Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Aru Shah and the End of Time by Roshani Chokshi

While showing off for some school friends (well, frenemies), Aru lights a lamp that releases an evil being and sets in motion the end of the world. Fortunately/unfortunately, Aru is one of five reincarnated heroes from Indian mythology. She, along with one of her heroic sisters and a sassy pigeon (don’t ask) must find their weapons and stop the Sleeper before he brings about the end of time. Oh, and they’ve only got nine days.

So, the idea here is that Riordan tackled some mythologies more familiar to Western culture (Graeco-Roman, Egyptian, Norse) in his humorous and fast-paced style, but is now bringing in #ownvoices authors to give similar treatment to myths from other parts of the world. In this case, it worked reasonably well, except that it felt like another author trying to write like Riordan — it felt branded, rather than a unique expression. As such, it also seemed just a little less funny, a little less sharp, than Riordan’s own books. I think kids will enjoy this series, and it’s great to see lesser-known stories sharing Riordan’s considerable spotlight. I’ll probably read on and see what happens to Aru when the other Pandavas show up. Recommended to those who have enjoyed Riordan’s many books and are looking for something similar.

(Reviewed from an advance copy, courtesy of the publisher.)

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