The Serpent's Secret

The Serpent's Secret

MEET KIRANMALA: INTERDIMENSIONAL DEMON SLAYER(Only she doesn't know it yet.)On the morning of her twelfth birthday, Kiranmala is just a regular sixth grader living in Parsippany, New Jersey... until her parents mysteriously vanish and a drooling rakkhosh demon slams through her kitchen, determined to eat her alive. Turns out there might be some truth to her parents' fantas...

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Title:The Serpent's Secret
Author:Sayantani DasGupta
Rating:
Edition Language:English

The Serpent's Secret Reviews

  • Adriyanna Zimmermann

    Disclaimer: I haven't read this but I'm pretty sure the people who gave this book 1 star haven't either. I'm hoping my 5 star rating counteracts this.

  • Kaye

    Pre-emptively giving this five stars to balance out the eyebrow-raising rating of a book that literally just sold today. I am so, so excited for this and Sayantani's magical words! This is going to be so good!

  • Laura

    I snatched this from a panel from one of the nicest authors (who signed my book by the way).

    Kiranmala and the Kingdom Beyond Book One is something I would recommend to ALL children. Also any adults who just enjoy a good ride start to finish in a book.

    Kiran is such a relatable young girl for anyone who has ever felt embarrassed by typical 12 year old things, namely parents. But her family is different from the majority of NJ folk in a way that most kids don't have to work with. They have cultural

    I snatched this from a panel from one of the nicest authors (who signed my book by the way).

    Kiranmala and the Kingdom Beyond Book One is something I would recommend to ALL children. Also any adults who just enjoy a good ride start to finish in a book.

    Kiran is such a relatable young girl for anyone who has ever felt embarrassed by typical 12 year old things, namely parents. But her family is different from the majority of NJ folk in a way that most kids don't have to work with. They have cultural differences, and Kiranmala is embarrassed by being dressed as an Indian Princess every year for Halloween and the snake pit around her house. So while she's relatable to all kids on a basic level, it's nice to read from her point of view to those who don't often see themselves in media. While I certainly enjoyed her and her family, I'm sure some of my friends back in NYC would definitely be able to say "yep, that's my mom" for once while reading a book.

    Considering I'm white as a ghost, I have absolutely no idea about any of the Bengali fairytales this book incorporates. Does that hinder my enjoyment of it? Absolutely not! The summary on the back suggests it is in line with Rick Riordan which is true. What kid is a greek mythology genius? None that I know. In the same line, you don't have to be a part of the culture to appreciate it. I can't pronounce rakkhosh to save my life but that didn't stop me from feeling suspense whenever one showed its face to Kiran or Neel. I love that this book brings diversity into the fold while those who may not be familiar with these fairytales can still appreciate them and perhaps may inspire some research to some to learn more about the exciting world behind this equally exciting book.

    The best part of this book is, there has been some media that includes puns and jokester "bad guys" but it never seems to last more than a few seconds. DasGupta manages to write enough jokes and puns for every situation and that's what makes it realistic. Sure if you were fighting off some giant demon you'd be pretty scared, but just like in every day life, serious situations tend to have a not so serious side to them. That is where this book truely shines. I smiled, and I even laughed out loud sometimes.

    There is never a dull moment in this book. Whether it be Kiran having the typical 12 year old existential crisis (don't lie, you had plenty when you were a kid) that makes her seem so real, or if it's Tuntuni spitting some good beats with his rhymes, or when there's some good action going on with bows and arrows and sword fights, all of it is great. I loved every second on this book because it was such a fantastical world I did not know. I can only imagine the thrill one might feel when a reader will say "I know this fairytale!"

    Before I start getting too crazy long with this review, I did not have a Good Reads account before a few minutes ago. I had told Sayantani DasGupta I would make a goodreads account just to review her book. And here I am.

    Please purchase this book when it comes on sale Feb 27 of 2018 and read it. Then buy another and give it to friends and family and also buy one just in case your library needs a donation.

  • Kav (xreadingsolacex)

    is a middle-grade novel about Kiranmala, a 12-year old living her regular life in New Jersey until her parents go missing and she finds out she's a real Indian princess.

    In all honesty, the only reason I was planning to read this novel was because of the Indian rep, but there is so much more to the perfection that is this novel. I'm going to start this

    is a middle-grade novel about Kiranmala, a 12-year old living her regular life in New Jersey until her parents go missing and she finds out she's a real Indian princess.

