Title: Tantra
Author: Adi
Publisher: Apeejay Stya Publishing
Genre: Fiction

Tantra by Adi (no, not Aditya Chopra) is a gripping tale of a vampire hunter's roller coaster ride intertwined with mythical concepts, hunt for the killer and, wait for it, pressure of arrange marriage. 

Anu Aggarwal, a US based Indian who guards New York City against vampires has to come to New Delhi in search of her boyfriend Brian's killer. Back in her homeland she discovers an alternate side of vampires, gets involved in Vedic Tantra and strive her best to expose all dreadful secrets which will lead her to the killer. All this, while tangling the internal politics of her organization and her aunt's persuasion to get married. 

Since Bram Stoker's masterpiece, the concept of vampires has been degraded to many levels. The best example would be the Twilight series; Stephanie Meyers would never get peace for how she insulted such a wonderful concept. Luckily, I didn't expect much from this book and well, it didn't disappoint me. Vampires are, so to speak, just used here to form an unconventional backdrop. As the story proceeds you would find yourself in the midst of a typical Indian writer who want you to believe that secrets are hidden deep in our mythology and the protagonist must fight to stop a catastrophic event. And won't forget to induce some romance, whenever he gets the chance; even amongst all the chaos. 

Author had put everything available in the market of fiction i.e. vampires, mythology, love, family drama, politics, social values, etc. in a mixer and served a dish in the form of this book with a topping of eccentric humor. Now this dish looks quite delicious and will surely win the prize for presentation, but it is tasteless. Methinks, an author fails to realize the true potential of his/her story when he/she tries to focus more on the marketing strategies. Thinking about what the reader would like, I instead of what you want to say will eventually void the purpose. Tantra by Adi is just a mambo-jumbo of all the clich├ęs without any soul. 

Though writing doesn't collaborate with 'about the author' section which claims Harvard and Stanford Universities, it is simple and appropriate with the type of story. The best part of this book is author's bravery; blending supernatural fiction with your go-to-guy characters isn't as easy as it may sound. Stirring eccentric topics (read bisexuality) is also commendable. I wish author have developed more incidents that would have provided a depth to the characters. But as the climax of the book hints towards the beginning of a series, one could always hope. And I hope things will be more sorted out in following novels with clearer characters, clean story flow and… well I could do with the humor. 
Recommended for those who reads all and only Indian authors. Take a shot; it is nescient but not boring. 

Rating: 2.5/5 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Blogadda.com as part of their book review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


Unknown said...

Nice review, I will surely read it in the future. Currently reading S V Divvaakar's Beaten By Bhagath. Its a book about harsh realities of Indian Publishing Houses.

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