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  1.  My expectations were much higher... I cant not use the word pedantic. 16 September, 2014 On Amazon.com
    Kind of finished it ....
    Can't believe Dr. Deepak Chopra praised it so lavishly.

    But of course , I will complete the series ( trilogy) and comment more later.
  2.  Typos galore and teenagerish character development 15 March, 2014 On Amazon.com
    Format:Kindle Edition
    Why I bought it? Because of the media hype, everyone seemed to be talking about it. I decided to join the bandwagon (I am a casual reader that too). I really wanted to like it but I really could not.

    Strengths:
    - The storyline was alright, made you want to continue reading on though the Weaknesses (below) made me want to stop in between. Many times. Many many times.
    - It seemed the author tried to co-relate some of these to current nuances and situations of political strife which was sometimes interesting.

    Weaknesses:
    - Typos galore - I don't know if the onus of this lies with the Kindle interpretation or the author but I literally got tired of highlighting the issues I found in this book. I mean I was reading it through Kindle and what started as a joke of highlighting some typos turned into a much bigger deal as that just didn't stop
    - Character development - I am literally your average reader and I didn't expect a Pulitzer level of writing here. Shiva's character and behavior of many others lacked the maturity of an average adult. Shiva is shown as a human, a mortal, so understandably his behavior was expected to be like other mortals. But making him sound like a teenager with his 'Oh man' type of reactions made the book feel really really light on the literary experience. Other characters talking like they are friends in a 2005 soap opera had me shaking my head all through the book.
  3.  Bit disappointed 6 September, 2013 On Amazon.com
    Format:Kindle Edition
    The cover is much attractive than the story. Need to find out is there any improvement in the second and the third
  4.  be more creative 31 August, 2013 On Amazon.com
    Format:Kindle Edition
    author needs to be more creative. I found it to be taking up ideas from various books and putting up together
  5.  A decent attempt 27 May, 2013 On Amazon.com
    Format:Kindle Edition
    Amish has used a lot of existing mythology to craft his book. The idea is brilliant but the narration is over simplified. Coming from fantasy books like Harry Potter and Eragon, I found this author loses interest in describing his carefully thought scenes midway. The plot twist at the end was predictable and one could see it coming. The moral of the story is solid and Amish must be given credit for making such a valiant attempt. Still it doesn't even come close to grabbing your attention for its full length. Lengthy excerpts of explanations were sometimes unnecessary. The author also doesn't stick the the medieval conversation style, constantly bouncing back to modern lingo. Read it once, you won't think much about it later.
  6. 2 of 2 people found this review helpful
     A mythical romance or the flights of fancy of a brahministic mind 22 March, 2013 On Amazon.com
    Format:Kindle Edition
    The novel is the flight of fancy of a Brahmin. It is not a criticism of the caste system rather an endorsement of it. The imagination is childish. It seems that the writer has grown on the mythical stories of the golden age of India where Brahmins held the power in their hands. At times the writer seems to gibe at Pakistani terrorists by calling them chandaravanshi terrorists. And who are Nagas? It can be anybody's guess. It is not great literature. But the writer reads the pulse of the superstitious Indians and is thriving on it.
  7. 4 of 9 people found this review helpful
     I wanna burn this book 18 January, 2013 On Amazon.com
    Format:Kindle Edition
    I'm not enraged. I'm frustrated.
    I'm just deeply saddened by how bad choice people may have. IT'S FRUSTRATING.

    Practically, two reasons why the book sold.
    First is that the author did 100 times more hard work in the publicity of the book than on writing the book and practically spent amount near to a million dollars in nationwide publicity (which includes buying the reviews, paying literary geniuses to proclaim him as Paulo Coelho of the East, making the sexiest book trailer ever and releasing it before the hot Bollywood movie of Shah Rukh Khan to spread the 'Nationwide awareness' etc.).
    And the second most important reason is, obviously, the cover of the book. It is the most attractive cover I have ever seen. (See it in a bookstore and you will understand. This book stands out against thousands others.)

    I would have given it a ZERO star. But that option wasn't available.

    Then I thought about giving it one star and bashing it and pointing out every mistake of the author but then refrained from it as I realize that 5000 words (which is the max word count for a review) is too small of a limit to bash this book and the author, and also, I heard Amazon is likely to remove your review if you bash a book, thinking that you were paid to write a bad review for a competitor's book.

