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Aru Shah and the End of Time (2019)

by Roshani Chokshi

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: The Pandava Quintet (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
7142323,672 (3.92)11
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?… (more)
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» See also 11 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 23 (next | show all)
This was an okay read. I will say that I expected much more due to the high praise from Rick Riordan, but unfortunately it just didn't live up to the Percy Jackson series. While I really did enjoy the introduction to Hindu culture and mythology, a lot of the dialogue was cheesy and geared towards much younger readers. This is a fun tale full of positive moral lessons, but it struggles to hold its own outside of the children's library. ( )
  AshleyHope | Mar 18, 2021 |
This was an okay read. I will say that I expected much more due to the high praise from Rick Riordan, but unfortunately it just didn't live up to the Percy Jackson series. While I really did enjoy the introduction to Hindu culture and mythology, a lot of the dialogue was cheesy and geared towards much younger readers. This is a fun tale full of positive moral lessons, but it struggles to hold its own outside of the children's library. ( )
  AshleyHope | Mar 18, 2021 |
"Aru Shah of Atlanta, Georgia, is a seventh-grader and social misfit.

While her classmates jet set around the world, Aru spends her holidays at home with her curator mother in the Museum of Ancient Indian Art and Culture. But one day, three of Aru’s classmates show up at her doorstep and dare her to light the cursed Lamp of Bharata. When Aru lights the lamp, she releases the Sleeper from his slumber and must—with the help of her newly found soul sister, Mini, and their pigeon sidekick, Subala, or “Boo”—go on a quest to stop the Sleeper from awakening the Lord of Destruction, who will, in turn, end the world. Aru and Mini’s adventures range from discovering that they are the reincarnations of the Pandava brothers (demigods and the protagonists of the Hindu epic poem the Mahabharata) to slaying demons and shopping at the Night Bazaar (effectively disguised as Costco). In her middle-grade debut, Chokshi (The Star-Touched Queen, 2016, etc.) spins a fantastical narrative that seamlessly intertwines Hindu cosmology and folklore, feminism, and witty dialogue for an uproarious novel for young readers. For readers of Indian origin, especially, the novel presents a culture that is not often seen—or accurately represented—in mainstream children’s and young adult literature.

Chokshi comes into her own in this novel, reminding readers of the power of language and of stories. (Fantasy. 8-12)" From Kirkus, www.kirkusreviews.com
  CDJLibrary | Jan 4, 2021 |
I enjoy books that teach me stuff. Aru Shah and the End of Time is a middle school book about Indian mythology. The truth is I didn't know anything about Indian mythology, and I believe through text for a younger audience, and you learn thing easier. When I started this book, I thought I would finish it fast, and I believed it would like the Percy Jackson books that I devoured them pretty quickly. The truth is it took a long time than I anticipated, but it was an interesting one. This book is another way to teach mythology and learn about other cultures. There a couple of quotes I liked and put my new book darts on the pages to remember them. I will give this book to my neighbors that I think will also enjoy the book. ( )
  AvigailRGRIL | Nov 4, 2020 |
This was fun! I feel fully confident that, not having read any Rick Riordan novels and only seeing quotes on Tumblr, that if you like Percy Jackson, you’ll like this. There’s a lot of humour and sass, a fast plot, a character who doesn’t really fit in and has to learn to see her strengths, and, in general, a lot of zaniness and mythology. Plus, because Aru’s an Indian kid in Georgia, there’s plenty of “not fitting in” moments, many of which make me want to hug her and/or cheer her on. (Also Mini, who joins in the quest.)

That said, I’m not the target audience, by about 20 years. For all it’s engaging and interesting, I found some of the plot and setting too fast, too simple, or too wacky, and I have a hunch there was an editing pass or a formula to make it read more like Riordan. Not necessarily a bad thing, any of that, because it should hook kids and all, but it wasn’t quite for me.

There is depth, though. Aru has to come to terms with her mom’s parenting, Mini’s struggling with anxiety, they both have to learn confidence and friendship and teamwork, and there are other hurdles and issues spread through the book as well. And a queer character (and another queer-coded), though no queer humans.

All in all, I probably won’t go on with the series. I’ve probably got enough of a bead on it to rec it at work and there are so many other books in the world. I do rec it, though, for Riordan fans and people who want to see more diversity in kids’ fantasy.

Warnings: Anti-Indian micro-aggressions, but, like, for ten-year-olds. Neglectful parenting. Villain who does the “nobody ever loved you” schtick.

7/10 ( )
  NinjaMuse | Jul 26, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 23 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (12 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Roshani Chokshiprimary authorall editionscalculated
Nankani, SoneelaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Riordan, RickIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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The problem with growing up around highly dangerous things is that after a while you just get used to them.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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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?

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