Aurijit Ganguli is not an entirely new novelist for the readers of the day. His first novel, The Shambala Sutras, came out in 2020. Readers and book critics received it well. The debut publication took Aurijit knocking on the gates of the elite club of authors behind the mythological and historical novels. You can count Ashwin Sanghi and Amish Tripathi, with Aurijit’s writing style leaning more towards Sanghi’s. However, the second novel by Aurijit almost countersigns the fact that he is capable of producing literature that is very close to Ashwin’s follow-the-clues style, with a few qualities peculiar to Aurijit (to be fair). I will be reviewing The Mystery Mountains by Aurijit today. The book came out at the end of May 2022 and has already received a rousing response from readers on platforms like Goodreads and Amazon.
The Mystery Mountains sets the protagonists embarking on the same journey as they did in The Shambala Sutras. Arjun and Lisa continue to feature as the leading characters in this novel. They are searching for a few botanists who go missing following an international conference where a leading botanist makes intriguing, unheard and revolutionary claims. However, the journey becomes a manifold of adventure and revelations for Arjun and Lisa. It is not only about finding the missing persons. It becomes a probable mission to save the world from devastation.
Aurijit Ganguli has managed the narrative very authoritatively. He sets the tempo of the search operation and then cleverly turns the direction towards a mission to find the other end of clues that would lead the protagonists to the answers (very shocking ones).
The novelist has discussed antediluvian tribes in detail. The story takes the readers to various parts of the world, featuring Peru extensively. I guess it’s the first time an Indian novelist has ventured in this direction. Though one may find the minor details like ticket cost and the possible routes to various sites in Peru distracting, it enhances the novel’s authenticity. It highlights the painstaking research behind the story (as well). Aurijit is himself a regular traveller.
As a novel, The Mystery Mountains turns out to be a compelling story for the readers who like reading adventure and mystery genre. It begins with a hasty tone and continues to keep the readers at the edge throughout. Readers discover one shocking detail after another. This process continues till the end when Arjun (with his team) locates the device and finds himself sure of its usefulness (as the wise people tell him).
It is also noticeable that the author has kept everything simple. He did not try to punch the heavy lexicon right on the face of the readers. Aurijit has managed to achieve a highly engaging work of fiction with fact-based research and authentic details (as he claims). And yet, he did not compromise with the entertainment quotient, even a little!
The characters, plot, the storyline, the narrative and the facts that the book reveals, one by one, perfectly align to keep the readers invested in the novel till the end. The Mystery Mountains goes beyond The Shambala Sutras, for sure. You will enjoy it, learn from it, and recommend it!
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Review by Ashish for Active Reader Book Blog
The Mystery Mountains by Aurijit Ganguli – Book Review
- Active Fiction Score
In a nutshell:
The Mystery Mountains by Aurijit Ganguli is a well-written novel that’s compelling, entertaining, exciting and totally worth your time… it brings the ancient world closer to our days.