Reawakened, by Colleen Houck

Several people have compared Colleen Houck's new novel Reawakened to Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson books. Both are aimed at younger teens, feature a mixture of human and demigod characters, and rely on a lot of PG-13 action sequences to push their plots along. Unfortunately, Reawakened doesn't share Riordan's greatest strength: his ability to create relatable characters, no matter how over-the-top their abilities or adventures.

The heroine of Reawakened is high school senior Lilliana Young, who is celebrating the first day of spring break with a visit to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. In the museum's Egyptian section, Lily crosses paths with Amon, a long-dead Egyptian prince with godlike powers and a terrible destiny. Amon immediately latches onto Lily, magically bonding their souls together and forcing Lily to act as his guide to the modern world.

The romance in Reawakened is sparky (particularly if you don't think about the whole forced-binding thing too hard), and fans of Egyptian mythology will enjoy the novel's ambitious backstory. Sadly, everything is told via Lily's POV, which features approximately 0% of the warmth, wit, or self-deprecation of Riordan's stable of characters. Instead, Lily makes comments like this:
“Even though I was very picky, wore only designer clothes, and had a monthly allowance bigger than what most people my age earned in a year, I was by no means a snob.”
Ohhhhkay. And:
“If I were like the other girls at my school, I would have been in tears, but instead, my mind filled with questions. This was how I dealt with stressful situations. I calmly thought things through until I found a solution.”
Um, wow. Strangely enough, Lily seems to have no friends (I wonder why?), isn't close to her family, and has an off-putting habit of addressing much-older service workers by their first names, while they in turn refer to her as “Miss Lilliana”. I don't think Lily is actually meant to come across as a smug jerk (nothing about the story suggests that she has any character-building lessons to learn, anyway), but her self-attributed virtues are rarely reflected in the text. Houck needs to seriously crank up her heroine's charm, because her arrogant narration is a major drain on an otherwise entertaining novel.

Review based on publisher-provided copy.
Posted by: Julianka


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