Back Cover Summary:
It is 1988 as Dr. Paul Karan prepares to travel from Trinidad to Washington, DC, for a job interview. After he boards the plane, Paul senses something is amiss but settles in for the long flight. When a man seated next to him clutches his chest, Paul tends to him as the plane reroutes to Caracas. But what Paul does not know is that fate has just intervened and transformed his life forever.
When the plane lands, uniformed officers wrongly arrest Paul for smuggling drugs. Although he denies involvement, Paul is interrogated and thrown into prison. After he is slowly tortured, Paul is offered a deal to treat AIDS patients by day and supply the drugs that contribute to their decline by night. As he ascends to become a cartel leader, his double life becomes unbearable. Can he and his family escape alive or will his past return to haunt him?
The Undercurrent is the thrilling tale of a doctor’s quest to reject his new and unwanted destiny as a drug smuggler.
T.A. Sankar was born in Guyana and graduated from medical school at age twenty-two. He is an infectious disease physician who worked for many years in public health and HIV/AIDS. Dr. Sankar resides with his family in suburban Maryland where he enjoys astronomy, cricket, tennis, and bowling.
“Captivating story from the very first page. The author weaves HIV and cartel life into a dynamic story, where you can easily get pulled into 'The Undercurrent’” – HFH, Kentucky “Read it in 2 days and ready to read it again” – BPA, Washington DC “Loved the book. Yes and can’t wait for others” – JN, New York “Finished the book on Monday. Really liked it. I don’t think I've read anything that fast in a while but it really keep my interested” – RB, Toronto “Just finished my friend's book, "The Undercurrent". It was the first non-technical book I've read in a long time and I loved it. It makes me want to start reading for pleasure again”- SM, Maryland “Captivating. Once I started, I couldn't put it down. I live in the D.C. area and the entire place became alive with the author's vivid description. The parts with HIV patients tugs at your heartstrings. Highly recommend!” – TGS “Loving the book. You have me hooked! It is a beautiful culmination of you and your experiences. Very thoughtful and thought provoking!” – Tessie “My mom read the book first and she really enjoyed it. Thank you again” – DB
In this continuation of the 2885 Sci Fi series, the setting moved to our Solar System. The Alliance of Advanced Nations had monitored Earth from a distance. But Earth could no longer be ignored. Their fledgling technological abilities was maturing with each passing year. The time had come for them to get incorporated. The General Council knew they may not come willingly. The use of force, as necessary, was authorized. From the moons of Jupiter to the skies above Earth, the battleships of the Alliance were dominant. How can Xander and company help to save his home when military force was not a realistic option?
When Arielle, Jelina and Mondeus go to sleep on the barren, empty world of Valera, they think they are just along for the ride as Xander works on a biology experiment. But they awake in a splendid underwater civilization hundreds of years old, as the special guests of the royal palace. Meanwhile, Xander is held captive by the beautiful Queen Calithea and desperately tries to prove to her that he is not an enemy spy. Where are his friends, and why don’t they remember coming to Valera with him? As his relationship with Calithea gets complicated, Xander realizes he and his friends are in the wrong place at the wrong time. Valera is about to be invaded by a vengeful force with monstrous battleships—and their main line of defense is a computer network controlled by children. Are Xander and his friends doomed to sink beneath the sea with the rest of the Valerans?
Autographed copies - contact T.A. Sankar
Book II: Kaluptan Quest - 2884
Back Cover Summary:
In the summer of 2884, Xander, Jelina, and friends Mondeus and Arielle travel to a far sector of the galaxy on a seemingly benign visit to their friend Hadik in the ultra-advanced Gadoran system. But the four teenagers have another goal in mind—to find answers about Xander and Jelina’s mother Marianna, who disappeared in this part of the galaxy over 10 years ago. Xander and his friends are pulled into the repressive and totalitarian world of Kalupta, where they quickly realize that their search—and they themselves—are not welcome. Meanwhile, on a desolate prison asteroid, Marianna Villanova and her crew struggle to cope with confinement and the undeniable fact that no one has ever left the prison alive. Xander and his friends slowly unravel the truth: that Marianna’s disappearance is linked to a rebel group in ways they never suspected, that the loss of their mother is traumatic event from which they never truly recovered, and that it may take no less than a military showdown for them to ever see their mother again.
