I am so excited to be a part of the Privilege Book Tour by Caffeine Book Tours. You can check out the tour schedule here.
Author: Bharat Krishnan
Publication date: 12 October 2020
Genres: Adult, Thriller
Cover artist: Amrita Raja
Trigger/Content warnings: Police brutality
In this epic saga about privilege and power, Rakshan Baliga will have to choose between the American Dream…and his own.
New York’s drug problem is Rakshan’s solution. Getting his hands on a super drug called WP could earn him glory, power, and a chance to win back his ex. But stealing it from the Top 1% is costly, and if Rakshan isn’t careful he’ll pay with his life.
Discover how Rakshan’s journey sets off a chain of events that changes his city, his country…and the world. This ensemble political thriller is perfect for fans of Ocean’s 11 and House of Cards.
Rating : ⭐⭐⭐.5
I received a free copy of the book from the author and Caffeine Book Tours in exchange of an honest review
Privilege is set in an alternative United States where a drug named WP is accessible only to the Caucasians while on the other hand, it was illegal for people of colour to possess it, except on getting business deals and on the occasion of birth in the family.
The main character Rakshan is an Indian American man who decides to break into and steal WP from his boss’s house after being fired. He is also overly obsessed with his ex-girlfriend Sadiya, which is very disturbing.
Rakshan, the main protagonist goes down the dark path into theft and robbery. He plans to pull off the heist with his friends but constantly insults them. The book shows how drug addiction made every one of Rakshan’s friend destructive in their own way.
The idea of the drug not being given to people of other races symbolised the racial injustice in America. The novel, although, quite short, is very thought-provoking and involves complex characters and exposes their dark sides. Except for the legalisation of the drugs, the world seemed pretty much replica of modern-day America.
I loved Sadiya, and I feel she is the most likeable character. Moreover, the introduction of an LGBTQ+ character made the book more inclusive and added more layers to the story.
The book feels a bit rushed due to its short length but pulls off a variety of issues within it. However, the subplot of Jerome, a black boy getting his hand accidentally on the drugs could use more comprehensive storyline.
Overall, the book does an excellent job of talking about racism in modern American society by using metaphors and also skillfully describes the struggles of Indian American people there. Although it has a few flaws, I think reading the other two novels in the series will present a more clear storyline.
Bharat calls himself a professional storyteller and amateur cook. After 10 years of working in politics, he tried to explain how the country went from Barack Obama to Donald Trump by writing Confessions of a Campaign Manager. Then he wrote Oasis, a desert-fantasy novel that examined what makes a family and how refugees should be treated. Bharat is always looking to make a political statement with his writing because he knows politics seeps into every aspect of society and believes we can’t understand each other without a firm, constant understanding of how politics affects us in all ways.