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Monday, November 5, 2018

Book Review: Pralay by Vineet Bajpai

Title: Pralay: The Great Deluge
Author: Vineet Bajpai
Publisher: VB Performance LLP.

Genre: Historical Fiction

Date:  2018

Price: INR 162/free (kindle unlimited)

Pages: 315

Reading time: 6 hours

Snapshot:  The second book in the "Harappa" trilogy brings to you a more complicated web of deceit than the last one. If you thought the intensity of characters and the plot was just what was laid in the last book, you will be proved wrong and delightfully so. Pralay has much more to offer on the solid foundations of the first book - Harappa.

Detailed review: The story begins where the last one ended, in Banaras where Vidyut understands that for a long time he has been surrounded by evil, who have been waiting for an appropriate time to attack him. He is yet to understand "why". A concept of "The Black Temple" emerges, herein lies a secret that his family has been entitled to protect since generations from a very different parallel timeline that concerns one of the greatest Roman emperors. The story traverses between three timelines, in the first Vivasvan Pujari continues to feed his evil side and turns into a monster never witnessed before. He forms alliances with the most evil people to plot the destruction of the entire city of Harappa. On the other hand his own son Manu, is the chosen protector. In another timeline, far later a Roman emperor wants to create a "New World Order" to ensure that the wars of religion become a thing of the past. However, to achieve this a secret needs to be kept safe, the Sastri clan is the protector of this secret. What is this secret? Who will win Vivasvan Pujari or his son Manu? Will the protector be able to protect what a half man-half god person once built? and How is all of this connected to "The Big Man" who wants to destroy the protectors of this secret? What makes this mission so important?

If you loved Harappa and the intertwining of timelines and concepts, of the mingling of the long lost ancient Indian civilisation and its connection to one man being wronged, this was just the cover for much more that Pralay contains. Its not just the well-co-ordinated to and fro into different timelines, done so brilliantly by the writer, that the reader transitions ever so smoothly between them, it only seems natural. Vineet Bajpai's amalgamation of Tantrics and a critical mythological event into the fabric of what was already a good plot depicts his broad vision and brilliance as a story teller. 
The only thing that could have made this book much better was editing. The plot though crisp, there are repetitions at some places of the emphasis on one thing and a good editor would do magic with the book. The book could be easily 50 pages shorter. I hope the writer will ensure that in his upcoming book and hold up to the promise the first two books have created.

RC Rating: 4/5. Unlike any Indian writer, Vineet Bajpai ventures across religions and histories and timelines weaving them together into a tale that makes one keep guessing what next. A gripping read. Recommended.

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