Writing a Science Fiction (or Sci-Fi) is like walking on a tightrope. While you need to let the horses of your imagination run free, you have to make sure the path they cover should not look abstract. You should be able to give logical and scientific explanation of the things happening in the virtual world of words you are exploring.
That’s why we admire some authors who delve into this genre quite convincingly.
And, Varun Sayal is one of them.
To read more about Varun’s books and his journey as an author, you can follow the below given links:
- Time Crawlers (Stories from Parallel Universes)
- An Author Interview With Varun Sayal
- Demons of Time: Race to the 7th Sunset
- Devourers from Suryaksh: Race to the Last Eventuality (Time Travelers Book 2)
- Disciples of Trikaal: Prequel to Time Trvellers series
- Doomsday of Tamas: Race To The Second Apocalypse By Varun Sayal
|Book Title||:||Serpent's Reign
A Superhero Action Adventure Series Superheroes of the Multiverse - 2
|# of Pages||:||354; 3603 KB (Kindle EBook)|
|# of Chapters||:||35|
So, when we are presented with the review copy of his latest EBook – Serpent’s Reign, we took efforts to move it forward in our long review queue, without a hesitation. It is the second book in the Superheroes of the Multiverse book series. It moves the story forward from where it stopped in the first instalment.
Let us take a look at the cover page of this book, the gateway to the fictional story explored within.
As Varun is self-publishing his books, there remains a scope of improvement in the cover page. On the cover page the female protagonists are seen in their attacking poses. Some of the character specific details are tried to highlight on their appearance, especially costumes. The illustrations are having a mysterious multi-color background. It is a moderately good cover page which could have been improved to get more attention from a book explorer.
Let us take a bird’s eye view of the story.
The female protagonist is landed in a different parallel universe, on the planet Earth, and in the Mumbai city to be precise; in broad daylight! The onlookers may see her appearance with a variety of emotions, including fear. Is she an alien? does she possess a threat to the civilization? Is it the part of an attack or something, as we see in Hollywood movies, from terrestrial beings?
Well, the authorities took a stock of the situation and taken her to a classified place immediately. Not only because she needed immediate medical attention, but to know more about her and getting answers to all these erupting questions.
DN is one of the feared businessman(!!). When he wants to take over your business or property, you have to let him! At least, you will remain alive and get some pennies in exchange of your wealthy empire! When you don’t fall in line, you will be destined to meet the God you believe in. And, not in a pleasant way, for sure.
Is he just another goon or Mafia operating in this world, or he has connections outside also? Where does he fit in this – war that is spread in multiverse – situation?
Well, you need to read the book to get a lot of answers (and come up with many more questions 🙂 ).
In this fictional story spread over in 35 chapters, you meet Ulka, Surendar Nath: the police commissioner of Mumbai, Rita, Doctor Biswas, Narbali, Dansh Naag, Mohita, Carmel D’Souza, Yagni, Dr. Karnikar., Prashant (Teevra – T), Thomas Varghese: CEO of Jamintas Capital, Anthony, Malthi, Sub-inspector Tipnis, Harpreet, Arushi Sengupta. lawyer Jagvir Talwar, Mr. Hari Sharma, Jasjot Kharbanda, Badri, Raju, Basheer and Mohit, Jagmohan, Jugal, Mahatre, Mrs. Neelima, Ashima Dayal, the Blue Butterfly (Ruby), Dhenu, Vikruids, Pretgun, Badri, Senior Analyst Vinoth, Sohail, Bhujang, Devnaath, Major Shauket Ali, Army Captain Hams, Horez Horata, Nidrani, Dr. Jamrood, Eind-ra, Vaayu, Suhani (Nidrani’s sister), Karl Megler )the security demonstration manager with Nellertoz Security Solutions), Berlin, Mr. Muller, Margaret (Margie), Rosita, Dyuta, Eind-ra., Shunkara, Julia, Tapan, Kaushik, Cheel, Gunreev, Rakra-Beej, Jeevan, Esther, Officer Janki, and others.
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Like the previous book in the series, this one also introduces us to a research work. Doctor Paramjeet Morales (Dr. Param) was born to Prabhjot (an ER nurse) and Miguel (worked at a factory). He was considered child prodigy.
And thus, we are introduced to the concept of “The Seven Parallel Universes, the Multiverse”.
While this segment is all about exploring the life and works of Dr. Param, it is worth exploring for some simple lines which are written not only to represent incidents, but also the emotions.
