The titular novel Samudran by A R Vikram looks like a complete package. It has got romance, adventure, action, conspiracies, betrayals, humanity, change of mind and heart, tribal wars…all staged against a tropical island named Maisyoor.
A team of four people is studying medicinal plants and herbs on the island. Two are scientists: Sangeetha and Karthik. The head is the Professor Rajan. Samudran aka Sammy is the photographer. The setting of the island is enigmatic, relax not supernatural. It is controlled by two tribes: Oksatan and Yerthingans. The former friendly, while the latter is hostile.
To enjoy a novel where quite a number of sub genres cross one another, it’s imperative to get acquainted with the cast of characters and settings. The novel is lengthy but I kept reading it as I felt being one of them. The changes and events that grip the plotline don’t happen out of blue, they are done gradually. It is a lovely piece of writing where nothing is hurried. You take time, I had read it leisurely.
Being a debut writer, I got that the author has given more than it was required in the blurb. Also, at a first glance, I was bemused by the cover page…just two of them. As I got to know the inside story of the girl Meila, the cover made sense.
Sammy has had a tragic past. He doesn’t believe in god, love, and marriage. However, as he trundles in the forbidden jungle of the island, he stumbles upon the tribal girl Meila. He falls in love, presumably at first sight. Here onwards, the story remained a bit repetitive, exploring their feelings for one another.
The momentum changed when the guys come to know about the ulterior motives of the Professor Rajan. The research was a show off. He was working for a pharmaceutical company to find some ground-breaking herbs and plants on the island. However, that discovery can upend the lives of tribal people. Sammy with the help of Sangeetha and Karthik race against the time to expose the Professor. Will they succeed in their efforts? The expanse of the story is long. It’s not a plain kind of story. I was feeling the human heart of the characters, their aspirations, and much more. The tribal rivalry and war is nothing less than a filmy story.
Development of story, plot, climax, characters is superbly done. The only con is the length of the novel, but the narration is so lucid that you are likely to feel amazed and absorbed till you get over it. It’s also a light-hearted novel with other thrilling happenings. I enjoyed, specifically, the book from the second part onward. I am sure long after closing the book you feel and think about the life of Sammy and Meila that doesn’t come out of their cocooned island. A heartwarming story of two unlikely lovers! I loved it to the core!
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