Demons of Time is a unique fantasy sci-fi adventure that involves time-travel and a mission to stop human extinction.
In 3077 BC, two Time-Demons, Kumbh and Vetri are chasing an escaped mother, Dhara and her son, Tejaswi (Tej), into the Dandak Forest in India. As they capture the two runaways, an old sage comes forward to take advantage of the situation, and finally captures the time-demons he’s been chasing for 15 years, and frees Dhara and Tej. The renowned sage is Guru Rigu and he must now find a way to intern Kumbh and Vetri for all-time. A Time-Prison is a place, a realm or virtual reality where time is non-existent or immaterial – he needs to find the most secure one.
Within the University of Time-Readers, Rigu and his disciples look across all times and one group has identified a time slice in 2024 AD where a virtual reality game, called Virtexo 2.0, has been developed. There is one stage of the game the developers left unfinished and within that stage, the concept of time doesn’t exist. There is also a virtual character called Mengalz and that is where they imprison Kumbh.
A subsequent upgrade to the software introduces time and consciousness into the game’s character and frees Kumbh. Kumbh will take 7 days to re-orientate himself into the new time period before he can move bodies, jump time again and end mankind. Rigu, Tej and the team of time-readers will have those 7 days to recapture Kumbh.
Fantasy is highly imaginative yet I hope it holds onto the behaviours and interactions of characters and real-world references to deliver believability. I found reading this book that little cracks started to appear in the language and plot, which soon developed into larger fissures.
I imagine the author understands advanced technology really well and explaining it in modern times would still be a daunting task, but trying to explain virtual reality to a person in 3072 BC as, “You do understand dreams? Think of virtual reality as an artificial construct, a well-crafted dream – a reverie which allows a human to experience several fantastical worlds without travelling to them.” just doesn’t compute in my mind. Can you imagine them saying, ‘Oh yeah, why didn’t you just say so’?
I think the time jumps across 5000 years could have left more contrasting imagery, environment and even dialogue. Time travel in sci-fi and fantasy stories still requires an appreciation of the people of a particular era and their level of knowledge and capability. This really didn’t line up with me. The characters are interesting and there are gripping surprises throughout the novel. The writing style is engaging and the overall structure of the book is well thought out.
I think real science fiction bibliophiles will still love this book but it didn’t really do it for me. I would like to thank Varun Sayal for providing me with a copy of his book in return for an honest review.