Title: Fait Accompli
Author: Anubhav Shankar
Publisher: Notion Press
Genre: Science Fiction, Thriller
Setting: Mainly Delhi-NCR with starting scenes set in Russia during World-War 2
Protagonist: Shanaya Singh
Antagonist: Shiuli Mukherjee, Jagtej Dalmia
Main Characters: Shanaya Singh, Niloufer Mirza, Deepshika Seth, Shiuli Mukherjee, Jagtej Dalmia, Swati Manchanda
Narration Type: Third Person
Theme: Potentially apocalyptic with an unknown pathogen wreaking havoc.
Book Summary: Fait Accompli
An unknown pathogen is ravaging the citizens of Delhi-NCR. The pathogen seems to reanimate the dead and turn them into mindless and soulless monsters. Shanaya Singh, the protagonist also happens to be infected, however, the fact is still unknown to her. Unlike other people, the pathogen causes a mutation within her and turns her into a biological human weapon. Scared and confused of her newfound powers she is assisted by Niloufer Mirza, a woman of unknown origins who just happens to know more about the pathogen then she lets on.
As the crisis unfolds, the Government of India assembles a team of highly qualified medical professionals to investigate and identify the root cause of the pathogen’s spread and develop a cure if possible.
However, not everyone is despairing with the crisis, some people see it as an opportunity to further consolidate and gain absolute power, both politically and financially. Also, these people use their latent knowledge of the pathogen to artificially foment and increase the crisis further.
Book Review: Fait Accompli
‘Fait Accompli’ by Anubhav Shankar begins in Russia in 1941 on a late afternoon when the weather is heavy and everyone can feel that something is about to happen and it does, in the worse(!) way imaginable. Then it shifts to present day in Delhi, India. Where people who have been dead are returning from the dead and turned into mindless and soulless monsters because of an unknown pathogen. The government are not sure what to do. On the other side, Shanaya, a regular girl living in the city, has opposite effect of the pathogen. It turned her into a human weapon. She’s confused and don’t know what to do with this newfound superhuman powers. Then comes Niloufer Mirza, a woman no one knows about, who happens to know about the pathogen and its effects and she guides Shanaya.
I found myself really invested in the storylines and lives of the different subjects. The pacing was fast with quick which prevented some storylines from becoming lost in the background or boring. We follow a few separate people as they deal with deceased ones suddenly reanimating recently, As no one can figure out what caused awaken the dead.
I greatly appreciated how the author Anubhav Shankar gave us almost all the puzzle pieces to put together ourselves, but didn’t over-explain, and certainly didn’t waste valuable time laying out the fundamental rules of this fantastical situation. In fact, the impetus for the main conflict – the dead coming back to life – is completely mysterious, and even in the resolution of the plot remains completely obscure. Which is a good thing. The people author writes in this book are instantly recognizable and easy to sympathize with. They are normal, in all their normal, complex, disturbed, deeply flawed, beautiful, creative glory.
“Beware and take care lest you be doomed when the pathogen infects you as well!”
‘Fait Accompli’ is a book that makes you think, what would you do? So much happens once the pathogen spreads over the city, the government find themselves making the wrong decisions, how do you handle people who are technically alive but not alive?
I found Fait Accompli to be a powerful read, so many questions are raised, you will get very engrossed in this story. There is so much to this book that you will find enjoyable, enlightening, scary and most of all make you look at the world around you. A strong and remarkable beginning to the series and waiting impatiently for the next book.
There have already been accusations that the book Fait Accompli is copied version of the game ‘Prototype’. Though author has already mentioned this on the cover that the book is inspired from the game ‘Prototype’, the strong visual language of the novel would certainly make a quite gruesome and glorious experience to anyone. Highly recommended to science fiction fans.