Posts Tagged: Mythology

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

The Book I Wish I Had When I Was in Middle School: Aru Shah and the End of Time by Roshani Chokshi

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The Book I Wish I Had When I Was in Middle School: Aru Shah and the End of Time by Roshani Chokshi
Aru Shah and the End of Time
Roshani Chokshi
Genre: Adventure, Middle-Grade, Mythology
Publication date: March 27th, 2018
by Rick Riordan Presents

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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?
-A copy was provided by Rick Riordan Presents for review-

I never read Rick Riordan’s books. The short story is that there was no real reason to why I didn’t pick the books up. The longer (and a little pointless) story is that when The Lightning Thief first came out, it had a completely different cover then what it has now. I was in the middle school and our librarian told us all about it. I grew older but it stayed in the corner of my mind, I was in eternal search of the book with the white cover and never realized until a year ago (seriously!!!) that that book was the same one written by Rick Riordan that was so beloved now. Anyway, long pointless story short, I am weird and specific about what I read.

So I missed Rick Riordan hype train  but that didn’t mean I never read any mythological adventures growing up and that I never craved them. Of course, as a kid, I never got adventures with Indian MCs at the forefront or a book that dwelled into Hindu mythology and allowed me to be a superhero too. 10 years later, (HAS IT REALLY BEEN THAT LONG SINCE 7th grade???) other kids around the world will get stories I craved, needed but never got.

I am not gonna lie, I am pretty emo writing this review and I was pretty emo while reading it. It’s like a painful nostalgia and I am ridiculously upset this book wasn’t published a decade ago when I needed it. I mean, I still really need Aru Shah today for a multitude of reasons I won’t get into but damn, 7th grade me’s existence would have felt so valid.

So this book? I read and adored The Star-Touched Queen when it debuted but… I think… this series might be the best of Chokshi. Aru Shah is not only an incredibly well written adventure, it’s fucking hilarious. It’s full of heart and a lot of meaningful easter-egg convos about how being diasporic shapes your relationship to your culture.

Aru Shah isn’t a liar, she is just imaginative. When her lies start unraveling, she brings schoolmates over the museum she lives in to prove a point. Seventh-grade girls (as anyone who has been in seventh-grade might agree) are pretty scary and if Aru is able to get out of her lies by rubbing a diya that her mom has specifically told her not to because it could bring about the end of the world, she does it. Not going to lie, I probably would have too.

Of course, it does trigger the end of the world. Kind of anyway. Everyone she knows is frozen, including her mom and she is suddenly thrust into a world she knows nothing about but her new companion, Mini does. Aru and Mini embark on an adventure as they embrace their identities as Pandavas–legendary heroes.

The setting and world building is so LUSH and I can tell how much care and detail went into crafting it. A lot of the mythological characters the book was drawing on were new to me but I still felt right at home and was generally so happy (and a little emo) as I was reading the book.

Okay so. The real question now is why not five stars, Rashika? Well. That’s because as much as I loved this book (and I DID LOVE IT) I think there were just moments where the pacing wasn’t what I needed it to be. The adventure felt a little long-winded at times but then it would pick right up again.

Overall though, this is a book that is a MUST READ for all fans of mythological adventures and one I am definitely gonna need to buy a finished copy of so I can re-read. I don’t think it’s possible for me to express how much I want to shove this book in everyone’s faces. I cannot wait to see what other adventure awaits these two pandavas (and more???) and I cannot wait to see what else RICK RIORDAN PRESENTS has in store for us!

4 Stars
4 Hot Espressos

ARC Review: Poison’s Kiss by Breeana Shields

ARC Review: Poison’s Kiss by Breeana Shields

Posted by on 12/02/2016 • 10 Comments

I am not entirely sure what I was expecting when I dove into Poison’s Kiss. I was hoping to like it because I was intrigued by the premise but even when I was excited to read it, a small part of me was worried that it would not do justice to my culture. As a story, Poison’s Kiss is fine. The romance is way too insta but it is engaging, there aren’t many plot holes and the characters are relatable. The world building is EXTREMELY lacking though. From the small things to the bigger, general things, the world building needs work and this book would have benefited from some Indian beta-readers who might have been able to help fine-tune some of those issues.

The rest of this review will…

Series Spotlight : Thrones & Bones Series by Lou Anders

Series Spotlight : Thrones & Bones Series by Lou Anders

Posted by on 05/26/2015 • 2 Comments

Today I am spotlighting the Thrones & Bones series by Lou Anders. It is getting closer to the publish date for the second book in the series, Nightborn. This is a fantastic MG series that I think many people will enjoy. I have not yet read the second book yet, but I am almost done with the first one, Frostborn, and am really enjoying it.

Frostborn is the first in the series, and so far it is great! The characters are interesting, but more than that, I love the visual imagery that I get from it. I can imagine the lands and the Giants, and everything that is going on. The story is wonderful and I am excited to continue on the adventure and see where…

Review: Destined by Jessie Harrell

Posted by on 11/15/2011 • 31 Comments

DestinedJessie HarrellRelease date: November 17th, 2011by Mae Day Publishing

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When Psyche receives a prophecy gone horribly wrong, she learns that even the most beautiful girl in Greece can have a hideous future. Her fate? Fall in love with the one creature even the gods fear.

As she feels herself slipping closer into the arms of the prophecy, Psyche must choose between the terrifyingly tender touch she feels almost powerless to resist and the one constant she’s come to expect out of life: you cannot escape what is destined. 

Destined is a fresh and heartachingly romantic retelling of the Cupid & Psyche myth from debut novelist, Jessie Harrell.

 *A copy was provided by Jessie Harrell for review purposes*

Since I read Percy Jackson earlier this year, I’ve…

Review: The Willows: Haven by Hope Collier

Posted by on 09/23/2011 • 4 Comments

The Willows: Haven (The Willows, #1) Hope Collier First published September 13th, 2011

When tragedy strikes, seventeen year-old Ashton Blake sets out on a cross-country road trip, leaving the comforts of Malibu for the mountains of Kentucky. Along the way, she encounters Gabe Willoughby—the mysterious drifter with eyes like the sea and a knowing smile. Getting to know Gabe raises questions about her past. But no secret can be buried forever, and Ashton soon finders herself in a world where water is air and myth becomes reality.

Just as Ashton comes to accept her newfound heritage, she’s summoned to fulfill a treaty laid down centuries before — a treaty that will divide her love and test her loyalty. In the end, her future isn’t her biggest concern, her humanity is….