Dancing with Demons

  • Title  – Dancing with Demons zBa-CIOo-1
  • Author – Nidhie Sharma
  • Publisher – Harlequin India Pvt. Ltd.
  • Genre – Drama (Fiction)
  • Pages – 288
  • ISBN – 978-93-5106-493-0
  • Price – 299 INR

Blurb on the book – Karan Pratap Singh is on the brink of winning the Amateur Boxing Championship, when in a moment, he loses it all. His fall from glory seems fuelled by ruthless arrogance and an out-of-control anger management problem. That, however is just symptomatic of a deeper issue. Buried under layers of his fractured subconscious lies a childhood secret he cannot come to terms with.

Sonia Kapoor is a beautiful, volatile young woman with a secret that torments her at night but a secret that she feels no guilt for.
When fate throws Karan and Sonia together in Mumbai, their personal demons and pasts collide and stir up trouble in their fragile and uncertain present. But, is redemption possible without forgiveness?

Dancing with Demons is a fast-paced action drama of love, loss and resurrection.

Review – The book has a nice cover wonderfully capturing the theme of the plot. I particularly loved the title that defines the gist of the book aptly. The badge on the front cover saying ‘soon to be made into a Bollywood movie’ pumps up the expectations from the book exponentially. The blurb is interesting and creates a very good first impression.

The book starts in a boxing ring introducing the protagonist (Karan Pratap Singh) a boxer playing an important match that could make or break his career. The direct start to the story was a welcome change, with no beans spilt with an introduction. The boxing combat comes alive in the author’s words and I could feel excitement pump in me as I read through.

The demons come alive right from the start, blending well, the past of the characters with their behavior today. I liked the gentle injection of details while maintaining an element of suspense. The fast pace set with the first chapter goes on to impress as the various characters in the book are introduced. The characters have been given enough room to grow, sharing an insight on their past and the demons they are fighting in their lives.

I liked the swift shift in scenes of the book while maintaining the flow with a lucid narration and rich vocabulary and picturesque description. However, in the middle third the book slowly loses steam as the author tries hard to hold on to the facts, to heighten the suspense. As a result, the final third part of the book is seen to bear an overdose of information which at times comes across as forced, hampering the smooth flow of the book.

I’d like to congratulate the author in delivering a very intriguing read that has a myriad hues of drama, thrill, suspense, action, wit and romance in right proportions. With no one villain in the book, the demons of every character (as the title rightly suggests) come alive from time to time. At some points the very short chapters come across as distractions in this nail biting read.

“Life is like a boxing match, millions might cheer from the outside but inside that ring you are all alone and you need to fight your own battles and deal with your own mess.”

The final third of the book failed to impress me even though I quite liked the climax and the way the story ends with hope. The book makes for a perfect script for a movie. Though there is romance in the story, however, for a Mills & Boon book, there is a sheer dearth of passionate love scenes, making the plot full of intense drama than anything else.

While Sonia’s life comes across as better sorted, I found Karan’s life and his demons being put to rest in a very hasty manner. It somehow stole the charm of this otherwise impeccable read.

The book makes for a sensational debut in the world of combat sports, with characters struggling between their passions that inspire them to march ahead and demons that hold them back.

I highly recommend this book as it exudes a wonderful message to be taken and practiced in life. We can’t move on in life without putting to rest the demons of our past. We all need a closure at some point, without which a happy life is not possible.

You’d enjoy this book if you like drama. The book will keep you on your tenterhooks to know what eventually happens with Karan and Sonia and how.

About the Author – Nidhie Sharma is a Writer-Director living in Mumbai, India. She has studied filmmaking and Screenwriting from New York University and has previously graduated with honors in English Literature.

Having directed documentaries and travelogues for the American and European markets, and worked on American indies in Los Angeles, Sharma is directing a mainstream Indian film soon.

Rating – 4/5