Book Review Treat: Yama By Kevin Missal

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Kevin Missal has introduced a very riveting plot through his novel “Yama”. This is the story of a man who takes justice in his own hand and strives to punish sinners as per the eight hells talked about in Bhagavad Gita. Needless to say, when arrogance mixes with spirituality, and morality takes a turn to fanaticism, all you have in result is a self-proclaimed saint hiding an unforgiving psychopath beneath his cool exterior.

However, the characterization done by the author is so immaculate that you are led to explore all the crevices and corners of a character deeply. Thus, when we get to learn about the two main and conflicting personalities, we are left wondering what the many faces of mankind has in store for us. On one hand we are introduced to Iravan Rajput, a private detective and a dedicated ex-army commander, who is also a compassionate and loving family man. He is a man of rationale and justice. On the other hand we are introduced to Yama, a man who claims to be a man of justice but all he really is is an unforgiving sinner, who goes on a quest to punish “sinners”. Through him we are introduced to different mythologies, versions of hell, sins and other elements of dark fantasy which make this book a very interesting read.

Another character we are introduced to is Swati Kaushik, a woman unlike the typical Indian woman, an ambitious, quick-witted widow who embarks on the quest with Iravan to find the self-proclaimed God of Death.

The book is a gripping read and is impressively well-researched, it can easily be called a modern take on Indian mythology, and a thriller with dark fantasy mix. However, this book is extremely slow-paced and some parts of the plot seem to be exaggerated.

This book also is very different in sense that in a current Indian society devoid of its mythological roots and apathy towards violent crimes which seem to happen on daily basis, here we have Yama who takes concern for societal ills to a destructive turn. The book also seems to be a commentary on hypocrisy and morality, and what happens when we become what we condemn, in this case becoming a sinner against sinners.

I am giving it 3.5/5

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