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on April 8, 2012
It was the mystical, other worldly atmosphere that drew me in as soon as I started reading this book. It took me a while to get used to the writing in present tense, but this actually created an urgency and tension. The introduction plunges straight into the love story between the star crossed Yudi & Tiina. This caught my attention and I followed it throughout the book to find out what happens to them. Parts of it are many layered so I had to retrace my reading a little bit here and there, but stick with it because I came away with interesting insights not only into the story but into my own life as well. Love the colorful characters from Indian mythology.
Author of Detoxify your body naturally
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on April 15, 2012
I read a lot and don't normally judge the book by its cover but with "The Destiny of Shaitan" it was the cover that caught my attention. As I started reading, I found myself immersed in the world portrayed in the novel and found the characters convincing and intriguing to follow (and likeable, all of them, I couldn't make up my mind and pick my favourite).
Absolutely love the opening chapters and the meeting between Yudi and Tiina. I am familiar with Indian mythology so the battle scenes at the end really gripped me: I could see the tribute to the ones from the Mahabharata. The part about the gateway to the other side - this is when it becomes quite magic realistic - I had to go with the flow at which I point I really started enjoying myself. I'm giving this five stars for sheer audacity of the author in what she's trying to accomplish here.
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on April 13, 2012
The low-key humour that runs like an under-current through this delightful, gripping adventure had me chuckling from page one: "His mother seduced the supreme god Shiva conceiving Shaitan in the divine equivalent of a one-night stand." The jokes wonderfully dissolve the mythical divide between the worlds, between us human beings on the one hand and our source and destiny on the other. It's a delicious blend of gods and humans, sacred and profane, an enlightening spiritual journey entertainingly disguised as sci-fi. It will take you on a gripping ride, catapulting you into a world that gives you more than a glimpse of your own power and potential. The Space Age that began in the 1970s was an outer sign of an inner journey - one that's destined to take us beyond the constrictions of our human shells. Make yourself a cup of tea, put your feet up and let this author show you where we can all be headed when we get out of our heads and limitations and into a richer and deeper place, the expansive world of imagination.
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on July 11, 2012
I got this book when it was free in April and I just read it for a review spot I have on Laxmi Hariharan's book tour. The Destiny of Shaitan is exactly why I love having an e-reader! This is a book that I probably would have missed had I not had one. Filled with pop culture references and Hindu mythology, this is unlike any science fiction / fantasy novel I've ever read. This book has it all! Gods, mermaids, lion people, flying silver surf boards. I didn't see any unicorns but I'm sure they exist in this universe somewhere! There's even a little section in the back where the author talks about all the myths she pulled from. If you're looking for a good book to curl up with for a day away from the real world, give this one a try. I think my Facebook friends missed me!
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on December 23, 2012
Very interesting book. At the beginning of the book I had almost decided that the author had ripped off some names and characters from other books I had read. As the story developed each character grew in diversity to my earlier preconceptions and set me on the correct path. The explanations at the end of the book of Indian culture provided an even greater understanding of the purpose of the storyline. I believe this book is more youth related than I expected. The use of the name Shaitan in the title drew me to the book and did not disappoint.
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on February 2, 2013
The Destiny of Shaitan, or TDOS in short is the first science fiction and fantasy combination I have read which builds on Indian mythology. This, by itself is a big draw for me. However, I'll try to not let my review be coloured by this fact too much. Also, like most fantasy stories, this one too is a fight between good and evil.

The story of TDOS is set in the year 3000 and beyond, where the solar system as we know it has been restructured. There are a few new planets which have come into the picture, and all the planets in the solar system are now habitable with species of all kinds. Earth is still considered to be the mother planet, and humans have mated with the sentient beings of other planets to create genetically mixed Halfings. This is the story of four of these Halflings, and how they impact the future of the universe.

This might be an epic story, but the beauty of the book is in the characters. There are four main characters, and a number of side characters in the book. Each of the four main characters' lives is explored over a period of time. A sequence of events brings them together, and then tears them apart. Each of these characters' lives is defined by their painful loss of a loved one. This loss is what pushes them to the brink from which they are able to come back. They all go through life alone, not knowing true love. I am amazed by how the author is able to bring out perfectly how these defining moments tie the entire story together. Just for this perfection, I would recommend this book.

Among the characters, I really liked Tiina and Rai's characters. However, I could not really stand Yudi's character. He is extremely selfish and does not care about anyone but himself. Shaitan comes across as more human than I expected. He has his own flaws, which, in the end result in his downfall. All the characters grow immensely during the story, which I think is a standard feature in most YA novels.

The author explores a number of issues, some of which are a staple in YA novels. Friendship, love, hate and betrayal are all part of the story. They permeate every aspect of the relationships between the characters. One interesting thing was that the author decided to make one of the characters gay. This however does not impact the story one bit. I don't know the reasoning behind the decision for this, but it is something which I find unique and nice.

There are a couple of things which made it difficult for me to enjoy the story as much as I could have. The author has written a part of the book in present tense, and another part in past tense. The past tense makes sense when the author is narrating the history of each character, but I did not find this consistent. There were sentences in past tense even when we are at a point in the story which is happening right now, in the present. These kinds of tense changes, sometimes within the same paragraph, threw me off. I really believe that better editing and consistency would have helped me enjoy the book a lot more.

