Book Review: ‘Meru’ by S. B. Divya

Book Title: Meru
Author: S. B. Divya
Publisher: Hachette India
Number of Pages: 448
ISBN: 978-9393701695
Date Published: Feb. 13. 2023
Price: INR 369

Meru by S. B. Divya Book Cover

Book Review

S. B. Divya’s science-fiction novel, “Meru”, takes readers on an extraordinary journey beyond Earth, where the protagonist, Jayanthi, seeks to prove that humanity is capable of responsibly caring for the eponymous planet. While the futuristic setting showcases remarkable advancements like alloys and constructs, Jayanthi’s true motive is to convince a committee to grant her the opportunity to demonstrate humanity’s potential, contrasting with the alloy descendant, Pushkara, who argues that humans will inevitably pollute another planet due to their lack of respect for Earth.

In this captivating narrative, “Meru” becomes the coveted prize, not only due to its similar gravity but also because of its unique challenges. The planet’s atmosphere boasts a higher oxygen content, reaching almost 45 percent, which can lead to lung and vision disorders as well as cellular damage.

However, Jayanthi, raised by alloys, harbors no grudges against other beings and possesses an adventurous spirit. With her trusted alloy pilot, Vaha, by her side, she embarks on an expedition to Meru, where their friendship gradually blossoms into a profound love, transforming the novel into an exhilarating coming-of-age tale that spans the solar system.

S. B. Divya masterfully breaks down the barriers separating humans from sentient beings, infusing this romantic drama with a refreshing twist. Both Jayanthi and Vaha, initially lacking confidence, inspire and empower each other as the story unfolds. “Meru”, although not a quick read, captivates readers with its immersive world beyond the stars.

Check out our Latest Book Reviews

Divya seamlessly integrates intriguing details, such as the towering height of alloys resembling trees and the significant role of tarawans, alloys involved in reproduction, while never detracting from the core plot. The author explores how alloys have a distinct method of procreation, designing their offspring by combining parental genes with genetic information sourced from a central data bank.

While some passages may feel repetitive, the novel maintains momentum through its underlying theme: the majority of humans ultimately choose to reside on Earth, driven by the reluctance to leave the familiar and the fear of losing one’s way. However, Jayanthi remains undeterred by such concerns, focusing instead on the pressing issues at hand. Yet, these overarching thoughts linger in readers’ minds as they join her on the quest for success in her experimental endeavors.

In “Meru”, S. B. Divya casts an empathetic gaze upon humanity and its creations, extending forgiveness for the destruction caused. Optimism about the future direction of humankind radiates throughout the narrative, offering a refreshing perspective. This personalized and unique outlook marks a significant change in the genre.