Release Date: 13th August, 2015 (UK)
Genre: Paranormal, Urban Fantasy, Young Adult
When seventeen-year-old Lilliana Young enters the Metropolitan Museum of Art one morning during spring break, the last thing she expects to find is a live Egyptian prince with godlike powers, who has been reawakened after a thousand years of mummification.
And she really can't imagine being chosen to aid him in an epic quest that will lead them across the globe to find his brothers and complete a grand ceremony that will save mankind.
But fate has taken hold of Lily, and she, along with her sun prince, Amon, must travel to the Valley of the Kings, raise his brothers, and stop an evil, shape-shifting god named Seth from taking over the world.
From New York Times bestselling author Colleen Houck comes an epic adventure about two star-crossed teens who must battle mythical forces and ancient curses on a journey with more twists and turns than the Nile itself.(I received a copy free from the publisher via BookBridgr in exchange for an honest review)
I was intrigued by Reawakened, I’d never heard of Colleen Houck before, but the premise of a reawakened Egyptian prince sounded interesting. I know some people really got into Egyptian history when we were at school and we did some basic Egyptian history, but I never was one of them. The extent of my knowledge of Egypt, its history, and mummies all comes from The Mummy series (in my mind it is a duology as I deny the existence of that awful third film) so I was very much a blank slate coming into this book and the Egyptian mythology it includes. It is interesting exploration of culture clash is this reawakened Egyptian prince stumbles upon Lilliana, a native New Yorker, and forces her into assisting him as he has to awaken his brothers (in Egypt) as well as finding his death jars and stopping a potential apocalypse. Normal day for all really.
So, the premise of the book interested me, a girl helping this reawakened Egyptians prince, could be fun, right? Well, I’m right on the fun bit. Lilliana is very straitlaced and in control, her uber rich parents are very controlling and she often finds it easier to just go along with it rather than to rebel. She saves her rebellions for significant moments. When she stumbles across Amon (our Egyptian hero) she is very much in denial about what he is, despite his rather questionable white sheet skirt he’s wearing, she thinks he’s just a random crazy who stumbled into the museum, even after he does some weird spell that connects the two as he cannot find his canopic jars which will restore him to his full power. Amon rises every millennium to stop some Egyptian apocalypse so poor Lilliana gets roped into the adventure to return to Egypt and help out.
This book is not lacking in action and adventure, but it does push the boundaries of belief. My first issue with the book was that Lilliana just happened to be the only child of uber rich parents in New York, very much the kind of people who have more money than sense and never have to worry about it. That was a bit annoying because of course she happens to be ultra rich. Turns out her privileged background barely played into the story it just meant her parents were also ultra controlling. There came issue two, it is explained to us that Lilliana is stressed as her parents are pushing her into choosing her college and major and she knows they won’t like her choices. They are meant to be parents are comings and goings and what she has been up to, but then she has a trip to Egypt and doesn’t tell them where she is going and we don’t have a single panicked phone call with them in hysterics? I don’t think so. Absentee parents strike again in YA. And there is a third thing which really bothered me, but I can’t reveal due to spoilers but it links to Lily’s absence from home and how it gets resolved for her when it comes to her parents. If you read it you will understand.
My only other issue with the book was the romance (what, I love romance). My issue is that it seemed to happen fast, don’t get me wrong, Lily refers to her attraction to Amon as a crush, I can totally get behind that, but her crush seems to be a bit intense. She seems to expect Amon to love her cherish and basically adore her in the space of a couple of days, it felt awkward. Every time she got upset over a rebuff from him I couldn’t help but think ‘he’s from another time, chill your beans’ because she seemed to expect so much from him when he obviously had different priorities. I could totally get behind them having a romance, but I do kind of wish Lily hadn’t been quite so pushy about and
Let’s move on from my annoyances, though, best to get them out of the way first so we can move in to the good stuff. As I said at the start, I know nothing about Egyptian history, but I do feel like it gets explained quite well in the book, you get the history of the Gods explained. The Ancient Egyptian culture is also explained well. Basically, you get a decent amount of explanation so that you don’t feel confused. Can I say all the information is accurate? Well I don’t know, it did bother me that one of the God’s is called Seth, that doesn’t sound very Egyptian, but after some quick Googling the God Set is also known as Seth and a few other names, so there you go. Apart from being confused about that everything else felt pretty accurate, I didn’t spend the book confused anyway.
The plot was fast paced and interesting. You were rushing through one thing or another with Lily (she refers to her self as Lily through most of the book as that is what Amon calls her) and Amon as he searches for his canopic jars and his brothers. You get the usual problems, booby traps in ancient Egyptian burial sites, comical confusion as Amon navigates the modern world, crazy sidekicks to the evil God that want to assist him on his rise to power. You know, the usual. It makes for an entertaining read.
Basically, this is a fun action filled adventure with Ancient Egyptians mythology and fun characters. Is it going to change the world with it’s story? Probably not, but it was an enjoyable Saturday read for me. I had the fun of the three brothers and Lily as they attempt to stop the apocalypse. It worked as long as I occasionally suspended my belief, but it’s a YA adventure, you do tend to have to do that with books like this. Some of my issues come more with my age, I think, I know I would have fallen head over heels in love with this book at about fifteen so I cannot fault it. It’s a great read and filled with fun and I will definitely be keeping my eyes peeled for the next book.
Have you read Reawakened, or any of Houck’s other books? I’d love to hear your thoughts on her writing.
Also, do you ever find yourself being more critical of things in books as you get older, disliking things you know you would have loved if you were five years younger (or ten)?