2050, New York.
In the aftermath of a gruelling spiritual cleansing quest, Ismael, a Pakistani American student, enters an alliance with spiritual beings who send him on a perilous journey of self-discovery. A non-believer, Ismael must return to Pakistan, now in the grip of a brutal fundamentalist government, and gain the trust of his estranged father, a prominent extremist in the Caliphate. To accomplish this, he must pose as a true believer. Will he survive long enough to infiltrate his father s inner sanctum and complete his mission?
Hell! No Saints in Paradise is both biting satire and allegory that takes urban fantasy to dizzying heights.
Disclaimer: A Huge Thanks to Harper Collins India for providing me with a review copy of the book, but the opinions; thoughts and feelings written in this review are all mine!
I am not a religious person – I do not get idol worship nor do I get offerings to an unseen deity when those offerings could end up feeding many hungry (and deserving) people. I do not understand how human beings end up blaming or even thanking a force that they have not seen yet believe has the power to influence their lives. I do not get the fragile mentality of human beings who can’t be strong enough to accept the consequences of their own actions.
But this is just my opinion.
This book is amalgamation of urban fantasy and Islam – a religion I have absolutely no knowledge about – so I went in expecting nothing.
And I found a book that pretty much had everything.
I am purposefully not going to be talking about the plot here – I didn’t read anything except the synopsis of this book and that’s how I gained the full experience of what this book is all about.
The writing, though I have to tell you, is phenomenal! Yes, this book is based in the future; a future that is as fantastical as described but honestly, it felt more of a reality than fantasy. I had to purposefully remind myself that this is a fantasy book, and not reality – which I think is exactly what the author intended to do!
It did take a while to get into the book – I think that could have been my issue, for even though it clearly states that it’s an Urban Fantasy book; once I started it, I kept confusing it with contemporary fiction – and that my dear is the highest compliment a fantasy book can get!
The reader learns a lot during the course of the journey the main character takes – be it religious or a moral lesson. But mostly, what affected me was that this could easily be the reality for all the humans on this earth.
Fanaticism isn’t just one single religion’s problem; it’s a humanistic problem and it could end up affecting anyone anywhere (which to be honest, seems to be the case with my own country nowadays!).
⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