Jun 28, 2012

Rain and a book review

There's no way I can put in my customary hour or two in the garden today - it's raining buckets out there. So I thought this would be a good time to tend to my online garden here at Not So Perfect Karthi. All this month I have been busy with the school reopening, getting the kiddos back to school-day routine and working hard in the garden - planting (a little), weeding (a lot) and generally reclaiming my yard that had been taken over by wild nature. The reason for this industriousness?Aah, that is a whole other post that will be coming up soon. 

It's been a while since I posted anything about a book that I read recently - not because I've not been reading (Hello, how long can a fish survive without water?) - but because I've not been reading much that I could recommend to people. BTW, if there are any Sex and the City fans out there, they might wanna look at The Carrie Diaries by Candace Bushnell - it's about Carrie before she came to New York city.

When I read The Immortals of Meluha, (First book of what I call Shiva in his Yo-Yo Avatar!) I was at once attracted and curiously put off. The premise was good, but Shiva's language - he talks like the kids in the Step Up movies - seemed horribly out of place for me. I didn't think a god could speak like that - perhaps Krishna could, but not high and mighty and serious Shiva, certainly not. Then there were detailed descriptions of the lifestyles and cities of the Meluhans and Swadweepans that were a bit too lengthy. So I just went through the book once and left it at that.

This month one of my young friends lent me her copy of The Secret of the Nagas - the second installment - and I was hooked. This one is a real page-turner. Shiva still speaks the same way, but I cut him some slack for being the original hillbilly. This book lets us in on the origins and secrets of the Nagas and tells us why the Nagas hate the Meluhans so much.

Although Amish's writing is a bit on the formulaic side ( Heroic protagonist with a torturing memory, strong but flawed heroine who needs to be saved by the hero, twists and turns scattered at regular intervals), he is a master of suspense and kept me gasping as one secret after another is revealed. I absolutely loved the way in which he introduces Ganesh and Kali. Their settings are so apt and the emotional drama is so true to life. I certainly think Amish has done much better with this second book and I'm looking forward to the third book The Oath of the Vayuputras.

For those who have not been into Amish's world, here is an introduction: The books are set in 1900 BC, when the northern parts of India were under the sway of two powerful kingdoms Meluha (land of the Suryavanshis) and Swadweep (land of the Chandravanshis). Meluha believes in the legend of a blue-throated one who they believe will bring the whole of the subcontinent under its sway. The only problem is, Swadweep believes the same legend, but their Neelkanth will unite the whole of India under the Chandravanshis.

What is a poor god discovered in the foothills of the Himalayas to do? As Shiva is given a makeover by the Meluhans with their Somras and honored with the hand of their princess, will he side with the Suryavanshis? Why do the Suryavanshis and Chandravanshis hate each other? And why are the mysterious masked Nagas trying to attack and undermine both kingdoms? To know the answers, read the books!!!

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