PLOT: 3/5

Sniffer Boys: Adventure of the Lost Reserve comes as a pleasant surprise. This small book is a story about four boys Sagar, Manish, Rishi and Gaurav. They are the Sniffer Boys.

They form a group of young detectives who work for the Indian Magic Society based in Mumbai. Their job is to kerb illegal magical activities in the city.

A sorcerer who was jailed for carrying out illegal magical activities has just finished his sentence and stepped out of the jail.

Needless to say, his devious plans are not yet finished. He works with added vigour to find out the lost reserve which is an unlimited reserve of magical powers.

In order to gain access to the magical reserve, he requires a priest to perform the elaborate rites. When the head of the Serpa clan plainly refuses to perform the rites for his diabolical designs, the sorcerer lays a bait and a trusted member of the Serpa clan turns the traitor.

Our team of young sleuths fight with him and save humanity from the havoc which would have been caused if he had gained access to the magical reserve.

The writer has very nicely articulated the magical world. In his magical Mumbai, all the airports, railway stations and bus stops are deserted. Because people no longer need it.

All the people including the office goers just open their wings and fly in the sky. You require magic bricks for the same just like batteries of your mobile phones.

His description of this magical world left me in awe. Plus there are numerous characters who are half-human and half animals.

So the writer very cleverly mixes the Indian mythological creatures (without mentioning their mythological names) with the present-day Mumbai locations to create a story with which today’s generation can identify.

The way he describes the monster swallowing Gulati is absolutely brilliant. The book also contains illustrations drawn by the writer himself.

That does not mean that the book is free of any flaws. The characters of the four boys are simply plain and insipid.

The map appended at the end of the book showing places in Mumbai is of no help because the locations do not matter to the story at all. Even if they would have assumed fictitious names, there would have been no impact on the story.

Apart from the aforesaid flaws, Sniffer Boys: Adventure of the Lost Reserve is highly recommended.

There is a dearth of books written by Indian authors for young adults. This is a book which you will enjoy reading and gifting to your young friends and relatives. It will definitely make their summer vacations special.