Dec 5, 2014

Review of The Mahabharata Quest

"Christopher C Doyle”, I read the author’s name aloud holding the book I have just received. Has blogadda asked me to review the work of an American author?", I wondered. After googling, I came to know that the author is very much Indian who went to St. Stephens and IIM Calcutta for his education.

I have never heard about the author, was my first reaction; he had already published a book before titled "The Mahabharata Secret". Could "The Mahabharata Quest" be a sequel to his previous work then, a doubt surfaced from my mind? I hoped that it is not so, for otherwise I would have to read his first book in order to be able to review the second one.

I felt relieved when I felt that I was able to follow the story after reading first few chapters. So I decided to continue with it. I have read contemporary fiction before; I have read historical fiction before. The first few chapters made me realize that here I am reading a work which is a blend of contemporary and historical fiction.

The challenge is to come up with a compelling contemporary actions that connect the story with the past. Doyle has done a very good job at this. He indeed transported me into a fascinating world where ancient secrets buried in legends blended with science and history to create a gripping story.

Three forth of the book is surely a page turner. I finished reading this part within a few hours of single sitting. However, the story moves with a different tempo after the protagonist help the Order find the way to the secret location, following the footprints of Alexander the great.

Doyle’s scientific interpretation of Koorma avatar, a legendary story told in Mahabharata and in other texts, is not convincing. In order to convince the reader, he continued to explain more scientific terms in the latter part of the book. I felt as if I am reading a science book rather than a work of fiction.

While “The Mahabharata Quest” is not a sequel to “The Mahabharata Secret”, certain characters are common in the two stories. After the discovery of the ancient site, the author keep mentioning about the protagonist’s first expedition to discover the secret scientific events told in Mahabharat. It will be better for the reader to read the author’s first book before reading this one, for then the reader will know well about the events that the protagonist is talking about.

Finally, the author’s writing style deserves an applause. As I mentioned earlier, the author has done a very good job of blending science with contemporary and historical fiction. He does this by changing the story flow alternating between present and the past, while maintaining the story flow smooth and easy for the readers to follow.

To summarize, “The Mahabharata Quest” is an excellent piece of fiction writing by Christopher C Doyle. With his magic spell of writing, the author ably transports a reader to the past, rediscovering scientific events that is hidden in legendary stories. It is a must read book for everyone. I rate this book with 4.5 stars out of 5.

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