There are only a few novels of late, that have strong didactic messages ingrained in them. This is one of them, albeit a very different one. There are no forced or preachy dialogues that are bound to make the reading like a moral story. Rather, the story is smooth, convincing and enjoyable for the most part.
Hari, as the protagonist is an engaging story teller throughout the first half of the novel. He is conspicuous by his absence in the second half. His excessive innocence and ignorance of human ruthlessness, which proves detrimental in the end, comes across palpably in the story.
Surya is by far the most important character. He is sweet and charming, lovable and endearing. The author achieves what he sets out to say to the world, with the brilliant personification.
Hari's parents offer the element of familial love in the story. Their early demise is heart-rending.
The other characters add some meaning in the story but do not remain in the memory of the readers for too long.
The narration is easy-going. This is a book that can be enjoyed both by adults as well as children. The meta-fictional elements offer a good layering to include flashbacks and back stories, giving the book an element of Sthalapuranas of the ancient south Indian story-telling traditions.
The vocabulary is top-notch. This is the first Kindle book I've read till now that is edited to perfection, with no spelling or grammatical errors that I could fathom, that one inevitably notices in most online works.
It is commendable that the innate surrealism in the story has been portrayed in a manner that is convincing and acceptable. There is some need for readers to willingly suspend their disbelief, especially in the latter part of the story. Nevertheless, most parts of the story has a smooth blend of modern science with ancient wisdom.
The language of 'Vukrit' which enables the communication between humans and trees is an interesting crux in the story.
Although some portions of the repeated journeys to and fro from the forest are repetition, they build up the sense of foreboding for the reader.
The second half of the novel is mostly the myriad levels of discussions between the environmental experts. It showcases the one attribute of humans: to discuss and discuss some more.
The crucial environmental message of reducing deforestation before it is too late, comes across strongly throughout the story.
I rate the book a 4.3 out of 5. A well-written book with a powerful essence.
Follow my blog for more such reviews.