When I read Leo‘s take on ‘The Pupeteers of Palem‘ by Sharath Komarraju , I was excited and hesitant at the same time. I was excited because I wanted to read a book that Leo gave more than 4 on 5. I was hesitant because I don’t get along with spooky stories well. The only spooky tales I have read are that of Phatichar‘s on his blog and his book ‘Frankly Spooking’. Still I went ahead and decided to read it because the blurb on the back piqued my interest and luckily I won the giveaway of Leo’s post. So I started off the book with very high expectations and I must say it met everything and then did something more too. The book weaves a chilling tale around a lot of characters who come together in the end to form the plot.
1984: 5 kids grew up in the village of Rudrakshapalem listening to Avadhani thatha‘s stories when one unfortunate day, he tells them the spooky story of Lachi. The one whom none in the village talks about. Their curiosity gets the better of them and the kids want to meet Lachi at the Shivalayam, which is her infamous haunt. Little do they know there is a bigger picture in the small snippet that Avadhani thatha told them.
2001: The 5 friends who are now in various places and phases of life decide to come back to Palem. For what, they do not know. Something pulls them back to the place where they grew up in. As they take in the village that seems so familiar yet so strange, they are hunted down – one at a time. Why are they struck down? What part of their childhood connected them to the happenings that lead to their deaths now, after so many years? Through what means does their enemy strike?
In the first 70-80 pages of the book, I met a lot of characters who told me to read on but at the same time made me question why so many characters? But then, each one of them beautifully fits in the picture when the entire plot is painted. Except that, not one feature of the book ticked me off even temporarily. I read on seamlessly and my hunger grew. At times, I was genuinely scared to read on since I felt like I was a part of the story too. As the end drew, all the pieces of the plot came together and when I turned the last page of the book, I found the experience thoroughly eerie which is the best success for a book of this genre.
The Puppeteers of Palem has convinced me that I should read each and every one of Sharath’s books and I intend to do so. I thank Soumya so much for introducing me to this book and giving me a copy to read it too. You just gave me the cake and let me have it too.
My rating of The Puppeteers of Palem: 4.5/5
Until later 🙂