Astral Runner by Amar Agarwala
Perhaps, only a Chartered Accountant could have written this story, I thought to myself, while quickly turning pages, midway through the book.
The cover gave me a feeling that it is another offering in the widely popular mythological fiction genre. But I was pleasantly surprised to discover later that it’s an urban fantasy, something I haven’t read much of.
The opening chapter introduced me to the protagonist Varish Sanghvi and Chandrayan, a man dressed in ancient robes, and who could walk through closed doors. Varish is a defeated man at 40, a Chartered Accountant, with no zest for life whatsoever. Having lost his family, in an unfortunate turn of events, Varish suffers mentally and professionally.
But three years later, sitting in his office one evening, Chandrayan knocks at his door, and thereafter his life changes. For better or for worse, he’s yet to discover.
Against the backdrop of Calcutta’s urban life, author Amar Agarwala’s novel embraces the spiritual and the divine. How Varish’s life changes and what’s the purpose he’s been chosen for is what we find in the 250 pages of the book.
The story is gripping and finely told, for not once did I feel an ounce of boredom. It was a quick read throughout. Some parts of the book even made me flinch a little. Balancing on the threads of deep family love and friendship, Varish’s journey takes him through life and death, through the real and the surreal, the earthly and the astral.
If fantasy is what you love and are dreaming of a life-changing magic to happen, Astral Runner is the book for you.
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