Reviews | Roshani Chokshi Edition

These reviews are spoiler-freee! 🙂
I somehow ended up reading these two Roshani Chokshi books simultaneously (and finishing them the same day), so I thought, hey– why not just throw them together?! One I was disappointed by and the other I really liked!

gildedThe Gilded Wolves
Author Roshani Chokshi
Publisher Wednesday Books | 2019
Pages 388

3 stars

It’s 1889. The city is on the cusp of industry and power, and the Exposition Universelle has breathed new life into the streets and dredged up ancient secrets. Here, no one keeps tabs on dark truths better than treasure-hunter and wealthy hotelier SĂ©verin Montagnet-Alarie. When the elite, ever-powerful Order of Babel coerces him to help them on a mission, SĂ©verin is offered a treasure that he never imagined: his true inheritance.

To hunt down the ancient artifact the Order seeks, SĂ©verin calls upon a band of unlikely experts: An engineer with a debt to pay. A historian banished from his home. A dancer with a sinister past. And a brother in arms if not blood.

Together, they will join SĂ©verin as he explores the dark, glittering heart of Paris. What they find might change the course of history–but only if they can stay alive. (from Goodreads)

This was one of my most anticipated books of the year because HEIST (sign me up) and Six of Crows vibe (YESSSSS!!), but unfortunately I was pretty let down by this. The SOC comparisons were constantly running through my mind and I couldn’t help thinking about how much more I loved the Dregs than these characters. I didn’t really feel attached to any of these guys, and though I did like the relationship between Severin and Laila, it still wasn’t as fulfilling as I wanted it to be.

On to the heist. I want to preface this by stating that I read this while in the midst of two of the craziest work weeks of my life, and I’ve been dead tired. Still, whenever I opened my Kindle app to read this, I found myself drifting to sleep because there wasn’t enough entertaining aspects happening to hold my focus. I found the plot to be really convoluted at times and honestly, I cannot confidently tell you what the main goal of the heist was?? Or what even happened during it? It was all very confusing. The ending did pick up a bit, and the cliffhanger was intriguing, but I’m on the fence if I would want to pick up the sequel to this when it comes out.

aruAru Shah and the End of Time
Author Roshani Chokshi
Publisher Rick Riordan Presents | 2018
Pages 355
fantasy | mythology

4 stars

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? (from Goodreads)

OK, so I started this audiobook back in February in the midst of a book slump and couldn’t get into it. I decided to give it another try this month and I’m really glad I did because I ended up loving it! It definitely has that Percy Jackson-esque style (with some cool chapter titles) that I enjoy and I love that Rick Riordan has created a platform for more diverse authors to write books about different cultures and mythologies. I didn’t know anything about Hindu mythology but it was really cool to learn about!

I liked Aru, but Mini and Boo definitely stole the show. I adooooored Mini and thought she was super sweet and fun. I was sad to see Boo disappear for a bit in the middle of this book, but he came back in full force and I think he’ll play a big role in the next book! My only haggle with this is that I think it was a bit too long, so the plot dragged in a couple places. Other than that, I really enjoyed this and I’m interested to see where this series goes and to follow Aru and Mini on their journey! It was neat to read two different writing styles from the same author, and I appreciate Chokshi’s ability to switch up her narrative voice. 🙂 

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