    In all honesty, the only reason I was planning to read this novel was because of the Indian rep, but there is so much more to the perfection that is this novel. I'm going to start this review by pleading with you to support this novel in any way possible. I promise you won't be disappointed.

    Growing up, I never got to see books that had characters that were like me in books or TV shows or movies or any other form of media. The only memory I have of seeing an Indian character in a book is when I checked out one book from the library, that wasn't even a mainstream novel, and that's the only novel I can remember being represented in during elementary and middle school.

    I don't think you understand how excited I am for this book to be in school libraries and children's bookstores because it is going to change the lives of so many Indian kids out there and they are going to get the representation that people my age never got.

    features essentially an all Indian cast while also incorporating so many parts of Indian culture, specially Bengali culture, and creates a perfect balance of the negatives and positives in said culture.

    Note: I am not Bengali so I can't speak on that representation, but this rep is completely ownvoices so I'm not too concerned about it.

    The way DasGupta managed to confront how Kiranmala felt about growing up in New Jersey was something so relatable to how I felt growing up. When you grow up in a society where you don't come from the same culture as everyone else, it subconsciously impacts you and alienates you and DasGupta did an incredible job of getting that across and ALSO teaching the main character to be proud of where she comes from which can further show Indian kids that they should be proud of their heritage because it's a pretty cool one.

    In the ARC, there is a letter from the author at the beginning and an author's note at the end that explains some of the cultural elements in the story. I read these two sections of the novel first, and I started tearing up reading the letter. The subconscious impact of lack of representation growing up is real folks, and DasGupta is going to change that for so many brown kids.

    Now listen, I could go on for days about how the representation in this novel meant the world to me, but there are so many more aspects that I have to cover.

    Something I'm always concerned about when reading middle-grade and young-adult works by adults is whether they'll be able to get the tone of the age they're writing and DasGupta did not disappoint me in the slightest. I don't know if it's from her experience having children or what, but she knew how to write a realistic 12-year old and I actually felt like I was in a 12-year olds mindset while reading.

    Furthermore, the characters she creates are magnificent. It is obvious the effort that DasGupta put into developing these characters and making them realistic. And the relationships between these characters also feel real. What I'm getting at is that DasGupta makes the people in her book

    .

    But what really takes the cake for this novel is the plot and the world-building. I can't even begin to imagine how much work DasGupta must have put into creating this amazing world that ties together Bengali culture with fantasy and with real scientific elements. It's obvious that she took the time to develop this world and it's created so well.

    No words I write here can express the absolute magnificence of this novel. I plead that you support it in any way you can.

  • Bina

    This was fantastic, go read it!đź’ś Wish 12 year old me could've read this!! Full review coming soon!

  • Amy

    THIS BOOK WAS SO FUN! An original fairy tale that emerges from Indian folklore. It walks the line of creative and classic - familiar fairy-tale allusions blend with new ideas. I really loved all the strong characters and the crazy adventure and the way everything wraps up

    4 stars for the book + 1 extra because this was so not YA. And I know this isn't supposed to be YA, but sometimes Juvenile fiction can feel YA, and this doesn't. Or rather, it doesn't feel bad YA. It fee

    THIS BOOK WAS SO FUN! An original fairy tale that emerges from Indian folklore. It walks the line of creative and classic - familiar fairy-tale allusions blend with new ideas. I really loved all the strong characters and the crazy adventure and the way everything wraps up

    4 stars for the book + 1 extra because this was so not YA. And I know this isn't supposed to be YA, but sometimes Juvenile fiction can feel YA, and this doesn't. Or rather, it doesn't feel bad YA. It feels creative and confident and fun and I can't wait to read more by this author!

    Not a perfect book, but delightful nevertheless.

  • ambsreads

    I am trying to look at this book as a completely individual series from the Percy Jackson series. A couple reasons for this; it is not even published by Rick Riordan’s publishing industry and this book is about Indian fairytales. I know it is so easy to compare middle-grade novels that are urban fantasy to Rick Riordan but you can’t with this. Why? Mainly because this is all own voices.

