Author: A.K. Asif
Publisher: Harper Collins
2050, New York. In the aftermath of a gruelling spiritual cleansing quest, Ismael, a Pakistani-American student, enters into an alliance with spiritual beings who send him on a perilous journey of self-discovery. A non-believer, Ismael must return to Pakistan, now in the grip of a brutal fundamentalist government, and gain the trust of his estranged father, a prominent extremist in the Caliphate. To accomplish this, he must pose as a true believer. Will he survive long enough to infiltrate his father’s inner sanctum and complete his mission? Hell! No Saints in Paradise is both biting satire and allegory that takes urban fantasy to dizzying heights.
I am out words to describe how I felt about this book. It’s crazy, weird, fantastical, futuristic but yet is connected to the present scenario of religious fanaticism that we’re seeing around us.
Faith is good but blind faith can be catastrophic. It’s ok to believe in God, afterlife, Heaven and Hell. But there’s no point in killing one another or blindly following what somebody says in the name of God worshipping.
Our religions are so dangerously misinterpreted from what the founding fathers actually conceptualized and that’s what needs to be put forth in front of the followers.
This book has wonderfully highlighted that in the crazy, wild futuristic, religiously fanatic Pakistan backdrop which I fear might be the case in India as well in the future if we don’t realise our follies in time.
The story was beautifully build-up and the consistency was deftly maintained till the ending with suspense and twists and turns. This book is, according to my judgement, is more of plot-driven rather than character-driven.
A very insightful, enlightening journey that Ismael had been pushed into to transient from being an atheist to a believer to ultimately a Knower.
I hope everyone reads this book and takes away the message. More than being an atheist or a believer, the world will be a better place if everyone are “knowers”.
I’ve been looking for good books written by Pakistani authors and I’m glad I came across this book.
Rating: 4.5/5 🌟
P.S. I received this book in exchange for an honest review. Thanks to the publisher and Writers Melon.