Author: Clark Prasad
Publisher: Niyogi Books
Pages: 316 Paperback
Genre: Science Fiction Espionage Thriller
Series: Swastik Trilogy #1 (EKa)
About the author: Clark Prasad, alter ego of Suraj Prasad, could be called a mixed citizen. Born in a leap year (year of Rocky, All the President’s Men, Omen, Hera Pheri and Kalicharan) in Lagos, Nigeria he lived most of his life in New Delhi and had his education in Lagos, Delhi, Mangalore and Kozhikode. His family background is from the town where George Orwell, author of 1984 (a dystopian fiction) was born, and where Mahatma Gandhi had re-ignited India’s freedom movement – Motihari. A pharmacist with a management degree who believes in conspiracy theories, Baramulla Bomber is his first book. His first education o he mysteries of the universe came via Carl Sagans Cosmos, and since then he never looked back on reading, watching and discussing about the universe. He grew up during the cold war days with BBC radio was one of his mysterious companions as a kid, when his father played the news regularly every day. World War II news and documentaries on CIA-KGB tussle kept him engaged that time. As a kid he wanted to be an archaeologist or an astronaut, but fate had its own road and he got involved with Mr. Carbon akaChemistry. Currently he is a healthcare management consultant, based out of Bengaluru, Planet Earth.
Blurb: Multiple intelligence agencies are tracking Mansur Haider, a god-fearing aspiring cricketer from Kashmir. His girlfriend, Aahana Yajurvedi, is trying to locate her missing mountaineering team, who vanished after a mysterious earthquake strikes Shaksgam Valley. Investigating Mansur and the Shaksgam Valley incident is Swedish intelligence officer, Adolf Silfverskiold, whose only relationship to god consists of escorting his girlfriend to Church. A dual China-Pakistan battlefront scenario facing the Indian Home Minister, Agastya Rathore, whose ancestors carry a prehistoric secret linked to the stars. He is faced with the challenge of finding a lasting solution to the Kashmir crisis. Which Biblical Weapon was Tested in Shaksgam Valley? Why is Mansur Haider Important? Is There a Solution to the Kashmir Crisis? Can Destiny be controlled? Does a Cosmic Religion Exist?
Review: I am big fan of thrillers and if that has something to do with history or mythology it is icing on the cake for me. But this book was Science Fiction Espionage Thriller which did not interest me to complete the whole book. As I had to write its review, I forced myself to read it fully. There are many unwanted details for a thriller as it is I believe. With so many off track references, the story became dull read. The author did try to put thrill into this science fiction but failed to do for a longer time. This is because I am used to fast paced thrillers (Dan Brown, Ashwin Sanghi, Manreet Sodhi), the style of narration failed to impress. Mansur, Ahna and Adolf only had character development; I think the other characters too needed some importance. If you have time (for me it was too lengthy), if you love reading sci-fiction than you can go ahead else give it a miss.
The book was received as part of Reviewers Programme on The Tales Pensieve.