{Leah Reviews} Aru Shah and the End of Time by Roshani Chokshi

Posted June 11, 2018 by Leah in Reviews / 7 Comments

{Leah Reviews} Aru Shah and the End of Time by Roshani Chokshi

Aru Shah and the End of Time (Pandava Quartet, #1)


by Roshani Chokshi
Pages: 355
Published on March 27, 2018
by Rick Riordan Presents
Genres: Action & Adventure, Fantasy, Middle Grade, Mythology
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased
Amazon | B&N | Goodreads

Also by this author: The Star-Touched Queen, A Crown of Wishes, The Gilded Wolves (The Gilded Wolves, #1)

Twelve-year-old Aru Shah has a tendency to stretch the truth in order to fit in at school. While her classmates are jetting off to family vacations in exotic locales, she'll be spending her autumn break at home, in the Museum of Ancient Indian Art and Culture, waiting for her mom to return from her latest archeological trip. Is it any wonder that Aru makes up stories about being royalty, traveling to Paris, and having a chauffeur?

One day, three schoolmates show up at Aru's doorstep to catch her in a lie. They don't believe her claim that the museum's Lamp of Bharata is cursed, and they dare Aru to prove it. Just a quick light, Aru thinks. Then she can get herself out of this mess and never ever fib again.

But lighting the lamp has dire consequences. She unwittingly frees the Sleeper, an ancient demon whose duty it is to awaken the God of Destruction. Her classmates and beloved mother are frozen in time, and it's up to Aru to save them.

The only way to stop the demon is to find the reincarnations of the five legendary Pandava brothers, protagonists of the Hindu epic poem, the Mahabharata, and journey through the Kingdom of Death. But how is one girl in Spider-Man pajamas supposed to do all that?

3.5 Stars

Since hearing about Rick Riordan’s new publishing line, featuring mythologies not often written about by authors who know them best, I’ve been beyond excited. Roshani Chokshi (of Star-Touched Queen popularity) kicks it off with Aru Shah and the End of Time, a blend of Indian myth and adventure featuring a girl in Spider-Man pajamas.

Chokshi writes Aru authentically. Aru feels like a kid. She does things most kids do (I used to do that whole “Mom, don’t say anything if you can take me to get ice cream” thing too, with minimal success). She is a spunky, funny main character, known for telling stories (lying) to save face. She wants to fit in with classmates who look down on her. But nothing could prepare her for the literal pausing of and possible end of time itself. Lucky for her, a talking pigeon–who is awesome and I couldn’t get enough of–enters the scene and whisks her and her new friend Mini off on an adventure.

Inspired by the Mahabharata, Aru’s quest is the hero’s journey that’s accessible for everyone. The mythology is expertly woven into the Hero’s Journey. I’m not very familiar with Indian myth, so seeing the gods and the worlds brought to life was incredible.

Aru’s of course shocked about finding her destiny, but she knows what has to be done. There are times she doubts herself, but what person wouldn’t start wondering if they’re the right person for the job? Mini is more cautious, timid about everything. As they outsmart demons and visit mythical places–one of which is the Night Bazaar (I think) from The Star-Touched Queen, they grow together and find their inner strength. Watching them find this power is a major Girl Power moment. And Boo the pigeon…he is the grumpy, secretive mentor that of course has and a good heart. Boo forever!

I do think the resolution of Aru’s conflict with her classmates was a little too neat and tidy. Also, I’ve heard many comparisons to Rick Riodan’s Percy Jackson series; I haven’t read Percy Jackson (yet ;)), so I can’t compare my experience reading this to that series. This is something future readers might consider if they have. But I really enjoyed the journey and can’t wait to see what happens next.

Leah

About Roshani Chokshi

Roshani Chokshi comes from a small town in Georgia where she collected a Southern accent, but does not use it unless under duress. She grew up in a blue house with a perpetually napping bear-dog. At Emory University, she dabbled with journalism, attended some classes in pajamas, forgot to buy winter boots and majored in 14th century British literature. She spent a year after graduation working and traveling and writing. After that, she started law school at the University of Georgia where she’s learning a new kind of storytelling. The Star-Touched Queen is her first novel.

Leah

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7 responses to “{Leah Reviews} Aru Shah and the End of Time by Roshani Chokshi

    • Leah

      It’s alright. 🙂 There are lots of things I really liked about the book, and I’ll definitely read the next one. Hope you enjoy it, too!

    • Leah

      Yes, his publishing house has some excellent-sounding titles coming out. The next one is slated for fall of this year.

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