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

May 12, 2018

“Memories are the grandest illusion of all.” ― Roshani Chokshi, Aru Shah and the End of Time

So, I’m back.

I know I haven’t blogged in a month or so and that is a bit unlike me. Well, that is a complete lie, I go through phases of not blogging once in a while… BUT NO LONGER! Hello, we’re back, let’s do this!

Aru Shah and the End of Time by Roshani Chokshi is everything you want in a middle grade mythology book. I grew up on Rick Riordan’s novels and I will never get over how much I love learning about all the different myths and legends from all walks of life. Riordan himself has created an imprint through Disney Publishing that will publish books from authors who wish to create stories around mythology and folklore and this one is the first up! The synopsis is as followed:

FROM GOODREADS: 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?

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Now, I am pretty well versed in Greek and Roman and even Norse mythology. But I have to admit I don’t know much when it comes to Hindu mythology, but now? I am fascinated. Truly, every story written within the novel is beautiful and colorful and I cannot wait for the next book and to research more on my own.

As for the story itself, I loved it. Aru is the type of character that you can’t help fall in love with. She is funny and strong willed and at times can be a little selfish, but it all comes together to haver her character grow. Her story reminded me a bit of Clary’s from The Mortal Instruments. All of Aru’s choices are because her mom is in trouble which then spearheads her desire to save the rest of the world as it becomes more and more dangerous. Alongside Aru is Mini, another Pandava who challenges Aru in a great way and I loved the bond that the two girls made throughout the story.

Destiny plays a large role in the book and over the course of the story both sisters really start to see how their own will play out. There are moments of wary and moments of clarity and each truly highlight the girls’ best traits.

Like most Middle Grade novels, this is an adventure that sucks you in page after page. You can escape through the wold of Hindu mythology and really get lost in the beautiful world that Chokshi creates. I was a bit wary of starting this book as I wanted to start to stray away from Middle Grade, but I so glad I decided to stick with it.

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The humor in this novel is light and a bit juvenile which is a happy change to some of the other books I was reading at the same time. After reading epic and dark chapters of A Game of Thrones it’s nice to be able to read a light and happy book. Now don’t get me wrong, there are moments of worry and danger throughout that adds to that adventurous feel as well.

Chokshi has created a world that I think more and more people are going to love to dive into. From the dynamic stories of Hindu mythology to the quirky characters, Chokshi has done it all. For fans of Riordan, this is a no-brainer of a read. Just pick it up and I know you will love it. It’s been a while since I read it and I am trying to remember all that I was thinking as I did, but I am drawing a blank…yikes. Anyways, I give this book 5 stars and hope you all will love it as much as I did!

Have you read Aru Shah and the End of Time? What did you think?

Happy Reading!

– Haley

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