Author: Vikram Balagopal
Publisher: Harper Collins Publishers India
Cover : 2.5/5
Title : 4/5
Blurb : 3.5/5
Theme : 4/5
Story : 4/5
Characters : 4/5
Overall : 4/5
An electrifying new fantasy adventure from the author of the award-winning graphic novel Simian.
Akila Raina, the principal’s precocious daughter, was only ten when she disappeared. Shyam, who was with her that fateful night, is daily haunted by a dream of it – a dream more grisly than reality could possibly be. Until Akila mysteriously reappears twenty years later, grown-up and gorgeous.
She tells him of surreal worlds, her travels between them, her encounters with strange creatures, their own connection across the realms and the malevolent power that lies at the heart of it all. And then she shows him…
Bold and passionate, Savage Blue is an unnerving ride into unknown worlds.
Savage Blue by Vikram Balagopal is a refreshing script focusing on parallel worlds in this universe. A boy named Shyam and a girl named Akila are school mates. Akila, being a year senior to Shyam, is in the 6th grade. When they both suffer from chicken-pox at the same time, they are put together in one hospital room for the staff to be able to take care of them and keep the other students at a safe distance from them. Akila is the principal’s daughter and this intimidates Shyam.
One fine night, Akila and Shyam, 11 and 10 years old respectively, find a cat running up and down the corridor outside their hospital room. Being the curious mind that she is described as, she figures out that it is a cat moving kittens from inside the hospital to outside. On her last round, Akila and Shyam follow her and suddenly hear the cat speaking to them in a human language, asking them to either follow her or not to blame later that the cat hadn’t warned them of something about to happen. Akila follows her and tags Shyam along. The dream related to this incident would haunt Shyam through his teenage years to the point that he is required to visit a psychiatrist. He copes up fine until one day Akila emails him and they meet up one night in Delhi. A few days later, Shyam learns from Akila that after they had followed the cat, Akila was murdered by a strange being, and Shyam was found unconscious. He is unable to believe that the Akila who is standing right in front of him is indeed dead.
Akila apprises him of 13 parallel worlds co-existing in this universe and what all had happened to her post that incident. It wasn’t about heaven or hell or life after death, it was just about her journey which was very different from what is usually expected for a dead person. She takes him along on her journey saying that she needs him for her to be able to exist on earth, but the real reason is unknown to Shyam as well the reader. That was the point when I got intrigued to explore this unusual journey of Akila and Shyam. It was a wonderful delight to have read this amazingly written novel.
The script got a little boring at points where every minute detail was getting descriptive.
What I loved the most about this book is its theme — the idea of parallel worlds co-existing crosses everybody’s mind but it only takes talent to carve an unusually appealing story around it with equally compelling characters. The narration is beautiful, to the point that you can imagine and feel the surroundings and the nature of the incidents being described first-hand. Characters have been built to perfection and they compliment the script, fitting into the flow of the plot and the demand of the script in the rightful manner. Perfect grammar, an understandable level of complex narration, and a refreshing story are the highlights of this book.
Refreshingly awesome read! (4/5)
Click here to read Vikram Balagopal’s interview by me.
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