The DEViant is a story spun around friendship, love, betrayal, and life as it is. Shankar has bewitched the book so that it keeps the reader in its grasp until the very last page is flipped and the words have finished telling us their story. As if that were not sufficient, he has further enchanted it in a way that the story and the characters keep playing in the reader’s mind long after the book has been put aside.
The story is about a boy called Sam who hails from Tirupur, the cotton capital of the country, who comes to Chennai with ambitions galore. He befriends Nihal and Shalyn at the coaching center he enrolls in for his engineering entrance exams. Shalyn’s cousin, Jenny, a face from Sam’s past proves to be an enigma. An enigma Sam cracks and discovers a friendship that redefines loyalty. The story takes new turns every now and then and traverses unexpected paths. There enters yet another conundrum in Sam and Jenny’s lives in the form of Dev Aryan. Their lives enter a kaleidoscope after Dev makes his grand entry. Sam is forced to choose between friends in order to prove his loyalty.
Shankar has done justice to the description of places and people. If you have been to Chennai or Tirupur, the places he describes automatically run at the back of your mind and you relate to the story better. The book is a good read save for a couple of spoilers. One, the author has used profanity that seems a bit stuffed into sentences. Most sentences could do without them. Second would be the grammatical and typographical errors sprinkled occasionally which can be overlooked while you are absorbed in the story.
What I liked best is how well the title describes the story, which one will realise only after the book is read from cover to cover. For a debut, Shankar has proved to be a gifted storyteller and is capable of enthralling us with many more stories in the coming future. We wish him all the best for his upcoming works and look forward to devouring them with the same fervour.