I love reading mythological fantasy. The mythical part of such books is relatable as I grew up hearing and watching them. And it is always interesting to discover how the author gives a twist to the mythical part with his imagination and builds his own story around the pillars of age-old tales. It was a reason why I was looking forward to reading Aham by Saurabh Thakur.
Story of Devta and Danav with Twist
Aham, thoroughly inspired by the stories of demons, deities, and humans, gives a makeover to devta and danav animosity. The author weaved his threads in the tapestry of world creation. It was logical and in the alignment of the popular notion. And this pattern could be seen throughout the story.
Humans become scapegoat between the enmity of Demons and Deities. The responsibility to protect the helpless earth dwellers was upon Rekhtas, a warrior clan solely created for this purpose.
Dominance of Antagonist
The first part of the trilogy series revolves around the antagonist Vanee and her rise to power. Demons unite under her leadership to take revenge from deities. Rekhyt, on the other hand, were gearing up to stop demons from creating havoc on the earth.
Vanee’s character received enormous space to develop. She was supposed to be a charismatic character arousing a feeling of awe in the readers. But somehow a nexus was not established. Her reason for revenge could be valid, but it failed to raise any strong emotion or sympathy. I was wary and indifferent most of the time.
The protagonist Rwiju was a prominent Rekhyt. His abilities and fighting skills were interesting to read. Little by little, you will know about his strength and capabilities. And there was a mysterious past. But I felt the author revealed his secret too soon, instead of building suspense around it. In this book, the focus was more on Vanee than Rwiju.
What I loved about the book were the action and fighting scenes between Rekhyts and demons. The use of magic and technology added a novelty factor. The author poured his creativity and infused life into action scenes.
But Somehow it doesn't Work for me
The storyline is good, albeit without layers. A complex chain of events was missing. No surprises or tangible twists were awaiting you to blow away your mind. A sense of mystery or urgency was lacking that could keep you glued to the book with wide eyes. You can easily predict what will happen next. I have a fair bit of hunch where the story would be progressing in the second part.
While the action was superb in the story, the imbalance between narration and dialogue bogged down the story. Conversations were scant and vague and not so engaging. Unnecessary, ramblings, and weeds overloaded the story. I missed the presence of an evocative narrative voice that would have strongly connected me to the pain and internal turmoils of the lead characters.
The Verdict :
For me, Aham was an average read. The story is solid but storytelling could have been better. Beginners will enjoy reading it or tween readers who want to level up.