I’ve had succeeded to convince myself to celebrate NaPoWriMo 2013 in my blog by writing 30 Poems in 30 Days in this month of April! Yea, an indolent soul never promises for industrious determinations but exception can be your special-guest anytime. To aggravate my worry of regular blogging (and that also penning rhymes daily!), I was sent a fiction thriller book to review – “Tantra” by Adi. I was happy with my last month read “Chilli, Chicks and Heart Attacks”, frankly speaking that was my genre, so I didn’t have to push myself for finishing the story. But vampire tales have never been my pickle. Neither Twilight saga did ever charm me nor did the Vampire diary. I’m vampire-illiterate to that extreme level that I had to web-search ‘Guardian’ to know that it refers to the group of vampire hunters. Naturally, you’ve right to be sarcastic with “Then why did I opt to review a book where the protagonist herself is a guardian?” Well, I admit that the combination of three diverse elements – ‘Tantra’, ‘Vampire’ and ‘Indian backdrop’ allured me to explore my virgin territory.
The author, Adi was a fiction-book-worm right from his childhood and persuaded his professional degrees from Stanford and Harvard Universities. Nothing much has been disclosed about Adi (I strongly feel author’s real name is something more than Adi), perhaps owing to his past embarrassment with the published poetry anthology. Honestly, I’m not so fond of finding the author’s photo at the back cover as the contents really matter for me… in that way I’m pleased with Adi’s approach. The cover page depicting NRI vampire huntress posing in her skin-fitting leather outfits on a rooftop with blood stained knife in both her hands, trying to locate her hunt somewhere in the sleeping city of Delhi is not at all imposing and more you’ll feel so as you run through the pages… by no means this petite beauty in thick eyeliner and deep lipstick represents the sharp and highly skilled central character Anu Aggarwal. The back-cover description says it all to get you into action mode and by chance if you’re not much into this genre the concluding lines of the blurb “To prepare for the coming battle, Anu must overcome her personal demons and put aside years of training. This time, her most powerful weapon will come from her mind, not her weapons belt” will surely incite you for experimentation.
Anu is one of the most capable Guardians who loses Brian, “the only boy she’d thought she could marry” at the hand of a vampire while working in New York. This tragic event puts the coal of vengeance in her heart and brings her to Delhi to track down her boyfriend’s murderer where the story starts. The social and work environment in Delhi is not only different from NYC for common men like us but also for guardians which she discovers in short course of time, while synchronising with her candid Delhite colleague Amit. She singlehandedly encounters posh vampires of Delhi with her special Japanese-crafted ceramic knives and soon land up clashing with the bigwig vampire Chandra. As she gets to the root of the problem of missing children in the city, Anu gets to know the real culprit involved in it, a tantric practitioner named Baba Senaka who is sacrificing human lives for boosting his evil power! That’s where the story picks up the rapid pace of a good thriller. Anu shifts her focus from her lover’s murder to the crisis in the unaware city. She discovers her real self and undertakes Sattvik trainings under Pandit while bearing up with the sugary Gaurav. Amidst all these sinister scenarios when typical prototype aunty Nina falls for Anu’s groom-hunt, it surely gives readers a little break to breath with much needed comic relief. Now it’s your turn to read the book to know what happens next in this duel between Tantrik and Sattvik energies.
I loved the detailing in the Tantric, Sattvik and some mythological references throughout the book. The analysis of good and evil was substantially persuasive. The story was bloody well paced with proper dialogues and matching characters. The language and Adi’s writing style leaves us with no grounds to complain. What I didn’t like was the author’s indifference towards Anu’s life in New York and her past love life. I would have been more than glad to read few paragraphs of Anu and Brian spending some cosy moment than just bits and fragments of heroine’s touchy reminiscences of Brian’s “nibbling on her ear”. The action sequences have been over descriptive which leave readers with fewer potential for imagination. Delhi hasn’t been properly utilised either, as it has much more to offer than Delhi-belly food, metro or fraudulent auto drivers. The book ends but the story doesn’t… so, either you can be joyful for a prospective sequel or grumble with the feeling of being cheated of your weekend! I would give full credit to the author for successfully hatching a vampire chronicle in the heart of India crutching on a female central character and won’t certainly discourage you to be a traveller of this Tantric voyage.
My rating for this book :- 6/10