The Mahabharata Quest by Christopher C. Doyle is a contemporary thriller with little historical fiction sprinkled here and there. The book also attempts to connect mythological concepts with scientific. I liked the book and finished it quickly, but I wish the scientific explanations, though good and well researched, had been simpler and shorter.
The story revolves around a group who are in the quest for a secret mentioned in Mahabharata that will enable them to control the world. This secret was previously discovered by Alexander (the emperor), and he almost attained it. But destiny worked against him. Can this group get their hands on the secret that has been hidden and elusive for many centuries? Will Alexander’s path and records/inscriptions be sufficient to guide them there?
The protagonist and his friends get involved in solving this mystery accidentally. The part where Alice lands in India – straight to the protagonist’s palace to solve the mystery, after escaping an assassination in Egypt is too much of a coincidence. Her presence was required, no doubt, but the reason could have been better.
The conflict scenes (in the museum and in the medical facility) have been narrated well and kept me flipping the pages quickly. But when the author reaches the rocks and mountains in the end, it was difficult to visualize the are – that should have been explained in a clearer way, especially for people who are not familiar with mountainous terrain.
The action scenes are good and sufficient to keep the reader hooked, but they were not as good as what we see in movies. Also, at places, it becomes easy to predict what is going to happen. The mystery and scientific details have been well researched and well presented – it could have been shorter, though.
The book is more contemporary, than historical, the latter just supporting the contemporary events. There is a lot of mythology and science. Also, it is the first book in a series. Hence, although this is a self contained story, there are some gaps and unanswered questions. The bad(?) people are not caught at the end and we don’t know what happened to some main characters – that’s disappointing!!
This 350 page book was a quick read for me, surprising considering I am a slow reader. So that’s a compliment to the author. However, the font size is small, and that’s an inconvenience. I wonder why they don’t give away eBooks for review – it’s cheaper for publishers, and easier to read on Kindle for readers. eBooks could at least be an option for reviewers who want them – I’ll opt for it. ePub or Kindle format should be fine.
A good fast-paced scientific-mythological thriller for a weekend read.
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