There is a huge build up to the entire showdown with Shaitan. And there is a lot of action towards the end of the book. These are both really well executed. But, when it comes to a one-on-one fight, it ends without so much as a whimper. This results in all those expectations of an epic battle to be dashed. I think that part of the book could be better than what it is at present.

Overall, this is a great start to the series, and I am really looking forward to reading the second installment. I would recommend the Destiny of Shaitan to anyone who likes the fantasy and/or SF genre.
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on June 28, 2012
I received this book as an ARC.

A story that covers space travel and alien species, this book is definitely a unique read. I had some trouble keeping up with all the different mythological Indian references, but once I just accepted the terminology, it flowed well. The number three is prevalent in the story being as it is an important number in many types of mythologies, but in this story it shows in the three gods most believe in and the three saviors of the galaxy. Shaitan is a Half Life, which means he is half human and half something else. That something else isn't explained in the story and actually you do not find that out about most of the primary characters. Shaitan however is determined to rule the galaxy and to be the first half life to conquers worlds. He is actually very successful and destroys planets in the process. Earth is not among them because by 3000 AD the Earth has already been destroyed by natural disasters leaving very little of the human race alive. During his conquest though, one of the three gods, Shiva, curses him by saying that his own son will bring him to his death. Shaitan vows to never have kids or to kill every kids he ever fathers. Takes care of that curse huh? However the power of motherly love conquers most and two of Shaitan's sons live, become friends, and adventure with Tiina to kill Shaitan. Tiina is the twin sister of a girl that Shaitan kidnaps to raise as his own. Yudi and Rai are Shaitan's sons. Together they have adventures and are the focus of the entire story.

There is some adult content in this book, but nothing that a 15 year old couldn't handle. I found the story entertaining and the character development wonderfully written. You will especially love the shape shifting spaceship and Lion Man if you like these types of stories.

read more reviews at Identity Discovery Blog.
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on July 4, 2012
I have lived and travelled and in India before so this was a fantastic read which covered various components of Indian mythology. Laxmi then crosses this myth with space travel in the form of Shaitan who comes off as a power hungry halfling intent on ruling as many planets as he can.

The writing is almost poetic which makes the battle scenes all the more gripping which made me think of the baptism scene in the Godfather. So much murder, so much violence and blood and yet there was such purity about those few clips.

What I did not like was that some of the characters appeared underdeveloped but seeing as this is part of a series, I'm sure the author has plans for how each character's description and background unfolds in later books.

A definite must-read for anyone who is in the mood for something different.

Overall assessment:
Content: 4.5/5
Editing: 4.5/5
Formatting: 4.5/5
Pacing: 4.5/5
Offensive content?: I would rate it PG13, nothing too violent but anyone younger or those prone to nightmares might have issues digesting the battle scenes.

Disclosure: I received a review copy of this book from the author through Orangeberry Book Tours. I did not receive any payment in exchange for this review nor was I obligated to write a positive one.
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on May 14, 2014
This story sweeps you along with tremendous energy and spirit and keeps up the pace to right the end. The heroine, Tiina is a strong and intelligent young woman with a mind of her own and a destiny to fulfil. We are quickly drawn into her highly-realised world of wars between civilisations and planetary destruction, encounters with magical creatures and a wise mentor who sets Tiina’s quest in motion.

But it’s not just a fantasy space adventure; it weaves in the complexities of Indian mythology too. The tales of gods and their doings enrich the mix as Tiina and her companions race towards their date with destiny and a final showdown with the enjoyably evil Shaitan. There are plenty of twists and turns and some erotic romantic scenes along the way as the fight for justice and truth builds to a climax.

It’s an exciting read, written in an easy, engaging style. A remarkable debut novel from a writer we’ll be hearing a lot more of.
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on November 13, 2012
Welcome to a post-apocalyptic India... Yes that's right! In India!! All the post-apocalyptic books that I have read are based in the west, often making me wonder why no other country, or continent for that matter, ever survive an apocalypse? I mean doesn't `end of the world' actually mean end of the rest of the world but the west? It seems, Ms.Hariharan heard my musings and wrote a book on it!
Yep, so for a change, welcome to a post-apocalyptic India where instead of zombies, we have really angry Gods & Goddesses going on a rampage.

Set in a futuristic dystopian Bombay (present day Mumbai), the storyline follows the lives of three individuals - Yudi, Rai and Tiina (nope, that's not a typo - her name is actually spelt with double `I').
They are all from different places, I will not disclose their original locations, destined to come together to save not only the Earth but the universe from the power hungry Shaitan. The protagonists soon realize that they are not only fighting against the Shaitan but also against the darkness within themselves. Will they be able to do what it takes in order to defeat this `devil' who is hell bent on destroying anything or anyone in his path to ruling the universe?

The character development is amazing. Each primary character has their own background that they come with and then grow as a person throughout the book. Maybe Rai got a bit neglected on that front, but that's okay. I liked Yudi and didn't like Tiina so much. The author has mixed in Indian Mythology quite well specially the `curse' parts. In Indian Mythology, Gods are well known for granting boons with loopholes and cursing - with loopholes too! The plot is interesting and fast paced. The author has managed to create a story that will probably keep you stuck to its pages right until the end. At no point did it seem to be dragging, in fact my only complaint is that the ending came a bit too soon.

Overall this book covers a lot of topics - from mythology to space-travel to teenage drama to family issues. It's a great YA-post-apocalyptic-dystopian novel that has something to offer to a lot of people.
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