So, there was a Sesame Street movie (30 or so years ago) where Big Bird had to help an Egyptian boy make his way to the afterlife – I think that sounds incredibly morbid and I would assume I made it up if I didn’t distinctly remember the kid’s soul being weighed on scales against a feather. It is actually called “Don’t Eat the Pictures.” I guess it made an impression on me because I have a pretty big obsession with ancient Egypt which means my husband has fallen asleep to a boatload of documentaries about King Tut and Co. When I first saw the cover and premise for Colleen Houck’s Reawakened, I was intrigued by the Egyptian aspect, but I just couldn’t help but think it was going to read younger than I liked. I’m glad I took a chance on this book. The depth of theme and character complexity were clearly and wholly YA, and adult readers of YA will find it just as engaging as the target audience.
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.
Reawakened was a pretty engaging read. It had adventure and romance, and the magic of ancient Egypt. Liliana, a contemporary seventeen year old, becomes bonded to Amon, an Egyptian hero who rises every thousand years to restore the bond keeping dark forces at bay. The bond means Liliana is compelled to go on a quest to help Amon put everything in place before the ceremony that will keep the dark Egyptian god, Seth, from unleashing chaos on the world. Liliana is a character I could relate to. She follows the rules and tries to be the daughter her parents want her to be. As college decisions loom closer, she is trying to balance personal desires against expectations. What better time for her to go through a transformative experience? Amon, too, faces that decision (though he doesn’t necessarily see it as a choice) every time he is reawakened, but it isn’t until he meets Liliana that he actually starts to consider how his decision to give up his own life for the greater good is not necessarily satisfying. There was a lot of satisfaction in their parallel journeys, and it is a universal enough conflict to pull in a lot of readers. I thought the pacing was pretty well done. The romance was nicely plotted, and the author takes the time to build a relationship between characters. I think most readers will be satisfied by this romance as well because there is an equal amount of sacrifice and rescue on the parts of both Amon and Liliana. Threats popped up consistently enough to keep the action going, and I only became distracted when some of the myths inserted into conversation became too long. While those myths did have a lot to add to reader understanding, they sometimes felt like something to be endured just until I could get back to the main characters. I will say that they were exceptionally well chosen, and I hate to think of how much time and research went into finding the perfect myth to go with situations when I didn’t really appreciate them as much as I should have. The writer’s style is well honed, and I really was impressed at the level of skill it took to write something so carefully crafted. I only found fault in a few word choices that felt awkward because of their repetition, namely the word “feast” to describe any and every meal (and there are lots of them). Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this book.
I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.