{Leah Reviews} The Serpent’s Secret by Sayantani DasGupta

Posted April 10, 2018 by Leah in Reviews / 4 Comments

{Leah Reviews} The Serpent’s Secret by Sayantani DasGupta

The Serpent's Secret (Kiranmala and the Kingdom Beyond, #1)


by Sayantani DasGupta
Pages: 368
Published on February 27th 2018
by Scholastic
Genres: Action & Adventure, Middle Grade, Mythology
Format: ARC, Hardcover
Source: Amazon Vine, Library
Amazon | B&N | Goodreads

MEET KIRANMALA: INTERDIMENSIONAL DEMONSLAYER

(But she doesn’t know it yet.)

On the morning of her twelfth birthday, Kiranmala is just a regular sixth grader living in Parsippany, New Jersey… until her parents mysteriously vanish later that day and a rakkhosh demon slams through her kitchen, determined to eat her alive. Turns out there might be some truth to her parents’ fantastical stories—like how Kiranmala is a real Indian princess—and a wealth of secrets about her origin they've kept hidden.

To complicate matters, two crushworthy Indian princes ring her doorbell, insisting they’re here to rescue her. Suddenly, Kiran is swept into another dimension full of magic, winged horses, moving maps, and annoying, talking birds. There she must solve riddles and slay demons all while avoiding the Serpent King of the underworld (who may or may not want to kill her) and the rakkhosh queen (who definitely does) in order to find her parents and basically save New Jersey, her entire world, and everything beyond it…

3 Stars

When I first saw the announcement for The Serpent’s Secret, I was so pumped. The main character is a person of color, Indian mythology, action and adventure–hell yes! But as much as I appreciate this first novel and hope it paves the way for many more books in this potential series, there were many things I feel are missing from making this a blast.

Kiran is a young girl thrown across dimensions as she races to save her parents. At first, she’s embarrassed by them. They build snake trenches around their house to protect themselves from cobras. They don’t give out packaged Halloween candy. But after they’re taken away to another dimension, she knows she has to find them. She’s funny, intelligent, and awesome with a bow and arrow.

The world building is immersive and sumptuous. It quickly pulls you in to its lands. Demons can hold whole universes in their mouths. Winged horses roam the sky. Glittering palaces, a bustling marketplace, and more await you if you’re clever and brave. It’s a heady experience that is richly woven into the plot.

However, things often happen so quickly that you never get to really enjoy the experience. Two princes, Lal and Neel, are introduced who offer to help Kiran; other than they’re princes, one charming (Lal) and the other surly (Neel), I can’t tell you much else about them. They’re named after the colors red and blue. Why? What’s the significance? Before I realized it, I was bumping along from place to place and person to person like a jackrabbit. Everything jumps around. The stakes never get raised. If the plot had slowed down and taken its time to draw out the characters and Kiran’s quest, I think it would have benefited the whole book.

Sadly, the book has a very predictable plot device. Kiran is more than she seems. When she’s told this, she is not phased or hesitant. If I were in Kiran’s place, I would have been asking a lot questions. There’s no wonder, no awe for circumstances. This is my greatest disappointment; you need that awe in an epic. View Spoiler »

I see the potential (and there is so much beautiful potential). That potential will hopefully develop in future books.

Leah
Leah

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4 responses to “{Leah Reviews} The Serpent’s Secret by Sayantani DasGupta

    • Leah

      I would have been tripping over my own feet to get this one as a kid! I’m still interested in continuing the series to see where it goes, I only hope there’s more added to the characters and the quest.

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