Sunday, September 25, 2011

The Immortals of Meluha by Amish Tripathi - Book Review



I was excited about reading the first book of the Shiva Trilogy by Amish Tripathi and was thrilled when Blogadda gifted me a set of the first two books in exchange for just an impartial review for readers and the author.  It certainly was a win-win situation!

‘The Immortals of Meluha’, the first in a series of three is a fresh perspective of what Hindus and Indians believe in or know as mythology.  The author in his book has personified what Hindus have deified.  Shiva as we know him, has been portrayed as a mere mortal, albeit a great mortal and warrior. Reading this book with familiar landscapes and characters but a new story was an odd but interesting blend of knowing and not knowing what would come next. Familiar characters of Sati, Daksha, Nandi, Veerbhadra, Brihaspati have been personified in roles, as we know in mythology and I could easily conjure up images from the Amar Chitra Kathas that I had read in the past. I loved the canvas that had been painted for the entire storyline using various ancient civilizations of the Indus Valley of Mohenjo Daro and Harappa as well as from ancient Hindu cities of Ayodhya, Takshashila etc.  

The plot revolves around Shiva aka the Neelkanth, Mahadev or Natraj, who is a young warrior and leader of a tribe in Mount Kailash. He moves with his clan in a search for peace, to Meluha, a land famed for its ideal civilization more popularly called Ram Rajya. However all is not well in Meluha, this land of the Suryavanshis.  The Chandravanshis, their foes who reside in Swadeep seem to have allied with the evil Naga race and engage in terrorist attacks causing havoc in Meluha.  The story chronicles Shiva’s journey of love, thirst for revenge, and his quest to find evil to root it out.  Aided by the dependable Parvateshwar, with the fearless Sati on his side and the Vasudev Pandits guiding him in his spiritual quest, Shiva leads fearsome battles against his foes and leaves the readers asking for more.

The flow of the story was smooth and the narration gripping, although somewhere I felt the author drifted off at times losing focus of the main storyline and the characters.  Although the characters were strong in themselves, there was plenty of scope of adding more depth to their personalities through their actions- especially Shiva’s.  What I particularly did not like, was the use of modern day Indian parlance consisting of phrases such as ‘what the hell is happening’, ‘Dammit’, ‘what nonsense’ etc. a tad too many times taking away that old world charm in which the story was set. The landscape Amish has chosen to paint his story in, is marvelous, and I do think there is still plenty of more room to use this multi-region, multi-cultural background to his advantage to create a masterpiece.

All in all, The Immortals of Meluha was a gripping story that would probably make a riveting movie. I enjoyed reading it and I look forward to getting to Secret of the Nagas – the second volume of this trilogy! 

Read more on the triology on http://shivatrilogy.com/index3.html

This review is a part of the Book Reviews Program at BlogAdda.com. Participate now to get free books!

12 comments:

  1. It is a gripping tale indeed. Fast and racy, written like a thriller. I bought the first one and the second one and that speaks of the work, much like mandrake and indrajal comics he closes with "to be continued" which i hated no end. These are not sequels but part 1 , part 2 and part 3 hopefully will come soon.
    I tend to prefer fiction which mixes the history and facts, this one took into to another level by twisting strong held beliefs to a different plain. Interesting that he has chosen to pick Shiva as the main protagonist - hindu fanatics would go much easier to him portraying Lord Shiva as a mere mortal albeit a strong one.

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  2. Oh by the way, I have been requesting blogadda for quiet sometime but never seem to gain any favors with them. Any tips? :-)

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  3. @Mayank - I liked the theme, but I did feel, he could have imbibed more heroism to make his protagonist Shiva more worthy of worship.
    Regarding Blogadda, I presume I just got lucky! I had sent them prior reviews I had done on this blog earlier. Maybe that did the trick :).

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  4. congrats on the gift from Blogadda. it must have been a 'wow' moment for you :)

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  5. @Sujatha - It certainly made my day! :)

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  6. The idea behind the Shiva Trilogy is very good, but it is completely wasted by Amish with his poor writing and characterisation, among others. I didn't like the Immortals of Meluha at all; the Secret of the Nagas is marginally better. If I did not have to revie the books, would have left them half-way

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  8. i too wish they make a movie out of these stories...it would be amazing...

    Cheers!
    SUB

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  9. @Sudha - hahaha..such severe sentiments! It wasn't rosy mostly, but cmon was entertaining atleast.

    @Sub- I am sure a movie will get made! If Chetan Bhagats scripts are movies, this can't be far behind :)

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  10. An enjoyable read The Immortals of Meluha by Amish .loved the way you wrote it. I find your review very genuine and original, this book is going in by "to read" list.

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  11. Nice! I will surely check out this book!

    Love
    http://www.meghasarin.blogspot.com

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