BOOK REVIEW: Turbulence by Samit Basu

What if all the people on a flight from London to Delhi gain powers? Would they use them for good or evil or both? This is the premise of  Turbulence a new novel by Samit Basu.

Aman Sen is smart, young, ambitious and going nowhere. He thinks this is because he doesn’t have the right connections—but then he gets off a plane from London to Delhi and discovers that he has turned into a communications demigod. Indeed, everyone on Aman’s flight now has extraordinary abilities corresponding to their innermost desires.
Vir, an Indian Air Force pilot, can now fly.
Uzma, a British- Pakistani aspiring Bollywood actress, now possesses infinite charisma.
And then there’s Jai, an indestructible one-man army with a good old-fashioned goal — to rule the world!
Aman wants to ensure that their new powers aren’t wasted on costumed crime-fighting, celebrity endorsements, or reality television. He wants to heal the planet but with each step he takes, he finds helping some means harming others. Will it all end, as 80 years of superhero fiction suggest, in a meaningless, explosive slugfest?

The book starts off with a great tease which hints at things to come. Not knowing much about India it was great to get an insight into it’s crazy fun culture, including Bollywood and cricket.

One by one we are introduced to the key characters and their powers, which are not quite evident at first. These are ordinary people who get these powers and it’s impressive how the writer has shown what paths they take in their various journeys.

Soon the characters  paths converge revealing a sinister conspiracy that will shape India as a SUPER power in more ways than one. The good guys join forced as they attempt to figure out how to best make use of their powers, including  how to solve world poverty.

The action takes place in both India and London with lots of recognisable locations that add a more realistic approach to the story.

Most of the characters are well constructed which helps to relate to them. Some of the shady characters are one dimensional but still fun.

The action is fast and full of iconic fight scenes that feel straight out of a comic book. The humour and cultural references are fun and spot on with winks and nods to Marvel and DC comics.

Author Samit Basu has also found some new twists on familiar super powers and created real uses that make a lot of sense in the real world.

The ending is climatic but also feels like a bit of a cheat with some of the action taking place off screen but that does not detract from the fact that Turbulence is a lot fun and well worth a read for comic books fans.

TO WIN a copy of Turbulence, please tweet the link to this review along with a description of the most original super hero you can conceive to @Titanbooks #Turbulence. Samit’s ten favourite heroes will win.

GS rating: 4/5

Source: Titan Books
GS Reporter: Montoya

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