Tuesday, April 29, 2014

The Devil's Gate: An Impossible Journey - Book Review


The Devil’s Gate: An Impossible Journey
By Deepak Kripal
Review By Ila Garg

The Devil’s Gate: An Impossible Journey is a novel by the debutant writer Deepak Kripal is published by Frog Books (an imprint of Leadstart Publishing Pvt Ltd). The paper and print quality show that it is a publication house that we should keep an eye on. The book has an apt cover, however it could have been slightly better than this. The font used for the title of the book could have been modified too. The title is tempting though.

The author, Deepak Kripal is
a doctor by profession and a writer by choice. He believes in dreams, and tries to live one day at a time. A known name in the blogosphere, he loves to blog. Writing a book was always in his mind. This is his literary debut.


Plundered by humans of their habitats, animals take a drastic step when they decide to send a team of a cat named as Katy and a dog named as Dug, to an invisible island known, as the Island of ‘Five Hundred Graves’. The island becomes visible only for a short time on the night of the full moon.

Legend has it that the island is inhabited by the demons. Katy and Dug are supposed to negotiate a deal with the demons, convincing them to allow the animals inhabit the island. Majority of the animal community believe that tinkering with the other world could bring their wrath to the animals. The team is sent to the island nevertheless.

But can a deal with the dead be materialized?

Are there really demons on the island? Is there any conspiracy involved?

Will Katy and Dug be able to negotiate, or will survival remain their only question in the deadly island?

Initial impressions of the book from the title, cover, and the tagline - "An Impossible Journey", on me were that it’s gonna be yet another horror story. And yes it is a horror fiction, but an unusual one.

This is the story of two animal species. Katy (cat) and Dug (dog) meet at Pantheon, a beautiful forest town located on the tropical margins of the equator. The way the author has developed the story is indeed something to look out for.

This story is about how the animals turned into demons when side-lined by men. Indeed, a compelling story with an unusual aura. The suspense is well built from the very beginning when the characters are just introduced. Gradually it is revealed to the readers that Katy and Dug are actually animals. I loved the author’s innovation as he continued to take the story further by coining several different terms like UA (United Animals), B.M.S. (Bachelor in Multiple Skills), UAIL (United Animals Intelligence Institute), etc.

Characters of Katy, Billy, Cheeku, and Dug are exceptionally adorable. It’s fun to read their conversations which have been given human touch by the author.

As simple as it seems, the story doesn’t go straight. It complicates with every page. It’s almost like one day all animals woke up and decided that, since humans are not listening to us, we should talk to the demons to let us co-habit with them. It’s fun to even imagine a situation like that, but this is what is actually happening in The Devil’s Gate: An Impossible Journey.

It’s an interesting thought with endless opportunities to explore, and the author hasn’t much disappointed the readers. What happens after animals take this initiative of visiting the Devil and try to get help from the dead to let them have a habitat of their own makes the base of the story.

Quoting lines from the book - “Devil’s Gate, as the name suggests, is a gate that you have to open to enter the central part of the island.”

The book is undoubtedly a nice read.

‘Yay’ Factors: The story line, narrative, personification of animals, a completely different theme, unusual revelations, title, names of the characters, and coining of terms.

‘Nay’ Factors: The cover, starting could have been more appealing, chapters somehow get too boring as the story builds up. I almost forced myself to read few pages which I realized could have been omitted.

The 248 page book is a perfect quick read (provided you read intelligently, skip few pages here and there). I mainly loved the book because of the plot. The urge to reach the climax, kept me hooked all the time. The language and pace is comfortable for all the readers. A satisfactory work for a debut writer! Best wishes for future writings.

Rating: 3/5


  1. I read this book last week after recommendation from a friend, and I was truly and pleasantly surprised by the richness of book in terms of imagination, innovation, content and subject. A beautiful amalgamation of fantasy, science, philosophy and paranormal; and yet the characters retain the child like innocence, and never go into the background despite all the mystery. I thought the mystery and unraveling of the devil's gate concept was supremely & page-turningly imaginative, something which our dumb movie directors can use. I am already a fan Sir. Eagerly waiting for your next... :)

    1. Glad you liked the book, and visited my blog. :)

  2. hello Ila.. first time on your blog :)

    I am a huge adventure/thriller fan, so I got my hands on this book as soon as I saw its advertisement on Delhi metro. And to say that I loved it wud be some understatement. It's after a long time that I read a story that captured my imagination lyk never before. If made into a movie, I genuinely think that it could be India's answer to 'Lord of the Rings'. All the characters and their characterization was exceptional but or me, Billy was just extra special... A treat for adventure lovers :}

    1. Hi, delighted by your visit. :) Hope this visit is followed by many more visits from your side. Much love. :)

  3. Awesome read. Loved the mystery. Absolutely fantabulous.