Seldom do I come across a Science Fiction book that is based completely swoops Indian Mythology. The Code of Manavas: Beyond the Realm by Arpit Bakshi is the one I recently came across that talks about Indian Mythology and Science Fiction at the same time. It’s a task that has to be stir considerably for a reader to digest the mix. There are books in which mixing mythology with fantasy/science fiction is not done with considerable amount. A reader might feel something or the other lacks. The amount of lack does create an imbalance in a reader’s mind.
However, Arpit Bakshi’s book does not fails to create that imbalance. He does a good job there. The plot follows a young protagonist Krishna, who is a scientist and the founder of Bhoomidium, an organic compound which is helping Bhooma, the only remaining land on the whole planet, to survive. This organic material is a healing source but has effects on humans and turning them into powerful beings a.k.a. Manavas. Everything has its price which is irrelevant to time. The organic material cannot stop the geological changes whose occurrences is what Bhoomidium is the outcome. Thus remains possibility of leaving as an alternative solution. The question remains, how?
That’s for protagonist of the story and the readers to find out. The book is certainly set in future, the year: 2050.2.x. This is just like a semantic versioning of a software application. Since we, nowadays, in reality we face, we are doing semantic versioning of everything, it is possible in future that we might be doing semantic versioning of days, months and years as did Arpit Bakshi.
The book has a slow start but eventually gather its momentum. Elements that focus on the protagonist, whose the base element os the book, such as his own emotional struggle, are not up to the mark. The characterisation suffers to much of the mythology and fails to enhance that. There is an extra layer of complexity which does works well as the story gains momentum, so that was not entirely satisfactory from a reader’s point of view.
2 out of 5!