Blog post: 141st
Book Review (Booklysis):- 20th
I have finished reading the second book published by Half Baked Beans publishing. The first book was 'A Minute To Death' by Ganga Bharani and today, I am going to analyze another book titled ‘YAMA’ by Kevin Missal. Co-incidence about both the books is both titles belong to a thriller.
Read my BookLysis of Half Baked Beans’s title:
- A Minute To Death by Ganga Bharani
BookLysis of YAMA by Kevin Missal
Front cover of YAMA by Kevin Missal
Cover and Title:-
YAMA is a familiar name from Hindu mythology so the title seems devotional as well as mysterious. Book cover of the novel looks attractive and grows curiosity among readers to pick the book. One can notice the huge portrait of a dark man with red eye. Blood spots can be noticed on the body of huge portrait and horns can be seen behind the huge portrait, so the portrait looks like a replica or imagery of Yama (God of Death). On the bottom of front cover; shadow image of a human being is portrayed who represents the protagonist. On the background; moon and shadow image of trees represents the night scene. Picture of buildings having big towers and street-lamps represent any metro city. Assassinated dead body’s blood can be noticed on the road. Overall Yama has a beautiful book cover designed by Manoj Nath, which hints towards the thriller.
Setting:- The story of YAMA runs around several locations like Gurgaon, Noida, Delhi, and Mumbai. The story has a background set in Srinagar. The whole story runs to find the Hell (Narak) for victim’s sins.
Language and Writing Style:- The language of YAMA is lucid. Italic fonts are used to highlight few Hindi words like Narak, suhaagraat, dahej and lafanga etc. But I feel that italic fonts could have been used better. I felt the font size small a bit. Author Kevin Missal uses some uncommon words which confused me as typos but later added to my vocabulary. He scribbles all characters’ proper movements. Few scenes are portrayed gracefully. Kevin uses a narrative technique to scribble the story into past tense. The author uses some phrases like ‘coos of pigeons’ and ‘hoots of the owl’. Another phrase ‘silent crier’ reminds me and accurately suits to my own character (Hehehe!).
Characters:- There are three protagonists, five victims and more than eight minor characters in the novel.
- Yama:- There are 2 character sketches of the character YAMA. Yama is referred as the God of Death according to Hindu mythology. But here in the novel, Yama plays a character of a violent saint who is a suspected psychopath. He treats himself a messiah entitled to kill sinners, bad persons, and criminals. His character commemorates me the protagonist Shahenshah (Amitabh Bachchan) and Gabbar (Akshay Kumar) from Bollywood movies ‘Shahenshah’ and ‘Gabbar Is Back’ respectively. I don’t claim that it is copied, but I felt Yama’s philosophy of punishment inspired from the protagonist Anniyan (Vikram) in Tamil psychological thriller movie ‘Anniyan’ which was further dubbed and released as ‘Aparichit’ in Hindi.
- Iravan Rajput: Iravan Rajput is a second protagonist in the novel who plays a character of a delusional hero. He belongs to an Ex-Black Cat Commando (Fauji). He receives a time frame with the name of Yama’s targets to find their sins and save them from Yama’s punishments.
- Swati Kaushik:- Author portrays Swati’s character as a widow and an ambitious news reporter.
Plot:- The story and plot of YAMA are constructed into 90 (actually 87) short chapters in 167 pages.
Chapter one begins with a familiar portrayal of the God of Death YAMA. Author gracefully describes Iravan’s psychotherapy session by psychiatrist Dr. Tapaswa Gandhi. Iravan also mentions his wife Rutvi Rajpoot’s disease schizophrenia. The author describes the shootout scene in brief which could have more thriller. The author portrays some crime scenes which seems familiar as we watch and experience daily in crime shows on a television set. A serial killer Raghu (Psycho) Yadav’s entry thrills reader in the fourteenth chapter. I like the conversation between Iravan and his nephew Vardhaan Sippy where Vardhaan asks his uncle Iravan to ask him a ‘right’ question. Journalist Swati’s interrogation by ACP Surya seems realistic. Dr. Tapaswa Gandhi tells different psychology disease like schizophrenia, bipolar, depression and the usual sort to Swati Kaushik. Swati’s interaction with a patient of depression named Samar Anand in Dr. Tapaswa Gandhi’s clinic seems interesting.
