Review: The Immortals of Meluha – Amish Tripathi.

I’ve been interested in this series for a few months, having blogged a virtual publishing conference that the author happened to be taking part. His insight into the industry in India was interesting, he seemed very nice, and the story seemed particularly intriguing. So, a few months down the line I finally got around to it.

Good story, poorly written.

I thought it was written and translated into English, so I gave it some leeway, but I’ve since discovered that’s seemingly not the deal, in which case that’s kind of disappointing.

I can’t vouch for the accuracy of his take on Hindu mythology and Shiva, but it certainly made me interested in the area. The thing about Shiva, here, is that he just isn’t very likeable. For being nice and level headed, he’s frankly intolerant and disrespectful of other people’s views and beliefs and passes them off with a pat of the shoulder, hearty laugh and reassuring, “But what do I know?” But only after he’s pointed out how ludicrous someone else’s beliefs were.

Everyone was just a little flat. Shiva, beyond his rudeness to people, had an internal conflict that was underdeveloped and had real potential, his approach to Sati is moderately infuriating, pretty much expecting her to say she loves him when she’s barely met him, and yeeeeah. It’s just one of those books where I could go on and on but each point curtails into one of those ambiguous yeeeeahs.

It’s a shame, because the idea was really strong, I just think it wasn’t very well written or paced. Some bits feel eternal, the latter action feels rushed. People blindly follow, no one questions (the one or two who did were the characters I found most interesting in their fleeting appearances).

When you’re dealing with myth, you’ve got to do it justice and elevate it, and sadly it was just a bit… yeeeeah.


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