WRITING STYLE: 3.5/5
ENTERTAINMENT QUOTIENT: 3/5
When The Longest Ride on the Kincham Express came my way for review, I fell in love with its cover and blurb. The cover is just gorgeous. It has that perfect mix of rustic charm, old nostalgia, mystery and the promise of an adventure. The premise seemed so different from the many books that I have read this year and needless to state I was quite excited about what lay inside.
What is the story all about?
The Longest Ride on the Kincham Express is the story of five individuals – Amaaya, Mihir, Sujoy, Trisha and Neil who are sent on an official journey by their employers, Perfect Plastics. The employees are selected randomly and given only a day’s notice to take this journey. None of the employees knows each other very well as most of them come from different departments. The mission of the journey is cryptic at best and there is an underlying feeling of adventure and fear which troubles these five people as they start out for the longest ride of their life.
Their mission is shrouded in mystery; they know that they have been given a high priority task which can only be completed when all five of them together travel on the unwelcoming Kincham express to reach the faraway land of Arkkukari. Throughout the journey, they face many hardships, meet unfriendly people, uncover shocking truths and discover each other’s secrets.
How good is the writing style?
The author’s imagination is very vivid. I love how this story is so different and unique. The concept of such a journey easily creates interest in the reader’s mind. The difficulties, challenges and twists that come along the journey break the monotony of the long ride. Most people would think that a train journey is just that – a train journey. But in this case, Divya is able to create an entire book out of a train journey. Each station that arrives brings a new story, a new character, a new sub-plot. In other words, each town that the train stops in has its own story to tell.
Are the characters any good?
The characters of The Longest Ride on the Kincham Express are multi-hued. Each character is different from the other and each character has something to hide. Their pasts are also equally interesting as we learn where each of them comes from and why they behave the way they do. In addition to this, the transformation that each character goes through is something to look forward to. They start the journey being Mihir, Amaaya, Trisha, Sujoy and Neil but at the end of their journey, each one of them is a transformed soul.
What about the climax?
The climax is where this book fails to impress. It does not give a befitting end to the story of the five individuals and leaves the reader unsatisfied and without closure.
How about the entertainment quotient?
Though, my overall assessment of the book is positive but, in the end, the book fails to shine in the entertainment quotient. The major issue that resulted in rating this book less is explained in the following paragraph. In addition to that, the book does become monotonous in the parts where the focus is more on philosophy rather than storytelling.
What did I not like?
I did not like the way Divya Johry has made a lot of unrealistic assumptions while penning the book. There are many scenarios which are very impractical. The most important example of this is that in a train journey to a faraway land which takes between 32-35 hours, the train stops at many places and the stops are as long as 3 hours. Utilizing the time at these stops, the various characters set out to explore the towns that they stop in, but is this practical? How many travellers have you seen doing this?
Now, we can say that this is a part of the author’s imagination but my argument here is that when a story is set in a realistic and contemporary setting such as this, it is essential on the part of the author to explain any changes that she has assumed in the world where her story is set in. The above was just one such example, there were many other things which were highly unrealistic and impractical.
Skip The Longest Ride on the Kincham Express if
You don’t enjoy dull reads.
Pick The Longest Ride on the Kincham Express if
You are looking for a different story. It will also interest those who like expressive and philosophical stories and for whom entertainment is not a criterion for selecting a book.
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