Aru Shah and the End of Time
A Pandava Novel #1
By Roshani Chokshi
368 pages – ages 9+
Published by Rick Riordan Presents on March 27, 2018
Synopsis from Publisher- “Best-selling author Rick Riordan introduces this adventure by Roshani Chokshi about twelve-year-old Aru Shah, who 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?”
What I Thought- I really, really liked this book – Chokshi has a way of writing that explains the Hindu mythology simply and engages the imagination, all the while making us laugh. Chokshi takes a mythology that a majority of Americans are unfamiliar with and introduces them to the public in a wonderful manner; one thing that I think helps is that Aru is both informed and ignorant of some of the aspects of the mythological world and duties. Aru is a character that you can’t help but like, even if she is a wee bit of a pathological liar. Chokshi creates such a sense of empathy with the reader for Aru, as she only wants to be accepted and loved – which is hard for her, as there is a large wealth gap between her peers at school and the relationship with her mother is distant most of the time. We care for Aru. We want to see her succeed, be accepted and loved. We also don’t want to see the world be destroyed. The settings are really cool, with thorough descriptions that help us picture the scenes clearly. I really enjoyed learning about a mythology I do not know of, as well as reading a great story about fighting an evil demon bent on destruction. I cannot wait to read the next book!
I give this book five out of five bookworms!
Categories: Age 9+