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Back Cover Summary:
Captain Xander Villanova, sweet and caring Jelina, bubbly Arielle and the young but gifted Mondeus set off on a vacation in the vivid world of 2884. In their Pelican 25 spacecraft they travel beyond the outer reaches of the solar system, stopping for a sightseeing trip at Saturn’s rings and the massive Central Station orbiting Neptune. Soon they reach the Ixodia system and the tropical paradise of Aqualon. But on a camping trip, the Pelican 25 suddenly disappears and the four teenagers are left stranded on Riad, an uninhabited moon. A quest to be rescued soon changes to a battle for survival as things take a turn for the worse, testing their character, mental fortitude and inner strength. Their search for the Pelican 25 leads to a stunning discovery of a past shipwreck, unprecedented adventures, and the lesson that all people have more in common than we ever thought.
Valeran Venture: Prologue
“Don’t leave us father. Please don’t leave us,” Ruan implored tearfully.
“The time has come,” Ruan’s father whispered, almost inaudibly.
“No, no!” Ruan replied adamantly. “NO!”
“Don’t be afraid son. The doctors did all they could. But the cancer in my brain won’t go away,” his father said softly.
“Just take the medicines and it will go away,” Ruan insisted.
He did not know how to explain that he had already stopped taking the medicines. For more than a week now. Just behind Ruan, he saw his wife holding the hand of their younger son, Rajan, tightly as they looked on in earnest. The scene in their living room unfolded in front of him as if he was half-asleep. It must be the pain pills, he thought. But he desperately wanted to have this last conversation with his son.
He knew his wife was scared. But to her credit she did not take Rajan away. Nor did she interrupt Ruan. He was five now and had known about his father’s illness for almost a year. Rajan was too young to understand and they had not gone into any details with him. But Rajan too knew that his father was sick. He closed his eyes momentarily and felt more than heard his wife rushing over to him. She squeezed his hands. It felt comforting. Ruan was still staring at him, waiting for a response. He summoned all his energies and opened his eyes one more time.
“The medicines don’t work anymore Ruan,” he said tenderly.
Ruan stared at him. Trying to digest what he just heard. But words wouldn’t come to him.
“I want you to take care of Rajan and your mother.”
Still no response from Ruan.
“You heard me Ruan?” His father’s voice was fading despite his efforts.
“Yes father. But who will help me if you are not here?”
“Uncle Danel will,” he reassured.
“When I grow up, I will become a super-doctor and make medicines that will save you.”
“I do not have that much time Ruan.” He smiled thinly.
“Just wait a bit longer,” Ruan pleaded.
“I can’t Ruan,” he said haltingly. “But one day when you grow up … you will save the entire Valera.”
“I will. I promise,” Ruan said firmly, with a solemn-looking face.
He saw his father closing his eyes again. The smile was still on his face. He heard the sobbing over his right shoulder. He turned and looked at his mother and broke into uncontrollable tears himself. Rajan joined in. Even without realizing the full truth.
Ixodia Escape: Prologue
The year was 435.027 and in three days time, schools all over the populated System would be on break for the next month.
Actually by the calendar of the Originals – it was January 27th, 2884 as they preferred to count time in the Old Earth’s calendar. Both the Lunites, people native to the moon, and the Voyagers, those who lived in Space Stations prefer to use the New Calendar. They used the last day on Earth – December 31st 2448 as the end of Weapons Age and January 1st, 2449 as Day one of the new time period. It was that day, that mass exodus from Earth took place. It was that day that the population of Space Stations and the moon grew one hundred fold. And it was the previous day that more than ninety percent of the Earth’s population perished.
