Mainak Dhar has thirteen books to his credit. But to be honest I had never heard of him or this book till I got hold of it. I am a fan of books which deal with terrorism, suspense, thrillers and the likes. But only if our contemporary Indian writers get time to move away from romance and college love stories, would they write something else, right? Anyways, so I began this book with quite some expectation. Did it impress me? Let’s check it out.

The blurb goes like this –

It began with undead Taliban in Afghan villages and faster than anyone could have anticipated, the darkness spread through the world.

In a world laid waste by this new terror, five unlikely companions come together in a devastated New Delhi – a seventeen-year-old boy dealing with the loss of his family, a US Navy SEAL trying to get back home, an elderly history professor, a young girl and her three-year-old brother.

When they discover that the child may hold the key to ending the pestilence that threatens to destroy their world, they begin an epic journey to a rumoured safe zone in the Himalayas. The journey will pit them against terrible adversaries, both human and undead.

Will they survive? Or will they too, like many before them, become undead citizens of Zombiestan?

This gripping read from the bestselling author on Amazon, Mainak Dhar, is guaranteed to enthrall and entertain.

First things first. The gory cover page of the book catches your attention. Not many authors would generally go for such a cover page which may scare off many a reader. The presentation and font style of the text in the book is well done.

The concept is really interesting and relatively new by Indian standards at least. Mainak has brought together the world of terrorism and chemical warfare and intermixed it with the concept of zombies, thus taking the reader on an edge of the seat journey. The book is gripping and keeps the viewer engaged throughout without moving the story into unnecessary directions. The fact that the characters are from such different backgrounds, enriches the story even more.

Mainak brings in the elements of the War on Terror currently on in the world thus making it quite a contemporary read. He seems to know what he’s talking about and ensures that the narration is pacy and entertaining throughout.

But there are quite a few negatives which hold the book back. A better spell check and proof reading would have been really helpful. There are grammatical errors at many points which would irritate a reader no end. Some of the characters seem a bit stereotyped and not very well developed.

The book also tends to get cliched at certain points. Maybe Mainak thought of making things quite melodramatic or Bollywoodish which resulted in that. But it holds the book back a bit.

But all in all despite the negatives, I would say it’s quite a good attempt among Indian contemporary writers.

Rating – 3/5

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