‘The Mystery of Bila Land’ is the first book of Nitish Krishna, a business and market intelligence professional. The story revolves around Vilas who has been seeing a particular kind of dream everyday for the last fifteen years. He keeps failing to figure out the real meaning of this dream until he lands on the mysterious land of Bila accidently. And, here begins an exploratory journey of many twists and turns. If you take the narrative voice, setting and theme, and put them all together, this book can be taken as a wonderful reading experience. Inclusion of characters from the well-known Indian epic of Mahabharata further enhances your experience of reading this book. Not even a single page of this book makes you bore. On the other hand, the narrative is too strong to stop turning the pages.
Nitish Krishna likes to call himself a storyteller rather than an author. And, what a storyteller he is! He has an obvious gift for storytelling and an almost instinctive understanding of how to hold the interest of his readers. Structurally the novel is fast paced and intricate, designed to rush the reader very fast. The author is very economical with words and often provides a surprisingly large amount of character development and background description in only a few sentences. While I have no problem with this type of structure as I enjoyed every single page of this book, I also consistently left with the feeling that few more pages could have been added to this scene or that scene. This could be taken both as a compliment and a criticism.
Turning our attention to the characters of this book, we find that the characters are well defined and differentiated, although they are crowded together in such a relatively short novel. You not only relate with each and every character, but also feel their emotions. Additionally, what makes these characters unique is the way they tell the story.
Most of the stories generally contain some sort of a conflict. This conflict not only takes the plot forward, but also gives rise to a crisis where the main protagonist of the story is usually faced with choices. And, most importantly, how that character deals with the crisis helps the readers to understand the protagonist’s emotional, ethical, social, or even physical transformation. The book under review pieces together all these elements well and leads the reader to a sense of both satisfaction and enjoyment. The storyteller of this beautifully woven tale, therefore, should be appreciated for that.
One of the minor but important blemishes of this novel is its front cover. This aspect could have been given more attention. The cover of the book still plays an important role in communicating with a vast majority of the readers. Therefore, utmost care should be given for designing the front cover of the book.
While the end of the book is more than satisfactory and do not disappoint you, the book ends with a promise of a sequel. And, I will be eagerly waiting for this sequel.
Note: I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange of an honest review.