Read my review of Psychological thriller:
- #IAm16ICanRape by KirtitaGautam (4.25*/5, 31410 page views, 22 comments)
Social Plot: Author negatively refers ‘letters’ as an outdated service in the current era of an advanced technology. I agree that postal service is being used on rare occasions these days. But I personally think that Indian postal service needs to be promoted by authors in their literature instead of such negative comments to save this oldest telecommunication service in the period of an advanced technology. A character Tapaswa Gandhi comments on the people’s mindset and a reality of bribe in India- “People want to get rid of the bribing thing in this country, but when it comes to their getting favors they always want to hop back”. The author also refers ‘Gulabi Gang’ in the book. Author gives indirect message not to believe in superstitions and explains the scientific reason of one act- “Its science. The killer made invisible ink with the help of lemon and water. You can make your message invisible by just writing it with the cotton bud that was dipped in the mixture of water and lemon. Lemon is an organic substance that oxidizes and turns brown when heated but when it is dipped in water, it changes its rhythm.” Author comments on Indian Army (faujis’) aloofness from their family for a long time. A bit negative picture of a soldier doesn’t feel fair to me. Author comments on corruption in the government system. Swati’s offer to her friend Arjun to spend a night together being a media person seems controversial. I saw some controversial statements in the novel. Thank God! That authors do not need a censor certificate like movies from censor board of India; otherwise, many controversial scenes would have been suggested to cut like Anurag Kashyap’s movie Udta Punjab! LOL! Jokes a part! The author remarks to the fact that how hooligans, criminals, and addicts can be seen behind schools, colleges, factories and other desolate areas. I like a conversation between Tara Rajpoot and her father Iravan Rajpoot where she gets angry for offering dowry to her to be in-laws by her father. I think girls and women need to raise a voice against dowry in practical life. Tara and Iravan’s another conversation says a lot about a negative impact of parents’ (father’s) absence/ignorance in children’s (daughter’s) life.
Author comments on escort’s financial crisis and unwanted need to do such disrespected business. A character Pinky narrates about a physical torture of prostitutes. Though the narration is a hyperbole, reality is not very good. Kabeer’s description of Kotha (bordello’s) scenario seems realistic. I never visited such places, and I am sure that many of you wouldn’t have gone there. So you must read the description. I felt the scenario real because although I haven’t experienced, I have passed through red light areas so many times by bus and sometimes on my foot in Itwari, Nagpur. Hence I have sensed the wretched reality of prostitutes in bordellos.
- Related Review: Her Resurrection by Soumyadeep Koley (4.15*/5, 27270 page views, 5 comments, Amazon | Kindle | Flipkart)
Author Kevin Missal elegantly refers real two incidents like 2012 brutal Delhi gang rape case; he also remarks an impact of Gujarat riots. Author also scribbles few sarcastic comments through characters in the novel. ACP Surya’s comments on journalists is an ironic reality in India. Author comments on a charlatan like a character Guru Shiv. He also comments on politicians and police for protecting charlatans and hypocrisy. Yama’s quotation from the novel- “I don’t blame the authorities. There will be a day when our authorities will be righteous enough to punish criminals rather than freeing them. But for now, my authority is the supreme authority.” is a satire on the judicial system in India. The author gives an indirect message that a human being does not entitle to kill another human being, it doesn’t matter that how bad circumstance is because a human being can not be a God of Death YAMA. He informs that“knowing about the murders and not reporting them is also a crime.”
Mythological Plot: It seems that author Kevin Missal has researched a lot about different and primarily Hindu mythology. He narrates the philosophy of ‘hell’ according to Christianity mythology- “There are too many mythologies consisting different hells, especially Christianity. In ‘Dante’s Inferno’, it is said there were nine hells and in the end, there’s the devil. Every hell consisted of a certain punishment to a certain sinner.” Chapter Seventeen make bore in the beginning but turns interesting when ‘hell’ is defined from ‘Percy Jackson’- “Hell is derived from the word helle. Every culture, a mythology has an overload, like for instance the one who holds it tightly. In Greek mythology, the hell is known as Tartarus… and it’s controlled by Hades.” “There’s Nergal in Mesopotamian mythology. In Norse, hel is a being who presides over hel. Osiris in Egyptian mythology.” The author defines sins- “Sins are the bad deeds we perform, and every sin has a punishment.” The author introduces Yama (The God of Death)- “Like every mythology, we (Hindu Mythology) also have one. He’s called Yama. He has a lot of Yamdoots, as well, who are his messengers. His hell is known as Narak.” Author Kevin Missal scribbles about different hells described in various scriptures from Hindu Mythology. “In Agni Purana, it mentions four hells. In Manusmriti, its twenty one hells. And in Bhagvat Gita, it has twenty eight hells.” He defines a hell ‘Tamisra’- “Tamisra. It’s a hell for those who grab another’s wealth, wife and children.” In Chapter twenty-three, author writes- “PRANARODHA- Wanton killing of animals. Yama play plays archery sport with this sinner.” Author clears the confusion between Maharaurava and Sarameyadana- “Maharaurava was for the sinner, who inflicted pain on others. And Sarameyadana was for the sinner, who used his wealth and pride for wrong reasons; you know to plunge other people in fires and destruction. Now, Maharaurava hell with sinners will be eaten by ferocious animals called Rurus and Sarameyadana with seven hundred and twenty ferocious dogs, the sons of Sarama, will eat his flesh.” The author defines ‘Andhakupa’ and ‘Ayahpana’ - “Andhakupa is the hell where such people are attacked by birds and insects and all sorts of reptiles.” And “Ayahpana is a narak where alcoholics go, the ones who give up everything to nasha.” He also tells about one more hell-“Asipatravana is a hell reserved for a person who digresses from the religious teachings of the Vedas and practices heresy.”
