Anu is a leather wearing, no-nonsense professional guardian with a reputation for killing the most dangerous vampires in New York City. But when her enemies murder the one person she truly cared about, all she wants is vengeance. The only clue points to New Delhi, so Anu puts in for a job transfer.
In India, she finds more than she expected. For one thing, her fellow operatives have made a truce with the vampires. For another, it’s way too hot to wear leather. At first, it seems nu’s biggest challenge will be evading the nice boys her aunt wants her to marry. But when children start disappearing, she discovers forces older and darker than anything she’s faced before. All of Delhi is in danger, especially the sexy stranger who sets Anu’s pulse racing. To prepare for the coming battle, Anu must overcome her personal demons and put aside years of training. This time, her most powerful weapon will come from her mind, not her weapons belt.
I have never come across desi thrillers with protagonists that fight supernatural creatures especially vampires at that! Stories from the Indian continent are filled with superstitious beliefs about ghosts, ghouls, black magic and evil spirits but very rarely vampires. The literary vampire bug bit me when I first read Bram Stokers Dracula growing up..since then I have always been fascinated by these dangerous mythical creatures or night “rakshas” as the author of this book calls them. So it was only natural that I wanted to read this book…
Anu is your run of the mill confused desi girl living in New York. Armed with slayer skills, she walks around the dark in leather pants, loaded with hidden stakes and knives and slays vampires as a full time job. All is well, until a vamp slaying job gets personal leaving Anu emotionally wounded. This propels her to travel to Delhi under the pretext of finding her roots to extract revenge on those who cut her true love story short!
In Delhi things are not quite as they seem…for starters vampires are not really the biggest issues that the city faces in terms of supernatural trouble makers. Apparently some vampires even go to temples!! Seriously?? A type A personality vampire slayer like Anu can’t help but be confused. Anu finds herself in the middle of a spooky cultural shock, when fellow slayer Amit steps in to help her through a slayers life in Delhi. Together with help from a somewhat reluctant and lonely college professor, a famous pandit and some vampire frenemies, they fight Delhi’s most popular Godman Baba Senaka, to stop him from using tantric magic to destroy Delhi while Anu also thwarts attempts by her aunt to get into the arranged marriage system! What a busy life for a young woman!! Buffy and the vampire slayer anyone?
The author has clearly hit the right spots of the Indian reader – Babajis, swamis and godmen are a favorite subject of discussion these days. Baba Senaka, is portrayed as one of those Godmen who promises to help people in their search for enlightenment while dabbling in the black arts to accomplish his own mad goals.
The book which promises to be a thriller is not really fast paced. I like the way the characters have been created – most have a wonderful sense of humor; point in case: Anu, Amit,the vampire Chandra and even the don of all things spooky Karta. What is even better that there is a heroine who walks the streets of Delhi by herself in the dark with the capability to inflict a lot of damage on anybody (vampire or human) that might tend to mess with her! An absolute delight in recent times – don’t you think?
The books deals with a lot of black magic and even the Bhagvad Gita. It talks about sattvic and tantric rituals and ceremonies. There are detailed sections about Maya and the energies that binds every being in the world – some of these sections though a bit confusing and at times a bit boring do tend to draw the reader further into the plot…It is quite evident that the author has done his research as far as these topics are concerned.
By the end of the book, good wins over evil and all the characters mature a little, however Anu still doesn’t know the identity of the vampire that killed her true love. This sets the pace for further sequels in the series…
When I first started reading the book, I wondered if this is book for young adults. But the nature of criminals and crimes that have been described along with the occasional raunchy content makes this book fit for readers from high school and beyond. If you have grown up watching “Buffy the vampire slayer” and “Angel” like I did, this book (which I feel has been inspired by these to a certain extent) will definitely interest you! I am definitely looking forward to the other books in the series. I don’t think that this is India’s answer to the Twilight series but it is definitely worth a read for those interested in spirituality and the path to enlightenment, the supernatural and the cults!