Aru Shah and the End of Time by Roshani Chokshi is a beautifully written, fast-paced introduction to a brand new series from Rick Riordan Presents. The fact that this book features a strong female character is one of the reasons I was drawn to this text.
For fans of Riordan and Neil Gaiman, Aru Shah and the End of Time is the perfect text in a long line of modernized mythology stories. I love learning about various cultures, in fact, I’m probably one of the few people who enjoy reading epic text like Mahabharata. I fell in love with the text after reading the Bhagavad Gita in high school.
But I digress…
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?
My review of Aru Shah and the End of Time
What can I say about this book except that I love it? Aru Shah and the End of Time is a wonderful fantasy book featuring Indian characters. The plot also weaves in Hindu mythology; as a mythology lover, I was immediately drawn to the book and its plot.
The pacing of the story is perfect. There are very few times where I’ve felt an author kept the pace going at a steady rate, Chokshi does an amazing job with this. The main character Aru is a perfectly imperfect heroine that readers will be able to quickly identify with. The journey Aru embarks one is one filled with twists, turns and lots of satirical humor! The best thing about all the characters is how believable they are. They are not perfect, and that is why I was so drawn to them upon my initial reading.
Chokshi’s use of world-building and imaginative writing helps set the stage for a wonderful action-packed adventure story. This is the perfect book to start the series and I can’t believe I have to wait a full year before book two is released. Much like my review for Children of Blood and Bone, my hope is that Aru Shah and the End of Time ignites more mainstream books centered around Hindu mythology.
I’m ashamed to say I’ve never read a Rick Riordan book in my life, but my niece tells me it’s the greatest set of books in existence. If that’s the case, I can see why he chose to publish this book.
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