more
Mar 13, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: first-reads
I'm a big winner! Won through the Goodreads, FirstReads doesn't appear to be an ARC and came with a nice note and inscription from the author. Looking forward to it.

This offers the travel of The DaVinci Code without the clever mystery aspects. Maxine Rosen is a caterer, unwittingly drawn into the work of her father and grandfather, both researchers who dedicated their careers to pills found in a tomb in the ancient Indus Valley - now someone is out to get the pills and the resear
Mark Ryan
Jun 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
The cover again was what drew me to requesting this book from NetGalley and the intriguing plot of hidden pharmaceuticals and secret archaeological discoveries had me sold.

The book takes us through the journey of Maxine Rosen a chef who is contacted by a friend of her grandfathers and starts to learn about a discovery he made when still alive that was quickly covered up. The Indus Pills. A medicine that seemed to prolong life in a way that was not understood but that Max’s grandfather may have d
Deanna (A Novel Glimpse)
In The Colossus, an old friend of Maxine Rosen's father shows up in Chicago to give her information on her late father's research. Determined to find out the truth behind ancient Indus Valley "health" pills he was researching and her father's death, Max begins to do research of her own. With the help of professor Julian McIntosh, Max fights against a German pharmaceutical company to get to the bottom of the research first.

First, I would like to thank Goodreads First Reads and Ranjini Iyer for t
Jan 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: book-club
A great debut by Ranjini Iyer. The story weaves a bit of history, science, humor, and romance into one fun, fast-paced mystery. Max stands out as the completely relateable and reluctant lead of the action. Too often, this genre is dominated by stereotypical hard-nosed detective-types or ultra-intelligent academics - professional chef Max and her insecurities make for a refreshing change. The science behind the story is completely believable from it's ancient origins to present-day. And although ...more
Madeleine Van
Oct 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
I don’t usually read adventure novels, but this was a fun, fast-paced read. Max, the lead character, was real, flawed -- and lovable. Her romantic dilemma was woven into the adventure story beautifully. The exotic locales where Max ends up while she pursues the mystery of an ancient pill and a modern-day health risk were intriguing and took me right into those countries and their people. I also liked that I learned some things about modern science (the way one does when reading Michael Crichton’ ...more
Sep 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: library-lounge
Somewhere between 3 and 4 stars. A new (local!) author's book. It caught my attention early and was a quick, easy, engaging read. The story took some crazy turns and jumped ahead in pacing weirdly in places (hard to follow the plotline or predict/understand characters when everything the reader knows changes). Has a bit of a Stephanie Plum flair with a bumbling heroine and some ethically questionable romance. A cute, short book - I'm hoping for more from this author.
Nov 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Riveting, fast paced and wonderfully written. I liked how the author developed Max, the central character, and also that the character did not stay static through the book, but instead kept adapting to changes in the story line. Different locales and story lines were nicely woven together, keeping the readed thoroughly interested.

This book had three of my favorite genres - popular sci-fi, historical fiction and mystery, and I am looking forward to more books from Ms. Iyer.
Feb 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book. The story was intriguing, fast paced and the vivid descriptions of the setting made me feel as if I were there. The characters were interesting and normal...they had strong and weak points (which is far more interesting to read than the completely awful characters in so many of the books I've recently read)! I liked that they were flawed but not weak and that Max wasn't a complete pushover!
Mar 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I was looking forward to reading this book and I wasn't disappointed.
It was hard to put down at times. The end was a nice twist and I like
that in a book. I don't want to say too much about the story because
I don't want to give away the ending. It was well written and its her
first novel which surprises me. I hope it won't be her last. I did like
the Author's Note in the back of the book with the facts that the book
was based on. It was a nice addition.
Srinivasan Tatachari
Oct 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
A great first (published!) book by Ranjini. One of the rare books that got me going in one weekend stretch to complete :).

The plot builds up quite nicely, though, at times I thought it was too fast for my comfort. The scientific explanations were nicely fitting the mystery around the civilization. The end got me thinking about the Indus valley civilization!

All in all a very enjoyable read.
Feb 16, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
The story was interesting and the pacing was pretty good. The number of threads in the plot border on being ridiculous, but I think that's kind of the point - and once I went with the flow I enjoyed the ride. Unfortunately, I found the characters to be kind of dull and unoriginal and Max and Julian's budding romance wasn't my cup of tea.
Jan 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book. The author managed to seamlessly weave together all the best parts of several different genres - a fast paced adventure filled with interesting historical tidbits and a sprinkle of romance. It is not often I stay up late to keep reading. I read this one as fast as I could!
Apr 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads

The Colossus by Ranjini Iyer falls somewhere between romantic suspense and mystery. I enjoyed both the inventive mystery and the international settings.

