'Master O' book review

So, I crossed over thresholds, moving to a world where the subjugated were much more powerful than the demanding…

Well, what if these lines were to turn into a reality? What if the controller turns into being controlled? Master O, a new sci-fi, fantasy by Dhiraj Singh explores this fantastical concept through a different space-time continuum and spectrum altogether where the realities of existence differ much more than we can possibly fathom.

Be it any era, Karma and its cycles are as a mystic and mesmerizing as they have been for aeons of time. It is that cycle that not only makes the future, it also determines the true course of action that will eventually transpire, collating all that was, is and will ever be an existential reality. The trick lies in understanding and comprehending the different facets of its actions and adapting them to the best interests of all present.

Indeed, Karma is what makes the future, it is what actually is responsible for keeping the balance intact of all the happenings in the world. Be it any Yug or Kaal, in any era, the fruit of one’s actions has to be necessarily borne by the doer himself regardless of whether he likes it or not. If you have consciously or otherwise harmed or done something which happens to be detrimental to the other, you have to remain prepared to face the music for it. That is an eventuality as it is nature’s way of maintaining the true equilibrium by giving one the fruits of one’s doings through the cycle of Karma.

Wondering why I am discussing this today? Well, I am pretty stoked by my last read which has not only entwined and interconnected a lot of genres and concepts like science fiction, spirituality, dystopia and fantasy but has given me an altogether new tangent to think upon. Master O by Dhiraj Singh is a fiction which albeit having been classified as sci-fi, suspense is more like a canvas which has several layers to it, each one revealing hues of another form altogether. Packed with an exciting array of characters, this futuristic peek into the future is a plot that will surely stay with you, even long after you have finished reading it. In fact, if truth be told, I felt absolutely smitten, being drawn away into the vortex called Master O, delving deeper and deeper into the multiple chasms the writer has managed to create through this one.

To be honest, when I started reading this one, the initial 20-25 pages were pretty slow. In fact, to be honest I felt kind of dragged through, reading through the tete-a-tete between Master O and Ake. I actually at that point felt that it was a bit single-toned and perhaps I might not be able to complete this one, such was the monotony. However, little did I realize that this one was a highly addictive narrative which was all set and poised, to cast its charm on me, once I happened to cross that threshold.
Remember, how once Alice slips and gets down the rabbit hole the story became so brilliantly fast-paced and engaging that there was no dearth of thrill and excitement beyond? Well, exactly my point with this one. As soon as the story proceeded beyond the point I mentioned earlier, not only did the whole thing become labyrinthine, fast-paced and twisted, it had so much to give by way of each and every character, every sub-plot per se.

So, what happens when experiments turn untoward? How about the fact that we humans who seem to be downright arrogant and full of ourselves are always hell-bent on trying to copy God and become the Supreme ourselves? Agreed, with the insanely upgrading technological advancements every second, we are slowly but surely proceeding towards a time and space where we seem to be harbouring a strange, unyielding power to even meddle with nature. Yet, it is essential to ponder the repercussions of these actions. Are they necessary in the first place? Or they are simply uncalled for, just abetting and adhering to another of the false tendencies that yes, indeed, we are supreme and nobody or nothing can override us, not even the Creator himself?

With this story, Dhiraj has put across a subtle nudge to these profound yet debatable questions, bringing forth issues which do exist but in the race towards an uber-technological advancement, we have been blatantly ignoring.

Take the character of “Ibharis” for instance. Being equipped with AI, these elephants, which are a future species, still seem to be harbouring the idea of punishing humans for their wrongdoings. So, exactly my point yeah.

First and foremost, the character creation itself is so magnificent and out of the box. Secondly, the profound importance Dhiraj attaches to each and every aspect he has created in this work brings light to some extremely serious questions about mankind, its future as well as where we as humans eventually tend to stand in the future. Playing with nature, interfering in evolution and genesis is definitely a subject matter of grave concern (a cardinal sin if you were to ask extremists).

Dhiraj has subtly yet very surely put forth the idea of how when pain is inflicted, even in animals what eventually can it lead to? Any being who is prone to pain should not be subject to it. If there is advancement, there is technological progression, then it needs to be also handled responsibly as any wrong handling can lead to fatalities and travesties for not only mankind but the entire races of living beings that continue to exist within our universe as well as beyond its realms.

So, coming back to this rabbit’s hole (yeah, that is what I have been calling it since I finished it and put it down) I must seriously take a moment to compliment the brilliant style of writing that Dhiraj has used in this piece as even though being written in simple, clear tones, this one goes a very long way in establishing the ideas he has put forth in a deep-set manner. This is not your usual contemporary meets sci-fi or fantasy genre, rather it is a different sort of writing, compelling yet unsettling, relatable yet insane.

Full text HERE


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