WRITING STYLE: 4.5/5
ENTERTAINMENT QUOTIENT: 4.5/5
It gives me immense pleasure to read something that combines both history and mystery in a thrilling fashion.
A lot of Indian authors have done so before but Prisoner of Yakutsk is a kind of masterpiece that you don’t come across every day.
Written about the mysterious death and disappearance of Subhash Chandra Bose, the book takes us into the world of sinister ploys, unspeakable findings, a gangly group of spies, treacherous sell swords and a bunch of highly dangerous but patriotic Indians.
What to expect?
Expect a book that takes you back in time. Expect a book that throws light on some very important questions regarding our beloved Netaji.
Finally, expect a book that takes insights from real facts and findings to bring to us a story that is both thrilling and adventurous.
Let’s talk about the story
It is in the year 1945 that Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, the leader of the INA takes a series of flights from Singapore but finally dies in a plane crash in Taiwan after his flight crashes near a place called Formosa.
The death of Netaji becomes a national issue because the events leading up to and after the death were all shrouded in deep mystery.
It is the year 1947 when ex-members of the INA – Mr. and Mrs. Singh are called upon by the then Indian government to investigate the events surrounding the death of Netaji. Last seen in Delhi, they are never heard of again.
Much later, in the year 2012, a female hacker holding considerable repute in the hacking circles of the world is listed as one of the most wanted people in the world. Everyone from Interpol to KGB is after her.
Finally, in 2015, the highly illustrious and millionaire CEO of a multinational company decides to quit his job abruptly and move away from the public eye.
How all these seemingly unrelated events connect and lead us to the mystery that is Netaji’s death is the story of this book.
How good are the characters?
The characters are pretty decent in their appeal and relevance. Though there are multitudes of them, not one of them seems out of place and unnecessary to the events that unfold.
They all bring something to the story and are quite realistic in their mannerisms and charms.
What is fact and what is fiction?
I absolutely loved the way the author discusses the real historical events first and only after giving us the relevant facts and information, he proceeds with the story.
He clearly demarcates the boundaries between fiction and fact and in turn helps the reader better understand the conspiracy and history of it.
Let’s talk about the author’s writing style
Shreyas’s writing is neat and to the point. He doesn’t rely on eloquence and unnecessary detailing. He makes good use of his vast knowledge of history, facts and also technology in lending character to the writing and also to spice things up a bit.
I found his writing a bit experimental in the sense that the narrative style is flexible between terse (mostly) and elaborate (sometimes).
The USP of the book, however, is the fact that there is never a dull moment in any of those 280 odd pages.
Is the climax good enough?
The climax is mildly disappointing. There are some possibilities which could have been explored but I assume it is the author’s own choice to not go fishing down the deep hole.
That being said, the climax still provides a decent end to an otherwise entertaining read.
It all boils down to the entertainment quotient
When it comes to entertainment, Prisoner of Yakutsk has no dearth of it. It is a book that can easily be picked by just anyone who is even remotely into mysteries and more so historical fiction.
Together with an impeccable story and a solid plotline, crisp and edge-of-the-seat narratives, a sense of anticipation and adventure, and a dynamic bunch of characters, the book nearly has everything to keep the reader hooked onto it.
My final verdict
Go for it!
Pick it up if
- You enjoy historical fictions and thrillers.
- You are intrigued by the mystery of Netaji’s death.
- You are looking for a decent entertainer.
Skip it if
- Historical mysteries are not your thing.
Can’t wait to read it? Buy your copy of Prisoner of Yakutsk using the link below.