As many of you may know that I’m taking a hiatus from Blogging, social networking and basically any book reading for a couple of months , But before I took this hiatus I did recieve a paperback of this book from the author in return of a Review and being a man of my word , Here I am doing a review , which is to be considered as my Last review until December .
Two kingdoms, Chaturanga and Sarprakt, separated by a mystic mountain range are at war with each other since ages. Chaturanga, ruled by King Viratha, is soon bestowed with a dynamic heir, and the whole kingdom is drowned in rituals and festivity. On the other side, Sarprakt is executing a cruel conspiracy. King Viratha, crippled by the conspiracy, urges the mysterious man of the mountain to devise a method to recreate the conspiracy and that gave birth to ‘The Game of Chess’.
Serial killings shock the nation as the police are rendered clueless. The killer leaves behind a trail of chess pieces with a strange message. Random people are murdered. Connoisseurs of different fields – History, Chess and the Security forces – have united as the next intended victim is the most powerful person of the country. How is Chess involved in the whole scenario? How will they find a man who died 4000 years ago? Can a person defy the laws of nature? Does history really repeat itself? Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.
What I liked :
Let the game begin is a historical thriller with a hint of fantasy and supernatural elements is set in India and depicts the tale in two timelines , one of the timelines being the present day the other 4000 years ago .
The premise of the book is very interesting as the author creates a origin story for the game of chess and links it with various supernatural and historical events and then creates a mystery of a string of brutal killings with various chess pieces left behind the dead body .
The book follows a very fast pace and focuses mainly on the killings of the present day and then via various means such as book blurb , 3rd person depiction and other sources details the events of 4000 years back which involved a conspiracy that’s responsible for the action of the present day killer .
And although the mystery was revealed in a pretty predictable manner for me , I did read many reviews that stated that they were taken by surprise at the finale reveal.So although I don’t personally feel that the mystery was unpredictable , there are enough audience of the book who will contest that statement.
One of the biggest plus for me was depiction of the two 4000 years old kingdom that have a major role in the story of the book , these lands were crafted beautiful but sadly not explored enough , leaving the fantasy lover in me pretty disappointing , but then again for a book as thin as this one the amount of world building that was done was also acceptable.
If you head over to the book details at Goodreads , your eyes will be graced with the presence of one of the most scathing reviews of the book where a particular reviewer details the many grammatical errors in the book that pushed her Grammar Nazi self into an enraged state. Personally however I failed to notice many grammatical errors or typos and for me at least those that I found were very few and didn’t bothered me much.*
*but then again I’m not much of a grammar nazi or a grammar genius myself
But there were plenty of things that did bother me, not least by the fact that how generic the characters were and how over the top the story sometimes become . Sure the book is pretty thin in itself to create much use of the characters, but that in itself is a big con of the book . In efforts to make the book short the author completely missed opportunities to develop the characters which would have actually made the deaths, the betrayals, the sorrow meaningful. At present the characters of the books feel so irrelevant that I didn’t care by the end of the book if any of them died or was in pain .In fact I’m still trying to figure out who was the lead character in the book because apart from the killer all the characters felt irrelevant.
The lead character as per the book blurb is actually a police officer named Surya and yet apart from one insight into the whole case Surya is seen doing absolutely nothing in the whole book , on contrary one of his friend in the team of detectives , Pratham , seemed to be doing more and acting more like a leader than Surya ever did
Meanwhile the world at present is filled with many thrillers and in need to catch a readers eye all thrillers need to do something that really impresses upon the thinking of the reader .With a plot involving serial killers , one hoped that the author will try to make these killings the eye catching point and yet most of the killings were pretty lame and felt unimaginative .
Those kills that were unique were either pretty far-fetched to believe and on one scenario absolutely rubbish. by some sad misfortune it’s another book in a succession of book that sadly I find to have had a lack of research the author tried to use puffer fish skin to cause an instant death by touching , the problem , Puffer fish poisoning is lethal to human when ingested and not when it’s simply touched upon and even on the event of the poisoning there’s actually a time span 10-45 minutes before symptoms actually start appearing and then a span of 4-6 hours when the patient can be given medical attention and be saved.* and yet in the book the death occured in seconds of the victim touching the foul material.
* and oh while we are at it lemme just notify that puffer fish poisoning causes tachycardia(raised heart rate) not bradycardia as depicted in the book
All in all the book was made of a very unique and interesting premise but the execution was severely lacking and while I have had my rants about over descriptive books before , I felt this book needed some descriptive narration to help itself . Filled with countless plot-holes in an already over the top plot the book failed to capture my imagination and even create much suspense for me to read book 2 of the series .That said it’s not actually bad enough to warrant excess criticism and sadly not good enough to deserve applaud . Fairly average is my verdict
Do share your feelings on my blog and this book if you have read it or intend to read it in future