- Paperback: 256 pages
- Publisher: Pan Macmillan India; Latest edition (20 October 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9382616616
- ISBN-13: 978-9382616610
- Product Dimensions: 20.9 x 2 x 13.4 cm
- Average Customer Review: 41 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #38,193 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Skyfire Paperback – 20 Oct 2016
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Description for Skyfire
A real thriller in contemporary setting with an unexpected plot but a different plot not in any way less than a James bond or Robert Ludlum. It is racy and gripping by any international standards though Indian by names and characters, it is of world standards in story and plot. Americas and UK will definitely find it comparable with western standards in theme and picturesque presentation. One great thing is Mr Raman did't prolong the final endings unlike westerns thrillers. Its worth the money and deserves to be gifted on any occasion to any age reader. The author could have put at least ten/twenty pages more in the early pages of the book as flashback to Chandra's Yaminni affair at least for Indian reading market. But he did not get tempted to do so aiming at probably English readers. Well done Raman,It is worthy of making a movie. Looking for another thriller. All the best. DJ Babu, Mumbai --By DJ Mumbai on 18 December 2016
In his latest thriller, Skyfire, Aroon Raman takes you on an incredible journey into the alleys and jhuggies of Delhi, in search of the overtly intelligent orphan Gopal, while simultaneously tracking and tracing military-intelligent weather anomalies that threaten to release chaos and riots across the Indian subcontinent.Aroon Raman s extraordinary story-telling will have you hooked from the prologue to the end. Interwoven with first-hand accounts by Chandrasekar, and articles from local newspapers, Raman doesn t cut any corners, making it a gripping, chilling read with a multi-faceted narration. This simply has to be one of the finest books I have read in recent times. If this doesn t make you an Aroon Raman fan, I don t know what will. --By Shonel RT on 24 November 2016
A very good read. Fast paced with lots of action. The topic of weather manipulation is addressed without a whole bunch of facts and figures. There are even fewer acronyms. The characters are true to their selves from the previous book The Shadow Throne, though there is a little more romance thrown in. The locales are all at-home to S. Asia, Bhutan described with great admiration. The language is also easy but not aimed at a primary school level (so Trump cannot understand it), though there are a few more hackneyed phrases than in The Shadow Throne. A perfect 'flight read,' quick, easy, interesting and fun, and there are not too many of them on the shelves. --By A Customer on 27 October 2016
About the Author
Aroon Raman is a Bengaluru-based serial entrepreneur and author. He ran his family companies for many years, winning critical acclaim for developing scientific talent at the grassroots. After successfully divesting both ventures, he now divides his time between consulting for corporates, non-profits, writing and travel. He is the author of the national bestsellers The Shadow Throne (2012) and The Treasure of Kafur (2013). He regularly contributes columns to Outlook magazine and other publications. He can be reached at www.aroonraman.com
From the Publisher
A Conversation with Aroon Raman
Q1. How did you arrive at the idea for Skyfire?
A1. Aroon Raman: When I was trekking a few years ago in Nepal, I suddenly saw a mountain to the left; it soared high into the sky, with a jagged peak of snow and rock. Just above it, a cloud seemed to be literally boiling: pulsing and twisting as if it was a living thing. My first thought was ‘it looks almost man-made’. And with that single thought, the idea of Skyfire was born.
Q2. This is your third book in the thriller genre, what can the readers expect differently from Skyfire?
A2. Aroon Raman: Fast paced action but with two intermeshed themes: children disappearing and freak weather events that threaten the entire nation. All based on some elements of actual fact! The reader will find the pace of Skyfire even more compelling.
Q3. In Skyfire readers will encounter freak weather disturbances, epidemics and unusual natural occurrences that are out of the ordinary. Is there any real science behind some of these incidents that you describe in the book and the theories that you postulate?
A3. Aroon Raman: Absolutely. We have to understand that weather manipulation in the form of cloud seeding has been around for a long time. The Chinese, for example, have a large effort and did a huge amount of ‘cloud shattering’ to keep the skies over Beijing clear for their Olympics. However, less understood tools of weather modification are being explored: hurricane engineering, spraying the chemicals in the atmosphere to cool the Earth and other even more sci-fi sounding theories are being explored. The military applications of some of this work are obvious.
Q4. Are there any common themes that run across the three books that you have written so far, which your readers will recognize?
A4. Aroon Raman: Armageddon scenarios where the nation’s fate hangs on the balance, a cast of believable characters, a well – researched backdrop that draws the reader into a make-believe world and finally a plot that grips the reader and will not let him or her go till the last page!
Q5. Skyfire has three main characters: journalist Chandrasekhar, historian Meenakshi Pirzada and intelligence operative Syed Ali Hassan. Does the book have one central protagonist? Whose story is it?
A5. Aroon Raman: The story in both The Shadow Throne and Skyfire has these 3 characters. The story squarely belongs to all three: they all bring unique qualities to the fore as they struggle against the enormous forces ranged against them. Chandra’s physical courage and doggedness, Meenu’s razor-sharp detective abilities, and Hassan’s spy skills complement each other in the final struggle of good versus evil. Good cannot triumph without all three working together.
