If you were given a choice to pick between a thriller written by a foreign author or a thriller written by an Indian author, what would you pick?
I would most definitely pick Indian thrillers. They’re much more relatable and have plot lines unique only to Indian thrillers. I can say that’s true for I have read quite a lot of Indian thrillers and some notable foreign thrillers as well.
Today, I’m going to give a spoiler-free review of one of the most talked-about thrillers of 2021 – Agnibaan by S. Venkatesh. So, get ready for this quick Agnibaan book review.
The author is an investor, business leader, speaker and a famous writer. His last book Kaalkoot was loved by the fans & critics for the excellent combination of history, conspiracy, and suspense it put together.
Agnibaan is his second book. And today, I’m discussing this book – what’s it about, what I liked and what I disliked about the book. The video is in association with the publisher Tree Shade Books and the author, S Venkatesh himself.
Introduction To Agnibaan Book
Okay, so what is Agnibaan about? It has two parallel storylines. One is in 535 CE Egypt when a young warrior sails to a secret destination in India. This warrior carries a major secret.
The other one is the present day where many interesting things are happening. A favourite US presidential candidate is assassinated. Several acts of war are unleashed. Nuclear submarines are destroyed. Indian Army faces a deadly attack. And the most terrible of those is about to happen in Delhi.
You have many characters in the book. There’s Dhruv and Megha – two people brought together because of these unprecedented events who may or may not stop or further instigate these events.
That’s what the story is about. Just like I pointed earlier, it’s an Indian thriller – thereby bringing together the history, conspiracy and latest scientific issues effortlessly.
Agnibaan Book Review: The Plot, Characters & Writing Style
Diving into this Agnibaan book review, I would begin with the major theme of the book which deeply impressed me. Climate change. Yes, amidst all the conspiracy and curious things happening in the plot, the underlying theme of climate change is what I appreciated the most.
Here’s the thing – most of us are still negligent about climate change. We still want to ignore it. And hence, it’s not a theme that’s the ‘popular’ one. I am sure anyone of you would pick something like terrorism, vicious political leaders, secret cults etc over this. For you, there’s good news! This book has everything of that sort – there’s terrorism, secret cults, and political leaders boiling your blood with their actions or inactions.
But the book maintains its focus on climate change, thereby, being a work of fiction that has taken up the tougher job upon itself… to bring attention towards something that’s not a public favourite trope. I really admire the book and the author for this.
The author has also used several elements in the plot that actually happened in our history, thereby, making the book much more realistic and impressive.
However, when we discuss the plot in this Agnibaan book review, I would say I found a few things very predictable. For example, who’s the true boss of all these operations… that didn’t come as a surprise. From the moment they were introduced, things were conveniently and casually missed that were very obvious to me. The whole plot and where it will go… it seemed like a very expected and simple one. I missed those twists and turns in the book.
There are many such textbook tropes that were used in the book that were predictable. There are major events in the book and yet their results are textbook. There are loopholes that if you obsess over it, you’ll not be that impressed. However, I do think I feel so as a thriller fan who loves a complicated, twisted, unpredictable plot. The plot of Agnibaan is much simpler, but 100% enjoyable for sure.
The book has an interesting set of characters. My favourite of those happens to be the US political leaders. Bob Brown – the US President, and Stan Hobbs – the visionary tech entrepreneur – it was fun comparing these characters with who they could be inspired from. Stan Hobbs introduction in the book is one of my favourites!
There’s Dhruv and Megha – Dhruv with his past and Megha playing the typical historian of a fictional world, as is often the case with thrillers like these. However, Megha’s character got powered up with more abilities and I love strong female characters. Even though Megha isn’t the strongest in the book while put together with people like Dhruv… yet it gave a vibe of fresh air with additional traits added to her character and what she did in the book. Let’s just say I’m happy she didn’t get the role of the typical damsel in distress. I like this book because of that!
Another character that I really liked in the book was Neha Yadav. She has a small role in the book but just like her position in her professional life, she was quite a powerful character in the book.
The author has a very smooth writing style. Let me elaborate on this. If you’ve 2-3 hours of spare time and you just pick up this book, I’m very certain that you will continue flipping the pages and read effortlessly unless you’re interrupted by an external factor. That’s the magic of this book.
It’s intriguing, smooth and well-paced. If you pick it up, you’re going to want to keep reading. Once you finish, you’ll have the feeling of fulfilment and happiness that any thriller lover feels after reading a good book.
Overall, for this Agnibaan book review, I would say, Agnibaan is the thriller of today’s time highlighting the major issues and possibilities of conspiracies of today’s time. It combines mythology, history, science fiction, terrorism, conspiracy, politics, action and treasure hunt into one wonderful book. I would totally recommend it to you if you’re looking for a good thriller to read this weekend. I gave it 4.3/5 stars