After all the hype about this book, mostly due to the success of its predecessor, I was pretty excited when I got hold of it. Unfortunately, that excitement was probably the only high point. I enjoyed ‘The Immortals of Meluha’ – it was interesting, gripping in parts and an enjoyable read. But as is the case with most sequels these days (except Stieg Larsson’s Millennium trilogy, where Parts 2 and 3 were better than 1!), ‘The Secret of the Nagas’ failed to meet my expectations.
At just 396 odd pages, it still felt long. There was quite a bit of boring narrative that was impeding the already not-so-fast-paced story. And, I’ll be honest, the names, terms and the general writing style that I overlooked in part 1 got my goat in part 2. I understand that when it’s fantasy fiction, the author does end up using names and terms that do not exist – however, when the names and terms are derived out of known and existing concepts, it gets very tricky. Example, there was a reference to a place called Sangamtamil – a bit weird for me, because I know SangaTamil is a language. There was also a huge dose of very Hindi-filmy Mother-Son drama – for me, it stuck out like a sore thumb, inserted just to gain some brownie points with a sentimental reader (which, unfortunately for the author, I was not).
Come to think of it, the book felt like it was written with a future movie in mind. And the reason that doesn’t work always is because very less is left to the reader’s imagination – I, personally, enjoy books that give me some parts and let me build the rest of the scene!
‘The Secret of the Nagas’ had a very predictable narrative and the writing was very amateurish. Might have been overlooked in ‘Immortals’ but the author may not be lucky a second time.