    Now, into what I thought about everything. The Serpent’s Secret

    I am trying to look at this book as a completely individual series from the Percy Jackson series. A couple reasons for this; it is not even published by Rick Riordan’s publishing industry and this book is about Indian fairytales. I know it is so easy to compare middle-grade novels that are urban fantasy to Rick Riordan but you can’t with this. Why? Mainly because this is all own voices.

    Now, into what I thought about everything. The Serpent’s Secret was a book I didn’t know what to expect from it. In the classic Amber fashion, I hadn’t read the blurb. I simply jumped into the middle-grade novel in hopes of finding a new favourite. Unfortunately, I didn’t, but I did enjoy the ride this story took. It was fun.

    The Serpent’s Secret by Sayantani DasGupta is a delightfully unique story. I have never read anything quite like this, or even seen anything represented in the media. This book incorporates so many parts of Bengali Indian culture. This is definitely not an area I am educated enough to speak on, so I’ll move on. On Kiranmala’s twelfth birthday everything goes wrong. She goes from being a regular sixth grader to having a demon smash through her kitchen and take her parents. This leads Kiranmala on a journey of discovery, with two charming Indian prince’s tagging along, to find her parents while also realizing that everything that they have told her in their stories is true. There are countless extra tasks thrown in that make it harder for Kiranmala, but that’s what keeps the book interesting! Kiranmala leans to be proud of her heritage throughout the novel. With the fast-paced novel, it is easy to fit all this into 368 pages.

    I’ll jump into more about what I liked and dislike about The Serpent’s Secret now.

    L I K E S

    âś— GREAT FAIRYTALE EXPLANATIONS

    I love learning about different myths, fairytales and cultures while reading. I feel that’s how I learn the most. The Serpent’s Secret is no different. As Kiranmala learns what is real and what isn’t, via interdimensional travel, the reader does as well. It felt so important to become educated on these stories while reading. These are stories I have never heard and they were detailed and amazing. I truly wish these myths and fairy tales were incorporated into mainstream media more – obviously written by own voices writers.

    âś— CHARACTERS ARE ACTING THEIR AGE

    I feel this is very important. Characters acting their age, when they’re young, feel so rare in books. I feel that characters are typically aged up in their personality though on paper it says they’re twelve. DasGupta really managed to capture the youth of Kiranmala. It was raw and truthful in so many elements, despite the book being an urban fantasy. It was truly refreshing.

    âś— IMAGERY IS BEAUTIFUL

    This is a super simple thing I liked about The Serpent’s Secret but the imagery is mind-blowing. DasGupta created such beautiful scenes with her writing that truly brought me into the book. The added illustrations throughout were incredibly enjoyable as well, definitely welcome additions to the story. Definitely, something that would entice a young reader as well!

    D I S L I K E S

    âś— KIND OF UNCOMFORTABLE HUMOUR

    It’s not that it was uncomfortable but at times the humour felt as if it was trying too hard. Not all of it came under this category but I really was struggling to get into the characters, especially since a lot of the humour was due to the characters, not understanding Kiranmala. I also get these characters are twelve but I just felt like the humour was an element that could have been removed from the book.

    âś— TOO FAST PACED AT TIMES

    I believe this book is a debut? Correct me if I’m wrong, please, so this I can understand. At times this book felt pretty choppy, with characters moving between scenes in a confusing way that left me rereading paragraphs trying to find the connection. It had me struggling to get through this book in that way.

    Overall, this has been a hard review to write. I don’t want to step on any own voices reviewer’s toes but I do want to promote this book for its beautiful imagery and storytelling. I know I have to stay in my lane but I really do recommend this book to everyone, especially if you have younger children in your life because I feel like education at a young age on different cultures is so important. The Serpent’s Secret was ultimately a very enjoyable book. It was fast and it was silly and it was fun. I know I keep using the word fun but it’s true. This book was super fun to read. Definitely, add it to your TBR’s if you don’t mind a little middle grade in your life!

  • Lizzy (Bent Bookworm)

    I want to read this SOLELY BECAUSE PEOPLE HAVE BEEN SO MEAN SPIRITED about it already. Like, wtf? Are you that petty and hateful, or are you just bored and trolling? Either way...keep on haters...you're only garnering it more attention. The fear of ideas and differences will keep you small while the rest of the world soars.

  • Roshani Chokshi

    THIS IS GOING TO BE AMAZING!!!

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