Sambit Daspatnaik is a man of many hues.
An Electronics Engineer and a MBA, Sambit is a Program Manager with Oracle. But this but the tip of his competence profile ‘iceberg’. He is an established author, a talented artist as well as a mentor.
Sambit had been kind enough to write a generous testimonial for my book, ‘The Chronicler of the Hooghly and other stories’ when it was under publication. His testimonial is part of the book.
I had the privilege to read his book, ‘The Last War and other stories’ which has just gone into a second edition. I am delighted to provide my review here.
The Last War and other stories- Review
What would you say would happen if you were to take a dollop of Indian mythology, slices of long forgotten civilisations, a cupful of open-ended creativity and garnishing of science fiction and then mix all of that in a crucible ? What you are apt to get is a superb and rollicking tale called the ‘Last War’. This is what author Sambit Daspatnaik has served as the main fare in his book ‘The Last War and other stories’.
I do not want to give out much about the story and its context as that might spoil the surprise elements for the reader. Suffice it is to mention that I found the story and the audaciousness of the plot thoroughly enjoyable.
Sambit’s depiction of the Last War, the scale and the wide-angle perspective he uses, brought for me shades of J.R. Tolkien and his Lord of the Rings view of the world, replete with its magic. As Sambit writes in his foreword, the great war of Mahabharat fought between the Kauravas and the Pandavas many millennia back, was but a forerunner of a much larger war to come. In the words of the author, “……. everyone was mistaken… it looked like the ancient magic was still around… new lessons were learned…old secrets were unveiled… new allies were made……”
Four other science fiction stories make up the book.
Genesis is all about a spectacular discovery of the ‘sphere’ made thousands of lights years away by a research expedition. But as they say, with every benefit or solution, there is a downside. In the ‘Holy temple of Eula’, an alien civilisation awaits the arrival of a new Messiah who would save them from the perils of a dying world. The story ‘Blink’ employs a wonderful context as it transports the reader into a star trek like space incident complete with a ‘who dunnit’ mystery. The last story, with the wonderfully appropriate title of ‘Resurrection’, transports the reader into the distant future of Mankind with a dying sun.
All in all, Sambit Daspatnaik uses a simple and racy style in his narrative and this, coupled with the excellent and imaginative plots, makes this book a delectable fare and un-putdownable.
I would go with a rating of 4.5 out of 5 for the ‘Last War and other stories and would recommend it to the reader.
Author – ‘The Chronicler of the Hooghly and Other Stories’, Leadership Coach and incubator and Visiting Professor at IIMs.