I think I was around 9-10 years old when I converted to a proper book-worm. Till then I had been reading only Hindi comics (I used to love Diamond Comics ), once my elder brother had access to our school library a new world opened up. He would get the books issued, and we used to fight over who would read it first. My love-affair with reading started with Enid Blyton (Famous Five, Secret Seven, Five Find-outers), moved on to Hardy Boys, and thereafter the reading tastes multiplied as I discovered scores of other genres.
Recently I read two books – Sahyadri Adventure [Anirudh's Dream (book-1) and Koleshwar's Secret (book-2)] – by Deepak Dalal that took me back to those days. The author has penned a tale around the Sahyadri range and the Bombay of 1850s. The book is a part of the “Vikram Aditya Series” where the protagonists teenagers Vikram and Aditya get into sticky situations and come up trumps.
Sahyadri Adventure is a adventure novel with all the elements that make it an adventure – it starts innocently enough with sailing & trekking dominating the initial few chapters and then the book goes into overdrive with the chase/action sequences, proceeds on the path of mystery solving with generous doses of historical facts and stories woven around those facts, and ends with a sequence which would look stunning on a big screen if in the hands of a good director/cinematographer. The books are about a group of kids, one of whom suffers an accident while trekking, and goes through a dream sequence while in coma, and after waking up solves the mystery presented in the dream with the help of friends.
One of the major flaws in the book is that it is completely based on the dream sequence (which goes on for 50% of the book) that Anirudh undergoes, and it requires a major suspension of belief to accept that; but then maybe 12 years back I would have accepted that sequence without any hesitation. After all I am not the target audience for the book.
Deepak Dalal has researched very heavily for the books. Not only has he detailed the Bombay of 1850s and Western Ghats descriptively, he has also detailed the sailing, trekking, and parachuting among other things. This book would be a perfect addition to a school library – an adventure story that packs a heavy dose of history and geography, which librarian would resist that?
Addendum: This is a author requested review. Deepak Dalal’s team contacted me to review the book.