Reawakened – Colleen Houck {Review}

Reawakened by Colleen Houck
Series: The Reawakened #1
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Date of Publishing: August 11th, 2015
My Rating: ★
 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 shereally can’t imagine being chosen to aid him in an epic quest that will lead them across the globe.
 
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.
 

REVIEW

Admittedly, my knowledge in Egyptian mythology comes from The Mummy Series (dude, Rachel Weisz, yo) and late night documentaries my dad and I would catch on TV. We’d sit through the whole 1 hour documentary, then shut the telly off and have our own animated discussion about it. It was awesome. Still, I wouldn’t consider myself on Egyptian myth (really, I know nothing of consequence) but I thought Reawakened would be a great way to brush up on that rusty sandy knowledge. And here’s what I think.

If you are going to read Reawakened, read it for the story and the characters and the concept, not for the mythology. I mean it. Many people have had issues with this particular author’s researching skills, and sadly, I am one of them. Stuff picked up from Wikipedia is a great way to start your research, but not make a book out of.

Reawakened begins with Lilliana Young, a seventeen year old, richer-than-you-can-imagine, self proclaimed loner who visits the MET to people watch and people sketch. There she finds an ancient Egyptian prince with godlike powers, a mission to accomplish, and only a pleated skirt to his name. Due to a little “confusion” regarding his poor organs being locked away in Canopic Jars, (remember Arnold Vosloo going batshit crazy for those in The Mummy?) Amon—our Egyptian Prince—bonds himself with Lilliana (essentially using her life force to sustain himself) until he finds those jars. He stalks, he kidnaps, he is gentle.

Quintessential YA hero, y’all.

Back to Lilliana. Ugh, this woman.

Lilliana Young has got to be one of the most pretentious and irritating MCs I’ve  ever read. And I’m not saying this with any amount of prejudice I might have about the kind of money she has (although I’d love if she didn’t remind the reader of that once every chapter). I’m saying she’s irritating because this girl has serious mental issues.

She has the whole hot and cold thing going for her. One moment she’s tired of Amon for dragging her along on his (mis)adventures. And then she’s happy she gets to witness this ancient Prince in his element, doing his thang.

One very important thing I’d like to talk about in this review is Lilliana repeatedly thinking of Amon as “exotic.” Now, Amon is an Egyptian and I’m not. But one thing we have in common? We’re both people of colour. And I’m pretty sure any POC would agree that you cannot call us exotic. Places are exotic. Holiday destinations are exotic. People? Not so much.

And believe me, it just grated on my nerves when the MC kept on calling him that in her mind every chance she got. Exhausting to read. Absolutely pissed me off.

Then of course, there’s the entire thing about Lilliana, being an American, saving the entire Egyptian culture. Some feedback to the author? A LOT of trouble would have been saved had the MC just been an Egyptian female.

I admit, Amon fell way short of my expectations. Had I read him in a different book, perhaps, with a different, more tolerable lady love, things might have been different, but as far as this goes, Amon was a disappointment.

Of course to piss me off further, when the Amon-Lilliana angle got interesting, the book ended. The book doesn’t end at a cliffhanger and can be read as a standalone, BUT we won’t have to because it’s definitely a series. A trilogy, if I’m not mistaken. My feels were left hanging, and that just isn’t done. Not an issue with the book, per se, but for a book I really wasn’t enjoying in the first place, it made it a nightmare.

I reduced my rating of this book because I actually sat to think about it. I enjoyed it while I read it, of course, but as I sat to think about it, things started going downhill. And fast.

Again, read it for the cheap humour that Amon’s cluelessness about modern lives provides. The book should have been about the mythology and action but that only comes at the very end, and the book mostly concentrates on Lilliana’s obsessive thoughts about the “exotic” Egyptian Prince.

Ugh.

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2 thoughts on “Reawakened – Colleen Houck {Review}

  1. aentee @ read at midnight says:

    Wow this book sounds like it’s as problematic as her Tiger’s Curse series. I did side eye the Egyptian mythology thing a little when I realised who the author was. I never expect 100% accurate portrayal of culture in fantasy fiction but the ‘exotic’ thing makes me uncomfortable as hell.

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    • Rhea says:

      I really really feel like I should be reading The Tiger Curse series (especially since most people have read it) but almost everyone I’ve spoken to about the books hate it. And yes. The “exotic” part. I completely agree. The next time that word is used in context of a human being, I’m going to bitch-close that book and not read it AT ALL >.<

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