Saturday, April 6, 2013

Book Review: Tantra by Adi

On the jacket:



Anu is a leather wearing, no-nonsense professional guardian with a reputation for killing the most dangerous vampires in New York City. But when her enemies murder the one person she truly cared about, all she wants is vengeance. The only clue points to New Delhi, so Anu puts in for a job transfer.

In India, she finds more than she expected. For one thing, her fellow operatives have made a truce with the vampires. For another, it’s way too hot to wear leather.

At first, it seems Anu’s biggest challenge will be evading the nice boys her aunt wants her to marry. But when children start disappearing, she discovers forces older and darker than anything she’s faced before. All of Delhi is in danger, especially the sexy stranger who sets Anu’s pulse racing.

To prepare for the coming battle, Anu must overcome her personal demons and put aside years of training. This time, her most powerful weapon will come from her mind, not her weapons belt.

Review:

I will be very upfront about this book. The cover reminded me of the film Ra.One and an interesting synopsis, I let the book sit on my night stand for two days. If at all, I picked up the book to read only because I had a review to right. 

Wait? Read more! Don't judge a book by three lines a reviewer writes!

Ok so pretty grudgingly, I picked up the book and I had no clue what I was reading. Agreed, the genre is not something I actually read all the time, but I have adapted to newer genres pretty easily in the past. Nevertheless, about Tantra

The first quarter of 2013 was spent in reading a lot of first time Indian authors and frankly, most have been disappointing. Tantra, I am afraid, was a damp squib. 

The protagonist of the book is Anu Aggarwal, a vampire hunter from New York. The love of her life was killed and she has come to Delhi to seek revenge. She stays with her aunt who wants to get her married, as, at 27, she was not getting younger. To explain her situation, she had lied to her mother stating that she is gay and in turn her mother wanted her to play along with her aunt's marriage proposals as it would be difficult for her to come out of the closet in India. Why she had to make up tales about her sexuality, beats me.

So with the protagonist's name that reminded me of films like Khalnaayika and her personal life a mess, the first few pages were not very interesting. At this point, I must mention something about the overall feel of the book - the reading experience. Adi writes well. This being his first attempt, I would want to read more from him. When I say he writes well, I am talking about his language, grammar and the way he plays with words. 

The plot picks up after a few pages. Children from various slums across the city are found missing and who is the culprit? Some dangerous vampires. Anu, with years of experience in what she is doing, finds herself stuck in the middle a dangerous game. This is where the plot becomes interesting.
The book is a tad lengthy. There are sections with too much of narratives and the plot stretches. However, what could have been better was a little bit more about Anu. Why and how did she become a vampire hunter?

The action sequences described where smooth and while reading I could actually envision the same. Also, it would be unfair to not point out that there are parts which are really, really engrossing. However, only in parts.

Tantra was not very impressive for the simple reason that unless the genre really, really interests you, you won’t enjoy it. So yes, pick it up if you are into reading about vampires.

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