Another Intellectual Being

Book Review – Samit Basu | Turbulence

Superheroes have always been indispensable part of the Urban Fantasy. Be it superbeings from alien planets (Superman), Bug bitten masked avengers (Spiderman) or Millionaires in Body Suits (Iron Man), their fan following has always been much celebrated.

Samit Basu, fabled author of the Gameworld Trilogy is back with another fiction novel based on Urban Superheoes. The story revolves around a few main characters with lots of significant side characters thrown in, almost like an Indian Justice League.

Aman Sen, the protagonist is the one with the eerie geeky superpowers. He can manipulate networks with his mind. Even the Internet bends to his will.

Uzma Abidi is a British-Pakistani who has come to India as an aspiring Bollywood actress. Everything works out quite smoothly with her infinite charisma.

Vir, an Indian Air Force pilot has the ability to fly.

Tia, a troubled housewife from the north-east has the ability to multiply and do all the things she dreamt of.

But one thing unites them all. They were all aboard British Airlines flight 142 from London to Delhi. They were all given superpowers as a result of what they had dreaming about, all of the passengers, but now someone had been hunting and killing the passengers one by one and Aman needed to know who.

The search leads the Desi Justice League to Jai, an indestructible one-man army with an old fashioned goal – military conquest of the world. Going through the pages we encounter Shera, a conservationist turned man-tiger, Anima, a girl endowed with special powers from different animes, Zothanpuii, a north eastern woman in Delhi with ass kicking powers, Namrata, a mass manipulator and so many more. It is in totality a gripping read with some manageable dry parts in the middle. The story is quite simply put about how a nerd kicks a strong, good looking mans arse both by winning the day and getting the woman of his dreams. I sense a bit of Bollywood creeping in.

After having read the Gameworld trilogy with its twists, turns and plot changes, I find myself demanding more from this book.

The whole plane-incident giving superpowers is loosely based on the Fantastic Four saga wherein the four travellers are given superpowers almost in the same way.

Page 203 to Page 207 exactly imitates a segment of the new Artemis Fowl book titled Artemis Fowl and the Atlantis Complex wherein Artemis develops a disease known as the Atlantis Complex which gives him a split personality who is madly in love with his colleague, Agent Holly Short. Same is the case with Aman Sen when he tries to overuse his powers. His alter ego surfaces and expresses his feeling/lust for Uzma.

And hidden in there is a classic reference to ‘The Watchmen’ which says ‘Superman exists and he’s not American!’

For people who have not read Samit Basu before I would suggest you give it a read. It is a fast paced book sure to grip you from the start to the end. For a returning Samit Basu fan, I’m sorry to say but this book is a wee bit disappointing.

Note: All views belong to the Blogger and are not intended to break copyrights or hurt the sentiments of anyone. Any hurt caused is deeply regretted.

2 responses

  1. I agree that the expectations were high for a Gameworld fan.

    Was stunned to see the small size of the book – and wished it was longer and the characters were more drawn out.

    Vir and Jai needed to be better etched. We don’t get any background about Jai at all.

    November 24, 2010 at 11:22 am

  2. Vishal Gajjar

    The story was well made but almost predicted. I agree that a slight background of Jai should be given but I guess the author has kept it open for the next part. I guess in the next part Jai will become a Hero. I got little disappointed by sentences like “Bigger than Beatles” which pour western influence over our own Bollywood Heros. I mean just for fun it could have been “Bigger than Bachchan”. Most enjoyable part of the book was the beginning, when Vir was introduced and his little interaction with F16.

    November 27, 2010 at 2:09 am

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