Friday, April 26, 2019

Book Review - Aahvan - Only A Hidden Truth Can Remain Free by Saurabh Kudesia

I was just going through my Facebook feed when suddenly facebook showed me Aahvan, an interesting Hindi book. The cover and blurb were promising. I contacted the author and got to know more in detail. Later on, I bought the book's kindle copy, which made it our 8-9th Hindi book in our catalog. Unlike the books we have read till now in Hindi literature, this was well thought, at par with English literature / English authors. 


Book Blurb
Mysterious dead bodies, controversial medical reports, some ancient gears, scattered manuscripts, endless murders, and a simple Will that connects them all with the secret that was doomed to always remain away from the history.

विचित्र लाशें, रहस्यमय संकेत, विवादग्रस्त मेडीकल रिपोर्ट्स, कुछ पुराने यंत्र, बिखरी हुई पुरानी पांडुलिपियाँ, दिल दहलाने वाली हत्याओं का अंतहीन सिलसिला, और उन्हें जोड़ने वाली एक साधारण वसीयत जो इतिहास से दूर रहने को शापित एक रहस्यमय पुरातन सत्य की कुंजी थी।
Consider this book as a collection of at least two full-fledged novels (for me it is 3). The books start with the death of Rohan. Jayant, a family friend of the family was called by Rohan's father. They presented Jayant a will which was sent to them by Rohan before his death. Rohan died in an accident and within a few hours of his accident that Will reached to his family. Also, mysterious details found in his will made his family confused. Jayant with help of his forensic department expert tried to solve the case. 

On top of that, they found another mysterious dead body. When they tried to dig deeper they met a deadly opponent and series of events that connects their investigation with. The parallel story started with the Naga clan and its terror/ nuisance on neighboring nations. Krishna had sent a confidant named Shon with his secret message to save these two nations. The story then takes sharp cuts with treachery, political, and military strategies to link Lord Krishna with some of the unknown facts of Mahabharata. Read the book to know more.

Hindi books we have read till now, except Sangram Sindhu Gatha by Vivek, none of them had uniqueness associated. They were just normal Hindi stories. Saurabh has well conceptualized this plot before putting his words. While reading the chapters related to different topics you will be bombarded with proper information. I have read many crime thrillers where the essence of the scientific background was missing. The cases would be solved by a charming officer just by some of his personal deduction. Where in here every information from Mahabharata and contemporary history was provided with references from researchers.  

Talking about Mahabharata times, it was also well portrayed. It started with the situation of Bharatvarsha just before the Kurukshetra War. At that time nations were in dilemma which party to support and whether to take a neutral stance or not. On the other side, there were manipulative parties who wanted a war to happen so that after the war they can conquer Arya's as they would have lost too much in the war to fight another war. 

Good points about the book
  • The amalgamation of multiple genres. Action, thriller, suspense, horror, politics, war, supernatural and what not.
  • When I said multi-genre, it's not just a mere touch of those genres. Each genre got proper importance. As I already told you it is a long read. You may make 3-4 novels out of the book
  • Those who love pure action, the author has taken great care while describing action scenes. 
  • There are places in the book which make you scared, fearful or shocked. Dark patches are actually full with gory descriptions
  • Characters of Mahabharata were given full independence to bloom
  • A medium pace storyline. It will take time to come into proper action.
  • Easy to follow language. If you watch Hindi movies or tv shows regularly and if you can read Hindi, you don't need to fear. The author has used easily to understand words.
  • Good pick for 16+ and above (due to violent scenes)
  • The idea of signs and hidden messages was also interesting
Ignoring one or two minor weak points, overall a wonderful book. I think it should be translated into English and other languages for better reach.

Talking about ratings
  1. Cover - 4/5
  2. Concept - 4.5/5
  3. Content - 4.5/5 (Too long)
  4. Characters - 4/5
  5. Overall - 4.25/5
Book can be found at Amazon & Flipkart
Review from other readers can be found at GoodReads
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