We get such books perhaps once in a decade. This is one such book.
Man !! What a book... Out of this world is an understatement.
This book starts where Da Vinci Code ends and takes it up from there. Right from the framing of names, like Lashkar-e-Talatashar (Talatashar is Arabic for Thirteen) to the ordering of events, the book has you in its grips right from the first page.
The story, as fictionally told by Ashwin, is that the Lashkar-e-Talatashar is a team of 13 people or rather terrorists who are hell bent on destroying the world and showing to the world, that US is not the only country that can defend itself. How innumerable characters, all interestingly interlinked, bring the ordeal to a conclusion is the story.
The packaging is fantastic. The story does not happen over a period of 24 hours or 48 hours as with the other two novels that I have mentioned before. This one is slightly elaborate. The story line has been interesting conceived, with flashing back between Present, and Past and sometime in the Middle. Excellent work there !!!
Concepts of Karma, Reiki, Yoga, Rebirth, Astrology have all been mixed and matched in every different combination. I would have preferred it if the author had restricted himself to one or two of the topics and concentrating on them fully. The book is very similar to Da Vinci Code in the way, that it strictly abides by the 'a-fact-a-page-keeps-the-reader-hooked' rule. Well, to confess, it indeed has. I was so curious to know what was the next fact the author going to throw at me.
Some of these facts I already know. Some I deduced on my own (after 10 years of painstaking study :P) which Ashwin has again corroborated. Some facts were totally new. I never knew Anandamides took their root from 'Ananda' :) WoW !!!!
I was also surprised to learn some more facts like the conversation between King Shalivahana and Issa of Kashmir. That's something interesting for me to chew on for a while.
Kudos to the author for the wonderful research that he has done. It really is heartwarming to see an Indian author setting the stage with such an awesome performance.
Some major flaws that I could see was,
How are the same people able to be at two different places at the same time. The President of the United States is actually shot and the next scene shows her praying at an Hindu Temple ... And how come the President is shot and declared dead, and her husband dies in a bomb attempt in Pakistan, whereas at the time of President's shooting he is right beside her !!!
Timeframes could have definitely paid attention to.
And that last portion on La Sara Kali ... That was actually stretching it beyond a point yaar. :)
Have to digress here... :)
இங்க நான் தமிழ்ல எழுதியே ஆகணும்.
சில எடங்கல்ல வாய் கூசாம அண்ணேன் கன்னாபின்னான்னு ரீல் விட்டுருக்காரு ...
அமெரிக்க ஜனாதிபதி தான் இல்லுமிநாட்டி ஹெட்டாமாம் , அவங்க புருஷன் தான் ச்கல்ல்ஸ் அண்ட் போன்ஸ் ஹெட்டாமாம், இதுல, இந்திய RAW Agent ரித்விராஜூம் இல்லுமினாட்டியாம் ... டேய் டேய் டேய்.. மனசாட்சியே இல்லாம ஏன்டா இப்டி எல்லாம் ரீல் விடறீங்க ???
கடைசில, அண்ணேன் கல்வியா செல்வமா வீரமா ன்னு ஒரு பிட்ட போடறீங்களே...
அண்ணேன்... நீங்க எங்கேயோ போய்டீங்க போங்க...
Jokes apart, This book is excellent. It could have done with some more intelligent editing. Even otherwise, this is one hell of a ride that you would not want to miss...
I recommend you do read the wiki entry of the book before you proceed.
P.S:- Regular readers of my blog would have noticed that I haven't actually told the story .. :) that's with a purpose. You should read the book to feel the adrenalin running in your veins.
P.P.S:- Some theories which I had been propounding become facts after reading this book. These facts might serve as the explosive material for my papers. :)