In Aru Shah and the End of Time, 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? (via Goodreads)
I received an ARC of Aru Shah and the End of Time from publisher Rick Riordan Presents in exchange for an honest review.
Aru Shah and the End of Time is the first book in the brand new Rick Riordan Presents imprint of Disney, and it is a perfect blend of Chokshi’s other works and the tone of the Percy Jackson and Kane Chronicles books.
Aru is definitely a flawed heroine. Her flaws are the traits that really drew me into the story. She’s desperate to fit in with her classmates, which leads her to lie — a lot. She tries really hard to be good and honest, but it doesn’t always work for her. In fact, it often backfires.
Chokshi’s writing stands out to me every time I open one of her books because it is lush and stunning. It feels like there’s not even a single word out of place. This is just one example.
She found a place deep within her that had been hidden until now. It was a place of silence that seemed deafening. It was a feeling of narrowness turned vast, as if she could hide small worlds within her. This was what escape was: discovering a part of herself that no one else could find.
I cannot wait to see what comes next for Aru, Mini, and the other Pandava sisters. I love them the two that we’ve met so far already, and I’m intrigued by the rest!
Aru Shah and the End of Time is also a good companion to the recently released The Serpent’s Secret by Sayantani Dasgupta, which I reviewed on Culturess. I’m also definitely looking forward to reading the other books from this imprint, including J.C. Cervantes’ The Storm Runner, which is out in September.