    And hence, I settled down for this two star option. I felt pity for the author who claimed that it is Lord Shiva speaking through his writing and felt pity for his naivety that he actually believed that the book was good, the plot was worth writing and that he was a good writer. So, condescendingly, I'm giving these two stars to this poor author's poor efforts of writing 400 nonsense pages. (the way a nursery teacher pats her student's back saying 'good efforts' even when the man he has drawn is a round head on one stick)

    *SPOILER ALERT*
    The author calls it a fantasy but it's NOT a fantasy. It is a very (unbelievably) mundane story of a Hindu God Shiva who had lived a very extraordinary life of a ferocious warrior with volatile temper.

    Lord Shiva, known as Mahadev (God of the Gods) is portrayed like a late teen seeking adventure and running behind girls. He watches a woman dancing hiding behind a tree, he "grins", "leers" and speaks in "American English" and uses "American Slang". I would have slapped the author after reading this. Bastard deserves a formal lawsuit against him (Or Fatwa like Salman Rushdie had) for desecrating the image of God. And this just cannot be justified by saying 'he was a man once'.

    Apparently, the author lacks the knowledge of Hindu mythology. He has shown Shiva, Neelkanth, Shankar, Rudra, Bholenath, Nataraj, Ardhanaarinateshwar, Mahadev as all different Gods, not knowing that all these are the names of the same God.

    The story is so mundane, the craft and execution so poor, I just don't have enough derogatory words.

    It is a 100 page novella stretched into 400 page novel.

    I would have loved this if it was made into a superb war-fantasy with Lord Shiva as the hero. It would have been much more enjoyable and much more REALISTIC rather than showing Shiva as an indulgent, drug addict, womanizer, and 'driven by his senses' (which severely contradicts with the image of any Hindu God) and kind of a 'common-man' who behaves like a teenage kid--high on adrenalin and in search of constant excitement. And not to mention, mad for a woman, thinking about her 24*7

    The book proves one thing. Indian readers don't have their own opinion. If media says the book is good, people read the book and "condition" themselves to like it. Yes, a sad truth but apparently, Indian readers can easily be conditioned with a little bit of advertising.

    At the end, I'm pleased only about one thing. I never bought this book.
    The copy I referred to was my English teacher's (who apparently loved the book)
  8. 17 of 20 people found this review helpful
     Disappointing 29 September, 2012 On Amazon.com
    Format:Kindle Edition
    This book was very disappointing.

    While its nice to see that the fantasy genre is finally being tackled by Indian authors, this is a very disappointing read, especially because of the excessive hype. The author is unable to write good, simple prose, let alone a masterpiece. The language turns you off at every corner, and it's difficult to get lost in the story.

    For a story that was called the LotR of India by some critics, it appears that those comparing reviewers have not read Tolkien at all. Tolkien spent 40+ years on Middle-earth, developed 7 Elvish Languages, and created a genre. Since this book borrows most of its mythology from Hindu mythology, it could be expected that perhaps a book written in such a short time could still be a fulfilling read, but it fails miserably.

    The concept was interesting, finding a human origin of mythologies. But the humans in this story are far from normal humans. The society created seems a perfect society. The author tries to backport modern science and medicine to historical eras creating an extremely unbelievable environment. The humans in the story are pure with one-dimensional and noble intentions, which makes it look terrifyingly inhuman and creepy. If the author wanted to say that gods came out of humans, he just sort of says that gods came from a society of gods, the only similarity with real-life humans beings is flesh and blood and not emotional turbulence.

    The author seems very confused about his real-life beliefs and his spiritual confusion about gods prevents him from making believable fiction as well. He seems to believe that atheism was just a western concept(and hence he dismisses it as unworthy of consideration), when it has been acknowledged even within Hinduism for several thousand years. (ref:[see Atheism in Hinduism Wikipedia page]). Then he implies that atheism allowed westerners to laugh at Hindus, and that the laughter was justified, and that the only redeeming route for Hindus to take for replying to westerners is to find real-life humans who 'became' gods (and he almost literally seems to believe in the concept of 'becoming' God, not just about achieving greatness). The author tries to grasp complex philosophies developed over years, and fails in understanding any of it. I am terrified about the possibility that at least a small part of his created fiction, the author actually finds plausible in real life and believes as real.

    To all readers wanting to read this book, I encourage them to read fantasy classics first. These include LotR, Silmarillion by JRR Tolkien, A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R Martin, The Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan, the Malazan series by Steven Erikson, works by Brandon Sanderson, and so many other good authors. All these authors have devoted their lives to fantasy and have created extremely complex, detailed worlds with fantastic story arcs, and fantastic prose, with very complex mythologies, which developed new languages, and genres. They are usually classified as epic fantasy, and not mythological fantasy, and I would like to see future books based on Indian mythology that hold their own against classics.

