Posted in All Book Reviews

Amateur: Review of The Last Avatar by Vishwas Mudagal

I received a paid-for copy of The Last Avatar from Vishwas Mudagal’s marketing team in exchange for an honest review, and would like to thank the author and his team for reaching out to me and giving me a chance to read this book.

I normally don’t read Indian fiction because my first (and understandably last) experience with the genre was when I read Chetan Bhagat’s Five Point Someone. Over time, I‘ve read excerpts from books of Amish and other Indian fantasy authors, and I’ve never been particularly fond of the general writing style. I was in two minds about picking this book up initially. The blurb of The Last Avatar, though, was intriguing and a bit strange. When I saw that it was published by Harper Collins India, I figured, “Why not?”

I also thought the book would be a good point to drop my reservations about Indian fiction, and maybe enjoy the evolving fantasy mythology genre and work that’s available from a growing set of authors. Let’s start with saying, “That definitely did not happen.”

The Last Avatar - Age of Kalki Book 1 - Vishwas Mudagal
Source: Goodreads

Genre: Indian fiction, Fantasy, Mythology

Length: 328 pages


A terrorist organization, the Invisible Hand, has found a leader and financial supporter in the Chinese General, Jian. A plot that was decades in the making has led to attacks all across the world. Cities have crumbled and India is in tumult after the Prime Minister and entire Union Cabinet are wiped out in one of the attacks. There’s only one person who can save India and the world from Jian’s ambition – Kalki. But is the vigilante-hero that India relies on a human being, or is he the tenth avatar of Vishnu as prophesized? And will he be able to save his country and the world, or will he meet his match in Jian and the Invisible Hand?

Overall Rating: 1 out of 10

Plot: 2 out of 10

Characterization: 1 out of 10

Primary Element: 1 out of 10 for its action and suspense

Writing Style: 0.5 out of 10

Part of a Series: Yes; this is Book 1.

Highlighted Takeaway:

The ending… because it allowed the book to finally end, and me to be done with it.

What I Liked:


What I Didn’t Like:

I’m just going to jot down a quick list here.

  1. The writing style – it was terribly amateur in style and needed a lot more work to even get the basic emotion across.
  2. The dialog – inane, unrealistic, and inconsistent.
  3. Narration – the book does not give you any sense of visualization; it just seems to go on and on, failing to evoke any emotion whatsoever.
  4. Story – the story goes on and on about how Kalki is India’s savior but does not offer a single example of what he may have done in the past.
  5. Plot – weak and convenient, and highly unrealistic even for a fantasy.
  6. Characterization – Kalki talks and behaves the same way at ages five, ten, fifteen, and whatever age he’s finally at; all other characters are one-dimensional. You could actually replace one for the other and not notice the difference.
  7. Pandering – random romance scenes that come out of nowhere and serve little purpose, as though added just to titillate (doesn’t succeed in doing so).
  8. So many errors! – syntax errors, grammar errors, incorrect words being used, and lack of continuity such as beards being shaved then reappearing overnight at full length (I mean, seriously?).

Who Should Read It:

I honestly would not recommend this to anyone. Maybe if you’re a die-hard fan of everything Indian mythology fantasy, you could give it a shot.

Who Should Avoid:

Anyone who actually enjoys reading books because they can pull you in and stories can be absorbing. The Last Avatar is too dull to do any of that.

Read It For:

… or don’t.

I genuinely wanted to like The Last Avatar but, unfortunately, just couldn’t (and I tried very hard to like it). I will definitely not be reading the rest of the trilogy (or howmanyeverbooks-ology) or any works of this author again.

As always, thanks for stopping by, and do share your thoughts in the comments section below!

– Rishika

Posted in All Book Reviews

Review: Brahma Dreaming (By John Jackson)

Source: Goodreads

Length: 239 page

My rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Brahma Dreaming is John Jackson’s version of the stories of the three great Gods of Hinduism – Brahma (The Creator), Vishnu (The Preserver), and Shive (The Destroyer). Accompanied by illustrations by Daniela Jaglenka Terrazzini, the book takes the readers across the many stories of Hinduism that represent the continuous forces of creation, preservation, and destruction.

The Bottom Line:

A charming read that introduces readers to Hinduism and the many epics that are its building blocks.

My take:

Brahma Dreaming can be considered an introduction to Hindu mythology. The subject is very vast and covered in parts by numerous books. Brahma Dreaming brings all of them together to share a brief look at the epics of Hinduism.

The book is extremely charming, especially the first chapter. It is written in a simple, straightforward, yet soft manner. Each chapter tells a different story in a continuing arc, and chapters are often interconnected. The illustrations are really good and really add to the book and the reading experience.

In essence, Brahma Dreaming is like the teaser of stories on which Hinduism has been built. It’s that brief a glimpse into the vastness of those stories. It gives a good introduction to the more well-known entities and tales on which a lot of Hindu children have grown up. But it doesn’t really delve into the lessons and morals that those epics are meant to showcase.

Personally, I’ve not read the detailed versions of those stories. I’ve read some abridged versions, and heard more through general discussion. So, I already knew a bit of the stories in Brahma Dreaming; but quite a bit was new and interesting too. Even in the cases where the stories differed from those that I knew in certain aspects, the retelling was intriguing.

Whether you’re absolutely new to the stories, or whether you’ve heard of them before, Brahma Dreaming (with its charming style and beautiful illustrations) evokes enough interest to make you want to explore the subject further.

I’d recommend Brahma Dreaming to:

  • people who enjoy reading mythology
  • those who want to know more about Hindu mythology
  • anyone who enjoys a bit of fantasy

Share your thoughts on Brahma Dreaming, or any related recommendations you may have, in the comments section below!

– Rishika