Read “The Virtuals” by Anupam Sinha. This is the first text novel from the man who gave us Super Commando Dhruv. He is known as the master of fiction.
The Virtuals is a thriller which tells the story of a world of entities called VIrtuals who influence and in a way controls the lives of human beings. A young boy has a number of hallucinations of attack from strange entities on his psyche which he initially dismisses as mere nightmares. But things get serious one day when in a dream he is attacked by a dangerous man. At the same time his physical self is also showing signs of pain and torture. His close friend and a doctor try to help him. But he is actually saved by a powerful entity who has an overpowering influence on psyche of a large number of human beings on this earth. The boy is then taken to a Neurological center by the doctor for treatment. But soon the boy realizes that things are not what they seem. He is soon introduced to the world of powerful Virtuals whom human being refer to as ‘Gods’. The boy comes to know that he has to play an important role in the battle of consciences waging between two sets of Virtuals. He has to choose sides. Which side will he choose and why?
The story is wonderful and the concept is fantastic. As in his comics, Anupam Sinha manages to surprise the readers at many points. There are good twists and turns. The story gets really interesting in the middle when the boy Peat is being trained in the art of Virtuals and at the same time parallely we go through the past of the Neurologist doctor Sonya. Few characters are really interesting and the way the Virtuals try to alter scenarios in real world is really gripping. I would give a special mention of the incidence when the Virtuals try to manipulate minds of powerful men to led to a grave tense situation between two countries.
However, there are few things that could have been better. The book gets very technical right from the beginning. The detailed usages of terms associated with the Virtuals organization in the beginning leaves the reader confused as to what is happening. Its not until almost 60% read is complete that reader comes to realize the real reasons of the happenings in the story. The climax could have been better. It appears a bit lull as compared to the atmosphere building up to that point.
“The Virtuals” are for those who complain that Indians cannot come up with good concepts in Science fiction. The fans of Anupam Sinha’s comics would absolutely love it.
Here is a quick sketch as a dedication:
You can buy a copy of “The Virtuals” from here: