Monday, February 2, 2015

The Many Lives of Ruby Iyer | Laxmi Hariharan

A YA thriller, with strong dystopian undertones and a kickass protagonist, taking you on a white knuckle ride through a disintegrating Bombay City. 

A girl desperate to rescue her best friend.

A cop willing to do anything to save the city he serves. 

A delusional doctor bent on annihilation. 

When Ruby Iyer's best friend is kidnapped by the despotic Dr Kamini Braganza, she will do anything to rescue him. Anything, including taking the help of the reticent Vikram Roy, a mysterious cop-turned-rogue on a mission to save Bombay. The city needs all the help it can get, and these two are the only thing standing between its total destruction by Dr Braganza's teen army. As Bombay falls apart around them, will Ruby be able to save her friend and the city? Will she finally discover her place in a city where she has never managed to fit in? And what about her growing feelings for Vikram?

While the plot itself was fascinating, I couldn't find myself getting into the book all that much. There are several reasons why and I'll get into each of them. 

1. Writing Style 
Personally I like dialogue over detail. I like things happening and people talking over the detail of a setting, and personally I thought there was too much detail and too many analogies for my taste. Several sentences at a time would be dedicated to setting up the scene, which isn't necessarily bad, but to me it felt like too much. I would frequently skim these long paragraphs of description and ended up missing crucial information to further the plot. I wish more of the substance was focused on the characters and their relationships, which brings me to my next issue.

2. Characters/ Relationships
I didn't feel any type of connection with the characters. I was super excited when Vikram and Ruby's romance started, but the way it played out wasn't how I was expecting it to be, and I didn't exactly love the way it played out. The relationship between Panky and Ruby was mediocre. Though I did feel their relationship was strong, it didn't strike any emotional chord in my body. 

Like I said, I think the plot was fairly intriguing, I especially loved the bomb/terrorist scenes, but the plot alone wasn't enough to get me completely hooked. Another thing I liked about this book was the frequent plot twists near the end. I thought those were well done and did a good job of wrapping up the whole book, making connections to the events and thoughts from the beginning.

Overall, I wish I liked this book more but if you are someone who is extremely visual, this book does a really good job with providing a large amount of sensory information about the setting. The plot was interesting and action-packed so if you're someone who enjoys a good thriller, you should definitely think about picking up this book. 

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