    The book is definitely more enjoyable if you have not been introduced to these classics before, but once you start reading these classics, you feel sorry for Indian fantasy if this is our idea of great fantasy work.

    This amazon edition also seems available only in India. Reluctance to be reviewed by foreign critics?
  9. 1 of 2 people found this review helpful
     as bad as bollywood masala 25 May, 2012 On Amazon.com
    I picked up this book expecting a mixture of Indian mythological stories and "fiction" to fill in the gaps - after all, the author has picked up Indian mythological characters which do have a history. What I found was an outrageous stretching of the stories to the point that the only "fact" in the book is the names of characters - everything else is cheesey, badly written stuff that has no bearing to Indian mythology. An Indian would catch on to this at once, but others please be warned - this by no means represents the stories in Indian mythology! I don't know how the author has the license to take our Hindu Gods and create these silly stories around them - somras, blue throats, Maika - ugh!
  10. 61 of 75 people found this review helpful
     Fascinating premise. That remains unfulfilled. Ultimately, potential wasted. 19 February, 2012 On Amazon.com
    The legend of Siva would be fertile ground for authors to adapt from and weave magical tales of adventure from. But only for the talented and hard-working. This book reflects neither talent nor hard work. The fascinating premise remains just that.

    What if the legend of Siva, the destroyer of evil, was not a legend, but something that began with an actual human; that acquired the proportions of legend and finally myth over the course of centuries and millenia, because of the astounding feats of that single person?

    Unfortunately, this novel is not a fruition of that premise. There are several, several problems with this novel. The simplistic plot, over-simplistic I would call it, for one. It stumbles forward in a linear manner without any surprises or twists that you cannot pick out from a mile away. The narration. The dialog between the characters is evocative of a television soap-opera, at best. Siva is not the yogi in control of his senses; he is some post-adolescent youth in search for adventure.
    'I have seen the bed, dammit!' grinned Shiva. 'Now I want to experience it. Get out!'
    Yes, some sort of a grotesque cross between a Karan Johar and Ekta Kapoor movie's dialogues.

    Some of the descriptions of Meluhan society (the Suryavanshis, the people inhabiting the Saraswati river basin) are terrifyingly reminiscent more of Soviet-style totalitarian regimes than a caring, humane society. Children are deposited after child-birth at some grand orphanage, called a Gurukul; mothers made to forcibly abandon their children a few weeks after childbirth, who are then doled out to wanna-be parents on the basis of a lottery?! Seriously, such hare-brained and frankly inhuman concepts have never been part of Indian society and culture, ever! Why, they have not been part of any society in human history, ever, anywhere. Yet, this is presented as a stroke of genius that does away with the evils of the caste system. Without an understanding of the caste system, its utility - or lack thereof, in a society at a given point in time, whatever that may have been, the author takes it upon himself to purge society of this evil with another evil; only this time the replacement is infinitely more evil and inhuman than the system it seeks to replace. Grotesque historical revisionism.

    The descriptions of the Indus Valley and Saraswati Harappan civilization dwellings are barely beyond what one would conjure up after spending 15 minutes on Wikipedia. Even here there was so much promise that remains exasperatingly unfulfilled.

    Siva is yogeswar. His detachment from the physical world is the complement to the material world signified by Vishnu. Yet Siva in this book comes off as some lost, confused soul, in search of a Bollywood movie plot where he can journey to some exotic country and find himself. Which in itself the anti-thesis of Hindu Vedic philosophy, which states that what is within is also without. You are that. Not here, evidently. The other side of the Suryavanshi Meluhans, the Chandravanshis, and their capital Ayodhya, ends up being drawn with a very simple and very crude palette. It is a crude caricature of a ghetto. The author tries to portray the two societies as opposite sides of the same coin, but fails, pretty much as in every other place of the novel.

    I really, really wanted to like this book. I kept persevering; 50 pages, 100 pages, waiting for the plot and pace to pick, the narrative to improve. But it didn't. To make sure I was doing justice to the author, I did read to the very last page, which ends up with a contrived follow-up to the trilogy. I refuse to bite.

    Sorry, this book does not even flatter to deceive. I can only suppose that the success of this book is perhaps more the result of smart marketing than anything substantial. I can only thank myself that the price of reading this book was a couple of hours of time, that I shall however never get back, and twenty-five rupees in rental, that I don't mind as much.

    As a friend remarked, the best and the really good and intelligent part of the book is its cover.

    You can read Chapter 1 (PDF) of the novel from its website.
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