BOOK REVIEW: PRADYUMNA BY USHA NARAYANAN

I have been an avid reader who reads books from a variety of genres. But fantasy and mythology have always interested me. Here is a review for PRADYUMNA by author USHA NARAYANAN (you can buy it here).

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THE BLURB:

‘I see a dark future that makes me quake,’ Devarishi Narada said. ‘One of these newborns will ravage the world and erase the name of Krishna from the face of the earth!’
As the world trembles on the threshold of Kali Yuga—4,32,000 years of unprecedented evil—it waits for a saviour to rise. Meanwhile, in the dark netherland of the asuras, the meek Vama shudders as he learns that he is actually Pradyumna, the son of Krishna. And that his journey has just begun.
From the asura kingdom to Dwaraka and then Kurukshetra, destiny forces him to battle monsters, angry gods, blazing weapons and overpower his own weaknesses. Will he be able to rise to the challenge in time to save the world? Or is he the destroyer prophesied by Narada?
Pradyumna is a gripping saga of the rise of this mighty, swashbuckling hero whom all of humanity awaits.

WRITING:
Rating: 4.5/5
Usha Narayanan startles us by writing a story in such a lucid language that is able to draw in readers so easily. The way she is able to put magic into her words is just phenomenal. I would have rated it 5, but I never rate anything full score. Nothing is ever perfect, but I really wanted to give her. Her writing is a clear mix of clean language and fluid prose, something that is tough to find in books these days. By writing alone, this book needs to sell.

CHARACTERS:
Rating: 4/5
I particularly loved the metamorphosis that the protagonist goes through: from the weakling Vama to a strong Pradyumna. His character development and thoughts as to the stages he was in are in perfect sync. The other characters are equally well done, like Samba, Krishna, Rukmini, Jambavati, etc. I do wish I had gotten to see Balarama more. I did feel he was sidelined a little. Even though it was Pradyumna’s story, his interactions with his uncle are minimal.
The Asuras are well described. Their behavior is succinct and quite similar to what we have always read in mythology: full of ego and overconfidence.

STORY:
RATING: 4/5
The author crafts a well-written and well-told story. She has described the world well. The mythology is almost accurate. I only wish she could have done the fight scenes a little different from the ones described in the scriptures. One need not be so accurate while describing fight scenes. However, I must say the accuracy was spot on.
The story progressed at a steady flow without any hiccups. The author has done her research well and one should applaud all the hard work she has done. The author has strived to use a balance of show and tell, which is what I look forward in a book. Too much tell can make a reader put off and too much show can be a bit overboard sometimes. The story is an easy read and one can complete it in one go. Somewhere in the middle, the story loses its pace, but it regains it quickly. The bonus is the stories involving other characters, however short.

VERDICT:
RATING: 4.5/5
A must read if you are interested in mythological works. So what are you waiting for? Go ahead and pick it up at a store near you.

AUTHOR BIO:

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Starting off with a gold medal in English from the University of Madras, and two Masters degrees – Usha Narayanan took off like a magpie, collecting more bling. She was a creative director in advertising agencies like RK Swamy/BBDO, one of India’s top ten, and in Radio City 91.1 FM. She managed corporate communications and CSR activities in Scope International, Standard Chartered Bank. Usha has lived for the most part in Chennai (Madras), and in Honolulu, Hawaii where she did a writing course. She loves reading, travel and animals and has two opinionated cats.

The Madras Mangler, a suspense thriller, received excellent reviews (read here). It is available online at Flipkart, Amazon and Infibeam.

Her second novel, a fantasy thriller, Pradyumna: Son of Krishna is available in leading bookstores and online at Amazon, Infibeam andFlipkart (also as eBook).

Her next is Love, Lies and Layoffs, a romcom published by Harlequin – HarperCollins (Sep 2015).

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2 thoughts on “BOOK REVIEW: PRADYUMNA BY USHA NARAYANAN

  1. That’s an amazing in-depth and structured review. I’m almost jealous, but only almost. 😉 Can’t wait to read the book!

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