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Girl Starts Apocalypse to Impress Classmates

Updated on March 1, 2019
Kara Skinner profile image

Kara Skinner believes in changing the world through the power of books.

Aru Shah loves to embellish the truth about her life. Like when she sold a "vintage" penny for two bucks to one of her classmates, and when she said she had a pet rescue elephant, even when it was really a stone elephant salvaged from the temple.

But her embellishments come back to bite in her the butt when three of her classmates show up on her doorstep with a video recorder, ready to expose her lies to the rest of the school. Unless she proved she wasn't completely full of crap.

But there was only one thing that Aru hadn't embellished: the lamp of destruction. If it was lit, it would start the end of the world. Aru didn't think lighting it for her classmates for a split second would cause that much damage but she was very wrong.

Now, she and an anxiety-ridden girl named Mini had only days to prevent a demon called the Sleeper from waking the God of Destruction. With a pigeon named Boo to help, a magic compact, and a gold, glittery ball, the two girls travel to divine dimensions and the underworld to save their own world.

4 out of 5 stars from 1 rating of Aru Shah and the End of Time

First of all, the summary above is my over-simplification of all the awesome things that go down in Aru Shah and the End of Time. This is a masterpiece disguised as a young adult fantasy adventure book.

Aru and Mini are both awesome characters who seem like the most unlikely heroes in the world, even by YA standards. Aru's a compulsive liar while Mini carries an EpiPen just in case she has a bee allergy.

But, that's the cool thing about Hindu mythology: no one's perfect, not even the heroes. And this book definitely showcases that.

Aru and Mini work really well together and even though Aru isn't the most likable at first, she definitely grew on me. Her reaction to talking to a cute boy is fantastic and despite all her faults, she's always up for trying to fix her mistakes and save her friends and family.

This is the first book in the Rick Riordan Presents collection, and it's the first book in the Aru Shah series. I'll definitely be reading the next one in the next year or two.

There were only a couple of things I didn't care for, like one scene involving a lot of writer humor. Aru cracked a joke about annoying books starting with the main character waking up and remarked that first drafts were never good.

It's possible Aru subscribed to Writer's Digest and lurked on Twitter's writing community like I did in middle school, but if so it wasn't mentioned and felt really out-of-character for her.

The other issue I had was when Aru and Mini were trying to get out of the Underworld. They met Wish and Time who talked about thinking orange skin and bad hair was enough to keep a former demon out of elected office.

Is Trump a former demon? Sure. I'd buy that. But I don't know if political humor is really appropriate for a YA novel, and it definitely annoyed me. I'm already bombarded by Trump news and jokes in my real life, I certainly don't want to think about him in my fictional lives.

But these two issues are both incredibly minor and the rest of the book far outweighs them. Fans of Harry Potter and Percy Jackson will love Aru Shah and her world-saving adventures.

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    • Kara Skinner profile imageAUTHOR

      Kara Skinner 

      2 years ago from Maine

      Happy Reading!

    • rebelogilbert profile image

      Gilbert Arevalo 

      2 years ago from Hacienda Heights, California

      Kara, I was only referring to the couple of issues you didn't like such as the writing humor and Trump jokes. But you made it clear you loved the story. I probably should have stated my response in a different manner. Happy reading!

    • Kara Skinner profile imageAUTHOR

      Kara Skinner 

      2 years ago from Maine

      Hi Gilbert, the Hindu Mythology was really interesting! I enjoyed the book and found it really entertaining. I'm confused about your remark about senses of humor varying between culture. I found the book really funny and entertaining, which is unsurprising considering it was written for a Western audience by an author born in Missouri. I don't think the jokes I found out of place is because of cultural differences but just a matter of personal tastes.

    • rebelogilbert profile image

      Gilbert Arevalo 

      2 years ago from Hacienda Heights, California

      It's good to get acquainted with a wide range of literary cultures. Your review indicates Hindu Mythology is interesting. Remember Kara, foreign tastes, sense of humor in particular, can seem odd and different than our own, but I don't intend the remark as a prejudicial statement.

    • Kara Skinner profile imageAUTHOR

      Kara Skinner 

      2 years ago from Maine

      Hi Dina! I read the Lightning Thief series and the first three books in the Heroes of Olympus series. I think Riordan's books were kinda of formulaic in the sense that they followed the classic Hero's Journey blueprint. But I enjoyed the stories so much that I didn't notice much or care. I do agree that there's so many middle grade and YA mythology stories now, but I honestly love it.

      I'm glad you liked my title! It took me awhile to think of a good one, but I think it's perfect! I'm really glad you liked my review and thank you for commenting!

    • thedinasoaur profile image

      Dina AH 

      2 years ago from United States

      You probably used the most tempting title ever. I couldn't even resist clicking on your article: and I am so glad for that. I have a lot of Chokshi's work already on my shelves. I have hesitated to pick up her Rick Riordan imprint books--mainly because I am still rereading Riordan's own novels. I don't know. It sometimes feels like the mythology middle-grade novels are saturating the genre a little bit, which is not really a bad thing. I just need to consume it slowly so I can enjoy each approach to that kind of storytelling.

      Have you read any of Riordan's books? If so, do you feel like there's a formulaic approach to these stories or do they deviate enough to become separate stories (in terms of how the mythology relates to the plot)?

      But: to be fair, I know Aru is probably very close to who I was as a child and I think I'd enjoy her stories quite a bit.

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