Oncein a while, in the life of a book lover, comes a book which engages the reader till he or she is on a verge of a breakdown. Food is forgotten, sleep is forgotten and the book just compels the reader to read until there is nothing more left to read. You take the book with you, long after the last word has been devoured.
The Revenge of Kaivalya is just that.
Genre: Paranormal Thriller.
The book begins with Kencha, a man of the forests. When Kencha dies under mysterious circumstances, and his body is found branded with a strange cryptic message in HaLegannada, an ancient Kannada language, the mystery thickens.
Neel, a boy from a wealthy diamond merchant family, and a clueless brat, is about to find weird happenings in his penthouse. What begins with a terrible nightmare turns out to be something that can be seen and felt by other visitors to his house. What is this palpable horrifying thing that has taken over his life in such a mysterious way?
Shivranjini, a newly married and a bright girl one day suffers a tonic clonic seizure, but begins displaying personality disorders in its aftermath.
Are these three incidences isolated? Or are they interconnected in some way?
Who is Kaivalya? And why does her name keep cropping up when least expected?
The writing is fluid, and sharp like a lancet. It pierces your mind and takes hold of your thought processes. It takes you away from your couch, bed or chair and forces you to stand in the midst of the action, bearing firsthand witness of the events mentioned in the book. You smell the revolting smell of burnt flesh, and you agonize with the victim’s pain.
Your family comes to the point of disowning you, because you haven’t been able to do much except read the book ever since you lay your hands on it.
The descriptions are vivid, of both places and people. They come alive on the canvas of your mind.
The story line is crisp in most parts. The end could have been more focused though. However, it doesn’t let you down. It remains true to its style.
It is hard to believe that this is Sumana Khan’s first published novel. She comes across as a master storyteller, keeping you gripped and focused from the very first word to the last. She also manages to evoke a sense of solidarity in the reader, for the negative protagonist. That according to me, is what a differentiates a good story from a great story. Every negative has a positive and that must not be forgotten.
I began reading this book on Sunday. By Tuesday morning I was done reading it. My house as in a mess, as if a cyclone touched it, and I blame Sumana for that. It is a crime to write such a compelling, un-putdownable book.
My rating for TROK:
If you are a fan of the paranormal/ thriller genre, this book is a must-read for you.