Book Title: River Rule
Author: Ameeta Davis
Format: Kindle eBook
Total Number of Pages: 301
Publisher: Ameeta Davis
Publication Date: 5th Dec 2017
Genre: Fiction/ Mystery/ Suspense/ Thriller/ Fantasy / Urban Fantasy
The jungle is closing in.
First it sends a welcoming party of parakeets.
Next, a garland of disembodied chicken parts.
Finally the tribesmen and their spears arrive demanding human trades of Avi and Una, the property developer’s firstborn grandchildren.
Twice before, the jungle tried to take Una when she took risks.
Twice Avi foiled their attempts.
This time he’s not there — yet she can feel him somewhere near.
River Rule is a dark, urban fantasy, which pivots precariously on the friendship between a boy and girl from different cultural
backgrounds. It deals with deceit and treachery, but it shows that, even when familial unconditional love is withdrawn, strength and kindness can be found elsewhere – even in a jungle.
REVIEW BY SOHINEE DEY
“River Rule” written by Ameeta Davis can be categorised as a book of the fantasy genre fuelled with bits of thrilling and mysterious scenes. Definitely dark in its approach (not the kind you might be thinking though). The concept was new to me and totally different from what I have read. I have read urban fantasy books before but, this one was quite different.
The story starts off with Una boarding India with his father to visit her grandparents. Born in Manchester, England but having roots in India, Ameeta Davis have crafted the character of sixteen year old Una really well; the cultural differences were highlighted throughout the story.
On their way to her grandfather’s house located in Khamosh Valley, they get into a car accident and everything about it felt real, from the car hitting the tree to the police officers sealing the scene of ordeal but turns out that Una was dreaming. But, as she is woken from her slumber by her father, she has a sense of déjà vu when she goes over the same conversation they had while she was dreaming. They do reach Khamosh Valley in one piece.
Surrounded by jungles and mountains, her grandfather’s house is located in a remote area. Upon their arrival, her grandfather refuses to open the gates, the reason being that the authorities have set a curfew after sunset and it has been that way from a long time. Oblivious to the dark secrets lurking in the deep jungles, Una doesn’t take the curfew seriously. Jumping over the gate, once inside, with her hairpin trick she opens the lock of the gate and lets her father in. But before she closes the gate, she didn’t miss the glowing eyes staring right back at her. Not to forget, the taxi driver disappears suddenly, the ID Card, the only evidence of his presence.
There are many more spooky incidences but Una isn’t a person to be frightened easily. The howls and the human cries does scare her at night but, she makes out alive in the end. To top it all, her father leaves for England unannounced with just a ‘SORRY’, leaving her to deal with the situations.
Amidst all the chaos, she makes an unlikely friendship with Avi. Avi, apparently has epilepsy but he hasn’t shared it with anyone except for Meeru because in his family, people with epilepsy are believed to be possessed. Una and Avi try to explore the jungle together. Avi tells her about the River Rule but stubborn Una doesn’t pay him any heed and just to prove him that there is no such thing, she crosses the border only to be attacked by “something”. Avi has got shades to him (not nearly 50 :p) which Una gets to know later.
The tribesmen meet up with Una’s grandfather, Dev to discuss the “payment” of the “River Rule”. I am not going to discuss much about that because I can’t give that away. Suspense!
As the story progresses, Una learns that all the supernatural powers of the jungle and the powerful forces of the animals and of the humans are someway related to her family and to her as well.
I really loved the narration and the writing style. Right from the first page I got hooked to the story but somewhere in-between, I was kind of losing my focus because too much was happening. I felt that the characters could have been developed better, especially, Avi and Meeru. They needed some character background. Also, the cover sort of has a colourful, vibrant look to it which I feel doesn’t go with the storyline well. The cover in itself is really pretty, but if I compare it with the storyline, the plot kind of has a dark mysterious vibe to it, so, maybe a darker mysterious cover would suit the story better.
MY FINAL VERDICT
Overall, I really liked the story. I was really interested in finding out ‘why’ and ‘who’ is responsible for all the spooky acts. The narration was really good and also the language though easy to understand had a good amount of vocabulary use.
I would recommend this book to all the fantasy lovers and also to people who like suspenseful, mysterious stories.
POESY IN CHRYSALIS RATING: ⭐⭐⭐.5 / ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
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