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November 14, 2010

Page: 17/31

Home > 2010 Issues > November 14, 2010

A gripping science fiction for children

The Fang of Summoning, Giti Chandra, Hachette India, Pp 266 (PB), Rs 250.00

THIS is a science fiction, begins with a 14- to 15-year old girl clutching the Starstone to her breast as she is being pursued by a beast. She manages to hoodwink him.

Harish Chandra is a retired civil engineer and his daughters start seeing small squiggly pink things that look like a knitted telephone cord with beady unblinking eyes scattered randomly. These make little zapping noises, trying to pull their coil along in any one direction. Bits of them keep fading and reappearing erratically. The sisters explain haltingly that their children were suddenly inflicted by strange disorders and malfunctions - that when one twin among Adit and Akshat speaks to someone on the phone, the other twin is able to hear what his brother is saying even when present in the other room; that through blinding headaches, they realise that one of them could go and watch a football match on TV in one room while the other could see it through his eyes sitting in the lawn; that when Amar plays music on the key board, odd bits of metal pinge into being out of nothing, gleaming on the floors where there has been nothing earlier on the floor but thin air; that these things seem to form according to what he plays, taking their shape from the sequence and speed of the note; that when Noor picks up her crayons and sticks out her tongue in concentration, the half-realised idea in her two-and-a-half year-old head materialises on the paper, flickering into brief life and occasionally skittering about before zapping itself out; that caterpillars, butterflies and frogs have to be hastily scooped up into boxes when they are caged, out of sight of either of the girls, until they vanish.

Meera finally discovers that her two-and-a-half-year-old daughter Noor possesses extraordinary powers though which she conjures caterpillars and butterflies and other creatures. Now starts a testing crusade against the terrifying adversary. They are called upon to decipher the long-buried past and save the future of mankind. They have no choice but to follow a destiny enmeshed with the fate of dying planets, ancient warriors and the universe.

(Hachette India, 612/614 (6th Floor), Fire Tower, MG Road, Sector 28, Gurgaon-122001;

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