- Title – The Curse Of Surya
- Author – Dev Prasad
- Publisher – Random House India
- Genre – Fiction
- Pages – 302
- Price – INR 299
- ISBN – 978-81-8400-622-3
Synopsis – Sangeeta Rao, a beautiful, feisty reporter at Channel 7 TV in Singapore, rushes to Agra on a special assignment after an early morning phone call. At the Taj Mahal, she meets Alan Davies, a charming Welshman. But a terrorist attack on Mathura’s renowned Krishna temple turns them into fugitives from justice and the duo must decipher a series of complex cryptographs and unearth the illustrious Shyamantaka that belonged to Surya, the Sun God, to prove their innocence.
Joined in their quest by an elderly Frenchman, Anton Blanchard, the duo race against time in helicopters, motor boats and yachts. In hot pursuit are the brilliant and daring SP Nisha Sharma and the most ruthless terrorist organizations. Before she realizes it, Sangeeta is trapped in a world of betrayal, deceit and horror. Fast-paced and gripping, The Curse of Surya will keep you hooked and on the edge of your seat while you unravel one of the biggest mysteries in 5000 years.
Review – The book has an interesting cover that captures the essence of the plot well. The color scheme used, cleverly hints at the precious Shyamantaka to be the centre of the plot lying midst the land where once Lord Krishna lived, well-depicted in blue (correlating with Shri Krishna’s Shyam Varna). The title hints towards the origin of the Shyamantaka that comes to fore right at the start of the book.
The story starts off with various protagonists coming to India from Singapore, UK and the US for a business trip that eventually turns into a treasure hunt filled with deceit, discovery and horror. The plot is a fast paced thriller with all the events mentioned happening in a short span of two days. The book keeps the reader on tenterhooks while enlightening the reader about the Indian mythology and architecture built during the period of Lord Krishna.
I wish to congratulate the author in being successful at blending fiction with mythology while limiting the number of characters in the plot for better impact. The book is divided into short 75 chapters that begin with the time & location of the events in the plot. However, I fail to accept the many coincidences used to keep the story going. The Shyamantaka on one hand has been talked about as the most searched, precious and full of magical powers gem stone and on the other finding clues leading to it, has been shown to be a piece of cake for someone who had not been seeking it till now.
Secondly, the ease with which Sangeeta and Davies decode the puzzles comes at an unacceptable pace. A precious jewel that no one had been able to find in the past 5000 years, is unearthed in under 48 hours. In my humble opinion, it is too big a call to be acceptable even in a fiction novel. I wish to give due credit to the author for the commendable research done with a good insight into Hindu mythology and Indian history to correlate incidents/ folklore from Lord Krishna’s life.
Being a regular reader of the ‘thriller’ genre and having read the books by Dan Brown, Ashwin Sanghi (his Krishna Key in particular that revolves around a similar subject) and Ravi Subramanian, this plot becomes a bit difficult to swallow to my logical mind. The way the mobile network and the GPS systems have been shown to function well in the dungeon inside a well or in high seas comes across as improper and forced.
The book had been unputdownable for me but the poorly plotted climax comes across as a hasty attempt to wrap it all in a happy ending. Though I have a number of questions to pose to the author, I am holding back to avoid any spoilers. However I’d like to cite a simple example. Someone dying within minutes of being injured by a bullet in the leg was too much for my scientific mind to swallow after seeing someone survive, after being caught in the middle of the sea in a Tsunami.
The book has a simple language, revolves around an interesting premise but suffers majorly on the editing front.
I’d like to recommend this book to someone who is looking for a thriller that makes for a breezy read without indulging in too much logic. It would surely make for an interesting travel companion.
About the Author – Dev Prasad is a senior IT professional currently working in Bangalore. He has held senior management positions at various European and American multinational corporations.
He has written, Krishna: A journey through the Lands and Legends of Krishna and Pitch It! (that won the prestigious ISTD Book Award in 201) before this book.
Rating – 2.5/5