Goodreads blurb: Deep within the womb-like forests of the Western Ghats, an entity manifests itself at the malevolent moment when the ocean rises to devour hundreds of thousands. Kencha, an unwitting witness to Its birth, is soon found dead – his body branded with a strange message written in HaLegannada, an ancient version of modern Kannada. Even as Dhruv Kaveriappa, Chief Conservator of Forests – Hassan division investigates Kencha’s death, he senses an unseen danger in the forests of Kukke, Bisle and Sakleshpura. Animals drop dead; plants wither away and just as he feared, the forest claims its first victim.
Shivaranjini, on vacation in Sakleshpura, suffers a devastating tonic-clonic seizure moments after she returns from a visit to the forest. Soon, she begins to exhibit a bizarre personality disorder. Perhaps there is an outbreak of an unknown rabies-like disease? Or, as ridiculous as it seems, could it be a case of tantric witchcraft?
The truth unfolds in a dizzying maelstrom of events – a truth far too terrifying to comprehend…
When you are reading The Revenge of Kaivalya, you will be hard pressed to believe that it is the work of a debut author. Sumana Khan, the author (who blogs at This & That) has dealt with the plot with so much deft and dexterity that readers would easily be fooled into thinking she is quite a veteran author with more than quite a few bestsellers in her kitty.
While the first half of the book deals with paranormal occurrences in the Bisle and Sakleshpura regions of the Western Ghats in Karnataka (as the above blurb states) these just end up as precursors to the real ‘action’ that unfolds in the second half. While the main protagonist, Dhruv Kaveriappa is trying to gather his wits and wrap his arms around the unique and weird occurrences, the narrative also details a little bit about the life of Neel Raya in Bangalore, his ‘one-sided’ love and now platonic relationship with Arundathi Mehra, her son and her husband. This part of the story also introduces us to one character who intrigued me and I ended up liking a lot by the time the book ended, Matchu, dreaded don from the Bangalore underworld.
Around halfway through the book, readers are then told about the legend of Kaivalya and her story. The saying revenge is a dish best served cold could not be more apt than for how Kaivalya and her proves to be pivotal to all the action happening in the book.
Ultimately the action picks up pace and by the end of the book, everything is happening at quite a frenetic pace with almost all the characters racing against time with all the stories converging to a focal point in the Sakleshpur forests. Suffice to say that this portion will leave most readers breathless and they will not be able to put down the book, especially when they hit the last fifty pages, without finishing it.
What I really loved about the book was its back-and-forth narration between the Western Ghats and Bangalore. The author kept the narrative moving in parallel between both these locations at a good pace without it meandering in any portion. And the portion about Kaivalya, her story, her motivations for revenge (duh, no spoilers here, after all it is in the title of the book, isn’t it) and the way she goes about planning and extracting her revenge, is lovely. The attention to detailing of the setting, the insight into the various characters especially Kaivalya, the chemistry between Dhruv and his friends, the presence of a strong woman police inspector in Shakti; these were just some of the things I thoroughly enjoyed in the book.
In fact, after finishing the book, although there was the satisfaction of having read a good book, it also left me wanting for more, at least from a few characters. I sincerely hope the author takes on the characters of Matchu, Shakti, Tara and Dhruv and tries to pen down some more stories from their lives. They would really make for good reading.
Trust me when I say this, this book is surely worth every rupee you spend on it. Go on, click on either of these links to purchase the book from Flipkart [Link] or Amazon [Link]. Yes, I will make a measly commission if you do so, but your purchase price will not increase.
Disclaimer: A review copy of this book was offered to me by the author on request. However, the review itself is unbiased and has not been influenced in any manner.
|Book||The Revenge of Kaivalya|
|Goodreads link||Goodreads Link|
|Flipkart link||Flipkart Link|
|Amazon link||Amazon Link|