20 June, 2016

#BookReview :: Destroyer of Worlds (Arkane #8) by J.F. Penn

An ancient weapon threatens the heart of India.

A bomb explodes in the center of London and a fragment of an ancient Hindu sculpture is stolen from the ARKANE Headquarters by a secret organization bent on mass murder. If the sculpture is put together again, it will reveal the key to the Brahmastra, a weapon with the power of a nuclear explosion.

As those they love are threatened, ARKANE agents Morgan Sierra and Jake Timber must search for the pieces of the relic before it can be activated at the Kumbh Mela, the greatest pilgrimage on earth.

In a fast-paced adventure from the slums of Mumbai to the temples of Kolkata, the Taj Mahal in Agra to the killing fields of Rwanda, Morgan and Jake must find the pieces of the sculpture before it’s too late.

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The 8th book in the Arkane series, Destroyer of Worlds can also be read as a standalone novel.

Arkane is a British Government agency that deals with religious and paranormal things and events. Morgan Sierra & Jake Timber are Arkane Agents who are set on a trail of someone who wants to put together a weapon of mass destruction. From a bombing in central London to the breach of Arkane headquarters to the missing piece of a sculpture, the story builds up momentum right from the beginning. As the protagonists follow the clues and the trail of the antagonist, this thriller becomes a chase that spans over a number of countries. Will Morgan & Jake able to catch up to the group in time? Will the devotees go the lengths to gain Goddess Kali’s attention and favour? With so many innocent lives on the line, the members of Arkane don’t have much room for error.

The story takes off right at the beginning and the pace never relents. As a result, I flew through the pages of this book and finished it in one sitting. I love it when thrillers are fast paced and we have to keep up with it. To match it, is the author’s very vivid narrative that creates images in the readers’ minds very easily. Her descriptions of places and settings bring strange new places to life in our minds. It also helps to get a closer look at her characters. I quite liked the characters of Morgan & Jake. They are interesting personalities individually, but it is also fun to see them work together. Morgan is really tenacious. However, I really didn’t buy the motivation of the antagonist. I wish I could say more about it without giving any spoilers. It is just that at no point did the antagonist really scare me or had me believe that Morgan & Jake could possibly fail. I guess what I am trying to say that there was a lack of conviction and challenge there. I still do have a few questions about the leading characters and Arkane which probably has already been talked about in the previous books. The small details and background info always helps in getting close to the story & its characters which is why I usually like reading books in order. If you, as a reader, are not a freak about knowing everything there is to know about the characters then reading this as a standalone will not bother you. 

It is clear from the way the author has set up the places in the book (and also from her bio) that she has travelled widely and has experienced most of the places and cultures herself. Seeing and reading about our culture and mythology through someone else’s experiences and mind is always interesting. It was that aspect of the story that kept me entertained as I tried to understand what & how the author looked at things. This book will attract the international readers to whom Goddess Kali may feel like an exotic God. From an Indian point of view though, the plot line felt a bit bland to me. To be fair, having grown up reading about these Gods and Goddess and the many points of views about them, it would take something really big and complicated to wow me.

To round up, this book fell a bit short for me for the reasons stated above. But the Authors writing style and narrative did make an impression. As such I plan to read a couple of books more by this author to see how her plots feel when it is about something that is new to me.

Review Copy received from the Author

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