The new time period had ushered in changes that were unthinkable in the 25th century. They were well into the fifth century now. Mars was populated by both Lunites and Voyagers. They lived relatively peacefully as they shared resources based on numerous treaties that rarely needed enforcement in recent times. Over the last 100 years, almost all children from the System beyond the age of eight went to school on Earth as it had the benefit of resources that neither the Lunites nor Voyagers possessed. In the last 50 years or so, it was strongly encouraged, though not mandatory, that all classes had a mixture of Lunites, Voyagers and Originals.
It was about one and one half years ago, seemingly like an eternity, since Xander, Jelina, Arielle and Mondeus met on their first day of school in that ever expanding beautiful Caribbean Island that hosted the Plato system of schools. It seemed as if it were a random event, as classes were in groups of eight, usually four Originals and any combination of Lunites and Voyagers. The well supervised system of assignment by a central computer was pretty much final with parameters of eight students per class every two years, at least four Originals and equal amount of boys and girls. Xander and Jelina were siblings and hence the formula was slightly altered – not an unusual request from Lunites or Voyagers at the time who wanted to keep families members together as far as possible. After their first few months of school they always went on vacation together. The anticipation of their third long break coming up soon made it very difficult to concentrate on the final days of testing. School year 15A was coming to a close for them, 16A for Xander.
The reason for their unusual excitement was very simple. For the first time they would be able to leave the system without an accompanying adult. They were going to the Ixodia system for vacation. Xander, who was now 16, had just obtained his spaceship license. He could be accompanied by up to five people over the age of 14 in a craft providing that he reported to Central Station every forty eight hours during travel. Jelina and Arielle were both 15. Mondeus, a genius of sorts, was almost 15 but not quite. Still he was well beyond 14 and as such they could all go away for an entire three weeks together before going home for another week. Then it would be back to school, for year 15B.
T.A. Sankar is an Infectious Diseases Physician who has worked for many years in Public Health and HIV/AIDS. He was born in Guyana. He graduated from Medical School at age 22. His hobbies include astronomy, cricket, tennis and bowling. He currently lives in suburban Maryland with his family.
From Caribbean Medical Journal – December 2010
Taking it Easy
Dr S. Sankar “2884 - Ixodia Escape”
Dr S. Sankar writing under the pseudonym “T.A. Sankar” has written an impressive first venture into the literary world, “2884- Ixodia Escape”.
Dr Sankar is a native of Guyana who attended Medical School at the University of the West Indies (Class of 1985). After doing his Internship in San Fernando General Hospital, he proceeded to Howard University to do a Residency in Internal Medicine then to Georgetown University to do a Fellowship in Infectious Diseases. He remains an avid cricket fan and has excelled in ten-pin bowling.
He is a practicing Infectious Diseases Physician based in Washington D.C., and lives in Maryland with his wife, Tara and their three children.
“2884- Ixodia Escape” is aimed at teen readers and the blurb on the cover tells the story.
“Captain Xander Villanova, sweet caring Jelina, bubbly Arielle and the young but gifted Mondeus set off on a vacation in the vivid world of 2884. In their Pelican 25 spacecraft they travel beyond the outer reaches of the solar system, stopping for a sightseeing trip at Saturn’s rings and the massive Central Station orbiting Neptune. Soon they reach the Ixodia System and the tropical paradise of Aqualon. But on a camping trip, the Pelican25 suddenly disappears and the four teenagers are left stranded on Riad, an uninhabited moon. A quest to be rescued soon changes to a battle of survival as things take a turn for the worse, testing their character, mental fortitude and inner strength. Their search for the Pelican 25 leads to a stunning discovery of a past shipwreck, unprecedented adventures, and the lesson that all people have more in common than we ever thought.”
