Review Detail

Rakkosh Attacks in New Jersey
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
4.0
Kiranmala has always been irritated by her parents' insistance that she be an "Indian princess" for Halloween, since her life is anything but princess-like: her parents run a convenience store, and their house is the only run down one in the neighborhood. She enjoys hanging out with her friend Zuzu, but runs into some problems with a mean girl in her class, but that is of little consquence when she returns home to find her parents gone and a cryptic note left on Halloween night, which is also her 12th birthday.Things move quickly from there, with two boys, dressed as Indian princes, show up at her door. Neel and Lal are cute but annoying, but when a rakkhosh attacking her house! Luckily, the princes have swords as well as flying horses, and tell Kiran that her parents have been sucked into another dimension, and in order to rescue them, she needs to travel with them. They manage to get through the portal in the Kingdom Beyond, and go to the princes' palace. Unfortunately, Neel is the son of a demon, so even though he is older, Lal is the heir to throne. Due to Kiran's inexperience with their world, Lal and a friend of his are turned into gold and silver spheres by a demon, so Neel must rescue them while helping Kiran with her parents. There are lots of adventures, creatures to be fought, and secrets to discover along the way. There is a sample of the first chapter of the next book at the end of this one, but I can't find a title or date of publication.
Good Points
This had lots of action as well as demon snot. How can you go wrong with that? Kiran is a great character who doesn't want to be saved by the princes, and her acceptance of the fantasy world crashing down around her is realistic and humorous. I love that we are seeing more books with different mythologies. The notes about the traditional stories at the back of this book were very helpful.

I could have used a little more set up at the beginning, but middle grade readers will not mind the lack of build up as much as I did. I really wanted to know more about Zuzu and hope that she is able to join Kiran on an adventure!

This is an excellent fantasy adventure that I will be definitely purchasing for my school library. It will be great for readers who loved Armstrong's Loki's Wolves, Ursu's Chronus Chronicles, McCaughrean's retelling of Greek myths, and Lough's Fire Wish. This is not part of the new Rick Riordan Presents imprint from Disney Hyperion, but it's great to see Scholastic embracing a similar style of #ownvoices fantasy!
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