Also Read my Review of Mythological novels:
- Karna’s Alter Ego by Surendra Nath (4.5*/5, 72540 page views, 10 comments, Amazon | Kindle | Flipkart)
- It Doesn’t Hurt To Be Nice by Amisha Sethi (4.15*/5, 65280 page views, 8 comments, Amazon | Kindle | Flipkart)
Drawbacks in the novel:
- Missing 3 chapters: There are total 90 chapters in the book. Though the 90 is too much, I don’t mean that a book can not have chapters in such large numbers. But the drawback in those 90 chapters is, 3 chapters (chapter 58, 65 and 77) are missing in the book. When I checked missing pages, I found correct page numbers; which clears that there are only 87 chapters in the book, but editors have mistaken in typing chapters according to their correct order. You may call it a minor print mistake, but it is a major drawback in my opinion because this mistake is repeated 3 times and it is about chapter’s title.
- Typing Errors: I found minor typos which had to be corrected as mentioned in the bracket- I (It), ram (ran) and Sanjavan (Sanjayvan) on page numbers 21, 22, and 60. I found some punctuation marks missing in the novel.
About the Author
Kevin Solomon Missal is studying History Hon. In St. Stephen’s College. He loves to write plays, books, reviews, watch television shows, classic movies and has a knack for thrillers. He has written two books (Damien Black- The battle of Lost Ages and Unlocked), with the second one(Unlocked), being number one best seller on Amazon Christian Fiction.
What will you do if you have 24 hours to save someone?
A VIOLENT SAINT…
A man who claims he is Yama, is punishing sinners by killing them according to the twenty eight hells described in the Bhagavat Gita. Who is he? What does he want? Is he a vigilante or a psychopath?
A DELUSIONAL HERO…
Iravan Rajpoot, an Ex-Black Cat Commando with a dark past is receiving letters with names and time limits. It’s no sooner that he learns about the intended victims than they die within the mentioned time frame
AN AMBITIOUS REPORTER
Swati Kaushik, a widow and a woman who can do anything for success, must team up with Iravan to stop the god of Death and Justice
Reviewer Rajesh D. Hajare
“The novel Yama by Kevin Missal keeps readers engaged until the end with a lot of twists and turns which surprise and sometimes shock readers. Short chapters and author’s fast pace of narration maintains the curiosity to flip pages and finish the book in one seating, so a reader doesn’t wish to put the book down. Overall, Yama by Kevin Missal is the well-researched mythological thriller filled with action and a lot of suspense until the climax. I would recommend this book to all history and mythology lovers. I would rate the novel Yama by Kevin Missal 4 out of 5 stars.”
Author: Kevin Missal
Publisher: Chetan Soni (Half Baked Beans Literature Publishing)
First published by Half Baked Beans in 2016
Copyright © Kevin Missal 2016
Cover Design: Manoj Nath
Typeset in Utopia 9.50 pt at De Unique
Binding: Paperback (in India by De Unique)
Genre: Fiction (Thriller)
Pages: 182 (including cover)
Price: Rs. 175
My rating: 4*/5
Review Typeset by Ankit Kumar
Images used in this review are edited by Sunil Narwade
Reviewed by: ©Rajesh D. Hajare (RDH)
My Top Reviewer’s Ranking on Amazon.in: #11502
- Follow on Goodreads:- YAMA | Kevin | RDH Sir
- You can contact Kevin Missal on:- Facebook Profile | Facebook page
- You can contact Chetan Soni on:- Facebook |@chetansoni23
- You can contact Half Baked Beans on:- FB| @HalfBakedBeans | Website
- You can contact Manoj Nath on:- Facebook | @manojnath4u | Website
- You can contact RDH Sir on:- FB Profile | FB Page | @RDHSir
- This is my personal opinion about the book YAMA by Kevin Missal, and your views may be vary.
- A review copy of the novel Yama was sent to me by the author Kevin Missal.
- ©All rights reserved | No parts of this review can be re-published (except author) without permission of the reviewer RDH Sir.
- Review coming soon: ‘Swachchhandi- It’s All About Life’ by Pranav Joshi (Marathi) (Available on PustakJatra)
- Now Reading: Ensnared by Prashant Wase (Amazon | Kindle)
- Book reading soon: Just The Way You Are by Sanjeev Ranjan (Amazon | Kindle | Flipkart)
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