Wednesday, February 16, 2022

Ashwatthama vs Parashuram: The Immortal Force by Gunjan Porwal (Book Review: 4.5*/5) !!!


5th Book of 2022

There are few authors who become like a subscription for you. Every time they come with a new book, it lands up with you even before you realize it and you finish reading it with the same speed. One such author for me is Gunjan Porwal. I have read both his previous works and absolutely liked the Ashwatthama’s Redemption series and rated both the work 4.5 out of 5. This made me pick up his latest release named “Ashwatthama vs Parashuram: The Immortal Force”. First thing first, the title and the cover page of the book is enough for you to give it a chance and you just can’t stop yourself from tempting to have this book in your shelf. The book is published by the author himself in around 450+ pages. Kudos to Gunjan for investing in his own stories and making it reach people so that Indians can learn a little bit about the ancient figures and tales.


The book majorly speaks about the Immortals mentioned in our religious and ancient texts. These immortals achieved this feat either through some blessing or curse which has kept them alive up till the era of Kalyug. They are now trying to hide their identity from the modern world and waiting for the Kalyug to end so that they can finally relax from living an immortal life which is finally becoming a pain for them. All of a sudden, Kripacharya, one of the immortals disappears, and all the other immortals get alarmed about someone knowing about them and their identity. They start thinking it’s Ashwatthama behind this as he must be trying to end his immortality as he got it as a curse. Parashuram takes it as a personal task to find him and stop him from doing whatever he is trying to do. This takes us to the path where we get to know about the WW2 era and meet Adolf Hitler – we are introduced with scientific elements – we are told about the efforts made to travel in past and the complexity involved in time-traveling – historical elements where we get to the Ramayan era too – and what not.


Even though the book is 450 pages thick but the way author narrates it doesn’t take much time for you to complete it – I could read 300 pages in just one go and then another 150 in the 2nd sitting. Even though the book consists of some tough concepts but the way author assures that he writes them in a simple manner does make it easy for the readers to navigate through the book. I liked how author gives a brief about all the immortals and how they got the boon or bane of immortality before starting the book. It just makes you curious to know about what the story is going to do with all of them in our current era. Though I would like to warn you that the book is not a mythological fiction but sci-fi hence don’t expect to know about the characters’ mythological tales. The story is completely fictional and the characters are described as just another human being in this era.


Gunjan’s research and hard-work behind creating the basis of the story is very much evident from the kind of concepts and periodical shift author keeps making throughout the story. It’s a great experience to see the story being connected right from WW2’s Hitler’s time till the current date and even going as back as Ramayan-era. Gunjan does all of this where every chapter is a scene going on in a particular era at a specific location. Even when the timeline keeps shifting and new characters are kept getting introduced, you don’t feel jumbled up just because the way author has managed to tell the story.


Author’s explanation of science and time-traveling concepts such as wormhole, quantum warping, quantum physics, grandfather affect, hayflick limit, Die Glocke, tardigrades, DNA etc. is very beautifully scribbled as you don’t get bored of reading and knowing about them. It’s so interesting to go through these concepts as Porwal also uses diagrams to make it easy for us to grasp them. I appreciate how real locations and places are used to describe the story as you can relate with it and imagine the story in a better way. The action scenes in the 2nd half are nicely handled which is enough to give you adrenaline rush. The whole pre-climax is wonderfully executed where there is a lot of run-and-chase sequences. The face-off between both the main characters is an amazing section to read. I liked the twist in the end when the truth gets revealed to one of the characters who tries to alter the past. Author ends the book giving this part of the story a complete closure but with a hint of continuity to the story in his next.


Talking about the drawbacks, I must say that because of the mythological characters, I was expecting them to behave similarly but the way author has given them a complete makeover made it difficult for me to connect with them. Similarly, I was expecting the book to also talk about mythological or at least philosophical aspect but it sticks to its scientific elements only. In the end, too many dialogues are exchanged between one of the antagonists and the protagonists which makes it hard to believe that why would someone share such elaborative details with their enemy when they actually need to wipe them off. I also felt author over-describing few scenes and conversations which sounds little stretchy at times and want you to skip a sentence or two in between.


Overall, the book is a great effort from the author and it is kind-of my first where the mythological characters are utilized in a sci-fi book hence my experience of reading it was like a challenge to the reader within me to accept the story. I give this book 4.5 stars out of 5. Well, that’s a hat-trick for Gunjan with the same rating and I am so hopeful from his future works too because of his consistency. Give this one a try if you love time-traveling as a concept.







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