Saturday, 6 August 2016

Book Review #62 : 6 Degrees - Game Of Blogs

Title: - Six Degrees by Blogadda
Publisher: -Leadstart Publishing and BlogAdda.Com
Publication Year: - 2015
ISBN:- 9352013891 (ISBN13: 9789352013890)
Number of pages: -  422
Price: - Rs 349

BlogAdda, is a platform for bloggers to connect with each other, showcase their blogs and participate in interesting activities. The Adda has given writers various avenues to introduce their blogs to a large audience and interact with their readers.

Six Degrees is a product of the first collaborative blogging effort in India. It is a novel that is co-authored by many bloggers who are winners of the #CelebrateBlogging initiative by BlogAdda [that ran the first edition of Game Of Blogs in September 2014]. The objective was to write a fictional story revolving around five characters. Bloggers from across India came together as teams and after three rounds filled with it’s own set of twists & turns, three stories were adjudged winners by coveted panel of judges.

Each member had to write a blog page everyday and it all had to then come together in the form of a cohesive story. All the teams came up with their own distinct stories and writing styles and out of those thirty teams, the top three teams were selected for this book. Hence this book is the labour of love for writing of not one or two but 30 bloggers!

Hence, Six Degrees is not an ordinary effort but the result of “Collaboration + Creativity.”  The most fascinating thing about this book is that – Five characters are same and have the same characteristics in three stories narrated in the book.

The title isn’t clear at first glance and after reading I found that it relates to the six degrees of separation between the characters, stories and the storytellers. The cover is covered with a crowd of various types of smiley faces.

'Six degrees of separation is the theory that everyone and everything is six or fewer steps away, by way of introduction, from any other person in the world.'

As mentioned earlier, the book has three different stories with five characters (that remain same across stories). All the stories are set in Mumbai & Delhi. What we particularly liked about the book is that the language used in the stories is simple and authors (three teams of bloggers across India) have made a great effort to make the stories more engaging and keeping the readers hooked.

The Lead characters around which stories have been plotted are below:
Shekhar Dutta – A freelance writer and also a stay at home father
Tara Dutta – Wife of Shekhar and also a Media Professional
Roohi Duta – Their nine year old daughter. All the three stay as a close-knit family in Mumbai
Jennifer Joseph – Kochi based photographer
Cyrus Daruwala – Law student staying in Delhi

Three Stories that have been written by three different teams are below:

The Awakening
The Awakening is about Tara Dutta, Shekhar Dutta and their nine year old daughter Roohi. They are a close knit family who stay in Mumbai. It is a science fiction story with interesting twists and turns. They are leading a normal life until the arrival of a surprise guest – Jennifer, after which their lives become topsy-turvy. Every day, there are new revelations and incidents that threaten to tear the happy family apart.

Just like a Hollywood sci-fi flick, you can visualize the scenes and the good part about the story is that the scenes change at a very rapid pace. This keeps the readers glued to the story. The graphical representations of the aliens and the powers they possess adds more Masala to the entire story.

I liked the graphic descriptions of the aliens and their super powers and the story stays sharp till the end.

Would the ‘Once upon a time- Happy Family’ succeed to find out who are the strangers that have entered their lives ? What is the secret that holds the key to their happiness ? Would they be able to defeat the super-powers and save our earth ? These are the answers that lie in ‘The Awakening’, read it to believe it.

Entangled Lives
In Entangled Lives, a small seemingly happy family is thrown into turmoil with the arrival of strangers in the house. Tara and Shekhar Dutta have similar job profiles. Cyrus is an illegitimate child of Shekhar Dutta. She studies Law. Jennifer Joseph is an over-ambitious wild-life photographer. It is an intriguing story about an out of work writer, a power-hungry media head, a wild life photographer, 9 year old child and MURDER. The mystery that needs to be solved is who has murdered the maid of the Dutta household.

There is no direct evidence to link the murder to the crime though there is an eye-witness that will help in solving the mystery. For me, it was an edge of the seat thriller and a complete page-turner. Just like a Bollywood flick, this story has all the ingredients to make a great story – Relationships, Lies, Secrets, Betrayal and Revenge. We won’t be surprised if some Bollywood Director expresses interest in making a feature film on this story!

Missing – A Journey Within
As the title rightly suggests, this story is about a Missing person. Roohi, daughter of Shekhar Dutta goes missing from school. Roohi was accidentally clicked by Jennifer [photographer] when she was clicking pictures to complete her assignments. She recognizes Roohi since her parents have circulated her pictures on Social Media. So, who was Roohi last seen with?

Missing traces the journey of love, hope, care and affection right into hatred, ego, prejudice and negativity. It beautifully etches the pain that a family has to go through since there is a fear of losing Roohi forever. Just when hope to find Roohi starts to dwindle, journey takes a fascinating turn.

Would the family manage to find Roohi or they would loose her forever, Missing holds all the answers.

Overall Verdict: The USP of this book is the fact that the characters, their nature, the physical appearance and basically every other factors used for character development has already been defined and the teams had to think of stories around them. Usually it is the plot that defines the characters but it was a very unique experience to read how one set of character can be visualised in so many different plots and scenarios. “Wouldn’t too many cooks spoil the broth?” - I was worried that being a team campaign, there might be inconsistencies in the writing style but I have no such complains after reading the book. Written by a plethora of bloggers, with well knit stories - this book is a pageturner! All three stories are totally different from each other, but the characters and situations are believable which make them easy to connect to our lives. This book is a labour of love for writing. If you like to read about different perspectives in life, love drama, suspense; than Six Degrees is the book for you! 

Rating: 4/5   

This review is a part of the Book Reviews Program at Participate now to get free books!

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