Monday, August 10, 2015

Review: Reawakened

Reawakened (Reawakened, book one)
By Colleen Houck
Expected publication August 11, 2015 by Delacorte Press

Lily escapes to the Metropolitan Museum of Art for a morning of peace during her spring break. Unfortunately, that peace eludes her, as she instead discovers a reawakened Egyptian prince, imbued with the power of the gods and tasked with completing a ritual to prevent the god of chaos from rising. Oh, and he needs Lily's help.

When I spotted this e-galley available, I'll admit that I was immediately drawn to the cover. I really like the styling of it and think it pops. Then I read the description and thought, "Hmm...Egyptian mythology. Sounds good to me!" No surprise that I downloaded it.

Unfortunately, I didn't love it. I think the thing that bothered me most about it was (sorry if this is a spoiler but really, if you read teen books, it shouldn't be) the insta-love. I think Houck tried to make this seem more interesting by making it read as if this insta-love is just one-sided but, ho-ho, tricksy author! You can't fool me - and likely won't fool most other readers either. Lily spends so much of her time worried about being rejected by Amon that she drove me crazy. And, oh my gosh, the disordered eating that is described - how can you seriously think it's okay to write a teenage girl character and talk about how all she has is tea for lunch without even suggesting that might be a problem?!? This deeply bothered me.

The characters I most enjoyed didn't appear until quite far into the book - Amon's resurrected brothers. They, at least, had a bit of personality, something that Amon mostly lacked. The ending also felt rushed, which led to my discovery that this is but the first in a series. WHY???? Why does everything have to be a series? Why can't I just read a nice stand-alone YA speculative fiction title? I just get so weary of reading series, though perhaps my sentiments are not shared by the actual target audience. Regardless, I might have enjoyed this book a bit better if it hadn't so clearly left things open for sequels.

Overall, I didn't actively despise the book, but I found it mostly silly and underwhelming.

Thanks to the publisher for a digital advance reader's copy, provided via Edelweiss.

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