Anand Arungundram has come up with his first title in The Journey series, a series of fantasy novels – The World’s Oldest, Most Powerful Secret Society. This is a very quick, exciting and fantasy-laden novel that executes on two levels, the past and the present. An idea, of course imaginative, is seeded in the past and that comes to fruition in the present. The entire novel is very pleasant to read except some breakouts in the communication because of the falling-short narrative. Indian English literature has been through a recent chaotic phase and such works of wonderful imagination reinforce that we do have something well awaiting us in the future. I will share my review of this work in this article and I am sure that many readers who read our blog, Indian Book Lovers, will like this review as they have been liking all our reviews in the past.
The opening of the novel is the key to the plot. You should not miss it and generally, we don’t skip the opening of any fictional work because this is where get information that we need. Ashoka announces that he won’t be fighting anymore after the change of heart that he undergoes. He is moved by the destruction that Kalinga war brought to the nation. Anand has added a twist to give birth to his fictional series in the fantasy genre. I have read some reviews that have compared this element of surprise with the authors like Amish Tripathi and Ashwin Sanghi. This is indeed an achievement for Anand! In this novel, we come to know of a secret society that was formed on the order of Ashoka – a secret society of 9 men who will bring wonderful knowledge from various fields to the world. Science, spiritualism, arts and so on… And there are also some very interesting and brow-raising items mentioned in those books that will raise the bars of excitement level… you should discover those yourself.
Coming to the present, the main part of this novel begins in the year 2006 when 9 children are born in 9 different families who live in the same building in Hyderabad. These 9 kids are remarkably born with a one-minute difference among each other, Ram being the eldest. The story seems a normal tale being narrated casually about the little adventures of these children unless they encounter a tragedy one day that takes the life of Gopal, one among the 9 kids. From there, the novel takes a turn that connects the events in the past with the events to happen in the present. Things get exciting, thrilling and also awe-inspiring at moments when adventure experienced by these kids reach to new levels. So, I would say that the novel has a pretty forceful storyline that would keep the readers engaged after a momentary phase of ‘letting go’.
Commenting upon the aesthetic aspects of The World’s Oldest, Most Powerful Secret Society, I would put my points differently than those have been put by many reviewers for many leading Indian book review sites. I have tried to highlight the key factors in the novel that can be defined on the basis of my findings:
- The novel has used imagination very wonderfully. You can enjoy the novel just on the basis of a story, even without all other elements being taken into consideration.
- The novel has a good plot and it has connected the dots evenly.
- I would not be harsh to comment upon the narrative and call it a novel with less impact because it seems that it has been written mainly for a younger audience and it is not a problem, in those terms.
- Language, style and length… these things are mostly covered very well. I am sure that the novel will be appreciated by the readers.
On the basis of all these points and also on the very personal experience based upon my own reading of the novel, I can certainly vouch for its relevance. Anand Arungundram Mohan has done a good job in covering the spaces of history with his prowess of imagination. You can get a copy of this wonderful novel from Amazon India in Kindle format by clicking the link below:
Review by Alka for Indian Book Lovers
The World's Oldest, Most Powerful Secret Society | Book Review
- IBL Critical Score
The World’s Oldest, Most Powerful Secret Society is written by Anand Arungundram Mohan. This is a wonderful work that mixes historical events with imagination in an adventurous and amazing way. A must-read work in fantasy genre!