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January 17, 2024

My Rating - 5 out of 5 stars

Publisher - White Falcon 
Genre - Science Fiction
Publishing year - 2022
Language - English
ISBN - 978-1-63640-481-3
Pages - 296

Been There Before by R Santosh

Book Review - 

Been There Before by R Santosh is a captivating exploration of destiny, friendship, and the enigmatic nature of memory and dreams. Set against the backdrop of the tumultuous 1984 anti-Sikh riots in Delhi, the story weaves a complex tale of two individuals who reached Hyderabad and are connected by an inexplicable bond.

The narrative follows Arjun Rathore, a man grappling with the loss of his memory yet blessed with an extraordinary ability to foresee specific events in the life of Avtar Singh. With their unique abilities, these two wave the path towards success, but it comes with confusion, ups and downs, and even uncertainties at many points. 

Arjun has yet to learn about his past life. Still, he is a master at predicting the future regarding Avtar and his family, and this piqued the interest of Randhir, Avtar's elder son, which led the narration to its utmost punch. What sets this novel apart is its ability to keep readers on the edge of their seats. R Santosh skillfully crafts a plot that unfolds seamlessly, with remarkable attention to detail.

One of the highlights of this book is the exceptional ending. Everything falls into place as the story reaches its crescendo, and the narrative threads elegantly converge. The satisfaction derived from the culmination of events is profound, leaving readers with a sense of awe and admiration for the author's storytelling prowess. 

The ethical dilemmas faced by the characters, especially Randhir Singh, as he grapples with whether to trust scientific knowledge or Arjun's sixth sense, add depth to the storyline. The clash between established research and unexplained phenomena is handled with finesse, prompting readers to ponder the mysteries of the human mind.

The author's writing style is fluid and engaging. The pacing is well-managed by short chapters, keeping the reader hooked from start to finish. R Santosh's meticulous attention to detail, such as the riots, stock market crash, housing boom, COVID pandemic, etc, and the incorporation of contemporary elements provide a rich backdrop that enhances the overall reading experience. 

Suppose you're looking for a book that blends elements of drama and friendship with science and time travel and appreciates a thought-provoking narrative with a satisfying and mind-bending conclusion. In that case, this book is a must-read for you.

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