So here’s the thing about Krishna Udayasankar’s characters. They are not perfect; they are not knights in shining armours. They are not the goody-good stereotypical Adarsh people. Most importantly, they are neither stain-free nor flawless. And that, my friend, makes her characters relatable. They are so engaging that the readers find themselves stepping into the characters’ shoes more often than ever.
Plot: Prithvi is a Saimha – a were-lion, who continually struggles to tame the beast within him and troubled by the demons of his past. In Mumbai, a were-lioness is causing havoc by murdering the underworld kingpins.
Prithvi, out of compulsion, breaks his sabbatical and returns to Mumbai, the city attached to his bad memories. He, along with his crony, Bhima Rao and ACP Aditi Kashyap get into the act to unravel the mystery behind the murders.
Prithvi’s life comes to a standstill as the were-lioness turns out to be Chandana, the daughter of his best friend Rahul and Noor, his unrequited love. He goes to every possible length to protect her and bail her out not only from the clutches of the law but also from The Council. The plot smoothly oscillates between the present and the past of Prithvi and the characters revolving around his life.
Who is the brain behind these murders? What is their motive? When the readers think that they have successfully solved the mystery, the author brings twists, one better than another.
My Take: Being a stubborn person, I had proudly proclaimed that the only book better than Immortal would be a sequel to it. My spirits dampened when she suggested that Immortal was done and dusted. It took me a while to digest it as I could never find any character better beyond Prof. Bharadvaj from Immortal. Krishna, with her habit of breaking the glass ceiling of my claims, has silenced my criticism by coming up with Prithvi, a character even better than the predecessor, Asva. Beast, in my opinion, is one of her better works if not the best. (The reason? She always bests her previous works. And in her case, it is safe to bet that her future work would outdo her previous and current works.) To keep the opinion short, Beast is a thrilling page-turner that compels you to finish it in one sitting.
Forget whether you love reading this genre or not, Beast deserves a good read and a pat on the back of the author.