Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Blog Tour / Book Musings - The Reengineers by Indu Muralidharan

The Reengineers
Indu Muralidharan
A HarperCollins Publication (Harper Element)


Chinmay Narayan is plotting to kill himself. He is a misfit at school, his parents are about to divorce and the love of his life doesn’t know he exists. It seems pointless to go on with such a dysfunctional life. But before he gets anywhere with that plan, Chinmay and his friends, Anu and Sabi, stumble into the eerie world of Conchpore through a portal in Uncle RK’s library.

They find themselves in The Seeker’s School, where you can buy spiritual courses that will bring you enlightenment. While the seekers seem unaware that there is anything amiss, Chinmay and his friends stumble upon a strange and sinister plot that the teachers and students are caught up in. The three youngsters suddenly find themselves in danger, and their only hope is the charismatic Siddharth, an old student of the school who has come to visit. Chinmay discovers that Siddharth is seeking catharsis from his dark past by writing a book—a book with Chinmay as the protagonist. He realizes that his own story is a mirror image of Siddharth’s, which leads to a moment of reckoning for him: can he become the author of his own life?

Set in Madras in the early nineties, The Reengineers dispels the boundaries between fiction and reality to tell a tale that is as much a coming-of-age story as it is an inspiring narrative of self-empowerment and spiritual growth. 

My Musings 

I received a free book in exchange for an honest review through The Book Club. This in no way impacts my review and all the thoughts expressed are my honest opinion.

It's been a while since I read the book and I am still digesting it. This is one of the books which is both easy and difficult to reminisce on. The reason is that it was both an enjoyable read which got me immersed in the lives of the characters wholeheartedly and an enlightening read which got me thinking on the various truths interspersed throughout the book. It is classified as Young Adult but I think that it is appropriate for all ages. It is universal and the author has done a good job making her work a different and thought provoking one.

The entire story can be told in a line - Discovery of self. That's what the book is about. The author has taken a unique way of trying to get across her point/message. The book follows the adventure of Chinmay, Anu and Sabi as they discover a portal to another space and world. There they go through incidents which changes them in a better way.

I admit that the similarity of the beginning of the tale to Chronicles of Narnia, that is, the accidental discovery of an entry to a different world, was what first attracted me to the book. I was expecting a fantastical piece of work with a hint of mystery as hinted by the blurb. What I got was a tale which is similar to almost everyone's life at some point. It does speak of the hard truths of life.

The starting was a bit slow and almost had me giving up on the book because of too much negativity and the suffering mentality of Chinmay and his friends. But then their entry into Conchpore had the story speeding up and then ending with a simplicity after all the convoluted explanation.

Chinmay and Siddharth seem to be the most focused on characters and I saw them getting better and justifying their roles while Anu and Sabi, though good supporting cast, weren't given much substance. All other characters, including the Professor, are just part of the background which made the story reach the end.

The writing of the author made me remember past delights of Madras and life in general which can't be seen much in this present technology savvy world. Those parts made me bittersweet since I miss them a lot and also thankful that the author was able to connect with that part of my life.

This book of inspiration and coming of age story of Chinmay, Anu and Sabi has given an insight into the author's writing style. Though this is widely different to the usual trope out there, it might not appeal to everyone's taste. For me, it was the right blend of fantasy and reality to satisfy the reader in me.

My rating : 4/5

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I am a writer from Chennai, India. To me, reading and writing are means by which I try to comprehend the meaning of life and reality. My first novel The Reengineers (HarperCollins, 2015) is a metafictional exploration of the meaning of the self, examined through the relationship between an author and the character of his novel. I am working on two other novels at the moment, both centred around the healing power of fiction and its significance in 'real' life.

I live in London, balancing a full time day job with writing and studying a part-time Master's Course in Creative Writing at The University of Oxford.

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  1. Thank you for the wonderful review! So glad you enjoyed the book

  2. What a wonderful review. I must read the book soon.