Book Reviews

review; aru shah and the end of time

Title: Aru Shah And The End Of Time
Series: The Pandeva Quartet
Author: Roshani Chokshi
Genre: Middle Grade, fantasy
Type: E-book
Publisher: Rick Riordan Presents

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 have been wanting to read this series since I first heard about it. And I finally managed to get a copy, and honestly I loved it so much. I started it after my daughter fell asleep and I was done less than four hours later because I kept telling myself, ‘one more chapter’. It was just so good, I couldn’t put it down.

It would have been a dream to have this book growing up. A character that resembled me in the way she did not feel like she belonged – too Indian for her classmates and not Indian enough for other Indians. So proud of her heritage and her culture except when her classmates sneers came out. It was a study of diaspora and how one can come to terms with it.

Aru was not a perfect person by any means – insecure and reckless in parts – but she cared, and she was strong and she was loyal. Mini was neurotic and insecure as well, but she had an inner bravery that shone, especially when she and Aru were together. I loved them very much, and I cannot wait to see them grow over the next few books.

I loved the way the myths were woven together and told, and how the worlds were built, and I cannot wait to read the sequel. Especially considering that one twist I expected followed by one I did not. I’m very excited to read book two soon!

I’m Ara, a Southeast Asian writer who someday hopes to have published a novel, and who is currently losing herself in the worlds created by others. I love books and food and television and blogging and I get distracted and sidetracked easily.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *