Saturday, October 1, 2016

Book Review: 03:02 by Mainak Dhar

I got this book from Writer’s Melon for an honest review.

It was supposed to be a different read. 03:02 by Mainak Dhar (Westland Books) is a science/action fiction. It’s been long since I read any science fiction. I read some really nice reviews, and thought to give it a try. Recently, I have realized that it’s good to experiment with the genre. I have got some wonderful reading surprises!

Okay, coming back to this book. 

After celebrating his promotion till midnight, Aditya wakes up at 03:02 a.m. to find complete darkness, switched off mobile and not working fridge. Assuming it a normal power cut, he goes back to sleep. 7 in the morning, nothing has changed. Everything has stopped working even elevators and automobiles. 

Can this be considered as normal power cut? There’s definitely something serious! What went wrong? Who’s behind this, and why? Someone whose intention is definitely dangerous. 

The book is all about unfolding these mysteries, chasing the troubles and fighting with them.

Sounds intriguing? It does! And it is.

The book started off really well. I was eager to know what was this all about, thinking 'what next'. But, after some pages it becomes very slow and repetitive. It’s not uneventful. So many things happen but these things seem like a whirlwind. Whirling at the same place, going nowhere. And, this made my mind whirl with so many questions. Such stories need to be fast paced, but here, 150 pages and there is no lead, no cues.

The writing is good, but I didn’t think it’s very intelligent, especially in the first half (Or maybe I didn’t get that as several things go unexplained).

For example, nothing is working, but someone manages to start the generator, and the elevator starts working. Interestingly, no one in the nearby society is eager to know that how people of Aditya’s society have managed to do so! Just two days of power cut and everyone is just concerned about water and food supplies. Come on! We keep our kitchen stocked enough to manage for couple of days, don’t we?  We have gas cylinders to prepare foods. 

People  are looting and killing for food supplies (even guards of a politician!). There are several shops (not just electronically operated malls) where people can easily buy goods. They are thinking about fetching water from swimming pools! If generator can work, then why can’t motors work for water storage? A woman suggests to grow their own foods in the garden! And, Aditya feels that she is a genius! I mean really? No one is trying to approach the authorities to know what actually went wrong?

The author has tried to prove that everyone except Aditya is dumb. Everyone needs Aditya’s lecture to realize what’s wrong or right in this difficult situation (an elderly man is reading novel lighting his torch until Aditya lectures. A politician refuses to cooperate until someone lectures). Everyone is coming to Aditya’s society as if it was a refugee camp. I wondered why that person who started the generator was not trying to start another generator in the society nearby.

It was so disturbing. Sometimes, it seems like a moral/social story.

There’s no strong female character with prominent role, still I liked the character of Megha and the way her relationship with Aditya burgeons slowly.

As I said the writing is good. The plot/theme of the book is unique. It is packed with action and insights. So if you like action thrillers/science fiction, (It didn’t give me the feel of science fiction though) you may like it. Going by the wonderful reviews, you should try this! For me, it was a confusing read (And the confusion killed the excitement), But that's just me.

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