Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Review: Nav & The Ninth Universe by Sunny Shandilya

Sci-fi as a genre in the books has been tapped quite often nowadays. It's not the foreign authors who are doing it but the Indian authors have jumped in the fray too. Author Sunny Shandilya in his debut attempt "Nav & The Ninth Universe" has tried to pen down one such sci-fi tale. So is he successful in pulling it off? Let's find out. 

Ever had a feeling that nothing around you is what it looks like. You feel you are dreaming and would soon wake up from your sleep. What would you do if you had the superpowers of invisibility and super fast travel? Nineteen year old Nav's monotonous life turns Topsy-turfy when he comes to know that his father who died ten years ago is actually alive in a parallel universe.He has to race against time unraveling various mysteries starting with his first clue at 'Christ the redeemer' statue in Rio de Janeiro.In his pursuit to find his real mother in nine days, he stumbles upon 'The Clock of Time' and fights humans, super humans, ninjas, mythical creatures, demons, centaurs, mixed breeds. He also meets Kiaraa, a mysterious girl who can control water at will. Witness Nav uncover many lies that the human civilization has been living under, while trying to find his real mother who holds the secret to his destiny.

First look at the title and the cover and one can get the feel of a sci-fi book in making. The cover image is not so impressive and could have been worked upon in a much better manner. The title along with the tagline does justice to the theme. The blurb talks about a person's journey around the world to uncover few things. It could have been a more concealed blurb giving out less about the story. A lot of hints have been dropped in the blurb about the same. 

The story is about a young astro physicist Nav who near his 19th birthday stumbles upon a mystery which changes the entire course of his life. He sets upon a journey where he has to race against time in order to find his mother and father. But his task is not so easy as he has to battle his wits, fears and counter unexpected and dangerous forces who will not only deter him from his mission but also try to scar his life. He finds an able companion in Kiaraa and along with her sets out to uncover a lot of mysteries which will finally lead him back to his family. So will he able to succeed in his mission? What's in store for him? That's what the story is all about. 

The story for a sci-fi is furiously paced and the way events span out in different places and the circumstances leading up to it is a mind blowing experience for the readers. The mystery element in the story is maintained at all times and the narration helps the story along the way. The book is action packed and has a lot of surprises in store for the readers. 

The book lacked detailing at times and some parts happen in a jiffy which doesn't suits the story line. The story could have been made much better towards the end by exaggerating things a little bit. Some vivid details were required instead of  straightforward happenings in the story. The main villain comes a little too late in the book to leave an impact. 

The book is a star in it's genre and has the knack to perform well with the readers. It's to the point which is a drawback at times but it makes up for that with it's pace and spread out story. It has to be absorbed and get soaked with as you turn the pages. 


3 OUT OF 5

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