“What could possibly go wrong on a trip on this moon? No one lived here. The Pelican 25 was parked in a safe place. They had adequate supplies. They had mobile devices with them and communication to the inhabited moons. Many visitors have come to this moon before. Mondeus would be wrong this time. He was just annoying and perhaps even showing a tantrum. They were on the verge of telling him to snap out of his gloomy and pessimistic mood.
Both days and nights so far, on Riad, had been pleasant enough. If anything, they were uneventful. After the camping trip on the first night on Riad, they had returned to the ship for a couple of hours, picked up supplies and had gone exploring again. They explored a few caves. One had an underground stream and another had an unusual moss growing on its walls. It did not seem to require sunlight to flourish. There was a lot of chatting and idle banter. Nothing out of the ordinary. Mondeus participated but seemed reluctant and often detached. On the second afternoon of this second overnight trip, they made their way back to the ship. Moving at a comfortable pace, they would get there before sundown. Mondeus was still uneasy. As they were within a few hundred meters of the ship and had the safest trip possible, Xander concluded that Mondeus was mistaken. This time, anyway. Still, overall, he was right more often than not. They had left the Pelican 25 just around the next hill. It was sandy terrain with not much shrubbery to hide it from their view.
As they turned the corner from behind the hill, they all gasped. Stopped suddenly in their tracks and gaped. They stared and stared.
Rubbed their eyes and stared again. Surely they must have taken a wrong turn. They must have lost their sense of direction. The ship was missing!
Completely missing. Vanished into thin air. As if it was never present. Xander was the first to react. He tried to radio contact the ship. No response. He did not seem shocked but he was. He wanted to give the appearance of calm. So he tried again. Again, no response.”
“2884 – Ixodia Escape” was published by PublishAmerica. ISBN: 978-1607494119. It is available on Amazon.com and PublishAmerica.com. Author’s website is tasankar.com. Dr Sankar has just completed the sequel to this book, 2884 – Kaluptan Quest.
Valeran Venture - Action-packed
The action-packed third novel of the 2884 series: Valeran Venture, does not disappoint as Xander and company becomes entangled in the politics and war of a world desperately fighting for its independence against technologically superior conquerors. T.A. Sankar unfolds a suspenseful, epic battle against all odds, with a group of child prodigies struggling to defend their home from a fleet of powerful battleships using just their mind power to control computerized missiles. Yet the fight remains deeply personal, propelled by a few strong personalities: the beautiful, fiercely independent girl-queen Calithea, the orphaned hero Ruan, and the maniacal, power-hungry Commander Voltar. Readers will be captivated by the story of an underdog world fighting to remain free, and engrossed by the power dynamics developed among these unforgettable characters. From military officials plotting to undermine one another to the heroic Captains Kris and Yudis grappling with the morality of war to Xander’s ill-fated romance with Calithea, Valeran Venture is a gripping, multilayered story that explores power and conflict from the scale of the galactic to the level of the individual.
Kaluptan Quest - highly recommended.
With the sequel to "2884-Ixodia Escape" T.A. Sankar shows that he has matured and grown as an author. "Kaluptan Quest" shows the same thoughtful, substantive writing as "Ixodia Escape" with more complex and fully-fleshed themes and characters. Readers will identify with the plight of the compassionate medic Amelia, the tough life of Marianna and her crew in captivity, and of course the emotions of Xander and Jelina as they try to come to terms with the loss of their mother when they were young children. T.A. Sankar's Sci-Fi imagination continues to impress with the images of massive space stations, interstellar travel, and the devastating proton storms and solar flares of the aging Kaluptan sun. He also develops the futuristic authoritarian society of Kalupta where citizens like Keeva struggle against military repression, like many societies in the world today. "Kaluptan Quest" is much more than a typical sci-fi story that relies on "flashes and bangs" and action. It is a very human story about loss, perseverance, and the longing to have a complete family. Good reading for young adults and sophisticated enough for adult readers.
Kaluptan Quest - Search and rescue on a distant planet.
