Friday, April 3, 2015

Review | Shattered Dreams by Shubha Vilas *7/10 Stars*

Shattered Dreams (Ramayana: The Game of Life #2)

by Shubha Vilas


Page Count: 404
Published: February 4th, 2015
Publisher: 
Jaico

Source: I received a paperback from the team at blogadda in exchange for an honest review (Thanks!)
My Rating: 7/10 Stars

Summary


Shattered Dreams is the sequel to the national bestseller, Rise of the Sun Prince, in the new spiritual and motivational series Ramayana - The Game of Life.

Twelve joyful years have passed in Ayodhya since the wedding of Rama and Sita at the end of Book 1.

Now, in Shattered Dreams, Shubha Vilas narrates the riveting drama of Rama’s exile. Through tales of Rama’s unwavering and enigmatic persona, the book teaches us how to handle reversals positively; through Bharata’s actions, it teaches us to handle temptation; and through Sita’s courage, to explore beyond our comfort zone. This complicated family drama provides deep insights on how human relationships work and how they fail. 

With Valmiki’s Ramayana as its guiding light, Shattered Dreams deftly entwines poetic beauty from the Kamba Ramayana and Ramacharitramanas, as well as folk philosophy from the Loka Pramana tales, to demonstrate how the ancient epic holds immediate relevance to modern life. Experience the ancient saga of the Ramayana like never before. 



The verdict


Mythology re-tellings have been the flavor of the season for a while now, with The Shiva Trilogy being a huge hit recently. I was very disappointed with that trilogy though, after buying a boxed set following all that hype. Exceptions aside, I actually love epic re-tellings and devour them like anything. 

I'm sure many people in our generation (in India) have grown up hearing snippets and stories, and even reading the epic masterpiece Ramayana by Valmiki. Countless abridged versions have been made for children and adults. There are too many retellings, fictional or otherwise, available on the market today that one can choose from.

So what's new with this book? Is it worth a shot?

I'm not very sure about that. There were things I liked and things that left me plain annoyed.

I liked the way the author has used Ramayana's original concepts here. The way the Ramayana's gist has been used to connect it with the real world and narrated to portray how the characters' decisions, actions and the overall philosophy of those times can be applied today.  The story is motivating, with positive messages to give to the reader. It does show that the author has worked hard to pick out lessons from the epic. 

I really liked the connectivity between the characters, their backgrounds, portrayal (in most instances) and everything that made me connect to and care for them.

But honestly, the good points aside, I was extremely disappointed by the writing from the very first page. The narration left me bored. The sentences, descriptions and flow? Horrible. Incorporating bollywood inspired dialogues is no way to please today's readers. I had trouble picturing expressions like ‘Sita giggling mindlessly'. They don't go at all with the perception of the Sita that I've grown up with.

I'm not a fan of footnotes. all they do is distract me from the actual reading. An appendix at the end of the book would have been sufficient in my opinion. 

Overall, I would say I had mixed feelings about this one. If bad writing doesn't put you off too much, then for everything else, I would recommend you to give it a read.

Happy reading!


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