Saturday, May 21, 2016

Review: Let the Game Begin by Sandeep Sharma

There are times when you feel like going back into time to put together the pieces of puzzle. Curiosity is the mother of all virtues. The knack to devour the knowledge is the best action forward. Author Sandeep Sharma in his ripe age has learned to touch the right chords and now with his new book "Let the Game Begin" he wants to tinker with the minds of the readers. Is he successful in it? Let the book unravel itself. 

Two kingdoms, Chaturanga and Sarprakt, separated by a mystic mountain range are at war with each other since ages. Chaturanga, ruled by King Viratha, is soon bestowed with a dynamic heir, and the whole kingdom is drowned in rituals and festivity. On the other side, Sarprakt is executing a cruel conspiracy. King Viratha, crippled by the conspiracy, urges the mysterious man of the mountain to devise a method to recreate the conspiracy and that gave birth to 'The Game of Chess'. Serial killings shock the nation as the police are rendered clueless. The killer leaves behind a trail of chess pieces with a strange message. Random people are murdered. Connoisseurs of different fields - History, Chess and the Security forces - have united as the next intended victim is the most powerful person of the country. How is Chess involved in the whole scenario? How will they find a man who died 4000 years ago? Can a person defy the laws of nature? Does history really repeat itself? Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.

Interesting title, lifeless cover and a history laden blurb. Few things right, few things wrong. The book starts on a mixed note. The blurb has a major say when it tries to catch the attention of the reader. A lot depends on the story line and the blurb gives a crisp outline of what to expect in this book. The lesser green pasture is the book cover which is dull and pale in comparison of  what it has to offer. 

The story is set in the past and the present. The past governed by two kingdoms and their animosity and the present which relies on the past. Combine both and the outcome is an explosive atom. The past sins have followed the people in the present and there is no way there is mercy involved this time. Mysterious deaths, experienced people, national security and an unsolved riddle awaits the eager minds of today. Will there be an end to it? Will there be a definitive conclusion to the folk lore? Let the game begin. 

The attractive part of the book. History!! A major turn on for the voracious readers. The concept is right, the idea vivid, the execution part on target and part off sets the book in two different directions. A commendable attempt to alternate between two worlds in which one exists and one is a superficial creation from what's left of it. The book certainly has some major goals set, and it tries to achieve all in one go. The characters are interesting. More so from the past. The story holds true in certain areas when it concerns the past. The ancient historical scenes are deep, scathing and holds major promise. 

Where the book loses out. The steam in the present is awry. The depth is lost. The clumsiness of too many characters adds to the slide of the story. The book tries to match up the might of the past but in vain. Present is filmy, less spicy and more on the sour taste. It leaves a lot to be desired. The major gaping hole in the book is a solid backdrop for both the present and the past. Elaborate scenes are the need of the hour and the book has to be given more substance when it comes to characters past. 

All in all the book is a decent attempt at breaking the barriers of the modern confines. The more it goes dark, the more it catches eyeballs. The concept has to be utilized better in order to achieve greater results if the momentum has to be sustained. The historical era oozes pomp and show but needs more in order to complete the book on all fronts. Vengeance is the vendetta which keeps the flow adept to the needs. But more work is required to give it a befitting end. It needs more in terms of clarity but the pace has been set which should be a spillover in the coming part too. Cautious approach yet far from the desired results. 


2 OUT OF 5