Title- The Curse of Surya
Author- Dev Prasad
Publisher- Ebury Press/ Random House India
Genre- Fiction/ Thriller
About the author
The author Dev Prasad is a senior IT professional in Bangalore and his previous books- Krishna- A Journey Through Lands and Legends of Krishna and Pitch It! were well received by the readers. His interests lie in philanthropy and sports.
About the cover
The cover photograph has been done by Getty images and it captures what seems to be Mathura's Krishna temple under solar eclipse which fits quite well with the narrative of the book. The mysterious images of Sun or Surya adorn the front and back cover providing a stark contrast to the dull blue background. The effect is pleasing to the eye and is definitely a classy piece of art.
About the book
The blurb at the back cover introduces the protagonists Sangeeta Rao- a beautiful, feisty reporter from Singapore, Alan Davies- a charming Welshman. Misunderstandings turning them into fugitives, cryptographs to unearth Shyamantaka - a jewel lost 5000 years ago and Anton Blanchard- an elderly Frenchman joining them in their quest (because, everything is better with a little French in it). On the other side of the spectrum are SP Nisha Sharma and terrorist organizations who are in pursuit of our fugitives.The book claims to be a fast paced thriller laced with twists and deceits.
The size of the book is that of an average metro read which can easily be placed inside small bags. It is well printed and there are hardly any printing mistakes. The pages are off-white and are thick enough for recycled offset paper. The font is Adobe Garamond which is my favourite.
About the plot
The book is written in an action movie format with every new section starting with location and date. The book falls in the trap of the oh-so-familiar Robert Langdon loop of cracking codes and travelling across the country. The author hasn't innovated enough in the plot department but, he has delved deep enough in Indian mythology to keep the book interesting. One can easily see hints of Dan Brown in the way the book is written. The geographical coverage in the book is remarkable and says something about the rich heritage of India. Pick this one up if you are looking to brush up your knowledge of Indian mythology and ancient history.
About the language
The book is an easy read. The words are simple and sentences are short and the whole book is divided in smaller, easy to read chunks. It helps maintain the flow of the reading and doesn't let fatigue set it. The language is of course, not the highest point of the book. The author doesn't paint pictures of places described in the book. He does take you to the place with his words though. One gets the idea that the book is written with a single mind and that is to thrill and engage. Fair enough. The book succeeds in that department. There are cheesy lines like 'He may have keys to the temple but, I have the key to his heart' which make you cringe but then there are moments when you uncover great mysteries or set sail on great adventures so, let the tiny grudges go.
Here is hoping that I didn't give any spoilers. Do let me know if you have any specific points to discuss about the book though.
All in all, a good one time read.
2.8 out of 5 stars