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 their 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?
She had her best friend at her side, a slightly deranged pigeon, and the Otherworld’s knowledge to guide her. She could handle whatever came next.
Physical or Ebook?
Have you ever read a book by this author before?
Nope, but I definitely want to read more.
Middle Grade Mythology
If it’s a series, would you continue reading it?
Yes. Definitely yes. I’m extremely excited for the rest of the series
Is this a part of a challenge?
Who would you recommend this for?
Anyone who loved the Percy Jackson/Heroes of Olympus series, anyone who loves mythology.
Percy Jackson with Indian mythology. That is literally what it is and I am completely here for it. Roshani’s writing is a lot like Rick Riordan’s in this. I loved the way she incorporated old myths into the 21st century and told so many different stories about the gods and goddesses.
Aru is such a not heroic heroine. She’s just a 12 year old girl that kind of sucks at what she’s doing, but she’s figuring it out as she goes along with the help of Mini. They’re both kind of sassy and sarcastic. Definitely giving some comic relief during some tense moments of the book. I loved that they had Boo to help them through some of the challenges they faced and that Boo was a Pigeon. How cute is that?
What I’ve loved about this book so much is all the mythology it covered. I could read up on mythology forever and still not wrap my head around all of it since there’s SO much. But this really did explain some fascinating stories.
There’s also such a clear line that these characters follow. Someone did something they weren’t supposed to and now they have to save the world. That trope never gets old to me. Especially when it’s a couple of sarcastic, confused kids. It’s just so cute!
There’s not a whole lot I didn’t love in this. The ending seemed to wrap up a little too quick, but it’s also only the first book in the series, so I think that definitely plays a part in it. I will definitely be preordering the second one and as soon as my niece learns how to read English, this is being shoved into her hands.
Until next time,