Book : The Many Lives of Ruby Iyer (Ruby Iyer #1)
Author: Laxmi Hariharan
Plot: When her best friend is kidnapped, Ruby will stop at nothing to rescue him. Criminals run the streets of Bombay. Jam-packed with the worst degenerates. The city is a shell of the pride and joy it used to be.
Ruby knows something must be done, but it isn’t until her best friend is kidnapped by the despotic Dr. Braganza that she knows that she and she alone must save city, save her best friend, save the world from total destruction. Armed only with with Vikram, a cop-turned-rogue they are about to embark on a road they may never return from. (official synopsis)
A complete Masala entertainer
First of all a huge thanks to the author and her team for providing me with the copy of the book and secondly giving me a thorough bollywood/Hollywood style entertainer
This book is what I would gladly call a total masala read with everything added into the book from family, friendship, drama, romance, comedy, supernatural/ superhero to thriller to action to crime to suspense and what not. so basically you name it and the book has got it. It’s a big melting pot for all sorts of genre and story tracks.
I want to say that the author has done a fine job of blending all these genres but frankly there are points when things do clash but in general the author has done a fab job to join every genre and keep it straight and on track
As I said there are a lot of genres converging so at times the author fails to take care of one genre completely and hence certain things feels incomplete. For example the authors tries her hand at supernatural phenomenon which is no doubt well incorporated but somewhere she has skipped on setting a proper ground for this track.
In the book the author shows a very unique and callous behavior of using elements that she feels can be helpful in narrating certain scene and then she would throw it out after the end of scene only to retrieve it back in another scene and doing so completely out of the blue.
It might sound very harmful but trust me somehow the author has still managed to use all these sensibly enough to carry forward the book but yes at times you feel there is too much going on but fans of a typical action thriller movies will totally love it because the book is like a fictional representation of an action movie with cars flying and bursting into flames and bullets ricocheting all around while the main characters are busy in each other’s embrace
Speaking of which…
While the book was awesome and probably one of my favorites now, there are two things that irate me
- The basic caricature of the female lead. It states very lucid and vivid that our character is of 18 years and keeping in view that this is against an Indian backdrop, I found it really hard to grasp that our 18 year old visits a bar in the morning because … 1. She is a minor and would never be permitted access to a bar 2. She wouldn’t be served hard drinks considering the age limit of drinking is way too high in our country and 3. I find it hard to believe that a kid would be comfortable in a bar where even adult woman would falter in her steps to enter a bar in the morning, let alone end up in a fight. The another most important aspect is how our male lead is practically an adult and probably in late twenties … so an adult and a kid in romantic relationship is another creepiness that was hard to digest
- The whole dystopian nature is confusing to me … I somehow find it hard to believe that the whole setting is worth categorizing as a dystopian novel… a city being evacuated ..fine…but that is not the end of the world… a probable cause perhaps but not worth to categorize the book as a dystopian.
In spite of all these I would gladly say that this book is amazing and for the sake of having fun, this is a pretty good option but you need to be pretty open minded and less pedantic because otherwise it may sound too much to believe but otherwise It is Totally entertaining, almost like a movie and superbly narrated and fast paced and not a dull moment. Apart from the ability to understand why this book would be exactly dystopian and the fact that probably the author failed to sync the age and actions of our female lead, I think this was otherwise a very refreshing take from all other Indian fictions I have ever read
It was really fun to read something so exhilarating to read against an Indian backdrop and with Indian characters and without being just another poor copy of other American dystopian novels …
stop thinking too much… if you are anything like me and are really tired of reading engineering/management romance/dorm room stories then go for this book ..right now and you will know that there are ways in which you can tell stories against Indian backdrop and that too without an ounce of engineering/management degree stuffs being mentioned