Book Review — Equilibrium by Paras Joshi

Image courtesy of Goodreads

Equilibrium tells the story of 17 year old Arya, who is forced to fend for himself in a world that has turned a blind eye to the less fortunate. Living in the Northern Grid of Carbyn, Arya becomes a part of the corrupt and criminal society. When a robbery spirals out of control and his team members are arrested, Arya gets thrown into a world he didn’t know existed. Complete with elementalists, heroic responsibilities and a battle of good vs evil; Arya finds himself in the company of those who call themselves the Saatvika (essentially, the peace makers). It is upto him to deliver the Ring of Avaasya, that he stole unknowingly, to the Saatvikaalok , lest the balance between two polarized forces would be disrupted and wreck havoc on the human world.

This story had so much potential, particularly because it played with the theme of elemental magic. But somehow, it fell flat for me. Firstly, the characterization wasn’t very convincing or strong. The Elders who possessed so much power appeared to be very passive and mellow. They didn’t exude the kind of authority or power that one would expect. Similar was the case of the King Alexis. He appeared to be submissive and cowardly. Given the circumstances, maybe it’s a little justifiable. However, we don’t even get an inkling that he wanted to stay and fight. Secondly, there are entire chapters that seemed a little purposeless, as in they don’t contribute much to the story except for the fact that we are well assured that Arya is an inquisitive boy. The chapters don’t end with a cliffhanger, so the pace was more constant than not. I wouldn’t say that I hated the book, but I didn’t enjoy myself as much as I would have liked to. The author writes good action sequences. I enjoyed two such sections – one with the execution of the robbery and the other being Ayrof’s fight sequence. They were adequately thrilling and packed with a punch (no pun intended).

What I liked about Arya’s back story is that even though being a protagonist, he is negatively portrayed, we are made to understand what drove him to the extreme. His relations weren’t supportive or affectionate. I didn’t understand the purpose of introducing a new character, i.e Althoran, towards the end. Anyhow, the ending was very good, especially the last page. The author made sure that even those whose interest has been only minutely piqued would await the next book. I don’t know if I would want to read the next one. But the story is promising. And this being the author’s debut book, there’s only more progress that could be reflected in next one.

Ratings – 2 stars on 5.

Meera

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