Publisher: Leadstart Publishing Pvt Ltd
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The Redeemers is based on an increasingly common theme in current fiction – futuristic dystopian societies and related uprisings. Though based on a promising idea, our reviewer feels that the book does not handle the issue in a sensitive or manner. Read on to get the full scoop.
Imagine a postage stamp. It’s small, right? Then imagine a story written on that postage stamp. Now, imagine that storyline stretched beyond its logical, tensile capacity to fill 200 plus pages of dense, righteous morality-inducing sentiment. If you like that sort of thing, The Redeemers is good. If, like most people, you’d like a little nuanced portrayal of a dystopian society and your role and contribution to it, then avoid this book.
Okay, we are getting a little ahead of ourselves here. Let’s begin with the plot (and I use that term loosely).
The Redeemers begins with a time in the future when India is the world’s superpower. According to the author, the idea of India being a superpower basically means that we are better than America. China, UAE, Indonesia, etc. have no place to play apparently. (Although these countries show great promise now to be stellar, forceful nations in the time to come, in the novel they have dissolved into oblivion by 2030.) But things weren’t always like this. India used to be a corrupt nation with multifarious levels of discord nestled into the fabric. In this time in the not-so-distant past, four young adults – Vikram, Yuvika, Manisha, and Akshay – got together, launched a program, enlisted the youth of the country, and started a movement to eradicate corruption. All this happened over a vacation that took some interesting turns.
Prima facie, the book does show promise. There is a reality in which we all live. This reality shapes our minds and influences our characters. Our characters in turn mould our society’s young. So, the story’s premise is undoubtedly rooted in a sociological truth. However, the treatment is vapid and the language is stupefying. The characters are very oddly developed. The four principal characters are sort of sketched out, but their parents are no more than props. Maybe the fathers of the children have some inputs to share in their children’s participation in the movement but their mothers are conspicuous by their silence. This is where The Redeemers lost it for me. If you can’t even imagine women, especially housewives, participating in a national debate, then maybe it’s best not to write a novel that talks about national well-being. The marginalization is very apparent when the only women who have some say are working women or those who host T.V. shows, etc.
All in all, The Redeemers has little to redeem it. Except, maybe the cover of the book. It has the silhouette of four characters leaping up to touch the sky against a red background. (But a friend just pointed out that the cover looks like a Rang De Basanti poster with a communist backdrop.) So, umm, all in all, just reach for another book or go out and fight corruption instead.