Sunday, March 1, 2015

Review: Cult of Chaos by Shweta Taneja

Expectations is the mother of all traits and success is the godfather of all. What happens when you get both the sets right with something which an audience is not ready to gulp down that easily? Author Shweta Taneja in her book "Cult of Chaos" has her own ideas to woo the readers and catch them napping while looking for exhilarating action. So what has in store for the readers and how does it pan out? Let's find out.  

The age of the Tantriks has dawned. They operate openly with their own council, police and judiciary. Of all their creeds, the Kaula Ashram’s white tantriks are the most powerful. The men of the ashram are powerful tantriks, and the women are intimate collaborators. Anantya has forsaken the Kaula path. She doesn’t see the need for official seals. She is more concerned with saving the world than with badges or honours. However, the world is heading straight to hell. Young girls are being sacrificed in a tantrik ritual in Delhi. Someone is summoning the God of Chaos. A daeva seeks to blackmail Anantya for some desperate cause, and a giant, three-headed Cobra shows up in Old Delhi. The Red tantriks are facing the White in conflict, and there is at least one Black tantrik who is messing with perilous shakti. Anantya is caught amidst the conflict, and to add to her problems, the supernatural netherworld comes alive with its ensemble of creatures.

First look at the title and the cover and a reader will feel the glaring eyes and its effects under your skin. The cult face of an angry devi does nothing to soothe the nerves. The title is far from a usual affair and it's the tagline that gives some hints as what to expect from the book. The blurb talks about Anantya Tantrist and her escapades in Delhi. This is where a reader gets taken in by the unfamiliar territory of the book. It's a charm of a blurb which hits the right chord and strikes meticulously. 

The story is set off in Delhi and surroundings, which has been taken in upon by a different society. A society with humans as well as daevas, asuras and more importantly Tantriks of different clans. The clans have their own set of followers but Anantya, a bright young Tantrist is taken in by the road to independence. But her glory lies in the help of humans and her own from where a new enemy has arisen. What awaits Anantya the Tantrist? Will this mystified world let her be herself or will it test her will and throw life off gear? What is rising in the dark and culminating into a threat? Who's on the side of good and who's bad? That's what the story is all about. 

Astonishing and bravado defines the book in a few words. But one needs more to read the book then you have to have an open mind to delve deep and hard into a fantasy world of tantrism and occult. An obscure yet an old and a strong belief, tantrism leaves very little to imagination but the book courtesy it's author changes the perception and takes it to new surreal heights. The story with it's mystery thriller elements cuts out a vivid picture never seen or heard of in modern day writing. It blends Delhi, humans with species only heard or in fact never talked about or only figments of fantasy of readers. The humor, the passion and the action of Anantya and her magical voodoo effect keeps the story on a high dose of adrenaline. Strong representation of characters and each part picked and played to perfection. It's a bit above the unthinkable and gives the pangs of reading a constant companion. 

The downside of the story is it's failure to capitalize on a solid start, a blinding momentum towards the end. A flimsy finish pretty much alike Bollywood leaves a lot to be desired. The book needed more methodical execution and a finish high on expectations and unseen imagination. 

All in all if you have to read the book, the mind needs to be ready to accept the absolutely unexpected. It'll throw a reader's mind off gear with it's charismatic story telling and an even effective story line. The book scores and relies heavily on ideas which might sound old and obsolete but that is where the boldness steps in and creates an aura of dominance and darkness. Everything is in equal measure and the scales of good v/s bad have been tipped to the hilt. It's not everyday you come across stories out of the blue and this is one wonder which can leave you gasping for breath. It's a deep dark temptation with it's own set of secrets ready to pounce and devour the eager minds. A book with winner tagged in its own rights.If spice is what you were missing in your life get the book and traverse one of the most treacherous and over exciting path of tantrism and dark magic. Let chaos descend on earth and rule your hearts. 


4 OUT OF 5    

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