Life was all dinners, movies and roses for Param’s parents until the harsh reality of running a family and raising a kid hit them hard.
Due to the tough circumstance they caught by, Param was sent to his maternal aunt Jaskeerat in New Jersey, where he continued the rest of his education. Here, during night time, he worked on his theory of parallel universes. From 2006 to 2013, Param traveled to eighty-four countries, putting all his wealth, and then some, into his travel and research.
And then comes the details about his research work and how he moved forward.
He code-named the seven universes where he derived names from the numeric notation of multiple languages. He called them Unas, Dwius, Trius, Quartus, Pentus, Hectus, and Septuous. From this rank-ordering on their Hertz value, Dr. Param determined we lived in the universe which he had code-named Dwius.
Param took to the internet and started freely publishing his work on his blog. He also started a YouTube channel.
And then comes the sad part:
On September 27, 2019, at a relatively young age of thirty-seven, Dr. Param was found dead in his apartment in Everett, Washington. Owing to constant harassment by loan collectors and the disgrace he felt at the hands of his fellow scientists, he had consumed cyanide pills.
And then, the author clarifies:
The rest of this story, however, is not about Dr. Param. This is the story about women called Sigma, who were scattered throughout these universes. Their paths intersect as they faced threats from all seven universes and ended up fighting not only for their own survival, but that of the multiverse.
As said in the beginning, the author, while exploring the fantasy stuff, has to have a strong base for the concept and incidents he is exploring; Varun introduced us to the same in the very beginning. So, when after reading the prologue, when you come across the lines quoted below:
Planet Earth, in Our Universe (Universe Dwius) July 21, 2018, Mumbai, India.
Traffic came to a screeching halt on the bridge as drivers close to the disc braked hard, and the vehicles following crashed behind them. But none of the drivers got out to engage in a verbal duel, as they would have done after a usual crash.
You know the context.
And, thus, the lines like the following are not totally alien to you.
“Which planet are you from?” Nath spoke from a mental list of questions.
“Ask my name first,” The alien scoffed. “Name Horez. A respectable Denizen of the Theocracy of Nether, Planet Earth.”
I am from another Earth in a parallel universe which you call Quartus. Haven’t you read the multiverse theory?”
Planet Earth, in the Seventh Parallel Universe (Septuous) Yagni stood in the middle of an empty freeway, looking at the eighteen-wheel mega-trailer truck which was a couple of miles away and was racing toward her. Dressed in her black and red superhero suit and pyro-safe white gloves, she was pumping herself for impending combat. Small flames played in her palms, and an occasional snake of fire swirled around her body.
Of course, the lines are so nicely written that you can almost visualize the entire scene.
And, this ability of the author is evident in the book, throughout.
At around 8:17 AM, Ulka was shot out through the middle of the disk, flung with a parabolic trajectory. She crashed into one of the bridge’s pillars, only to be thrown toward the middle of the road. Owing to her incoming momentum, she bounced through several cars, denting roofs, trunks, and crushing windshields, before coming to rest on the hood of a SUV, where she lay still.
Ruby, who had managed to stand to her knees, pushed herself to the ground as a laser beam just missed the top of her head but took a whiff of hair from her swinging ponytail. She stayed glued to the ground as she watched Ulka slice through each and every SNARC alive.
She quickly approached the yellow pillar where an old black telephone hung. It was an old instrument where the heavy handset was connected to the black iron-base through a coiling leather wire.
There are some one-liners which holds simple words yet its impact is long lasting:
Future is always changing.
Knowing our limits and respecting them is important, kid.
“Fear is good, Karl. Fear keeps you alive. It shouldn’t cripple you, though.”
“Nothing just happens, dear. Everything has a reason.”
While some fellows keep complaining about the situations and how life is unfair to them, there are the ones who utilises the resources they have, in the situation they live, and try to make the best of it. The way, a kid who almost grew up on streets develops the ability to differential the good and bad is elaborated in the book nicely.
Out on the street when your life is in peril twenty-four-seven, you need to develop a skill to read people and situations. When you see crime and criminals so close, you learn to differentiate between a perp and a victim.
And, carrying it forward, we come to know about the thirst to learn. And, how it is satisfied.
But I’m glad you’re spending your time well. Where do you get all these books?”
“A few from the library, but most from the Bharari scrapyard, the largest one in Asia. It’s right outside the city. Tons and tons of garbage is deposited there every day. You have no idea how many good books are just thrown away. I collect and read them.”
