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Monday, November 25, 2013

Age of Hiblisk by Sumukh Naik

Title: Age of Hiblisk
Author: Sumukh Naik
Category: Fantasy Fiction
Publisher: APK Publishers
Date:  2012
Price: Rs.295
Source of the Copy: Author

 Snapshot: This is one of those fantasy fiction stories you always heard about as a child, kingdoms, dark forces, good versus bad, etc.

The Review In Detail:  The story begins with the sudden turning of trees of the Himra forest into black. The citizens of Zyren worry and send 4 volunteers to search for the cause. Three of them die mysterious deaths while one gets insane and is found by a certain search party. He speaks an undecipherable language that even the Shaman of the village cannot decipher. This world has 11 masters, the protectors of goodness. The Shaman gets in touch with his master (one of the 11) and shows him the script that appeared as warning on the prayer chamber walls., which worries the master who calls for a meet with the other masters.

On the other hand the evil that lurks the Himra forest spreads to the villages attached to it. One of them is the village of Jaguar, a messenger Oragon travels to the Kings palace to inform him. He however finds only the prince, William who decides to help the man and the people. He therefore marches with soldiers to Jaguar but is attacked by the army of neighboring kingdom of Ivory. Meanwhile the masters meet and the supreme most eleventh master decides to take these serious matters into his own hands. He believes the evil lies in the Ivory lands and he is right. Its Dushtt the Kings minister, who truly is the son of Ratraa - the lord of darkness. He helps prince William escape and along with Sara the kind hearted daughter of Kingdom of Ivory, sets forth to the underworld to meet Ratraa. The story that unfolds hereafter- well read the book for that.

The author has written the first part of the story relatively well. So I was immediately hooked to it the day I received it.  Ofcourse I am judging this by writing standards of young authors published by new publishers. However, as I went a few chapters into the story there were some great editing flaws apart from the general spelling and grammatical errors that it felt like a huge task completing the story. I did it only because the author has requested a genuine review personally. A few of them are:

1. Repetition of words in consecutive lines.

2. Description of nature is repetitive and un-interesting (reading Kiran Desai's books can help here).

3. The names of character and places  - some of them are in Hindi some in English (though essentially it doesnt matter but the deviation towards one side is a better idea).

4.The place where the author describes the alien language he could have been more innovative and invented one like J.K. Rowling or could have got some ideas from ancient languages and used them. It really engages the reader when ones brain gets these challenges. A very important tactic used by Dan Brown and Ashwin Sanghi. This would have raised the level of the book, immensely.

The story is good however as I said before the author should have got professional editing done and this manuscript would have turned out very well.

The Verdict:
 Positives:  A good story from a debuetant. However the author does need polishing of his writing skills to aid his good story telling ability and professional editing certainly.

Negatives: Edit edit edit.  A debut novel should be crisp and this could have comfortably been a crisp 250 page novel rather than 400 pages.

Overall: 2 stars on 5.

About the Author
Sumukh Naik
is a Hotel Management graduate(BSc. Hospitality and hotel Administration) from IHM-Goa. He also holds Diploma in IATAand PGDBA. He is Human Resources Professional and stays in Mumbai.

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