Title: Aru Shah and the End of TIme
Author: Roshani Chokshi
Aru Shah is a bit of a liar, but with good reason: she needs to lie in order to fit in with the kids of her exclusive private school. However, one day, three of her classmates come to her home, which happens to be the Museum of Ancient Indian Art and Culture, in order to catch her in a lie. Trying to impress them, she shows them an ancient lamp which holds a terrible curse: once lit, it will free the Sleeper who will awaken the God of Destruction and destroy the world. When her classmates don’t believe her, the only choice Aru has is to light the lamp, right?
Now, Aru must join forces with a girl named Mini and a guardian called Boo to stop the Sleeper from bringing about the destruction of the world.
This book was really fun to read. It’s the first in the series, and I am excited to read the next. Having only read a handful of stories about Indian deities, this was a good introduction to gods, goddesses, and heroes I’d never heard of. The world was richly imagined with gorgeous imagery.
I liked that the main characters were both girls. They worked well together and were both well characterized with their own idiosyncrasies that made them feel real. I also appreciated how confident Aru was. She had high self-esteem and thought highly of herself while still being aware of her flaws. It was refreshing to read.
I have to give a special shout out to Mini, whom I absolutely adored. She’s neurotic and worried about doing everything the right way, even when the rules are rather nebulous. I highly relate to that. I like how she tries to be over prepared and that she has a plethora of odd facts at her disposal. As much as I liked Aru, I think Mini is my favorite just because I related to her so, so much.
I also liked the Sleeper. I have to admit that I don’t usually care for antagonists in middle grade stories because they always seem fairly one dimensional. The Sleeper was complex and well realized. I was interested in his story and wanted to know more. He was more than a one note villain, and I was excited to see that.
Aru Shah and the End of Time is an exciting read with a full world and great characters.