About My Book Reviews

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Aru Shah and the End of Time by Roshani Chokshi


Series: Pandava Quartet (Book 1)

Title: Aru Shah and the End of Time

Author: Roshani Chokshi

Published: 2018

Genre: Fantasy / Mythology

Grade Level: 3rd – 5th

Blurb (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.

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. 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?


My Scores:

Writing Style: Top Notch

The writing is to die for! It's so whimsical, witty, and wonderful! I love how (in classic Disney style) the author threw in references that only adults would understand and complex messages that anyone can learn from.

It's told entirely from the POV of the MC and her internal dialogue is hilarious, refreshing, and engaging.

The dialogue is well-crafted to suit each character and yet still retained a quality of humor. It was so easy to get lost in the childhood persona that I think I actually found myself laughing out loud, which felt so good. I need a little humor in my life right about now!

However, be warned, this book forced me to picture so many different things that it actually felt like a workout for my imagination (which I believe the author would take as a compliment).

Characters: Fully Developed

Our MC, Aru Shah, is an absolute joy to meet. She is hilarious, flawed, and completely unique. She is also a very realistic character; I have met several people with similar personalities or similar struggles. I love how her character developed through the story so much that I became rather attached to this character.

Then there’s the villain! Oh my gosh, I want to know so much more about the villain! He's creepy, well-crafted, complex, and caused a mess of emotions for the reader. So many lessons are tied to his relationships with the other characters, and it's lovely to watch unfold.

However, the MC’s sidekick, Mini, doesn't feel quite as unique. She feels like just another version of a germophobic/skittish character. I will say that she and Aru made for some funny dialogue though.

The mentor character, lovingly nicknamed Boo, also feels underdeveloped. I should have had more of an emotional attachment to him or at least more concern for his well-being but, honestly, I was fine with or without him. Although, again, his dialogue is fun to read.

Plot: Enjoyable

Overall, the plot is an enjoyable ride. I actually found myself very curious to know the ending and how our heroines would fair against the dark forces. However, the plot is far from perfect.

The pacing felt a bit too fast for me at times, which I know sounds crazy since the book is just under 350 pages. There's just so much going on, so many changes in setting, so many different descriptions, so many different terms (for your own good USE THE GLOSSARY!!) that it just got to be a bit overwhelming. I would bet that if it were done right this story would probably make for a better movie than novel.

I also wish that I had been a developmental editor for this book because there were a few inconsistencies. However, I hesitate to point them out and potentially ruin the book for other fans who didn’t happen to notice them.


Overall: Enjoyable

Overall, I had a lot of fun with this book! It was full of humor, wisdom, and child-like wonder. The MC and the villain were wonderful characters and I have a vested interest in knowing how they are going to fair in the next book. The plot wasn’t perfect, but for me it’s still an excellent read.

Extra thoughts: This was a complete cover buy. Have you seen this cover? It’s absolutely stunning! Also, it’s nice that other ethnicities are now being featured as MC’s rather than side characters.



Sometimes it isn’t failure to fail.


Goodreads Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

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