January 31, 2016

Review: Reawakened

Reawakened Reawakened by Colleen Houck
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

My reaction to this book seesawed up and down as I read it. Some parts I liked, other parts I didn't. In the end, my overall reaction is pretty meh, and I won't look for the sequel, if there is one.

First, the good parts: The Egyptian setting and pantheon of gods is fantastic. That immediately makes this book stand out. The author obviously did her research, which I appreciate. She does well with the setting of both ancient and modern Egypt, and the claustrophobic feeling of crawling in tunnels under the pyramids.

Unfortunately, this does not translate to her characters, in particular the protagonist, Lily. There's far more telling to her characterization than showing, which put me off. (For instance, she claims to feel smothered by the high expectations of her parents, but I never saw a scene really illustrating this, so it just came off as rich-girl whining.) Then there is the problem of purple prose and overwriting, which kept popping up like a bad penny. Particularly when it came to Lily's romance with the Egyptian sun god she accidentally awakens, Amon. The appearance of another of the reawakened Egyptian gods, Asten--Amon's brother-- helped mitigate this somewhat, as Asten is the kind of vain irreverent smartass this story needed. (In fact, I would rather that Asten had been the plot's driver and Lily's love interest than his too-serious brother Amon. Asten gave the story a much-appreciated kick in the pants, but he was gone too soon.)

The main reason I read YA is that the better writers make their books appeal to a wider audience than just teenagers. Unfortunately, this book does not cross that threshold.

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