Well – what can I say about this book? It’s essentially a West Side Story set in Kolkata – with monkeys! A group of monkeys live in a cemetery and are attacked one night but another group of monkeys who are basically evil. They end up meeting another group of monkeys and the evil group take over the cemetery. they then attack another group of monkeys and kill them all, and take over their home as well – with me so far?
The main character is a naïve monkey called Mico who’s family are Langur monkeys – they are power crazy. He is a clever monkey but not physically strong, unlike his brother Breri who is indoctrinated by the General Pogo and his evil sidekick Lord Gospodar. on the other side is Papina, a rhesus monkey who’s father has been brutally murdered by the Langur monkeys in the cemetery takeover. She knows a secret way into the cemetery and meets Mico one night – cue love affair. The humans do make an appearance as gullible idiots who have made a pact with the Langur monkeys to rid the city of rhesus monkeys after they killed a politician.
It’s silly. I couldn’t get over the fact that all the characters were monkeys, the fight scenes were well written, in fact the whole book is well written and it’s a shame that the content is all a bit far fetched. I didn’t really care when Papina found out that in order to fit in Mico had been forced to take a mate (that’s men for you!) and felt cheated by him. So many of the character are killed off or driven mad and when the final reckoning takes place between Mico and Lord Gospodar you just want the book to finish. Granted the plan was pretty clever but it’s a long book. Sorry, for a debut novel this could have been so much better if the story was about actual humans – which I suppose is the point!