Some weeks back, I finally finished The Unwaba Revelations – the third and final book in Samit Basu‘s GameWorld series. The journey started in 2004 when I suddenly discovered his first book (which was acknowledged as the first-ever Indian-English SFF genre novel and was widely popular since it was published) in the Calcutta Book Fair and was thrilled with anticipation. Here was an author, couple of years younger than me, who wrote an SFF book in English language and got it published by Penguin – it had to be good.
And it was better. It was fantastic. It perhaps wasn’t a serious novel as it started – with themes and names and concepts borrowed from every possible fantasy creations on earth, the first few sips were like those of an exquisite cocktail. But then pages turned, and story formed. By the end of the first book, his literary style was proven to be unique, concept complex but unconfused, brilliance shimmering.
Then came the second book a little while later. And it threw things upside down. Gods playing games with the world is something one can digest – but then one set of Gods cheating some other set of Gods in that game? I mean… – and, he wasn’t kidding – he was serious, and he pulled it off. With fantastic things happening on the world and off the world, the second book was a delight to read after a long wait. Story grew more complex, it was an abundance of characters, and all the while every chapter holding the readers’ nerves on a strong leash.
The anticipation for the third book was breaking the sky. Readers – by now die-hard-SamitBasu-fans – were after him for months in his blog site about publication dates. I was in the United Kingdom, so chances for me to see the book in the local stores were remote. Fortunately someone came to visit us and brought the book for me upon my earnest request. I kept it away for sometime, as I had some other agenda which were keeping me busy. And then one fine day, I started reading it.
Wonders. Amazement. Joy. Laugh. Delight. Suspense. Intrigue. Fascination. Emptyness.
The book was finished. And I am still thinking why couldn’t it last longer. Fantastic story-telling. Wonderfully new language. Fantastic plot-sum-up. I could make a guess about the fact that perhaps the author wasn’t sure where the story would lead when he started writing the first volume in this 3-book-series. But that is not something one would complain about after being through the joy-ride. It finished neat and it finished perfectly. Unlike classical good-over-evil stories, in this book the reader would see deaths of prominent “good” and “important” characters, reader would also see survival of “villain” characters, and finally “un-suspended animation” of some characters (after all, Gods were playing games here). But the author, following some traditional norms, did give us triumph of some of the most favourite characters – and that too in a spectacular fashion.
A wonderful read, I must admit. I couldn’t have asked for a better finish, after those monumental battle scenes and adventure rides. There wasn’t a single moment of feeling “blah, this wasn’t really an up-to-the-mark closure” in any of the chapters – that’s to say the least.
I am now a definite die-hard fan. I was already, but just proclaiming it. Will eagerly wait for Samit’s next masterpiece, when it comes. I hope he do not go miles away from SFF genre – because that’s what I like. Meanwhile I am thinking of trying out some of his comics works. Feeling excited.
And now, finally after finishing this blog, (to quote Samit) I will collapse spectacularly on my bed. Lights out!