Xander and Jelina want answers to their mother's decade-long disappearance and set out on a journey to either find her or put to rest forever the possibility that she is alive, for their sake and their father's. This is the adventure T.A. Sankar takes us on in his sequel Kaluptan Quest 2884. What makes this story all the more interesting is that it's a search and rescue reaching to a distant planet in a far galaxy in the 29th century, with the teenagers just home from their own rescue, which was where Sankar left readers in his first book, Ixodia Escape. Meanwhile, Marianna, their mother, struggles to keep her and her crew's spirits and hope high for a rescue from a dreadful political prison severely lacking in medical care, located on a remote asteroid, where her captors are a part of a repressive, military-based government. There are courageous characters on both sides of the prison walls, a rebel group, and a high-ranking political friend who make for good drama in this teen and young adult futuristic tale.
Hey Dr. Sankar. I did read your book, and I really enjoyed it. I love the world you create, where humans not only inhabit the earth, but the moon, other planets, and in suspended animation. They operate vehicles which can travel millions of miles across the galaxy in less than a day. You also have teenagers working like full grown scientists, using every tool at their disposal to solve their problems, operating high tech machinery like it’s no problem—this world is so fascinating, and I kinda wish it existed. Your book was awesome. Hope more of them are on the way!
I just wanted to congratulate you on your awesome piece of work - Ixodia Escape. I finally got hold of a copy to read and I totally enjoyed it. Great job. I would love to see it portrayed in a movie, you never know, one day. I also heard you wrote a sequel. Well, keep on writing, your work is amazing! Loved the medical touch you added too... ingenious indeed.
Ixodia Escape and Kaluptan Quest
Hello from the Baltic!
Just want to tell you that I have a young man on board who has just started reading your second book....he really enjoyed the first one!
Librarian | M.S. ROTTERDAM - Baltic Sea
Ixodia Escape and Kaluptan Quest
My daughter has read both of your books. She loved them. I will look on Amazon for your third. Best of luck.
Ixodia Escape - a good read.
Ixodia Escape starts off slowly. However, during that time, the Author develops the characters very nicely so by the time the main plot starts, the reader can identify and feel for Xander, Jelina, Arielle and Mondeus as they go through their trials and tribulations. Once the adventure with the Gadorans begin however, it is difficult to put this book down! The author keeps the reader in suspense as to what is going to happen next and he brings the book to a pleasant emotional end.
This a very good first book and I could see this developing into a series for teenagers.
SJ - Trinidad
Quick and exciting... a good escape.
By W. Wong "WW design" (Silver Spring, MD USA)
Great job by the author. I read this exciting, and imaginative book in one sitting (couldn't put in down). Does the word "Escape" in the title mean "vacation " or "running from danger" or both?
Here are my observations:
Could there be a sequel to follow up on Hadik's offer to the Gadoran's System?
Again, congratulations and best of luck to the author.
WW, Silver Spring, Maryland
This unique and insightful novel presents thought-provoking issues and unusual depth that young adult readers can definitely benefit from in the form of a good adventure story. The psychology underlying each of the characters' stories and experiences is an excellent lesson for readers to think about, even while the characters are easy to relate to, especially the cheerful, outgoing Arielle and the sometimes grumpy, sometimes childish but gifted Mondeus; whom every reader will develop affection for by the end of the book.
The futuristic world is smattered with surprising but fascinating technological ideas (such as entire cities existing in space stations and colonization of the moon) that show much foresight about our world and seem to come so naturally to the story. They are further enriched by precise scientific and medical concepts and a wide, sophisticated vocabulary utilized by the author (another thing young readers can learn from!) But in addition to all of this, a solid and exciting storyline supports the book and the plight of the Alien race that the characters discover is simply a good science fiction story. Even non-young adult readers will likely enjoy this book; it's sophisticated enough for a reader of any age to like. Overall, I highly recommend this book for anyone who is looking for something interesting to read.
Ixodia Escape and Kaluptan Quest
You're an inspiration to young adults. Good job!