The Archers Revenge, by Destination Infinity (Rajesh Kollu)

Before discussing the finer points of this novella, I would first like to express my gratitude to the author for giving me a chance to review his first book.

The Archers Revenge is a story which deals with power crimes, revenge and a battle of conscience and humanity against impulse and violence.

The title: One minor flaw can render a sentence or title meaningless. Ideally the title should’ve been “The Archer’s Revenge.” But the missing apostrophe makes the title ambiguous.
The characters: First works of most authors give me an autobiographical or semi-autobiographical vibe, as though the protagonist is in some way molded out of the author’s own character and behavior. Gladly, the characters in this book did not make me feel this way. The characters seem believable, yet not familial to the author and that displays good storytelling skills. However, I did feel the characters have not been sufficiently described or explored. For example, Guru is described as a God-fearing, humble yet resourceful man in the beginning. While it’s true that money and power corrupt, his transformation to an utterly ruthless politician capable of cold-bloodedly murdering his rivals has been described very briefly. Also, we do not get to know Aryan and/or Divya well. Both seem intelligent on an equal level, but that seems to be the flaw – they seem too similar to be different people. Different aspects of their character could’ve been described, so the reader would know their thought processes as individual characters and relate more to them.

The language/technique: Colloquial terms/phrases make several appearances in the book. While colloquialism may be (if unavoidable in the scene being described) used in dialogue, its use in the descriptive portions must be avoided. Also, in some places, there was a redundancy of terms (one example I remember is “fled away” where “fled” was sufficient). Some minor errors in singularity and plurality of subjects (off the top of my head – “their life” where it should’ve been “their lives”), prepositions and tenses were noticed.  
Ideally, meanings of terms must not be given in brackets. If a book is being published for academic purposes, a Notes page at the end may be included where uncommon terms may be defined, but otherwise even this should be avoided. The reasons why meanings of terms must not be included are 1) it makes the layout messy and 2) it may unintentionally make the reader feel that the author is underestimating the former. If a term is unfamiliar, the reader will look it up.  The author need not explain it in brackets. For example, the explanation for the word “arrowhead” was given in brackets.
Another thing that makes the layout messy is usage of quotation marks in a sentence that’s neither a dialogue nor an emphasis. For example, there was a sentence “The minister “managed” to get rid of them.” Here, managed need not be in quotes, because it makes the reader not take the situation seriously, if you know what I mean. The word “managed” almost makes itself sound sarcastic in the context.
Some phrases may be shortened to keep the sentences crisp. For example “blood began to flow” could be shortened to “bleeding”.
The loopholes: Divya accidentally mentions about her father to the prospective groom. Also, Divya is a strong person. I found it unconvincing that she broke down so easily while in custody.

All in all, considering this is the author’s first work, I must say it impressed me considerably. This book has scope for expansion into a full-length novel, where the characters are fully explored and the plot is more detailed. It has a good story and hope to see it soon in print. 
The ebook is available on Amazon.

Rating: 3/5

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4 thoughts on “The Archers Revenge, by Destination Infinity (Rajesh Kollu)

  1. Thanks for reading the book and the detailed review 🙂

    1. The decision to leave out apostrophe in the title was intentional as there are two archers and both are supposed to be taking revenge. But there is a twist in the end. So putting the apostrophe either before s or after s, I thought, would have been inappropriate and even revealing the final plot.

    2. Character development is something I need to work on. Also, I know both Aryan and Divya think and speak similarly and that's a flaw. I hope I will be able to create distinct characters in my future novels.

    3. We'll be more careful with editing in the future. The issue is, me and my editor are from India and both of us are used to these colloquial terms!

    4. Meaning of arrowhead is given in brackets? I'll want to see why I did it, myself! I thought I explained those things in brackets that a Non-Indian would not understand. Looks like my enthu became over-enthu 🙂

    5. Yes, the “managed” and other remarks were meant to be sarcastic. But when I shift from a serious tone to a humorous tone, people find it difficult to shift along with me. I have noticed this even in some short stories. Either I'll have to write this more effectively or not shift the mood!

    6. When Divya mentions about her father to the prospective groom, or when she thinks about her actions in the train, were you able to guess that Divya was lying to Aryan, she had her own agenda, and she was playing a double game? I want to know because other readers seem to have ignored these deliberate cues!

    Thanks for the excellent and unbiased review. It's reviews like these that inspire authors to write better, in future.

    Destination Infinity

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  2. 1) I still feel “The Archer's Revenge” would've been a better title. Though both are equally important, the story from beginning to end is actually balanced on Aryan's shoulders. But still, that's your call 🙂

    6) It confused me, because when she boards the train, there seemed to be an unintentional emphasis – as if forcing the reader to notice that SEE she's boarding the train! But when she's arrested, she says she regrets not listening to Aryan. So, that was a little confusing. Also, though she aided the police in getting Aryan arrested, he was not at all angry with her. That seemed a little unrealistic (even if he may have fallen in love with her).
    When planning a twist at the end, it's always better to leave out deliberate clues. Let it be a complete shocker! 🙂

    No problem! Hope to see more of your work in future.

    Like

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