Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Book Review: Beast by Krishna Udayasankar

Title: Beast

Author: Krishna Udayasankar

Publisher: Penguin eBury Press

Krishna Udayasankar’s ‘Beast’ is an urban fantasy thriller inspired by India’s rich lore and myths.

The story begins with a gruesome triple homicide in a suburb of Mumbai which keeps the police guessing as to the identity of the killer. Is it a man or a beast who has committed the crimes? The bodies have been so badly mutilated that no human hand could have done it. It is then that ACP Aditi Kashyap is called upon to solve the gruesome murders. She has to partner with an Enforcer, Prithvi Narasimha, who’s been called to hunt down this seemingly otherworldly murderer. As the two set out to find the culprit, a greater conspiracy unfolds and the very survival of humankind is placed under threat. Together, Aditi and Prithvi chase the murderer through the dark underbelly of Mumbai—from quiet suburbs to gritty brothels, from forgotten colonial tunnels to the lights and glamour of the inner city.

However, everything is not as it seems and the world isn’t just the domain of humans alone. Prithvi, as it turns out, is a werelion. He’s part human and part lion. And he’s not alone. There is an entire clan populated by beings like him. They call themselves Saimhas and consider themselves descendants of the legendry Narasimha—Vishnu’s avatar—from the story of Bhakt Prahallad. The Saimhas believe they are soldiers of the gods and are meant to protect all that is good and pure in humans. When the world comes to an end and Vishnu rises again to destroy all evil, the Saimhas will serve him. Till then they must control the beast hiding inside them. But not everyone curb their desire to be what nature means them to be. One of them has taken it upon himself to serve justice, though unwanted.

A thrilling page-turner that keeps you hooked, ‘Beast’ is rich in imagery. Udayasankar’s world-building is deft. She brings up some thought-provoking questions about the conflict between free will and law through her story telling. There’s just the right amount of drama, suspense, action, and mystery in this story.

An engaging and carefully constructed thriller that is worth reading before it starts streaming. 

Krishna Udayasankar is the author of The Aryavarta Chronicles (Govinda, Kaurava, Kurukshetra), 3, Immortal and Objects of Affection. She lives in Singapore with her family, which includes three bookish canine children, Boozo, Zana and Maya.

I'd like to thank the publisher for letting me review the book. I do hope you end up liking the book when you read it. Thank you so much for stopping by, and happy reading!

* I received a review copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

** Picture courtesy: Amazon.in

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