09 January, 2014

Aroon Raman - The Shadow Throne

The first thing that caught my attention when I opened the packet was the claim on the bookmark that came with the book - India's answer to Dan Brown ! I read books from cover to cover ( mostly start with back cover ) and anything that came as frills with the book. The reason why I was curious about the claim was that, a book I have read recently, The Rozabal Line by Ashwin Sanghi, also claimed the same ! Which was mostly due to the theme of Jesus and his possible chance of survival, the theory of his daughter etc... Though the author was well researched / read, the story hardly had grip, and failed to thrill like his earlier book The Chanakya Chant. The Shadow Throne, I believe, was compared to Dan Brown because a death points to a world disaster and ancient societies and extremists. And here, Aroon Raman succeeded in delivering a thriller, in style...

The story begins with a sad, withdrawn journalist Chandra, who weeps for his wife's lose. The call from his inspector friend Hassan sets him going behind a murder at Qutub Minar. The victim was special. So was the events. Out of nowere RAW, ISI, nuclear weapon, an ancient civilization, their dream of reviving their lost kingdom, changing plots from Delhi to Pakistan to Afganistan... There is so much happening in every page! Best thing is that none of it is boring. The trecking loving author didn't spend many page to describe the awe / peculiarity of landscapes or didn't made it a report on everything he knew about history or  weapons! I liked it. He told what the reader needs to know. Not everything that he learned during the reaserch! 

The idea of the extremist scientist in Dan Brown's Inferno or the science of anti-matter in Angels and Demons, was presented in such a way that even when we want to believe it is fiction, there was a slight anxiety and terror that if it was true... That was the success of the author. In The Shadow Throne, Aroon Raman succeeded in creating that effect in my mind. The political background India facing, as in the book, could only be worse today! And the recent militant disclosure about possibility nuclear attack on India, or the rising number of underground extremist groups... The story is well written around this theme. And at times send a shiver along the spine... because of the mere thought of such a catastrophe happens somewhere very close...

This definitely is a fast paced thriller. Well edited. None of the twists were out of blue. Though poetic liberties are taken, it didn't question my intelligence! And I liked Aroon Raman for that. Saying it, this is a book you will not regret picking up. Un-put-downable kind of read.

PS : Aroon Raman sent me the book to review. And I promise whatever I said here is sincere !

1 comment:

  1. It is a perfect thriller that too coming from an indian author. It takes our expectations of indian authors to a next level. The detail with which the final chapters are vividly described makes this book a must read. The well etched characters are very relatable which makes this book all the more interesting to read. It is mind boggling to imagine the amount of research put into this book by the author. My personal fav character is a Kushan, If you think i am crazy read the book and you will know why.


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