Samudran by A R Vikram – Highly Readable Debut

Samudran by A R Vikram is a fantastic read. It’s way more than a thriller and romance, it has got its own fusion of genre. The novel is set in future on a remote island: Maisyoor. The novel explores a gamut of interesting themes that keep characters conflict of interests and aspirations vibrant. The novel is titular featuring Samudran in the lead role. The narrative takes readers to the journey of this young man who works as a photographer in a far-off island with Tamil influence.

Tribal wars, betrayal, sacrifice, friendship are a few themes on which the storyline is sketched. However, the most powerful theme is the pursuit of love, which Sammy takes up for his girl Meila. Right at the beginning, being a photographer Sammy joins a team on the Maisyoor Island, which is doing research for herbs and plants of medicinal value. Sammy has ossified his values and morals based on his sad childhood. Despite that he falls in love with a girl named Meila when he stumbles upon her on one of his jungle wanderings.

The story, especially the first part, develops love bonding of both. For a part one and two, many might assume this as a romance saga on an island. The pace of the novel initially is slow, it focuses too much on their love meet-ups with fear ever lurking around. The novel begins building momentum when Sammy and two kind-hearted scientists realize the ulterior motives of the Professor Rajan. He is not leading a research team but under its guise working for a commercial project. If he succeeded the island may be jeopardized beyond repair. This is one of the big issues in the story other than the tribal wars between Oksatan and Yerthingans – the native habitants of the island. Sammy has support of Oksatan, and Meila belongs to the same tribe.

Sammy would want to outwit the professor’s dream at any cost, to save tribes of the island. He could leave the island silently but he gets into a dangerous game. On the other hand, the Professor desires no obstruction in his ways. He is hunting Sammy but the later has sided with some allies to bring total justice for all.

The plot becomes unputdownable after second part, there awaits many twists and turns, none of which readers could predict. The narration is averagely paced and extremely effective. It will always leave readers guessing the fate of Sammy. It will be an exciting journey till one finishes the book. The overall story looks far-fetched, somewhat filmy, but it worked. The author built sweeps and back stories of characters and the island that supported the omniscient POV style.  

Views on Characters:

The characters, despite their flaws, are likeable, and even the villains are given credible back stories, making readers understand the reasons behind their actions. None of the characters plunged in the glory of old days, which is good…saving readers from banality. A R Vikram has built a lovely almost fantasy like world for her story to develop. The language is engrossingly simple, with no glaring grammatical errors. However, its only minus point is the length and snatches of redundancy in the first two parts, rest is fine, worth applaud.

Editor’s Note:

The ending of the novel is neatly tied up. The author explained the chronology of Sammy and others lives. You may grow nostalgic to learn that Sammy never left the island for the love of Meila. Overall, Samudran is a nice thrilling enjoyable read.

AuthorA R Vikram
Edition Reviewed2023
The Asian Review Rating8.5 out of 10

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