Literally, where there is a will, there are ways!
Superheroes are not always another breed, they are like us, but they use the abilities at their best.
The author also came up with concepts like “clairvoyant” and others. And when he explains the things, there are facts infused quite nicely within them.
“Yeah, vampires are like that. His anatomy is different from us humans. His cells regenerate twenty times faster than ours. Your neurotoxin is wasted on him.” Carmel chuckled as she rambled.
In addition to AI (Artificial Intelligence), the current happenings like Crypto, Dark Web and other stuff is weaved in the story nicely.
“No, they aren’t.” Thomas was not mincing words. “You want us to route all our foreign transactions via DN Corporation’s Laqarda-coin crypto escrow. Why? Why should we convert our legit white money into a shady cryptocurrency? DN Corp can engage in whatever illegal businesses you want, but we want our money to be tracked properly from source to destination. Cryptocurrencies don’t allow that.”
Magic, when used as a weapon, is a traded commodity. Vikruids are even selling it on the Dark Web these days and getting paid in crypto.
It also elaborates the perceptions, the people have, about them.
The author came up with some interesting names for various institutions. For example:
N.E.T.R.A. National ExtraTerrestrial Research Agency, NETRA.
Snake-Men Army Command.a.k.a. SNARC.
And, of course, there has to be sarcasm infused, to have moments of relief, the book has it.
“Listen, woman, we’re not running an inter-universe travel agency. The Sigma who can open such portals in our universe has not gained those powers. Not yet.
And sometimes, its altogether 🙂
“Oh, I was so bored. I asked them for a Kindle. In the past three days, I read seventeen novels, five biographies, and two self-help books.”
“Wow, T, you’re a speed reader.” Ulka chuckled. “You’d never have anything pending on your TBR list, would you?”
Teevra blushed. “I also ate fifty-three sandwiches. I was so hungry, you know. I don’t think the kitchen manager likes me.”
“So, you are the boss of the BOSS.” Teevra cracked a joke. But seeing no one else react, he killed his grin.
Nath ignored him. “To the world, we are BOSS a.k.a. Bureau of Statistics and Supplies.”
Kataari, a Sigma working with NETRA.
The book has lines where evil characters are explaining themselves or sometimes others are evaluating their actions. Such deep dives into thought-process often reveals a lot about human psyche.
If the general population wishes to consume animal meat, why blame the butcher for slaughtering them? I carry out criminal activities because people pay me to do so.
“And Rakra incepted something in DN’s head too?”
“No.” Jeevan chuckled. “Dansh Naag is an evil guy; he doesn’t need fresh ideas to harm others…”
“Dark arts,” Bua murmured as she kept looking outside, then turned. “Who decides what is dark and what is light? Someone else’s dark can be your light. Right?”
The book also talks about various theories like: Fibonacci and reverse Fibonacci series. At the same time, it also talks about Devasula (a trident), “Mani”, Dark arts and other such stuff, covering a wide spectrum. There are various species like, Asura, Daitya, Danav, Rakshas, Pisaach, Pretgun; mentioned in the book and so does a character who is half lion and half human; (taking inspiration from Ancient Indian scriptures – the Narsimha avatar?!). I like the way, the Devas and Indra is weaved in the story. I also like the way the “Mani” is defined in this book:
“Enmeshment of nerves. Ancient scriptures call it a ‘Mani,’ a gemstone embedded into the body right at birth. At least that’s what we know.”
The book has some lines which could have been written better.
Mohita who sat still, hiding a bookshelf until now, knew this was her chance. Badri had distracted Ulka. She got up and ran toward Ulka with the glass bottle.
As such proofreading errors doesn’t interfere much in your reading journey, you may ignore them.
Of course, there are many key elements, incidents, war scenes, turning points and other segments in the book, that I had to skip talking about, to avoid spoiler. However, I am sure, you must have got a fair idea about the content of the book through the quotes referred to.
Do you like reading such Science Fictions? I love them. So, it was a fantastic reading experience for me. Let us know, how it goes for you.
Overall, an interestingly written story with strong characters and logically backed elaborative imagination. I liked reading it. If you love exploring Sci-Fi books, it is a recommended read.
Around 8 to 8.5 stars out of 10.
Quick Purchase Links:
- Buy - Serpent's Reign by Varun Sayal - Kindle EBook - Amazon IN
- Buy - Serpent's Reign by Varun Sayal - Kindle EBook - Amazon US
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