Book Review: Terror on the Titanic
The book cover has the text, “To say I couldn’t put down this down is an understatement: I barely breathed. With rapier wit, Basu introduces us to Nathaniel Brown and his spine-chilling adventures. “ says Wendy Orr, author of Nim’s Island.
Samit Basu’s Turbulence is a favorite and the Terror on the Titanic was an easy pick for me, especially after reading the recommendation on the cover. The image on the cover gives a good indication of the story lying inside the pages — a green coloured, many-armed monster holding a girl facing a boy with a knife in his hand. The novel, a first in the series introducing the Morningstar Agency and it’s newly recruited agent, Nathaniel Brown, starts on a fast pace. The pace is maintained throughout the book, so much so that it is indeed difficult to put the book down in between.
We are first taken to a dark road in London where we get to meet the Morningstar agents, the dashing Nathaniel Brown and the delicately beautiful Genevieve besides their fearsome opponents. Nathaniel and his partner are entrusted with the job of finding the world’s largest ruby, which if falls into the hands of the wrong people will result in the destruction of the world. But the problem, as we soon find out is that there seems be a number of contenders vying to get their hands on the precious stone and the agents have to outsmart their various opponents. It does not help that all the opponents have special abilities. But our hero, Nathaniel, too is not an ordinary mortal. He is the son of the well-loved Mowgli of the Jungle Book fame and has animal like capabilities especially when it comes to locomotion and speech.
The subtle humour in the book cuts through the action taking place, offering the reader a chance to let the information sink in before being taken along on another chase. There is no place for inattention and for this reason I feel this book is an excellent choice for young readers who will enjoy the intricate plot twists and the non-stop action scenes. That all this action is taking place on a ship sailing on the high seas makes the reading all the more breathless and exciting. In crafting the resolution of the novel, Samit Basu reveals his command on the craft of writing by letting the details fall in easily, fixing the holes and tying it all up to a satisfying finish.
Samit Basu’s easy style of writing makes you keep turning the pages and there is no dull moment from the first page to the last. Though targeted for Young Adults, the book seems more suitable for young readers on the cusp of entering teenage. That said, however, the book makes good reading even for adults with an empty afternoon to get by.
Read the book if you like imagining a world where extraterrestrials and extra-human beings clash with regular mortals. Pick up the book if you are looking for humour in an action packed novel.
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