12 May, 2014

#BookReview :: The Avatari by Raghu Srinivasan

A Mythical Kingdom: Legend has it that only those chosen by destiny can gain entry into Shambhala, the mythical kingdom believed to hold the ancient wisdom that humanity will need to resurrect itself from the inevitable apocalypse. They are the Avatari.
An Ancient Artefact: When Henry Ashton, a retired British Army officer settled in the Yorkshire dales, receives a letter from a monk entreating him to prevent a hidden treasure stolen from a Laotian monastery from being misused, he finds himself honour-bound to respond. Assisted by a retired Gurkha Sergeant, a high-strung mathematician from Oxford with a Shambhala fixation of her own and an American mercenary on the CIAs hit list, Ashtons mission leads to an ancient map that dates back to the time of the great Mongol, Kublai Khan.
A Secret that Must Not be Revealed: The group follows the trail, risking the perils of the inhospitable deserts of Ladakh, turmoil in Pakistan and the rugged mountains of Northern Afghanistan, where the Afghan War is at its height. But they are up against a deadly adversary with seemingly unlimited resources, who will stop at nothing to get possession of the anicent secret a secret that, if revealed, could threaten the very fabric of human civilization.

This is another explosive debut book that has the strength to keep its readers glued to the pages.

A retired British Army Officer, a retired Gorkha Sergeant, an Oxford mathematician and an American mercenary come together for an adventure of a lifetime. When a treasure is stolen from a Laotian Monastery, these people come together to track it and stop it from being misused. The story is fanned out from England to the United States to Tibet to Laos to Africa to India and Pakistan, covering a major part of the world. And that is not all… The story also spans over different timelines.

The characters of the story are well fleshed out. Each character has a distinct trait that makes him/her stand apart from their counterparts and gives them a unique identity. Even some of the supporting characters come out strong in the story. The plot is a rather intricate one that plays over different continents and over different timelines. Yet the author has managed to paint a very clear picture of the story. It would have been rather easy to get lost and confused but the clarity with which the author has narrated the story not only makes it easy for the readers to follow it but is also easy to get engulfed in this world where Shambala exists. The dialogues, the action and the detailed description of the settings and the background are well done and all of them add different flavours to the story.

It is really difficult for a reader to accept that this is a work from a debut author because such seamless spinning of a tale is usually expected from a much more seasoned author. I will be keeping an eye out for the next book from this author while you guys go and pick this one up.

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