Top positive review
Nicely researched and executed
Reviewed in India on 9 August 2018
My first impression of The Mahabharata Secret were great. A single look into the cover and I was completely dragged. The blurb at the back also made a equal haul and hence I happily picked it up.
Read further to know my musings on “The Mahabharata Secret” and why you should and should not pick this book up.
Readability, cover, styling, font and page quality
I read The Mahabharata Secret on Paperback where the font style and font size is well and good. So the book is quiet readable. Further, I absolutely love the cover of the book, It is beautiful, symbolic and just attractive.
The story as it goes
Vijay is a Indian origin boy currently living in San Jose, California, USA. He is running a tech company along with his partner and college-mate Colin. His only relative in India remains to be his uncle Vikram, who took care of him after his parents died of an unfortunate car accident. Vikram is a nuclear scientist with a significant contribution to India’s first nuclear explosion at Pokhran in 1974. He lives in Jaungarh Fort, New Delhi which he bought years ago and renewed for his personal motives.
Vijay receives five obscure emails from his uncle which he later realizes that they were the final words of his uncle before his murder. During his visit to India for Vikram’s funeral, he and his friend Colin is attacked and held captives by group of terrorist who are led by a man name Farooq Siddique.
After escaping from the capturer, Vijay becomes aware of Farooq Siddque’s hand in his uncles murder. With just five emails in his hand and few friends with his side he tries to unlock the hidden message from his uncles final words, which later brings him to the one of the deepest secret of Indian history The Nine Unknown Men.
The story has many plots as it goes including the timeline around 244 BC which deals with Ashoka and his men, around 2000 AD and Current plot where Vikram and his friends are in search of the secret hidden by nine unknown men ages ago. To know more about the Vijay’s treasure hunt, you will have to read “The Mahabharata Secret” yourself.
The main drawback of “The Mahabharata Secret” would be its title. Most of the story’s parts are placed around Ashoka and his edicts which are built around his empire including modern day Afghanistan, Pakistan and India. As far as I think, the word Mahabharata is used just to pull people around it.
How good are the Characters?
One of the best part in this book will be the usage of characters. Even though the main story is around Vijay, every character in this story hold equal amount of significance till the last line of the novel. The main character Vijay will surely burst the explorer in you. But one thing which I feel so outmatching with the story line is Vijay’s knowledge. His character more or less depicts the Robert Langdon character in Dan Brown’s series. The ability of a businessman to solve the 2000 year old secret seems to be so unrealistic.
Colin, Vijay’s friend plays a humorist character till the end of the book. Colin was there at every hustle Vijay faced during his journey. His character depicts how a good friend would assist you in all your highs and lows. Being a foreigner, Colin’s reaction to the history of India is well painted by the author.
Then comes Shukla, a childhood friend of Vikram and a linguist. His knowledge of ancient India and ability to polyglot ancient scripts makes him one of the main characters of the theme.
Talking about other characters in “The Mahabharata Secret”. It is Radha, daughter of Shukla who touched my heart. She is the only female character in the book. Her silent love towards Vijay will give ecstatic feel once in a while around you. I personally thank Doyle for depicting Radha such a way.
What about Author’s writing style?
The Mahabharata Secret starts with introducing Vikram in his ancestral fort where he later gets killed by the men of worlds famous terrorist group.
If I talk about the plot, the book is lengthy and tedious here and there. I like the way Doyle handled the different timelines. There isn’t munch happenings in terms of dialogues and events become monotonous after some times. The Mahabharata Secret tells us a adventure that is dragged a lot and the book flops its stride easily.
And every now and then you can easily predict the forthcoming twists also.
What I liked about Doyle’s writing style is that he is easily able to make his characters relatable. Through his story, he purely shown his desire to dig deep into the ancient Indian history and legends around it.
Was the Climax worth it?
Having 2000 year old secret in his hand, Doyle should have made a better climax. It was one of the worst part of the book. The secret which Ashoka and his men secured for last 2000 years is just as simple as any one can predict.
What could have been better?
There are many things that are left to be desired in this book. There is the issue with poor editing. Another thing that could have been better was the length of the book. The repetitive and dramatic episodes could have been cut short.
Entertainment Quotient of The Mahabharata Secret
In the end, the entire review reduces to this only parameter. This story tells us a decent story and has some good characters to look forward to but, it surely doesn’t deliver in terms of entertainment quotient.
Reach The Mahabharata Secret if you are someone who loves mythic stories. This book would give you a basic tour to the history of ancient India and some of its remains around the region. It would be a nice pick if you want to explore about Ashoka’s edicts for the first time.
Since the adventure only revolves around Ashoka’s edicts, I would suggest my readers to skip this book if someone doesn’t enjoy repetitive concepts.
WRITING STYLE: 7/10
ENTERTAINMENT QUOTIENT: 6/10