If there is one book I would recommend you guys not to read, then that would be, “I, Rama: Age of Seers: Book 1” by Ravi Venu. Normally I like books for at least one element or the other. I believe that the author has something to provide to the readers, however I could not say the same for this book. There was also one other fact: I could not finish the book. I read almost seventy-five percent of it and then gave up. I do not like not finishing books; however I could not finish this one.
I, Rama is the first book in a trilogy (I think) written from Rama’s perspective. While the basic plot is intriguing, the book does not live up to the mystery and drama. We all know the story of Rama – the exiled prince, of how he was exiled, of how his wife Sita was kidnapped by Ravana, the demon king.
We are aware of the trials and tribulations undertaken by Rama and the monkey army to save Sita. Kaikeyi has been shown in a different light (twist in the tale) – a warrior princess with immense strength of character. The story is told in flashback mode with Rama narrating it to Lava and Kusha. Rama is the crowned king and has been ruling the kingdom for some time now. This is his story, as experienced by him.
I could not find anything that held my attention in the book for long. The writing was predictable. The situations sometimes more so. The idea however is excellent. The story had a lot of potential. Having Rama to present his side of the story, but then again, for me the detailing is written in a manner that bored me. I could not connect with the book. Maybe the book was written, considering there are so many books based on mythological characters that are doing the rounds anyway. However, it doesn’t live up to them or in that genre. It just seems forced and not up to the mark.
The writing was fluid initially, but that also lost ground at some point in the book. It jumped too soon and I as a reader could not keep pace with it. The characters were well-etched and yet did not seem to have a voice of their own. Their thoughts and emotions seem forced and too clichéd at times. I think the book might do well in the mass market, considering it is a story of Rama, and that is interesting enough for readers to pick it up. This is also a trilogy, I think. I would not recommend this book for sure to anyone. In a long time, a book did not work for me. Not even as a fast read.