Transition of Thoughts

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Book Review – The Devil’s Gate: An Impossible Journey


A doctor by profession and a writer by passion, “The Devil’s Gate: An Impossible Journey” is Deepak Kripal’s first novel. Though he is already a known name in the blogosphere, he was waiting for the right story to debut with. Does it work? Let’s check it out.

The blurb goes like this –

Plundered by humans of their habitats, animals take a drastic step when they decide to send a team of a cat named as Katy and a dog named as Dug, to an invisible island known, as the Island of ‘Five Hundred Graves’. The island becomes visible only for a short time on the night of the full moon.

Legend has it that the island is inhabited by the demons. Katy and Dug are supposed to negotiate a deal with the demons, convincing them to allow the animals to inhabit the island. Majority of the animal community believe that tinkering with the other world could bring their wrath to the animals. The team is sent to the island nevertheless.

But can a deal with the dead be materialized?

Are there really demons on the island? Is there any conspiracy involved?

Will Katy and Dug be able to negotiate, or will survival remain their only question in the deadly island.

First things first, the cover page design could have been done better. The font of the text and the quality of the pages is maintained perfectly throughout the book.

At the outset, the book has a very unique concept which is pretty unheard of in the Indian literary industry these days. When we think of animals depicted in books, we think of Panchatantra, Aesop’s Fables etc. Deepak has beautifully depicted a story of how animals are in grave danger due to plundering and destruction of their habitats by humans. So true these days, isn’t it? Since they cannot stay in their habitat, they need to move out as quickly as possible. And then begins the adventure to the island of “Five Hundred Graves”.

Deepak should be applauded for a well crafted imaginative plot which takes the reader on an adrenaline filled reading experience. The narrative is structured quite well and the story moves at a good pace throughout. There are some interesting phrases like “Bravery without sword is like slavery without lord”, “Tragedy of yesterday is the joke of tomorrow etc. which take the story forward.

Deepak has portrayed the concept of teamwork, coordination and the ability to fight against all odds really well in the context of the story. The conversations between the animals and the entire descriptions seem quite life like.

The negatives?

Better editing could have taken the reading experience up by several notches. There are also certain parts where the sequences are pretty long drawn out that it feels like there is quite some repetition.

All in all, if you are one for fantasy novels, this is for you.

Rating – 4/5

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  1. Wow! This book does sound really interesting, cuz of the plot. till now, I’ve only seen animated movies based on animals, reading book with animal protagonist would be a different experience totally. Thanks for the review. Cheers!

    • transitionofthoughts

      Thanks Rashi. Yeah it definitely was a good book :).

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