Sunday, March 4, 2018

Book Review: Aru Shah and the End of Time by Roshani Chokshi

Aru Shah and the End of Time 
by Roshani Chokshi
Series:  Pandava Quartet, Book 1
Publication Date: March 27, 2018 
by Rick Riordan Presents
Genre: Middle Grade, Fantasy
Pages: 368
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: eARC
Goodreads │Amazon │Kindle
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐1/2 (4.5/5 Stars)

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?

*I received the advanced reader's copy of this book from the publisher for review.  This does not affect my opinion or the content of my review.  All thoughts/opinions are my own.  This post contains affiliate links.  I am an Amazon affiliate and I may receive a small commission if you make a purchase through one of my links.

I've had the urge to read a lot of Middle Grade lately so when I saw an advanced reading copy of Aru Shah and the End of Time on NetGalley, I knew I had to read it. This book was so much fun to read! There was action, adventure, and lots of humor. I'm definitely glad I got the chance to read this book.

This is the first book I've read by Roshani Chokshi and I really enjoyed her writing.  I believe this is her first Middle Grade novel and now I really want to read her Young Adult books.  This story was exciting and action-packed from the beginning.  Aru Shah was such an interesting character and I loved reading from her perspective.  She was brave and imaginative, but she also longed to fit in at school and constantly wanted to impress her classmates (which is how she got into the whole mess with lighting a cursed lamp!).  Aru's insecurities led her to want to prove herself to her classmates and then chaos ensued.

I also really liked the other main characters in this book- Mini, who is Aru's hypochondriac sidekick, and Boo, a pigeon who is much more than he seems.  The banter between Aru, Mini, and Boo made me laugh a lot and I just think this was a really great trio of characters.  Of course, Mini could definitely get annoying at times, but I loved the sisterly bond between her and Aru.

Another thing I really enjoyed about this book was the Indian mythology throughout the story.  I learned so much about Indian mythology that I never knew, and it was just really fascinating and informative.  I think readers, especially younger readers, will really enjoy reading about the interesting characters from Indian mythology.

I definitely recommend this book, especially if you enjoy witty and strong female characters and action-packed plots.  I look forward to reading the next book in this awesome Middle Grade series.


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