The Greed Virus – A review of the novel ‘A Star Called Lucky’

“Well behaved women seldom make history” – Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

When you really think about it, things aren’t as random as it seems. Everything that happens seems to happen for a reason, now the reason itself may have either good or bad connotation to your life but the fact of the matter is that you can never prevent an event from happening. And for some inexplicable reason still unknown to us, this vast universe maintains a very keen interest in our day to day lives and chooses to interfere in it where and whenever it pleases.

Author Bapsy Jain’s latest novel A Star Called Lucky is the sequel to her highly successful first book Lucky Everyday. It follows the adventures of her titular protagonist Lucky, who in this latest outing finds herself teaching yoga to inmates at a New York City correctional facility. Her previous work with a new age software capable of monitoring everything and keeping track of everybody brings her in close contact with a government bureaucrat who wants to use Lucky’s expertise in a secret mission. On the other side of the world in India, an ex Tibetan refugee doctor has in his possession a magic herb that will supposedly boost the human body’s immune system and increase life expectancy. Needless to say this premise quickly turns into a cat and mouse game with Lucky and a few like minded good souls trying to keep the doctor and his herb safe and secure from the greedy and villainous hands of the many enemies who are after it.

Though this novel narrates the adventures of a returning titular protagonist, readers won’t be missing much even if they haven’t read the first book as this book works very well as a standalone new novel too. It’s actually hard to pigeonhole and slot A Star Called Lucky into a particular category or genre of fiction, it has elements of a fast paced thriller, the cool quotient of spy & espionage work, philosophical & spiritual flavours and the self discovery through numerous adventures found in chick-lit too. It is one of those books that has got its mystery and thrill factor spot on, ensuring that you as a reader will find it hard to put the book down and even when you do; it won’t be for too long either. This genre bending factor is going to be the novel’s biggest highlight in drawing a wide variety of readers into its midst and rarely does a fictional book get it right like this.

The author has blended many historical and current social and political issues with everlasting themes and then injected it with a good dose of fictional liberties to come up with a story and narrative that is very original and enthralling to read. She also gets right the description and the portrayal of the culture and the geography and the dialogues and attitude of her characters that are as diverse as it gets; ranging from an American government employee to an Indian cab driver. And we also get to see or rather hear the author’s own voice in certain sections, especially in the philosophical diatribes and political rant by a few characters which you know is the author having fun in the sidelines, while also revealing more about her characters and giving the readers a further peek into their personalities. The final hunt in Mumbai with Lucky and Usko on one side and Coleman’s men on the other provides for page after page of tense reading and has a very cinematic anti climax scene and a final scene as described in the epilogue that gives a whole new meaning to poetic justice.

The charm of this book lies for me more in the attitudes of the characters than in the plot lines. The way each character has been developed including an amazing introduction to their childhood is the real standout factor of this novel. All the loose ends are tied up in an orderly manner at the end leaving us in anticipation of yet another adventure involving Lucky. The fast paced action, the nicely written dialogues mouthed by a great array of characters, all told within a fun filled atmosphere makes A Star Called Lucky a great read.

Product Details

Print Length: 247 pages

Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1632954249

Publisher: Vook, Inc. (July 15, 2014)


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