Privilege by Bharat Krishnan Review (WP Trilogy #1)

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Genre: Mysteries/Thrillers (Political)

Age: Adult

My rating: 4/5 stars

Originally posted on Goodreads November 17, 2020

Content and Trigger Warnings: LGBT+ characters, Police Brutality and Profiling, Drug Use

Thank you Bharat Krishnan, Shealea, and Caffeine Book Tours for giving me an eARC in exchange for my honest review!

This Desi Own Voices work touches on relevant topics that affect all racial minorities today, such as economic inequity, illegal drug use to gatekeep minorities, and the delicate balance Asians – especially South Asians – face as a member of the U.S. Census Bureau’s minority category but simultaneously known as the most privileged. We follow Rakshan as he tries to achieve the American Dream through his corrupt boss Aditya Shetty and the obstacles rich Whites use to gatekeep minorites through WP – a fictional drug similar to Crack. This drug is only available to rich Whites but minorities can own some by connecting (often illegally) with said Whites, thus giving them a shot at climbing up the economic ladder. Certain politicians try to persuade the government to legalize it but there’s opposition from lobbyists, other politicians, and – you guessed it – Whites. After Rakshan is unjustly fired by Aditya, he and his friends decide to tackle the discrimination they face by planning an elaborate heist to take down Aditya while obtaining enough WP to boost their status. What ensues are hilarious obstacles and a serious delve into the ethical and moral reasons to legalize WP.

Krishnan does an excellent job incorporating fictional elements that are similar to real life events: fictional WP, its side effects, and the fight to legalize it = U.S. government’s real life scenario regarding legalizing Weed; Connections to move up in one’s career or avoiding jail = the rich using connections to do the same in real life. Police brutality between cops and Blacks are also covered, as well as the yearning by Americans to have someone who will seriously represent them through the public’s yearning for Indigenous Senator Joseph Begaye to run for president. The writing keeps you engrossed with the right mix of politics and sci fi, and I could empathize with Rakshan, Sadiya (Rakshan’ girlfriend), Rakshan’s friends, and Aditya – whose more of an anti hero than villain.

The only con I’ll say is Sadiya’s refusal to marry Rakshan is underdeveloped. I don’t get why she didn’t break up with him a long time ago if she knew she nor her parents didn’t love him.

Overall this is a great start to the WP Trilogy; I look forward to the second one!

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