Sunday, June 21, 2015

[Review] Reawakened by Colleen Houck

Reawakened by Colleen Houck

Rating: 3.5 stars 
Series: Reawakened #1
Version: Advanced Reader Copy
Release Date: August 25, 2015

Goodreads Synopsis: 

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 got this from one of the many giveaway drops at the Penguin Random House booth, and by looking at the cover/back description, I was pretty excited to read something on Egyptian mythology, since most of the books I read on mythology are either Greek or Roman. For an unedited ARC, it lived up to most of my expectations, with the occasional pitfall towards the end. 

Starting off, Lilliana Young is a girl living the life many of us dream of - rich and accepted to all her colleges. Yet, there's something missing from her life, and that is adventure, found by accidentally stumbling upon a mysterious mummy in the closed off section of the Met, a mummy who actually is one of three ancient Egyptian saviors who save the world every thousand years. 

For awhile you expect that it will follow the plot of a typical heroine unexperienced to the world jumps at the chance for adventure from mysterious guy' novel, but Lily has more spunk and resistance to the "call to adventure" than I expected. She's sassy, no-nonsense, but also craving more out of life. 

However, a flaw I noticed in Houck's characterization of her was the frequent mentions of Amon's physical attractiveness - especially how kissable his lips looked, and how often she wanted to kiss him. As attractive as Amon may be, a life or death situation has much more importance than the chance to kiss him. It's okay to hear once or twice, but every couple of chapters? Not so much. 

The major criticism I had with the book was the main villain, or who was supposed to be the main villain. We're introduced to Dr. Hassan's assistant, Sebak, who appears briefly for a second of a chapter, and then he returns as the main villain (Seth, god of chaos, doesn't actually show up and only manipulates him) who is obsessed with having Lily. The transition and development of his character is lacking, and he jumps from unimportant to suddenly important. I had to flip back a couple of chapters to remember who he is. 

While the villain's qualities lacked substance, the rest of the novel was strengthened by the mythological lore, a story dating back thousands of years, of brothers bonded together to save the world every time they are 'reawakened'. Each brother brings his unique skills and personality to the modern world; it's a shame we do not get to see much of flirty Asten and mature Ahmose towards the end. 

The story itself flows fairly quickly; there isn't much of a slowness to the chapters, and it shows how urgent Amon and Lily's mission is. The focus is mostly on our two main characters, and while it would have been nice to have some more background to the other characters, the fast-paced story and intriguing lore are what kept me reading onwards. I'd read the sequel. 

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