This debut book in science fiction has risen from the innate belief of the author that is based on the notion that God has put in all human beings certain aspects of the larger universe that is present in an obscure form and will only unveil itself when it is triggered. This is highlighted in the author’s notion that human imagination is present in a certain form in the rest of the universe but the author argues that nothing is beyond the human imagination. Hence, it is this self- affirming belief that builds human confidence in the ability to gather courage and imagine the prospects available to them in their limited time in this world. It also makes the reader feel empowered in their ability to foresee and understand the mysteries of the world and seek to be one with their creator through the power of the mind and intellect that has been gifted to them by God. The plot revolves around the story of a commoner named Maheshwar whose sacrifice is the crux of the plot and how he goes about making the sacrifice and trying to attain salvation. This gives a beautiful philosophical angle to the plot where in Maheshwar’s fault is that he had overlooked an innocent love and was materialistically inclined that defined his ordinariness although the plot very much highlights the insecurity behind his actions. He is shown to face a lot of hatred due to this and is also a witness to life changing events of human anger and aggression like war. This is the source of his pain and it is through this pain that he gains better and deeper understanding of the world. Certain digressive elements of the plot include the stories of people who die in the quest for an everlasting life afterwards. Yet, the bottom line of the plot remains the transformation of the mind and the understanding that there is a huge difference between surviving and living. To sum up the plot, there are no better lines than that of the author’s own words: “It is about the Creation of everything; whatever exists, has existed and will continue to exist. It is a story of infinite-years-long primordial energy to basic energy to a matter-based world. Transcendence of divinity over evilest beings. A showcase; the fight for survival, battle with evil, satisfaction of greed and ego.” Technically, the book is well organised but at over 400 pages, it is on the lengthier side. The book is highly engaging and thoroughly enticing with an edge over other sci-fi novels as it seems to draw in the sense of moralistic and value- based knowledge that is philosophically inclined and takes the reader to a different dimension altogether. The writing style is full of interesting coinages and technical terms which may make it a little difficult for a beginner level reader to follow but the note at the beginning of the book with all the technicalities of measurement as mentioned in this book gives a lot of insight and assists in the reading experience which any enthusiastic reader will benefit from. For the most part, the language is easy to follow and rich in vocabulary with words that are aptly used. The descriptions are detailed and the eye for detail is what captures the attention of the reader and sucks the reader into this whole new world of startling beauty, vigour, science, philosophy and a lot in between. The writing style is lucid, free flowing and breath taking to say the least. An example of the captivating and charming writing style can be noted in the following lines: “I have no name, but living beings call me Eternal. I was not born. I was here, and will always be here. Nothing before me existed. I was here, from infinity. Time started for me and will end with me. Innumerable times, I gave momentum to Monadom to create superspaces, universes, and lifeforms. I gave the freedom to do everything. I gave visions of my earlier creations of Universes and Life. Monadom has a tendency to come in equilibrium and at last, it becomes still and silent.” This is also true for times when certain lines in the book become like adages and call for a loud reading out of those lines which is bound to ring in the ears of the reader with it charm, depth of thought and interesting concept. The book is free from editorial errors and is well arranged, easy to follow and remarkably enticing due to its creative aura. The book cover is beautifully done and is representative of the protagonist and the quest motif that drives the plot. The overall pace of the narrative is moderate which makes the book an enjoyable reading experience. Entertaining as it sounds, the reading experience is a whole new aspect that requires the reader to be attentive, logical, rational and process the input but at the same time the charm of the narrative is such that the reader is bound to lose himself or herself in the narrative. There is a good balance between the plot and the characterisation and neither is overdone.
Name of Book: Surviving Trilogy: The Eternal
Author: Sulagna Saha
No. of Pages: 400
Reviewed by: Tasnima Yasmin