Q6. Which character do you identify the most amongst your three main characters?
A6. Aroon Raman: I would have to say ‘Chandra’. The other characters are also close to my heart, but he’s the guy I write in first person about.
Q7.Does Skyfire have a larger message? What is it?
A7. Aroon Raman: Not really. I think a thriller is just that: it is supposed to excite the reader and provide escapism in the best sense of the term. Any attempt to do otherwise often doesn’t work. If a message comes through, it has to be co-incidental. But I have appended a short note at the end of the book on the dangers of climate manipulation.
Q8. You don many hats, other than being an author you are also an entrepreneur as well an educator and mentor to budding scientist, how do you balance all these roles? Is it difficult for you to find the time to write?
A8. Aroon Raman: When one has many interests, I guess time too divides itself accordingly! Time is always a challenge, but managing it well is something one learns gradually over time. I work to clear calendars each week; a good sense of what I want to do and how much time I will spend on all of it over the next 7-day period. Reflection on the way we allocate time itself brings its own discipline.
Q9. The literary establishment does not consider thrillers as serious writing. Why do you think this is the case? How can this perception be changed?
A9. Aroon Raman: It’s hard to respond on this question. Should we take Harry Potter more seriously than what Rowling intended? Tolkien himself said he had no great pretensions to writing literature; what he wanted to do was write a story that moved the reader. Le Carre would have agreed. I don’t even think the thriller should seek to be considered serious writing; to be a well-written thriller that entertains and does it well should be the goal.
Q10. What’s next for you?
A10. Aroon Raman: A thriller based in New York and maybe just maybe to make a film.
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Top customer reviews
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It was very apparent who the villain was, and the book became predictable. It seems to me that localised weather phenomena has been stretched beyond the breaking point. I didn't find the instances of LAW in the book credible. Machines may alter weather locally, but I would think that for Pralaya to happen, you will need huge amounts of moisture coming from nowhere.
I honestly believe that the author is capable of much better writing than what this book suggests. I wish him the best.
The author’s take on the characters is interesting. This is the second time I am reading about them (I think I missed one book in the series) and I find them growing within the boundaries of the plot. The author gives us just enough information to be able to connect with the characters and hold back just enough to make us curious enough to pick up book after book. There’s enough drama in the protagonists’ lives to give them the credibility of being real. His treatment of the plot has that similarity with the character development. Just enough information is provided at the right moments to keep you hooked to the book. The author seems to have done quite a bit of research about his settings as his descriptions brought the various backdrops to life.
All these complimented with a good pace made this book quite an interesting and entertaining read. I did like The Shadow Throne better but that in no way reflects on this book as it has enough action and drama to hold its own.
Interesting idea of weather manipulation as the new weapon of war
Characters of Hassan and Pant are shown welll
There's no suspense- one can guess who the mastermind is within first few chapters itself
Just couldn't relate to the narrator, thejournalist. Chandra. Couldnt see why he was awarded the Magasasay, nor why two beautiful, intelligent women wanted him!
The writing is too prosy. An action thriller must have simple and taut writing to built atmosphere
The unlikely duo of Chandrasekhar—the award-winning journalist, and Meenakshi Pirzada—a history teacher turned social worker, resolve to get to the bottom of the disappearance of Gopal as well as innumerable other children from the streets and slums of Delhi. But what they stumble into is a miasma of profound fear among the poor, professional hits, orchestrated crime and a web that is slowly spinning out of control. And when their comrade, Deputy General Syed Ali Hassan is abducted under the most unlikely circumstances, they are overcome with the desperation to find their friends and ensure they get out of this alive.
But can they really succeed where India’s DIA, IB and RA&W cannot make any headway? What can possibly work in their favour? And if their moves have been tracked for so long, why hasn’t the enemy attacked them yet? How do they play into the bigger scheme of international violence, crime and environmental issues?
Aroon Raman’s extraordinary story-telling will have you hooked from the prologue to the end. Interwoven with first-hand accounts by Chandrasekar, and articles from local newspapers, Raman doesn’t cut any corners, making it a gripping, chilling read with a multi-faceted narration. This simply has to be one of the finest books I have read in recent times. If this doesn’t make you an Aroon Raman fan, I don’t know what will.
The book started off with two very different issues - child trafficking & weather manipulation - and managed to tie them up well. A well told story in all, with none of the characters resorting to superhuman stunts - keeping the action sequences believable. The plot & story direction was quite predictable from the initial chapters, but it was still fun to read. Finished it in 2 days.
Despite the book being a part of a series involving the lead characters, the author has ensured that it's a fine standalone read on its own - which is great. Bringing in a character from the previous book (Shadow Throne), explaining who he is & not including him in the rest of the book was weird.
The occasional Hindi kept reminding me that this was a local novel. If not for some typos & incorrect phrasing, it'd have been a complete immersive experience.
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