Tantra (2013)

Anu is a leather wearing, no-nonsense professional guardian with a reputation for killing the most dangerous vampires in New York City. But when her enemies murder the one person she truly cared about, all she wants is vengeance. The only clue points to New Delhi, so Anu puts in for a job transfer.

In India, she finds more than she expected. For one thing, her fellow operatives have made a truce with the vampires. For another, it’s way too hot to wear leather. At first, it seems Anu’s biggest challenge will be evading the nice boys her aunt wants her to marry. But when children start disappearing, she discovers forces older and darker than anything she’s faced before. All of Delhi is in danger, especially the sexy stranger who sets Anu’s pulse racing. To prepare for the coming battle, Anu must overcome her personal demons and put aside years of training. This time, her most powerful weapon will come from her mind, not her weapons belt.

The book falls under multiple categories — mystical fiction, vampires, supernatural stuff and a super-heroine. And there lies the biggest flaw of the book. It tries to grapple with so many sub-plots in one go that either the characters/situations remain under cooked or have very little significance to the narrative. Delhi seems to have picked as the city to pan out this story, but clearly this could have been any city. No place seems familiar and a passing reference of West (or central or North) Delhi makes fleeting appearances. The author place the story in Delhi but very few of us can claim to know of the city by the cafes and restaurants these characters interact and do all the action.

There is very little background given for Anu’s vampire abilities and even though this may not have been necessary…with supposedly the first book in the series, it was crucial to build a relationship of your central protagonist with the readers. The author drowns the narrative by introducing so many tantric and spiritual stuff, you feel like an atheist sitting in a pravachan and don’t know how to get out of it. Coming with a tacky cover design, the story starts briskly but takes too many detours to reach its ultimate destination.

It is not that books is a trash. There is some fun in the conversations of Anu and Amit, a fellow vampire. With dry and witty humour, these conversations keep you engrossed for a while. There is abundant research done for the mystical stuff but somehow it never becomes sum of its parts. The author takes a right step in the direction by going in an unknown territory as far as Indian fiction is concerned but botch it up by inundating the readers with too much of information in one go.

It introduces a strong and interesting central character but concentrates more on the action than treatment of these characters. This book silently reminded me why i have always hated the ‘Twilight Series’ so much. Much ado about nothing. Read it at your own risk!

Writes for the love of Books, Movies, Music & Cricket. He opines that best investment ideas are often cracked by being on the road.

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Amit Kumar Gupta

Writes for the love of Books, Movies, Music & Cricket. He opines that best investment ideas are often cracked by being on the road.