Thursday, April 19, 2018

Audiobook review: Aru Shah and the End of Time by Roshani Chokshi

Book Summary
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?

Flo's Review
Quite simply: if you loved the Percy Jackson books, you'll love this one. I don't want to simplify it so much, but it read to me as an Indian Percy Jackson. Rick Riordan's books are fun -- and all the ones I've read follow the same general formula, with different heroes and gods changed out. This is not a bad thing. I adored both Percy Jackson series. I did notice the formula of Riordan's stories in this first Aru Shah book.

That being said, Roshani Chokshi's own style did come through. I loved The Star-Touched Queen and A Crown of Wishes because of the richness of the imagery, and we see the same beautiful descriptions in Aru Shah. Minnie and Aru made a great team, though I did miss the romantic tension that comes with having leads who are romantically attracted to each other. However, this is a middle grade book, and I think the intended audience will not miss that element like I did.

I listened to this audiobook and felt that the reader did a good job in making us feel like were in the story, and not just listening to it.

Related Reviews
The Star-Touched Queen: 

A Crown of Wishes:

Rick Riordan Author Event:

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