Author: Brijesh Singh
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Another one of India’s new multifaceted authors is brought to the fore by Penguin and Blue Salt in their new thriller, Quantum Seige, which deals with an impending threat by a merciless terror outfit. Singh meticulously draws upon his practical knowledge and experience as an IPS officer to create a real and convincing narrative of a terror threat and an attempt to resolve it. Rudra Pratap Singh from the Anti Terror Cell works against the Lashkar who have systematically sabotaged him (and other able officers in the Indian Police Force) in order to perpetrate an attack which could turn out to be the modern world’s worst nightmare- a full blown nuclear war.
Albeit being showered with military and technical jargon, Quantum Seige draws the reader in after a point, letting the reader get acclimatized to the technical style of writing which is further interspersed with terse episodic reporting of the events. This effectively creates a sense of urgency essential for the success of a thriller.
The fragmented and divided narratives, often jumping across analogous timelines, remind one of a Modern narrative, especially since the base of the plot is war, terror and questions on the essence of humanity. The protagonist is not always laudable either. Ready as he is to sacrifice his life for a billion others, he seems to give the least care to his wife and unborn child. Juxtaposing these seemingly similar yet clashing interests brings out a whole new perspective in the otherwise overused character type.
Singh blends in ingenious ideas like the use of an MMORPG and artificial intelligence which could appeal to the younger tech savvy reader. A thrilling and fast-paced read, Quantum Siege could have done a better job had it brought down the innumerable technical references and improved on the character of the female lead, who seems to be a failed attempt at creating a powerful female equivalent for the male protagonist.