Book Review :: ‘Many Lives of Ruby Iyer’ by Laxmi Hariharan

This review is part of B00KR3VI3WS tours.

When her best friend is kidnapped, Ruby will stop at nothing to rescue him. 

Criminals run the streets of Bombay. Jam-packed with the worst degenerates. The city is a shell of the pride and joy it used to be. 

Ruby knows something must be done, but it isn’t until her best friend is kidnapped by the despotic Dr. Braganza that she knows that she and she alone must save city, save her best friend, save the world from total destruction. 

Armed only with with Vikram, a cop-turned-rogue they are about to embark on a road they may never return from. 

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My Review:

Even after reading the 0.5 version ‘The Ruby Iyer Diaries’ nothing prepares one for the plot which unfolds in the novel ‘Many Lives of Ruby Iyer’. Dystopian genre is new one and the idea behind Ruby Iyer’s evolution as a savior is unique. I will not say more or it will turn out to be a spoiler.

Ruby is a fiercely independent, traumatized teenager, determined to have her way in life in the fast-paced Bombay city. The story starts with her being in an accident, which she survives miraculously and is an instant celebrity. It was then strange things start happening around—a beggar who is actually a writer, a cop who is hiding some dark secrets keeping an eye over her, a man who is about to commit suicide and a woman…

Age notwithstanding, Ruby has come across as a strong, although violent (a requirement for survival) protagonist, who continues to hold on her own despite the odds stacked against her. Pankaj Mehta is a loyal, intelligent friend and I loved his characterization. Vikram Roy is hot, drool-worthy and perfect in his foil of a bodyguard for Ruby, but we could never fathom his real reasons for shadowing Ruby in this story. Dr. Braganza, though interesting, doesn’t come across as a ferocious villain and falls short in a genre like this.

Two, not very popular ways of narration, first person and present tense are used and written flawlessly with an inimitable style. Writing in present tense is a very tricky business and I must say it has added to Ms Hariharan’s way with words. The author has given a picturesque window to Bombay and it has come across as a sophisticated city with all the rich kids swarming around and five star hotels.

In the initial chapters Ruby’s accident, her trauma, and the missing parts of her life are shown as minuscule flashbacks. Lack of adequate segue between Ruby’s hallucinations/dreams and reality becomes a bit confusing. I had to read a few passages again. Towards the end the story gains momentum and I couldn’t wait to get to the next page. Since it is an intense novel, I would suggest it should be read without breaks, else one will lose the context.

There are a few mistakes which were a tad jarring, for example when Vishal accompanies Ruby in captivity, he walks in front of her, which is never the case with a prisoner and a guard, or when Ruby takes off her shirt and binds it around Vikram’s wound, I thought she was wearing a hoodie too.

All in all, The Many Lives of Ruby Iyer is a great, original effort—a one of a kind story. I would recommend it to all Dystopian genre fans and I look forward to the next one in the series.

The First Life of Vikram Roy (Ruby Iyer #1.5)

His family is being held to ransom by a deadly mastermind.

Vikram never should have left his family, but when Vikram’s father bring his half-brother Vishal home, life will never be the same.

Vikram thinks things will be better now that he’s gone. He’s met the love of his life, his future looks bright and then everything is shattered.
Now, his family’s life is hanging in the balance, and only Vikram can do what needs to be done to save them.
From the bestselling dystopian fiction author with over 200 reviews and ratings of her dystopia books across Goodreads, Amazon and other retailers.

About the Author

She almost died. But when dystopia romance author Laxmi Hariharan had a near death experience, s
he was told to write. Laxmi is the creator of dystopian romance series, RUBY IYER SERIES (The MANY LIVES OF VIKRAM ROY – FINALIST Indie Excellence Awards, the bestselling The RUBY IYER DIARIES , The FIRST LIFE OF VIKRAM ROY, The SECOND LIFE OF RUBY IYER & VIKRAM ROY, PANKY’s FIRST LIFE), and the Amazon bestselling, eLit Gold winner, The Destiny of Shaitan (Bombay Chronicles, 1). If you’re looking for books like Divergent and Angelfall, you’ll love the RUBY IYER SERIES.

Laxmi writes books similar to Hunger Games while listening to electronica & progressive rock, and downing innumerable cups of extra sweet ginger-chai. She is also an avid photographer of street art and believes she was a tree — a redwood — in her past life. London is where she creates. Bombay is what fires her imagination.

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