Title: Arihant: Revenge Par Excellence
Author: Shubhan Balvally
Genre: Crime Thriller, Sci-fi
First Publication: 2019
Book Summary: Arihant – Revenge Par Excellence by Shubhan Balvally
This story is about an internationally renowned Indian Computer Scientist named Professor Satish Ramanna who has created an INVENTION for the betterment of his country and society. This INVENTION is secretly guarded by Professor Ramanna and no one knows the details of the same. The entire society and the government are highly excited about this secret INVENTION, as Professor Ramanna had enjoyed an excellent previous International scientific record in the past. The Media has also been following up closely on the progress of this INVENTION and every now and then there are articles written about it in the newspapers, though no one knows the details of this INVENTION.
But there is this group of Bad Guys with their main leader Mr Madan Kalra and his associates namely Mr Xavier Dias, Mr Ali Asghar, Mr Raj Shekhar and Mr Ranjit Shetty who are out to get this INVENTION for their own personal profit at any cost! They try to cajole Professor Ramanna to sell that INVENTION to them, but the Scientist refuses them outright since he is very patriotic and wants his country to benefit by this INVENTION!
So before Professor Ramanna can reveal this INVENTION at a scheduled Press Conference the next day, the Bad guy’s henchmen chase him to his Laboratory and wound him very badly during the chase. The henchmen upon reaching the Lab, encounter a small contingent of Sentinels who are guarding the Lab and Professor Ramanna. A deadly war ensues. Finally the henchmen slaughter the Sentinels. Before dying, the fatally injured Professor Ramanna decides to destroy his INVENTION so that it should not fall in these wrong people’s hands.
This incident gets major news coverage since Professor Ramanna was already a cynosure of the entire country’s eyes! This Case is entrusted to the ace cop Assistant Commissioner of Police Anand Rane to investigate further. In the meanwhile from the confines of the partly destroyed Lab, a SENTINEL emerges indicating that someone has managed to survive the carnage and the blast!
Will ACP Anand Rane solve this mysterious Case? Who is this SENTINEL and why he is taking revenge on behalf of the Scientist? Was the INVENTION destroyed in the Lab explosion or does the SENTINEL possess the Scientist’s Secret INVENTION? The answers to all this and more will find you engrossed in this terrific Page Turner called ARIHANT – REVENGE PAR EXCELLENCE.
Book Review: Arihant – Revenge Par Excellence by Shubhan Balvally
The premise of the story of ‘Arihant’ by Shubhan Balvally was a good one. Computer Scientist named Professor Satish Ramanna who has created an AI program gets killed by a group of people lead by Mr Madan Kalra who wants this invention for their malicious deed, but they failed in acquiring the program. After the murder of Prof. Satish Ramanna, his AI driven robot goes on a mission to take revenge of the murder of its creator by killing Madan Kalra’s gang one by one. There are many characters and sub-plot in the story that keep readers hooked to the plot.
From Asimov on down, we’ve seen many imagined versions of self-conscious computers and robots, with some trying hard to achieve human ethical sensibilities like android Daneel Olivaw and Star Trek’s Data, but most sinister from missing key emotional values, like Hal or Skynet. Shubhan Balvally’s creation feels emotions (as it takes revenge of the murder of its creator), which is in line with recent inferences in artificial intelligence science that simulation of feelings is needed to motivate a software intelligence and allow it to valuate choices, and thus put it on a path to the grail of becoming a conscious entity.
The story of ‘Arihant’ was very engaging and entertaining right from the very start. Shubhan Balvally had an engaging writing style for a science fiction book. The main character is an AI programmed robot that is a fantastic combination of a naïve, rebellious, futuristic, and a badass, dangerous killer and one who was surprisingly easy to root for. The world building was also excellent. Author Shubhan created an interesting sci-fi world in the book ‘Arihant’. The author plays with many ideas: Social conformity vs. individuality; personal moral responsibility under groupthink authoritarian power; AI sentience; the contrast of difficult personal sacrificial heroism vs. the soft personal hedonism of mass consumption.
I thought this novel, ‘Arihant: Revenge Par Excellence’, by Shubhan Balvally is a fascinating science-fiction mystery thriller that first entertains, amazes second, and brain-candy excites third. A wonderful exploration of a futuristic society, and how it affects the feelings and thoughts of the characters. All in all I found this story compelling and interesting.