The Day That Nothing Happened, Sonal Sehgal, 2018

Title: The Day That Nothing Happened

Author: Sonal Sehgal

Publisher: Destiny Media

Genre: Sci-fi

Format: Hardcover

Language: English

No. of pages: 148

Recommended for: All sci-fi lovers as well as those who would like to start with this genre

Synopsis:

To accommodate an “extra day” in our calendar a worldwide shut down of electromagnetic activity has been called for. Which means no use of electric or battery operated appliances, no internet, no vehicular movement and there will be no record of any activity on that day as well. After the midnight of 18th June 2019, there will be an undocumented period of 24 hours post which the calendar will roll over to the 19th June and we resume life as if nothing happened. Only Veer, an astrophysicist at the helm of managing this cosmic aberration knows of one thing that will happen as a direct consequence. A portal will open into a Parallel Universe. When the fated day arrives, Veer reaches out to Samara to make her see for herself that he did not sacrifice their relationship for ambition. In his theory of the Multiverse, you don’t choose one over the other. Both choices play out in different Universes. He implores her to travel with him through this portal and witness their “happily ever after”. But when the portal does open, it’s a Pandora’s box. There is not one, but many Parallel Universes. Dev and Desiree are another couple who explore astral projection to deal with complex human relationships. The day when the Universe is paused, they accidentally discover the Multiverse. The worlds of science (the Multiverse) and spirituality (the 4th dimension) collide as the story climaxes. 

My review:

For a debut novel, The Day That Nothing Happened sure packs a punch. Sonal Sehgal’s novel is a surefire and one which will undoubtedly spark quite a few discussions among the readers.

Although a sci-fi, it is not a very hardcore one and as such, I think this book can be understandable by everyone. The words used may seem pretty new to many but the author has not failed to describe and talk over all the concepts through her characters. Apart from usual sci-fi lovers, I think other who may want to dip a toe into the huge ocean of sci-fi can surely begin with this one – it is easy to understand for any newbie, does not use very many jargons etc. One other thing that I think will make it easy for new readers to ease into this genre through this book, is that it is not hardcore sci-fi like I have already said. As such, the author has included various perceptions and stories in it. The family, romance angles have also been shown which makes it a pretty smooth read.

The concepts of the multiverse, portals, parallel universes, astral projection, etc., are so very fascinating and keeps the reader hooked on. The length of the novel is not that huge either so it is a quick and understandable read too.

The characters of Samara, Veer, Dev, Desiree are well made and individualistic on their own. I would have loved a more of a backstory to Desiree because she is quite fascinating. Samara and Veer, and their character evolutions are also well plotted and very much relatable to us individuals as we work and sleep and work, and live our lives.

The research done by the author is quite evident in this work. I personally really liked the way the author ended the books on such a real note – and I shall leave it at that, and not give any spoilers. The cover of the book is also amazing and beautiful. Must read if you are a newbie and want to delve into this genre.

Verdict:

Quite an enjoyable read. I rate it 4/5 stars.

About the author:

Sonal Sehgal is an actor, screenwriter and copywriter. She is an English Hoours graduate from Delhi University and holds a Diploma in Filmmaking from New York Film Academy, New York. She has played the protagonist in critically acclaimed films such as “Aashayein” and “Mantostaan”.

She has co-written the screenplay for “Lihaaf” adapting Ismat Chugtai’s famous story for a feature film, where Sonal also plays one of the two lead characters.

About the reviewer:

Nayanika Saikia, is one of the foremost book reviewers from the North-east and Assam, and is also an admin for the official India bookstagram page on Instagram. She publishes her own reviews and recommendations for poetry, fiction, non-fiction etc. on her bookstagram account @pretty_little_bibliophile which won the NorthEast Creator Awards 2018, as well as in daily newspapers, online magazines etc.  She can be contacted at nayanikasaikia98@gmail.com .

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