Sunday, April 8, 2012

Vanished, Sheela Chari

From the prologue: It was close to midnight when the last train left the station. On board sat an American woman in a fluttery shirt, a famous musician on her way to the biggest music festival in Chennai. But the festival wasn't the reason she was in India after so many years. If she could go back to the store, the shopkeeper might have the answer she was looking for. 

Eleven year old Neela dreams of being a professional musician playing her veena, a traditional Indian instrument. Her instrument was a present from her grandmother- a very valuable and beautiful veena. Then it disappears from a local church, and strange clues come to light: a teakettle with a pointy-faced dragon, a threatening note, a connection to a famous dead veena player, and a legendary curse. The clues all lead India, and it turns out that Neela's instrument has historically disappeared often. Neela must try to recover it, but even if she succeeds, will she be able to stop it from vanishing again?

This was a really interesting book. Firstly, I liked the descriptions of Indian culture and music. Vanished was also a great mystery story and quite suspenseful. There were a whole bunch of seemingly unconnected clues in the book, but in the end, they all fit together perfectly, like a jigsaw puzzle. It has all the elements of a mystery/fantasy story: curses, dragons, weird clues...I loved how veenas and dragons were combined to form a great story, which kept me reading. I found it hard to put down. And I loved the cover.

Read Vanished:
  • if you are interested in Indian culture and/or music
  • if you like fantasy-ish stories
  • if you like mysteries
  • if you are interested in music
318 pages.

Very Good! I would recommend this book!

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