I am sad. Mr. Tripathi... what happened?
After the first two books, I had high hopes. The writing was good, the plot was good; it had purpose
- "Evil" had risen in Meluha, Shiva had to stop it. Simple, yes? Throughout the first two books, we were given the impression that evil, in the form of some not-so-nice people, was lurking in the shadows, ever-growing, ever-menacing, threatening to disrupt life as they knew it,and it must be stopped at all cost.
And then came the third book.
As soon as I started the book, I knew something was wrong. Instead of the story being about Shiva and his ultimate, glorious triumph over evil, we were being told that, suddenly, the balance between "Good" and "Evil" had been destroyed and that Shiva must rise to the occasion quickly and remove "Evil" and restore "Good" (All this was told over 50 or so pages with the words "Good" and "Evil" being thrown in my face about 20 times per page. It is safe to assume by the end of it, I was nursing murderous feelings towards the author/editor)
Only, turns out "Evil" is not a person, or even persons, but, in fact, is the Somras.
I know right? Ooooh, an elixir that gives you immortality and perfect health! SO EVIL!!!!
: See what I mean
A vague and half-assed explanation was given about how that though the Somras is beneficial to some, it can cause side-effects among others (Nagas, Brangas) and so, even though it started out as "Good", it has now (out of nowhere) been declared as "Evil" and must be destroyed. Actually, no, let me correct myself. It wasn't declared "Evil" out of nowhere. It was declared "Evil" only when Shiva came to the conclusion (THIS was out of nowhere) that Somras was "Evil".
Don't even get me started on the contrivances in this book. Apparently, it was all planned from the beginning that Shiva was going to be the Neelkanth. His Uncle had given him some drink when Shiva was a kid (which Shiva conveniently remembered just now
) that would ensure that his throat would turn blue when he drank the Somras, which would happen only if he drank it at the right time
(Was his uncle psychic?) and that "Evil" would be recognised, or something would be accepted as "Evil", ONLY when Shiva decided it so (Does this mean, he could have pointed at a rock on the ground and declared it "Evil" and people would have accepted it blindly?!)
The good thing is, Amish has Shiva think like the readers and question the credibility of this whole shebang. The bad thing is, Amish tries to explain it away with a feeble "everything happened exactly the way it should because the universe conspired it so". Ugh.
Let's talk about Kartik, Shiva and Sati's son, a bit here. In this book, we find him as a superior warrior, defeating even the likes of Ganesh; leading vicious, bloody battles ending in victories; preaching and counseling even wise men like Maharishi Brighu. Which should sound perfectly fine - history is rife with brave, wise men like this. My problem? HE IS SIX F***ING YEARS OLD
Ultimately, what was most disappointing about this book (I had put it down for two days and completely forgot it pick it up again, I was that unenthusiastic) was the terrible ending. Sati is killed in what was one the most unnecessary deaths I've come across in a book in a long time and Shiva goes crazy and decides he's going to destroy the entire city along with the people who knowingly, as well as unknowingly, have contributed to her death. He has King Daksha and his Meluhan soldiers remain in Devagiri, while getting most civilians, including Brahmins who were involved in making the Somras, safe out of the city. He then sets a nuclear weapon on Devagiri and annihilates the entire place.
Let me get this straight. The goal was to destroy Somras or at least stop its consumption, but instead they save all the people with the essential know-how of the Somras and demolish a city, with innocent people STILL INSIDE, for no other reason than to avenge Sati. The end.
I have to ask - WHAT WAS THE BLOODY POINT OF THIS BOOK?!
I give up.
P.S - What oath? What Vayuputras? Holy misleading title, Batman!