27 February, 2017

#BookReview :: The Curse of Mohenjodaro by Maha Khan Phillips

2016 AD. When footage of a team of archaeologists bursting into flames at the ancient site of Mohenjodaro goes viral, the world is horrified and shaken. While authorities suspect it to be an incendiary terrorist attack, Nadia Osbourne determines to find her archaeologist sister, Layla, convinced that she has survived. Her frantic search takes her to the ruins and forces her to confront her own demons – her inexplicable dreams about a woman named Jaya.

3800 BC. The city of Meluhha is on the brink of a revolution and Iaf and his coterie of corrupt priests will do anything to maintain their power. Jaya is the only one who can read the Bloodstone, the heart of the Goddess Shakari, and divine the future. But with her daughter under Iaf’s control, will Jaya be able to prevent what is to come?

Inspired by the legends surrounding the lost Indus Valley city, The Curse of Mohenjodaro is a gripping thriller about a powerful relic, a sinister cult, and family secrets that haunt generations.

The Curse of Mohenjodaro narrates two parallel stories. On one hand, we have the story of Jaya set in 3800 BC. Jaya can divine the future but her daughter is in under the control of Iaf who is leading a revolution. With her daughter in a compromised situation, can Jaya change the tides? On the other hand, we have the story of Nadia set in the present day. Nadia is a paranormal writer who has set on a dangerous journey of finding her sister Layla, who she believes has survived an incident at an archeological site. What connects the two parallel stories and the leading ladies? Read this book to find it out.

I loved the character sketches of Jaya and Nadia. They are well developed in ways that is just enough information is provided for the plot – nothing more or nothing less. Though both the characters are similar in all the important ways, I found it easier to connect with Nadia… Maybe it is because of the timeline differences. I found the author’s language and narrative style quite interesting as he maintained a dainty quality throughout.

The two parallel stories are narrated in alternate chapters. While Nadia’s story feels like a thriller, Jaya’s feel like a historical fiction. While they each stand out on their own for most parts, the alternate narrative actually slowed down the progression of the thriller. As a result, the whole book felt a bit slow even though I expect a lot of info dump with historical fiction. That took away from the overall reading experience.

Overall though, this is a good book that should interest both thriller and historical fiction fans.

Review Copy received from Pan Macmillan India

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