Greetings to my readers! Let’s see what we can pick from the bookshelf today for reviewing! Umm…let’s see what I have in my hand. It’s Harappa – Curse of the Blood River written by Vineet Bajpai!!!
Today I am back once again with another book review. This one’s a very critically acclaimed literary work and has even received recognition and applause by the Hindustan Times!
Book Title: Harappa – Curse of the Blood River
Author: Vineet Bajpai
Publisher: VP Performance LLP
Publication Date: 9 June 2017
Total Number of Pages: 316
Review by Sohinee Dey
Plotted against two contrasting backdrops, one which travels back in time and offers a historical background of Harappa, and the other which describes the modern day events and connects with the Harrapan Curse of the Blood River, Vineet Bajpai’s Harappa – Curse of the Blood River could be your next read if you are a mythological/historical/thriller fanatic.
Vineet Bajpai rewinds back in time and takes us to 1700 BCE and leaves us there until we gain enough information about the Earth’s first metropolis – Harappa. He then again brings us to the present and starts narrating a new story set in 2017. But wait, what’s the catch?! These two stories are interweaved so closely that one wouldn’t have sustained with the other. So, that’s the catch! The back-story of Harappa actually acts as a prelude to the main story that is set in the modern day of 2017.
We have got two protagonists to carry forward the story in their own eras. Vivaswan Pujari is the main protagonist of the historical backdrop set aeons ago and Vidyut happens to be the protagonist of the modern day narrative. There are many other supporting characters that you will get to know when you read it.
The characters are contrasting as well as the narrative. When the historical events are described, the language becomes deeper, the sentence structuring becomes more complex and the narration becomes more formal but when the present day story is narrated, the language and the tone is quite informal and the sentence structuring is unvarnished. This change in the narrative tone can easily be spotted while reading. Coming onto the characters, Vivaswan and Vidyut are two completely contrasting characters. Vivaswan is a family man leading a healthy life with his wife and son while Vidyut is occupied in a live-in relationship, drinks and smokes to his heart. The only similarity that reflects between them is their “Godly features”. But later on, a reader might find more similarities actually, which I am not going to reveal here. No spoiler alerts for this!
Vivaswan Pujari was in a mighty position and, as you know, conspiracies are crafted mostly by our closed ones (or people who we think are close to us), Vivaswan too falls into one such trap which leads him into the dark cellars of Mrit Kaaraavaas (dungeons of the dead) but being the powerful man he was, he swears vengeance not only against his conspirator, nor his family but against the whole city of Harappa, and thus, the story and of course the title.
The storyline is set in three different places – Harappa, Delhi and Paris and all of them are connected in building up the plot. Readers will even get an insight into the antagonist’s life.
So What is This Book All About?
I think I have been discussing that until now!! But, if I had to sum up everything in one sentence, I would say that Harappa – The Curse of The Blood River is a story which talks about the ultimate downfall of Harappan Civilization and the reason behind it and also sheds a light on all of the secrecy, the deceits, revenge and vengeance while carrying forward the Gods and Demon aspect parallelly, set in two contrasting eras.
There you have it, right there!
What Did I Like About The Book?
First of all, I would like to mention how stunning the cover is. Just like the plotline, the cover depicts two worlds separated by time but connected with each other, nonetheless.
Honestly, historical thriller is not my forte, but as a writer strives on broadening his/her horizons of writing, a reader also needs to experience different genres of reading, something which is out of their comfort zone. This was the sole thought in my mind when I picked this book for reviewing.
I loved how Vineet Bajpai maintained the language throughout the book. The language is ideal for both novice readers and experienced ones. It is lucid but at the same time didn’t incline towards being amateurish.
I would be lying if I said I didn’t like this new experience! I am hard to be pleased but Harappa was one such book which I didn’t regret reading. Especially, I loved the ancient history storytelling part. Mostly what stood out to me was the language. I am high on the language, grammar, and vocabulary, as you all know, and I am happy to say that this book sated my appetite!
A completely polished work is what I had in my hand. No grammar glitches, no punctuation errors, excellent sentence structuring, perfect narration and even the scene shifts were carried out well.
I loved how the scene descriptions of the ancient Harappa were detailed out so that we can actually feel how it was to live 3,700 years ago. The picturesque descriptions of the ancient architecture, the striking differences between the characters of present and past coupled with the highly coloured portrayal of the scenes enhanced the effect of the written words and it felt as if the Harappan Civilization leaped off right through the page.
What Could Have Been Better Though?
Yeah, it’s time for me to be the big bad wolf again!!
At first, I was a little bit confused about the plot and even after reading the first few chapters, I couldn’t make out what actually was going on and to where it was leading. Maybe because it was due to me being a neophyte to this genre.
I found the successive scene changes tough to handle initially because too much was happening in a small amount of time that I was losing my focus on the storytelling which shifts from past to present to past.
At times, I felt that too much was being spoken of rather than showing or enhancing with characteristic acts, so, maybe if it would have been more of showing and less of telling, I think the whole narration would have been slick and sharp. But I get it that tackling history and crafting a modern-day story, interlinking these two and creating an ultimate impact is not an easy task. So, sometimes it happens that the tone becomes more of a “history textbook -esque” rather than a gripping suspenseful story. Juggling and trying to input a little bit of everything is definitely not easy, so, I would give the author credit that he has done an immaculate job of blending history, mythology and contemporary all at once. So, I’ll let that little fall in the narrative tone pass in this context.
I would have loved if Vidyut was as developed as Vivaswan Pujari. A little more insight on him would have been better but maybe the author is saving that for the next book in the series. Yes, you heard it right, this book is a part of a series and the story continues in the next part. Though if I think of this book as a standalone, it does suffice on being whole by itself but even then I felt it was left incomplete (which would be perhaps continued in the next book, Pralay – The Great Deluge).
Will I recommend it?
That’s a 100% yes!! If you are a true history/mythology/suspense junkie, there’s no doubt that you would enjoy this book but for the readers who haven’t read anything in this genre yet, even you won’t regret reading it (I hope so). Take me for an example! Try something new once in a while *wink*.
Would You Like It?
That totally depends on you! You might and you might not. I can’t make that decision for you. But since I have enjoyed it, chances are, you would too! :p
My Final Verdict —
Overall, I really had an excellent experience reading this book despite the shortcomings which I have mentioned earlier. The language was amazing, I have no complaints regarding that. The plot, the storytelling, almost everything was perfect. So, I would recommend you to add this book to your tbr ( to be read) list.
Language and Vocabulary: 4.5/5
Grammar and Punctuation: 5/5
Overall Rating: 3.8/5
This book is available on Amazon. To buy, just click here.
*Have you read this book? What did you think of it? I would love to know your thoughts on the book and on my review too!!*
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