Title: ARIHANT Resurrected: A New Breed Of Patriots
Author: Shubhan Balvally
Genre: Crime Thriller, Sci-fi
First Publication: 2020
Book Summary: ARIHANT Resurrected: A New Breed Of Patriots by Shubhan Balvally
Several years had passed after ARIHANT had self-destructed HIMSELF post executing Professor Satish Ramanna’s personal revenge mission. ARIHANT’s self- destruction had then depressed ACP Anand Rane, Inspector Arvind Sinha and some close associates who were involved with this Case, as they had envisioned a great future for India’s security with this super human’s presence! This had also shattered ACP Anand Rane’s daughter Anjali as she was smitten by HIM then!
Suddenly in Mumbai City, The CST Station and the Oberoi Trident Hotel are attacked by 2 groups of a terrorist organization known as AL LASHKAR MARTYR’S BRIGADE! This news spreads across the city like wildfire! Different News Channels rush to the locations to cover the event. The Police and Para-military forces are rushed in both the places to repel the attack. But the Forces face a problem as the terrorists have also captured hostages!
Suddenly to everyone’s surprise, ARIHANT strikes at both these places and overpowers the terrorists, which enable the Forces to take control over the situation! And ARIHANT disappears from the scene! The entire government, the city machinery and the security forces are shocked. The channels add fuel to the fire by praising this unknown non-human vigilante who covered up for an inept government and saved thousands of lives.
The Chief Minister of Maharashtra Mr Vinay Deshmukh along with his Cabinet summons the top brass of the Police Force to discuss the mysterious re-appearance of ARIHANT after many years. Arvind Sinha who is now a Joint Commissioner of Mumbai Police is called back from his holiday. They meet and see the CCTV footage of the attacks and the retaliation by this Android! Arvind is shocked after seeing the footage as this Metallic Vigilante brings back his earlier memories. This case is entrusted to JCP Arvind Sinha. Arvind requests the Cabinet to bring back his ex-boss Anand Rane who is now retired after serving as a Commissioner of Police, Mumbai for many years.
JCP Arvind Sinha and his team join forces with the reinstated Commissioner of Police Anand Rane who was not on talking terms with Arvind for a personal reason! But they start investigating the matter together for the sake of their country. As they start digging deeper, they encounter startling facts and terrific twists in the plot which leads them to the NEW RINGMASTER of ARIHANT and his secret battle with certain corrupt elements within the Indian government!
Will this NEW BREED OF PATRIOTS Team be able to repel wave upon wave of attacks unleashed by Al–Lashkar Martyrs Brigade on Mumbai City with the help of ARIHANT? Will they be able to uproot these corrupt politicians within the Indian government who are hand-in-glove with this terrorist outfit? And will they be able to annihilate Al-Lashkar Martyrs Brigade from the face of this earth? Will the NEW RINGMASTER OF ARIHANT be able to fulfil his long standing dream of legalizing PROJECT ARIHANT to protect India from all forms of violence?
Book Review: ARIHANT Resurrected: A New Breed Of Patriots by Shubhan Balvally
‘ARIHANT Resurrected’ is a great and solid follow-up to Shubhan Balvally’s innovative sci-fi debut, ‘ARIHANT: Revenge Par Excellence‘. If you haven’t already read ‘ARIHANT: Revenge Par Excellence,’ some aspects of the setting might feel a bit bewildering to a new reader. However, the story of ‘ARIHANT Resurrected’ itself works pretty well on its own – it feels like an ‘episode.’ If you’ve already read the first book, you’ll be more connected to the characters and the story.
This is a little different sequel. Shubhan Balvally still draws a character-driven narrative but one with a different setting, treatment, and perspective, which gives the end product a new tone. After revenging Prof Satish Ramanna’s murder, ARIHANT had self-destructed himself. A several years after the self-destruction, there was a terrorist attack in the city of Mumbai. Two places, The CST Station and the Oberoi Trident Hotel, are attacked by 2 groups of a terrorist organization known as Al-Lashkar Martyr’s Brigade! Police and Para-military forces are finding the ways to tackle the situation and suddenly to everyone’s surprise, ARIHANT strikes at both these places and overpowers the terrorists.
The government surveys the attacks by terrorists and the retaliation by this Android. The investigation of the event is entrusted to Arvind Sinha (now a Joint Commissioner of Mumbai Police) and team. As they start investigating further, they encounter surprising facts and twists which leads them to the new ringmaster of ARIHANT and its covert war against some corrupt forces within the government.
ARIHANT is not driven by revenge in this part but events take him into a seemingly different path, where he finds a potentially explosive situation. Malicious human desire is again an ever present theme, but this time seen from a much more personal point of view. ‘ARIHANT Resurrected’ is superlative sci-fi adventure that should appeal to both genre purists and more venturesome readers. The ‘feel’ of the writing and the themes of the book are both very similar to the prequel. This is the rare second book in a series that manages to actually successfully transition of the main character, and provide growth along the way. There is no waffling here.
In the both books, Shubhan Balvally was brilliant with his narrative flowing among all the AI consciousnesses. The experience was almost as fun as reading the first book in the series. We get ARIHANT’s distributed perception from ubiquitous monitoring cameras and microphones. But this sequel has a decidedly different tone than the first book. While ‘ARIHANT: Revenge Par Excellence’ was a brutal story of control and revenge. ‘ARIHANT Resurrected’ is full of political drama and twists.
I enjoyed seeing the world in ‘ARIHANT Resurrected’ expanded with some interesting discussions of autonomy and personhood. As there was a lot of tension and build-up in the first book, I assumed it would continue in this sequel as well. But the author took a very different turn here and while I was surprised, I think it was an interesting change. After such an explosive finale, the author shifts the proceedings to a new station and we get to see the dynamics and tensions of different peoples in this place. Shubhan Balvally gives us a thought provoking commentary on terrorism, xenophobia, systemic discrimination, as well as indentured servitude.
In the end, I think this turned out to be a quiet surprising and enjoyable story despite the delays in my reading. ARIHANT is a nice series if you are looking for a character driven science fiction story with important themes.