I started the last week with a book which I was planning to read since a long time and I made some headway with that. But then in the middle of the week I received this book from Blogadda as part of their Book Review Program.
I didn’t like the last book that came to me (I posted the review here) so I was skeptical about this book too. But then as the review needs to go within 7 days of receiving the book I started nevertheless putting the other book on hold.
The book this week was “The Krishna Key” by Ashwin Sanghi.
The one problem I have seen in literary world in India (probably it’s elsewhere too) that when a particular genre book succeeds then there is a flood of books of the same genre.
Now mythology is dominating the scene in Indian book market and every other month there is a new book on mythology coming out. Looks like suddenly Indian authors have awaken to the fact that India has a great history and Indian mythology can be used as good plots for the books.
So coming back to this book, when I saw this book I had the same impression that this is again one of the same sort of book with Krishna as the main character, with Krishna as a backdrop and I wasn’t too optimistic about the book. Nevertheless I liked the cover design and though I have never heard of the author before the book jacket said that author has 2 bestsellers before. That was encouraging at least. And so I began my journey with “The Krishna Key“..
And at the end of the journey if you ask me to describe this book in one sentence I would probably say it’s the India “Da Vinci Code” (remember the one by Dan Brown). And yes I am saying it in the most respectable manner. It is so much similar to that and yet so different (with the take on Krishna) .
I enjoyed the book thoroughly to say the least and though its a 460 pages read you rarely get bored or rarely are there any dull moments. It’s a mythological thriller and the pace of the book is good.
The story revolves around a professor Ravi Mohan Saini (remember Robert Langdon) and his student Priya Ratnani. The story begins with Saini’s friend Varshney who is an archaeologist getting murdered by a character called as Taarak Vakil upon a major ancient discovery and Saini being charged for his murder. Before getting murdered Varshney hands an ancient Seal to Saini and 3 other similar seals to 3 other friends. Slowly all the people having the seals start getting murdered and Saini and Priya are on the run from Police. Inspector Radhika (aka Sniffer Singh) with sub inspector Rathore is chasing them throughout the length and breadth of the country. Saini’s knowledge of history ensures him that Varshney was after a major discovery known as Krishna Key. What is the Krishna Key? Where is it? and Why are people getting murdered for it? Who else is behind it? All these questions gets answered in the book.
Now the good points about the book as I mentioned earlier is it’s fast paced thriller, characters are well written and when you read the book you can understand how much research the author has done to write this. I won’t compare him to Dan Brown but the author has done a fantastic job with this book and I for sure am interested in his earlier books.
There are some parts where I thought some improvement could have been done, for example the character of Sir Khan who was a petty thief turned an antiquities collector and his knowledge on history and physics is something difficult to digest and then at the end there is no mention of him at all. What was Mataji really after? What was the motive of the murders? What was the relevance of Kalki Avatar (there had to be much more to it)? these and a few other questions remained unanswered. And the main character of Saini needs to be strong, throughout the book he keeps on getting caught unawares by Mataji and Taarak. And I would say the ending was not that polished or rather it was tepid (Philosopher’s stone. really?).
But all in all a good book and I am delighted to read such books from Indian authors. It definitely places us in the big league with those American novelists.