I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Series: Pandava Quartet #1
Published by Rick Riordan Presents on March 27, 2018
Source: the publisher
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?
I’ve been excited for this book ever since I saw it described as “Percy Jackson meets Sailor Moon.” First of all, you guys know I’m a HUGE fan of books with mythology and mythology retellings. And I’ve loved Sailor Moon ever since I was a little girl. Not only do I 100% support these comparisons, but I also had MAJOR Hocus Pocus vibes (lighting the black flame candle = lighting the Lamp of Bharata) and – weirdly – A Wrinkle in Time vibes. I don’t totally get why I had A Wrinkle in Time vibes because I read it in elementary school and remember VERY little about it. But, for whatever reason, it kept coming to mind.
So yeah… Between all those spot-on, epic comparisons and the gorgeous world and mythology, this book definitely did NOT disappoint. Roshani Chokshi’s writing is absolutely gorgeous and lyrical, and her characters are fierce – I was rooting for them right from page one!
I loved Aru and Mini. They were strong, fierce female heroines. They both made mistakes and had some fumbles, but they always got right back up and pushed forward. I love the way their friendship evolved from beginning to end, and can’t wait to see what happens next for them in book two.
I loved the way this book ended, and what it means for the second book. I’m hoping we’ll get some more background info on Aru’s mom, the Sleeper, and the original Pandava Brothers. I’m anxious to see the rest of the reincarnations of the Pandava’s, too. With the Sailor Moon comparison, I can’t wait to see them all together. I’m curious to see the dynamic and how they work together, if they clash, etc… You know, I’ll just admit it: I’m hoping for a Sailor Moon/Sailor Mars dynamic between Aru and one of the other girls, haha. The Moon/Mars dynamic always had me hysterical!
I know my review was a bit babbly and all over the place, but hopefully I got my point across – I LOVED this book! I had a really hard time articulating why, but it was just really fantastic. It comes down to the mythology, the comparisons, the writing, the world, and the characters. It was all just magical and wonderful and I REALLY need book two in my life ASAP!!!
So, overall, if you love books about mythology, I HIGHLY recommend this book. Also, if you’re a Sailor Moon fan, you’ll love the girl power!
Side note: A great side-effect of reading and loving Aru Shah and the End of Time? It FINALLY has me in the mood to re-read The Star-Touched Queen. You see, the first time I read TSTQ, I was going through some very stressful, upsetting Life Stuff. I should have LOVED TSTQ!!! But my Life Slump made it difficult to focus and I couldn’t get into ANY of the books I read during that period in my life. I’ve been meaning to re-read TSTQ for a long time now, with the hope that I’ll enjoy it more now that my Life Slump has eased up. The fact that I loved Aru Shah has me VERY hopeful that I’ll love TSTQ this time around!