ARC Review: Trickster by Vinaya Bhaga

It lurks in the shadows. It lives in your worst nightmares. It feeds on your deepest fears. It’s the Master Trickster, and it’s coming to get you. When she loses her parents in an accident, Diya Mathur’s world collapses around her. As far as she knows, she’s alone in the world now – till a mysterious letter arrives from India. Suddenly, Diya has a chance at being part of a family again. But moving from Boston to India also brings Diya closer to the place where the horror of the Chakwa – the Master Trickster – first started. As bodies and tragedies pile up around her, Diya’s belief in the urban myth of the Chakwa increases. Will the monster that ruined her parents’ life now destroy Diya’s happiness? Or will she manage to defeat him at his own game? With the help of her newly discovered friends and family, Diya must fight not just the monster from her nightmares, but also make sense of a fast-unravelling web of lies that makes up her life.

Disclaimer: A huge thanks to Harper Collins India for the Review Copy but the thoughts, opinions and feelings expressed are my own!

Doesn’t the blurb of the book sound so amazingly sinister? 

As a child, I remember my parents; specifically my father, making up ghost stories or even folklores to scare me to sleep at night (I was a weird child and I am even a weirder adult!) but they were also moralistically inclined (they wanted me to become a good human being!); and that nostalgia made me quite interested in Trickster by Vinaya Bhagat.

I read this beauty within hours of starting it; specifically the 2 hours I spent on the flight and it was such an entertaining flight!  

Diya Mathur’s parents just lost their lives in an “accident” – which you get a firsthand experience in the prologue – and as it would happen, it shook the foundations of her life – until a mysterious mail from “relatives” in India dispels everything her parents had ever told her about their extended family as a lie!

Soon, she is travelling to India for the first time and all on the basis of a letter (I honestly, did not know whether to applaud this girl’s courage OR to shake her for her naiveté). 

In India, she meets not only her father’s extended family, but also a while after searching; her mother’s estranged family – and so begins the journey of understanding exactly what her family history is!

“There is more wickedness in the living than in the dead.”

The author’s writing style isn’t simple nor is it complex; what it is definitely interesting and addictive – she does well not only in hooking the reader’s interest in, but also keep them invested to unravel the mystery of this Chakwa!

The plot, though, at times, dragged in a few places – there were murders, twists that you would NOT see coming & murdered humans, but the plot still happened to be struggling to connect one chapter to the other at times (major reason why I gave this book 4 stars!)!! 

The characters are engaging, interesting and uncomplicated – specifically Diya; her fears, her frustrations and emotions were easily imitated back to the reader’s feelings. I also adored that I couldn’t guess who the actual villain was – even through the whole blurb, it still came as a huge shock to me!!

It was quite a brilliant move by the author – a plot twist that had me gasping with shock and end up being an admirer of the sheer talent of the author to make everything seem sorted; and then have the rug pulled out from under the reader!

All in all, this was a fun & engaging; stimulating plot with straightforward made this quite a gratifying read! 

⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

AMAZON Paperback

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