Publisher: Red Turtle (Rupa Publishers)
Price: 195 INR
“To say I couldn’t put this down is an understatement. I barely breathed. With rapier wit, Basu introduces us to Nathaniel Brown and his spine-chilling adventures.”
-Wendy Orr, author of Nim’s Island
With a name like ‘Terror on the Titanic’, author Samit Basu had me intrigued yet sceptical. To add to this, Wendy Orr had written a great praise that’s displayed on the front cover. People might remember her novel ‘Nim’s Island’ for the movie that it was made into rather than the book itself. Be as it may, the cover has a very fantasy-like look to it. A large monster with a house in the background, I was initially surprised to see no hints of the big ship in it. Instead, we see the protagonist Nathaniel Brown battling the snake-like creature with someone in its captive- promising a very different kind of adventure inside. The cover illustration and design has been done by the skilled Deepak Sharma. Born and raised in Calcutta, the author is a writer of books as well as comics. Having published his first book at the age of 23, he is popularly known for his international award-winning superhero novel ‘Turbulence’, among other works. Its sequel is set out to come in July this year. A special mention to his novels: all of them are Indian bestsellers.
I wouldn’t like to spoil the treat of a novel that this is by stating what’s going on inside. Suffice to say it involves the gigantic Titanic, supernatural creatures who are hell bent on getting hold of and protecting a precious jewel on the ship and our detective who has to destroy it before it reaches the shores. The first chapter starts off at a supposedly fast pace with our beloved detective already in the middle of something. He considers himself to be a mongrel – shifting between origins, his parents being of different nationalities. As the chapters pass by, the plot is laid and hence, more focus can be paid on the characters that are being introduced. The story is based in 1912 with the Titanic having set sail. However for some reason, sometimes it is easy to forget the period this story is based in. Those who have seen James Cameron’s Titanic would have a bit of trouble focusing on the story. The scenes in the movie and visuals in our mind while reading the novel often interplay.
“After all, I loved Genevieve at first scent.”
There are a few strong sentences in the novel worth mentioning.
“Genevieve considered this in silence for a minute or two, while I studied her devastatingly attractive features.”
The words here flow very smoothly and it felt like a pleasure to read it for the first time. For the author to have captured so many elements in such few pages is nothing short of extraordinary. So, if there is a sequel and I am sure Samit Basu must have had dozens of requests for the same, I cannot wait for it to roll out on the bookshelves soon!
Overall Rating: 7.5/10
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