Akin by Robin Murarka

Rating : 3/5 3.0 out of 5.0 stars

Akin is a story set up in an unnamed place and untold times. Whatever the period is, the story setting is magical. This fiction deals with several layers of the human condition and philosophy, and the author has tried to delve deep into each layer.

The story begins with a folktale of Samad, shared by villagers sitting around the fire, most probably in a desert. It has quite a similar vibe to “And the mountains echoed,” where the opening anecdote gave away the entire story. But here, Samad’s tale doesn’t carry the whole gist of the book. The actual story starts when Adyan, a young boy, is jolted out of his dream and accused of being possessed. From here, the journey of hardship begins, which is harrowing and shakes you up to the core.

Adyan gets detained and meets a boy of his age, and they immediately acquired a brotherhood. After breaking from the imprisonment towards unknown horizons of life, he moves forwards, meeting interesting and bizarre characters. The entire plot revolves around Adyan, and it is meticulously crafted. As the story gathers momentum, he seems to be among us and becomes familiar to the reader.

This book works in unbalanced bursts. Some parts are fast-paced and page-turner, while some are too abrupt, and it seems not at all connected to the ongoing context. Throughout the book, continuity is missing making it a slightly challenging read. The brutality and violence are overwhelming in different parts of the book. Sexual encounters are too disturbing, and the level of details is uncalled.

The writing style of Robin is practical and leaves some impressions of Khaled Hosseini and Paulo Coehlo. In addition, the author has demonstrated a unique level of imagination. However, the lack of cohesion and trying too hard to deal with human phycological issues have hindered attaining the heights.