I received a free copy of The Colossus through Goodreads First Reads.
Oct 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
From the first chapters this book was a delight! easy read and yet an intriguing story line. I loved Maxine (the heroine of the book) from the first pages. I enjoyed following her in the adventure in discovering the secrets about the ancient pill! I would like to see a movie inspired by this book!
Oct 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This fun page-turner is so much more. It shines light on abuse in the pharmaceutical industry and the Nazi involvement. The main characters are lovable for their all too human ways. I look forward to more from this talented writer.
Jan 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A real page turner that keeps you engrossed till the very end! Strong and well developed characters (I loved Max!) that grow on you as you read the book. A fascinating tale spread across continents, cultures, and time - highly recommended!
Amy Mook
Dec 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Excellent read! Smart and exciting all at the same time. I didn't want to put it down! The main character is so lovable. She could be you sister or your best friend. Highly recommend this book.
Bonnie Flanagan
Jan 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing
an exciting read! a book that takes the reader around the world, dabbles in ancient history and science, with down to earth characters you really root for! very enjoyable read!
Feb 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a great read! Mystery to the characters, with unexpected revelations about them pulls you and and keeps you guessing. I loved how the author blended ancient lore with modern science while providing fascinating historical tidbits. Very enjoyable!
Sharon Beresniewicz bauman
Nov 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
I finished this book a very long time ago and never updated my progress!! Enjoyed the book :)
Dec 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: All ages, it has something for everyone
Four chapters in after one night of reading and I do not want to put this book down! There is so much more that I must find out after reading the initial pages. I have met several of the characters, each with a distinct and unique personality that I can relate to. I am starting to tie the clues together but know that there is great suspense right around the corner. If you are looking for a book that latches you in, this is the one. There is no idling or drawn out story line with this novel. Ever ...more
Christine Staszko
Mar 26, 2015 rated it it was ok
Initially, the story had grabbed my attention. Ancient pills with the power of extending life that might possibly be cursed and are also possibly linked to the Nazi's? It felt very much like an adventure Indiana Jones might find himself caught up in. The twist at the end of the book was also definitely not what I had predicted, so I do give the author kudos on how the story was wrapped up.

However, around the time the love interest, Julian, enters the story my enthusiasm started to wan. I was rea
Glen Black
Dec 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is my first book review. A friend recommended this book to me. Being a history buff, I have always liked books that weave ancient history into something more current. There is so much knowledge that the ancient peoples of earth possessed and so much of it has been lost! What if… just what if this lost ancient truth in “The Colossus” is true?! Most such books tend to be tied to Egyptian history, I liked Fingerprints of the Gods. But I haven’t seen many about the other two major ancient civil ...more
Holly Scudero
Nov 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: san-francisco-br
Maxine Rosen runs a small catering business in Chicago. Her life is simple, but she is relatively happy. And then an old friend of her father’s comes into her life and brings with him a mystery. Max has long thought that her father committed suicide, but now she is not so sure; she’s not even sure she really wants to know the truth. The friend, Lars, brings Max news about the long-lost research of her father, research on a mysterious pill that originated in the Indus Valley. An ill that may brin ...more
Jessica Bronder
Sep 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
Max Rosen great up in a family of scientists but she has become the owner of a catering company. Then she discovers some documents that link her father and grandfather to Nazi era medical experiments. Then she discovers that the story goes farther back to some pills that were discovered in a tomb in the Indus Valley. This leads Max to think that he father may not have committed suicide years ago.

Max partners up with history professor Julian McIntosh to find out the truth about Berliner and her
Oct 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I got the book as a pre-release copy from the publisher and am glad I got to read the book before it is broadly available. I truly loved the "Colossus". It is a very gripping novel. At the start it seemed like Colossus would be an Indus valley based "Da Vinci Code". However this story was completely different and very interesting in its own unique way. Once I started I could not wait to find out what happened next! The characters are brought to life through the words of the author especially Max ...more
Marirose Meimers
Nov 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is my favorite kind of book to read. The author has a gifted ability to transport the reader through the suspenseful adventures of the main characters. Early on, I cared about what was happening to Maxine Rosen, the main character, as her life unfolded. I was immediately drawn into the plot and was often surprised at the twists and turns of the story. This well-written book has something for everyone…adventure, suspense, history and interesting relationships. I am hoping this book becomes a ...more
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Ranjini Iyer is an environmentalist, entrepreneur and author based in suburban Chicago.

The Colossus is her first novel.
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