Aru Shah and the End of Time by Roshani Chokshi
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?
There was never a time I didn’t like this book.
The main (and title) character – Aru Shah – starts out as a typical teenager. She’s got some attitude, crankiness, and smart-alec-edness. However, you can tell she does not mean any true harm. She grows and learns throughout the book, while overcoming some very un-typical adventures.
I absolutely loved the Hindu mythology introduced and presented throughout the book. Having studied Greek, Roman, and (some) Egyptian mythology throughout my life, I am thrilled for this creative and fun dive into another culture and religion.
Chapter 28 – The Palace’s Story
In chapter 25 we are introduced to a new, unusual character. After a small quest performed by Aru and Mini, the character offers up the full story of who they are, why they are upset, and how happy they currently are. To sum up – the Palace of Illusions has some very strong emotions, one being love.
The Final Verdict
My rating: 4.5 stars
Would I recommend? Yes
The second book in this series is available for pre-order: