There’s a Superman, and he’s Indian! As much as that hurts my red, white, and blue (American!) pride to write, it does actually make for one hell of a good story and is the premise behind Samit Basu’s novel, Turbulence. In Turbulence the passengers of a British Airways flight from London to Delhi fall asleep and each wakes up with a new superpower closely related to their inner most desires, leaving us readers to ask the whole book through, “how did they get the powers”, and “what power would I really want to have?” So far, the only powers I think I really want are the complete control over traffic lights and the ability to seduce lesbians. Here’s the books synopsis and a run down on the characters and their unique powers:
Aman Sen is smart, young, ambitious and going nowhere. He thinks this is because he doesn’t have the right connections—but then he gets off a plane from London to Delhi and discovers that he has turned into a communications demigod. Indeed, everyone on Aman’s flight now has extraordinary abilities corresponding to their innermost desires.
Vir, an Indian Air Force pilot, can now fly.
Uzma, a British- Pakistani aspiring Bollywood actress, now possesses infinite charisma.
And then there’s Jai, an indestructible one-man army with a good old-fashioned goal — to rule the world!
Aman wants to ensure that their new powers aren’t wasted on costumed crime-fighting, celebrity endorsements, or reality television. He wants to heal the planet but with each step he takes, he finds helping some means harming others. Will it all end, as 80 years of superhero fiction suggest, in a meaningless, explosive slugfest?
Turbulence features the 21st-century Indian subcontinent in all its insane glory—F-16s, Bollywood, radical religious parties, nuclear plants, cricket, terrorists, luxury resorts, crazy TV shows — but it is essentially about two very human questions. How would you feel if you actually got what you wanted? And what would you do if you could really change the world?
For me, Turbulence, was a gripping “page turner” full of humor, geek references, and action! I had a lot fun with this book and Basu’s twist on a popular super powers was a constant surprise. Like Bob, for example, who has the Storm like ability to control the weather, but only depending on what he eats. So, of course the other super people feed him nothing but ice cream and frozen foods to keep the cost on air conditioning down. My only real problem with the book was it’s ending, and I don’t want to spoil that here so I’ll just say it’s a minor problem and in no real way hurt my enjoyment of this novel and I’m actually looking forward to another book with this same group of Indian (and one British/ Pakistani) super people. Maybe next time we’ll get a couple of Americans in there so I’ll be able to call them “Superheroes” …heh heh heh.
Turbulence is for sale now in all major bookstores or you can get your own copy at Titan Books online store!