The Kiss of Karma

Fiction - Realistic
272 Pages
Reviewed on 08/12/2013
Buy on Amazon

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Free Book Program, which is open to all readers and is completely free. The author will provide you with a free copy of their book in exchange for an honest review. You and the author will discuss what sites you will post your review to and what kind of copy of the book you would like to receive (eBook, PDF, Word, paperback, etc.). To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email.

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Review Exchange Program, which is open to all authors and is completely free. Simply put, you agree to provide an honest review an author's book in exchange for the author doing the same for you. What sites your reviews are posted on (B&N, Amazon, etc.) and whether you send digital (eBook, PDF, Word, etc.) or hard copies of your books to each other for review is up to you. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email, and be sure to describe your book or include a link to your Readers' Favorite review page or Amazon page.

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Donation Program, which was created to help nonprofit and charitable organizations (schools, libraries, convalescent homes, soldier donation programs, etc.) by providing them with free books and to help authors garner more exposure for their work. This author is willing to donate free copies of their book in exchange for reviews (if circumstances allow) and the knowledge that their book is being read and enjoyed. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email. Be sure to tell the author who you are, what organization you are with, how many books you need, how they will be used, and the number of reviews, if any, you would be able to provide.

Author Biography

I was born in Kenya, but grew up in Hackney, London, where The Kiss of Karma is set. I’ve done many different things in my life, including working in Sainsbury’s and McDonald’s. I used to drive tube trains on the Piccadilly Line and I’ve taught people how to fly aeroplanes (hurtling along tunnels deep in the bowels of the Earth one minute, skimming clouds high in the sky training future airline and fighter pilots the next – that was a strange time!)
Then my creative side tugged me away from that life and I became the stereotypical struggling artist. I was in the music industry for a while, running my own recording studio and making music and busking. Then I wanted an even harder life so I went to drama school and ended up a professional actor. I also washed dishes, served Princess Ann a gin and tonic, cleaned toilets, sold hotdogs and popcorn, worked in a call centre and God knows what else to make ends meet…. Somewhere along the way my beautiful wife and daughter came into my life. Then insanity took over and I did The Knowledge and became a licensed London Black Cab Driver, too.
Then in 2010, things went surreal – I now spend most of my time in Hong Kong, where my wife is working. This has enabled me to focus full-time on writing fiction, which has been a consistent part of my life since childhood. I’ve always loved making up stories. I am also learning kung fu and Chinese!

    Book Review

Reviewed by Bil Howard for Readers' Favorite

Set in London’s East End, The Kiss of Karma by Vimal Vaz is the dark story of a fourteen-year-old boy. Ashok Choudhary is in a struggle not only for his own life and the peace of his soul, but for the lives and souls of his mother and sister. While keeping a secret Muslim girlfriend from his parents, Ash struggles with the internal battles between justice, fear, and his mother’s teachings about Karma as he, his mother and sister endure his father's abuse. When Ash has had enough of watching the abuse, he sets out to make certain that Karma visits his father sooner rather than later, as he finds a way to overcome the internal battles and replaces them with external ones.

The Kiss of Karma is a difficult story to face, but it is a reality that looks into the life of a family shackled by abuse from its head. Ash’s struggle to protect his mother and sister are expertly portrayed in a thriller that will have the reader on the edge of their seat and turning pages in expectation of the fate of the hero and his charges.

The plot and character development is brilliant and the intense darkness of the struggle is felt. The reader walks through this story at Ash’s side, asking the same difficult questions and searching for the same answers. This book has the same dark, intensity of the some of the most recent best sellers which have been provided by Indian writers. Excellent book! A must for a serious reader.

Michael McManus

Ashok Choudhary is a young Indian boy living in modern-day London. A troubled youth, he has to deal with the bigotry of white gang members who terrorize him, the brutality of a drunken father who doles out punishment and abuse to his entire family, and the confusion of a living with a mother who tolerates the abuse in the name of Karma. He does so by keeping everything inside, away from even his two best friends and the beautiful teenage girl who loves him. Everything in his life seems wrong, but if he seeks help, it could backfire and hurt the ones he loves. He has to figure out a way to solve this dilemma on his own, but does he have the strength to do so?

Vimal Vaz, the author of this tragic tale, takes us on a journey through a young man’s life, exposing us to situations that are unexpectedly outrageous. In The Kiss of Karma, we learn how beliefs and reality collide to manufacture an environment that tests the strength of a young man’s will. This is a dark story, but one that offers hope. Because of the language and sexual content in the book, which is necessarily graphic and sometimes raw, I can recommend this only to an adult audience, but I do recommend it highly. It is well-written and fast paced. Mr. Vaz is a promising young author who we will hear much about in the years to come. It was a pleasure reading this book.

Jack Magnus

In The Kiss of Karma by Vimal Vaz, 14-year-old Ashok Choudhary is in many ways just like any number of other kids living in London in the 1990s. He's got two best mates, Carlton and Ginger, a childhood sweetheart, Sherifa, and a younger sister, Nisha, who's smarter than he is. Under the surface though, are troubling differences. He's Hindu and Sherifa is Muslim, and there's no way her parents would approve of them being together. Worse yet, his father, an unemployed mini-cab driver, is constantly drunk and physically abuses Ashok's mother as well as his kids. Ashok is dismayed when Nisha tells him that their father is also sexually abusing her. Their mother is taking antidepressants to deal with her problems and tells Ashok that there is nothing they can do. It's our Karma, she explains, and a man has the right to do these things to his family.

Author Vimal Vaz handles tough subjects in his Coming of Age/Realistic Novel, The Kiss of Karma. His main character, Ashok, has to grow up and become an adult before he's even been a teen for very long. Watching him swallow his fear and stand up to his father, knowing full well that he'd be beaten for it, is hard to take, but the bravery and conviction Ashok shows in doing so makes him a complex and believable main character. Vaz deftly handles racism, religious differences and, the elephant in many rooms, generational abuse in a novel that is uplifting and very entertaining. I found it hard to break away from reading The Kiss of Karma and am looking forward to reading the sequel. This book is well worth your time.

Jean Hall

Kiss of Karma by Vimal Vaz is a gritty and brutal view of a teenager's experience in London. Ashok Choudhary comes from an Indian family and he has a secret Muslim girlfriend named Sherifa Khan or "Cherri." The stress and violence in his life is found at home and in the streets.

There seems to be no escape from his mother's blame or his father's alcoholic and evil moods. But this teenage boy is the hero in his own story, defending his vulnerable sister and surviving racially-motivated beatings in the streets. He is aware of his young sister's sexual abuse at the hands of his father. His sister Nisha seems to take refuge in a world of her own to cope. Ashok or "Ash" confronts his father and there is a terrible and fiery conclusion to the story. His Mum is in denial about the abuses that surround her. She criticizes her son to shift her guilt and prove the justice of Karma. She feels that the negative events in this life are a result of negative actions in the previous life. Reincarnation produces Karma.

Ashok feels weighed down by the burden of Karma and reincarnation which is not at all like a kiss. Ashok's story is told with coarse and violent language of the street which mirrors the blood-soaked plot. The format of the story is unconventional. The plot description and the character's dialogue is laid out in individual lines of text rather than paragraphs or blocks. Somehow the format makes this story easier to read. The descriptions of Ashok's hard life are raw yet artistic. Be prepared for anything in Vimal Vaz's Kiss of Karma.