As a long time fan of the Aru Shah middle grade series, I was so excited for a graphic novel adaptation. Graphic novels are something I’m experiencing a rediscovered love for recently. I cannot even imagine how it would have been to find these as a middle grade reader! So I was so excited for this recent release. Keep reading this book review for my full thoughts.
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?
(Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)
I am so happy that the Aru Shah stories are receiving another avenue for reaching middle grade readers with this graphic novel. I know for some readers, they prefer graphic novels and so I cannot imagine their joy! This graphic novel adaptation is a true testament to the importance of the adaptation work by Joe Caramagna. The ways in which the story and dialogue are adapted for this graphic style. So much internal narration might not always adapt the easiest, so Caramagna and Chouhan’s combined forces create a cohesive story which is true to the original while also presenting a new life to the story.
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As someone who doesn’t see images in my head – or very rarely – having this graphic novel adaptation is thrilling. It’s like seeing panels of a movie come to life. The color work choices as well as the illustration style are phenomenal. As an entire thing, Aru Shah and the End of Time: the Graphic Novel honors the themes from the original – like this idea of what we will do for what we want – while also bringing it to life. It’s a solid and well done adaptation which is perfect for middle grade readers. Find Aru Shah and the End of Time: the Graphic Novel on Goodreads, Amazon, Indiebound & The Book Depository.