I just finished the book and can barely string together a coherent and intelligent sentence together after that rollercoaster ride of a story. I am surprised at the speed with with I read through the entirety of it. But here we go-
Krishna Udayasankar knocks it out of the park again with 'Beast'. The action scenes are gripping and exciting as always. Enough so that they're shonen anime level good.
'Beast' spins a tale of a universe much like our own and yet different some key ways and it was interesting to read the author interweave mythology, fantasy and fact into this new universe. I have to admit, in the beginning I was reading in a dispassionate manner but as the story kept unfolding and twisting, I grew invested in the turns it took.
The story reads like a Hollywood produced fast-paced big budget action thriller, interspersed with some touching character moments and interactions. Krishna knows when to keep up the readers on their toes and when to let them breathe.
While many would at certain times call the twists predictable, the essence of the story for me lied not in the mystery or the chase but in the journey the protagonist, Prithvi, takes from the first page to the last page. It was as much a story about identity, be that what it may, as it was fantasy one.
The only complaint from me would be there wasn’t enough ACP Aditi Kashyap.
All in all, a fun story to curl up with if you’re in the mood to go for an adrenaline-fuelled trip.
I really enjoyed the book. The narrative is fast paced and the plot intricate, but each development is explained down to meticulous detail through science and myth. The arrangement of chapters, which include jumps between time through perspectives of different characters kept me gripped till the end, to figure the mystery at the heart of the story. Also loved that it had some strong female characters - was left wanting to know more of ACP Aditi especially. All-in-all, a super engaging read with a mix of great action scenes, romance, mystery, and science/myth fiction - along with a subtle exploring of issues like extremism, castiesm, elitism - perfect reading!
The characters felt so real that they haunted me long after I finished reading the book, and the plot had me simply spellbound and guessing from beginning to end! The pain and beauty of finding one's identity through love and loss, and finally hope, has been so exquisitely portrayed in this unputdownable thriller that it will stay with me for a long time.
It is commendable that an idea which would seem so 'utterly ridiculous' as ACP Aditi Kashyap describes it, is then presented in a way which feels plausible, given that it is aligned with well-documented scientific discoveries. The lucid explanation of advanced scientific concepts and techniques which are presently being used to study and record genetic differences in biological organisms in real science (I am a biotechnologist and teach genetic engineering in the University!) to elucidate how the differences between Saimha and Human may have arisen, and how manipulation of it could prove to be dangerous, not to mention unethical, makes it one of the best blending of myth and sci-fi thrillers that I have ever read, and the most socially relevant one in today's times! I am enamoured of the author's style of introducing modern scientific concepts to bring plausibility to our myths- Immortal is another favourite.
So, waiting with bated breath for the next sci-fi thriller that Ms. Krishna Udayashankar churns out, to make us see in dimensions that we could not fathom before, or see old 'myths' with a shining new perspective!
Love the author from the Govinda trilogy days. Those three set a mighty high standard and though Beast has an incredible premise and twists a few things that probably only bother me are what in my opinion hold it from hitting the 5 star.
Strengths Story.. Love how indian myths are incorporated Twists.. Some i could see some were really twisty Characters.. Although a strength we could have used with a lot more character building Pace
Weakness Characters suddenly talking in local languages have a jarring effect on my reading.. Didn't feel natural
Background... Feel a missed opportunity for flushing out the lore. Would love more. Hopefully a sequel or a prequel would fix that.
Overall recommend it simply for its storyline.. Cant say how much I love reading about this after non stop werewilves vampires stuff from the west. Indian mythology is rich and I feel Krishna is ideally suited for this. Cant wait for more.. Maybe a Professor and Prithvi in the next adventure.
Krishna Udayshankar is establishing herself as a fine fantasy/action writer. Beast serves to confirm this fact. After Immortal (Another book I'd recommend), Beast is a peek into the world of the Saimhas, a sub species of humans which can turn into werelions, which is an interesting take on the Narasimha Avatar. Surely, this is a treat for all those myth buffs out there (as many of Krishna's books are). It's a wonderfully paced urban adventure, with its twists and turns leading the reader through the streets of Mumbai (so if you are familiar with the place, you might exclaim 'OMG, I WAS THERE!!!', which I'd say is an immersive experience) and a host of characters one will MOST definitely fall in love with every step of the way. The emotional hero’s journey that Prithvi goes through is a roller coaster in itself and is a lesson in identity, what it is to truly be ‘Human’. With that said, buy this book, sit back, strap yourself into an armchair, turn on Maroon 5's 'Animals' and let your imagination run wild.
Yes, the story is great. I mean there are werelions prowling around Mumbai, there's a grisly murder mystery, there's a hero with a dark past and there is the badass ACP Aditi trying to make sense of it all. What's not to love?
But I think what gets me about Krishna's writing and the worlds she builds is the level of detail she goes to. It makes me believe these werelions or Saimha could actually exist and live among our midst.
The narrative goes back and forth in time, building up so much tension, you're tearing through the book just to know what happens next. Absolutely recommend!
Riveting, fast paced and well written. Would totally recommend for those who want to go beyond Indian Mytho history or mythology novels. This is Indian fantasy done right. And we’re lions!! Gimme more.
Beast is even better than Immortal which made me a big fan of the author Krishna. Beast is the perfect blend of a fast paced thriller, mystery, romance, mythology and science fiction. The characters are unforgettable and their deepest demons are laid bare in a gut wrenching and heart tearing search within as well as amonsgt and below the skyscrapers of Mumbai. The story wove around the core theme of choosing to be human or animal provokes thoughts beyond the fictious.
Beast is much better than any foreign fiction in its genre and will surely appeal to readers around the globe.