14 June, 2019

#BookReview :: Decoding the Feronia Files by Tanushree Podder & Ajoy Podder

Can weather be controlled?
If so, can it be weaponised?

The USA set up HAARP in 1993 for research on weather modification. Its covert experiments caused unexplained weather changes like cloudbursts, tsunamis, floods, earthquakes, leading to massive destruction across the globe. Worldwide outrage finally forced the closure of haarp. But the deadly experiments continued to ravage the world.

Around the same time, a secret device is planted by a foreign mountaineering expedition in the Himalayas. It has the potential to change weather patterns in India. A team of Army mountaineers is sent to retrieve the gadget. But, will they be able to retrieve it before the damage is done?

Will the intelligence agencies across several countries succeed in nabbing the culprits who are trying to weaponise weather?

Decoding the Feronia files is a thriller that takes the readers on an international roller-coaster ride to track the scientists carrying out experiments that could unleash a new weapon of mass-destruction—weather. 

This is the second IWE Cli-Fi that I have read so far.

HAARP was set up with the intent of researching weather modification and it was probably done so with the intent of solving global problems. But as is usually the case, atleast in fiction, the results were not what was expected. Extreme weather changes leading to natural disaster that wiped out a lot of life and infrastructure and as such the initiative was closed down. That did not stop the experiments… and with a device embedded in the Himalayas that can have tremendous ramifications, a hunt is on!

The book has a slow start as the authors take their time in giving background information to the readers and setting up the main characters for the story. As expected from a cli-fi, a certain amount of the information provided dealt with climate, the experiments that were undertaken and their implications. Once the base is built the book takes on the pace of an action thriller and there’s not a single dull moment. As for characters, with (almost) the whole world affected by the changes, all the major nations have a team looking into the matter. As such there is a wide set of characters and the cast involves people from agencies like CIA, R&AW, ISI, KGB, ASIS, to name a few. Then there are the suspects and the antagonists. All in all, it is a varied cast where each team brings in something different to offer to the plot. Their different personalities and quirks keep things interesting even though the books focus is more on the events than the characters.

The main aspect of the book is to make the readers realize the importance of treating nature right. I hope that when the readers realize the scope of the catastrophes waiting to happen whether human induced or otherwise, they will show some respect towards Mother Nature. At the same time it makes the readers also wonder if similar experiments can be carried out in reality to solve problems like global warming. This book delivers on many levels; from drama to action to suspense to food for thought, there is enough to keep the readers immersed in the pages. The narrative is crisp and the descriptions in book help the readers visualize each scene as they unfold.

I would have probably enjoyed the book more if the first half of the book was paced faster.

Review Copy received from Blogchatter Book Review Program

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