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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Of Trilogies and More…


It seems to be the time for trilogies and I of course, in my desperate need to find out what would happen next, do read them. They are not of a suspenseful nature, but the thing about writing, masterful or otherwise is what draws me to them.

And unfortunately, I did not find the good trilogy. Of course, this is going to be a little odd, because not only am I mentioning a brilliant author (Jeffrey Archer) but also a mediocre one (Amish).Archer and Amish struggle after the first book. That's the funny thing about trilogies. The author has to maintain the pace, emotion and the need to read the next one, whatever the reason may be.

Archer failed to do it his second book, and in the third one he manages to pick the reader's interest before dropping the ball. Same with Amish. His first book draws the audience in thanks to firstly, the subject and secondly, the suspense. I looked forward to the second one, but it did not live up to expectations.

Wonder how JK Rowling did and Archer too, earlier? The second book had to have a subject, and the subtle characterisations, which draw the reader in, making you, feel as if you are a character. Basically, you have to ‘own’ the book.

While I mentioned that Archer was brilliant in his first book and was hoping for the end in the first one itself, it did not work too well in his mind. The second book, ended with the promise of the third one, ‘Best Kept Secret’. Unfortunately, Archer is right. This book would have ‘best been kept a secret’.

It almost felt like a third rate Hindi soap opera especially, with Giles Barrington’s wedding to Lady Virginia. You have the usual nonsense about a woebegone love story, a marriage, and a divorce. I am yet to find out why this entire episode was created, built and ended.

Of course, you do see Harry Clifton go from a mediocre writer to a clever author, Emma Barrington go from an innocuous housewife to a brilliant woman, showing every bit of the woman she was in the second book, ‘Sins of the Father’. 

And now, in this book, you are also further introduced to Sebastian Clifton and the book ends with well, not the end but unfortunately a promise of another one. Should I mention the fact that I did not ask for them in the first place? Or just feel bad that I would end up buying the next one, as well? You win, Archer!!

And the next was the ‘Oath of the Vayuputras’. I really enjoyed ‘The Immortals of Meluha’, but again, unfortunately he was quite bad with the second book, ‘The Secret of the Nagas’. Amish does pick up pace, with the last one, managing to build a little suspense, but he just goes on and on. His book loses the swiftness, which it promised at the beginning of the book. 

Much as I enjoyed the adventures of Sati, who in the end, does show her skill with her combative tactics and her martial cleverness, which she showed in the first book, before her frozen demise. (Literally, frozen because I thought that’s what happened to Amish’s writing skills.)

Amish lost it completely when he imagines her rise up from her frozen self, when she comes alive as ghost in front of Ganesh and Kartik.  Creepy and funny too! But it ended and that was brilliant. However, Archer does not make the oath in his Clifton Chronicles. Two more sequels to wait for. Hopefully, they would be better. Sigh…

PS : I also think that Amish might write the Mahabharata again, I truly wish him all the best and hope that he has managed to retain the skill he showed in his first book.

I’m gonna blame the authors and book for this third rate review. :)




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