Name: Kill Order
Author: Vince Flynn & Kyle mills
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
From Russia, with Thugs
Essentially a modern retelling of the iconic Bond novel, Kill Order is the latest in the Mitch Rapp series, now written by Kyle Mills, following the death of the original author, Vince Flynn. The American CIA operative is back in the sweltering heat of Pakistan, keeping an eye on the country’s nuclear arsenal being constantly moved around by the paranoid government and the military. Hot on its tracks are ISIS fighters, hoping to get their hands on a nuke, secretly supported by Russian President Vladimir “Krupin” and his top assassin, the deadly Grisha Azarov. Moving between various cities and towns in the topical tropics, the book follows the usual tropes of cat-and-mouse games and spy versus spy encounters. Rapp is as American as apple pie with the far more morally ambiguous Azarov providing an interesting counterview, while Krupin behaves with all the understanding and patience of a five year old or world despot. This one doesn’t really bring anything new to the genre, but is a serviceable addition to it.
Name: Ms Draupadi Kuru After the Pandavas
Author: Trisha Das
Publisher: Harper Collins
While reading the Mahabharata, I have often wondered what Draupadi, Kunti or Amba would have done if they had been masters of their own fate. Documentary filmmaker-turned author Trisha Das provides a fun answer to that. A bored Draupadi strolls in heaven, reminiscing about the good old days when she was a mortal and lived a life of adventure. When her bestie, Lord Krishna, pays her a visit, her wish is granted. Draupadi, Amba, Kunti and Gandhari drop down from the heavens (quite literally) to pay a visit to their beloved Indraprastha.
Over the next 30 days, each character gets what she had truly desired but couldn’t get in her previous life. Draupadi finds freedom; betrayed Amba finds true love; the matriarch Kunti gets the opportunity to correct a terrible wrong and Gandhari comes to terms with her past decisions. With just the right mix of mythology and dollops of humour, Das has rewritten the epic for the Snapchat generation. If you are looking for a few laughs, this is definitely worth a read.