This time, Houck's book is in first person, and our narrator is Lilliana Young, a New Yorker who lives a life so luxurious you'd think she'd never worked for anything in her life. But her parents are so rich and powerful that they've been pressuring her about colleges and everything. Then one day when she's supposed to be doing research at the history museum, she stumbles across a tombstone that basically explodes and brings out a crumpled figure that died a thousand years ago. A teenager that looks about Lily's age. He goes by the name "Amon" (A-moan, it's pronounced) who says that he was reawakened to complete a ritual that will prevent an evil Egyptian ruler Seth from reawakening as well and bringing despair over the universe. But to do this ritual he has to find his two brothers, Asten and Ahmose, who were also incriminated into tombstones, and find his magical canopic jars (which I hope isn't a redundant phrase) in order to bring them back. The thing is, they're across the ocean in a world Amon doesn't understand, and to live in the meantime, he has to siphon energy, from who other than Lilliana? And he needs to keep it that way until Amon can complete the ritual in one week's time, and now we have our new series.
You know, whoever is in charge of creating Houck's book covers should make a very good amount a year. Each and every one of her books so far have had covers that are impossible not to stare at and have an interest in. While the Reawakened series lightly copies off of Shatter Me, in that there's a blue eye front and centre, the patterns and sparkles and designs are altogether dazzling. What was inside was something not quite as breathtaking. One of the worst parts is that it felt just too similar to her Tiger's Curse book in terms of characters and turnouts. But that's low criticism, I think, because this sort of flaw is unusual. When I realized what sort of book this was going to be, I tried my best to not compare it to Tiger's Curse, because I gave that book only three-quarters of ONE star, which is by percentage a 19/100. Thinking about that would've made my review unfair.
Something else you should know is some book bloggers have criticized Houck's two series for being racist, in that the American girl is the one who the foreign teen is in need for to help save the day. That wasn't the gist I got. The problem I ended up having with Reawakened was that it was just...a book I couldn't wait to end. Both this and Tiger's Curse are books that are hard to keep flipping. It might have something to do with the design, or the actual manuscript, but whichever one it is, the most pages I could get through in one day was fifty before I needed a break.
The main problem I found I had with Reawakened was the buildup pace and delivery. Houck's way of telling the story is to describe the journey from one place to another rather than just say the characters hitched a taxi. She emphasizes. And sometimes it comes out well here: Houck has shown a valid interest in Egyptian mythology, but it usually ends up cutting to predictable romance. I was more interested in the booby traps Lily and Amon end up facing than their relationship, though I can say there's a gap in that relationship that takes over the book a little too much. Amon has a slight problem about the idea of the two of them and he refuses to share it. That's fine, but Amon pushes Lily away so many more times it felt like I'd lost my space and was rereading the same sequence of events as the novel went on.
Another light problem I had with the writing style is that sometimes (but not always) Lily's thought process isn't in the moment. There's a time when she's sure she's going to die and though Houck explains why, the way Lily handles it is a way I don't think anybody would handle it. Her thoughts and feelings are always focused on the wrong thing in the action sequences, especially when she's under attack from a deity and she asks about Egyptian mythology and listens to the story as the house is being torn apart. There's even a time near the ending that isn't all wrong, just about three-fifths wrong.
But thankfully there's a, uh, suction scene where the descriptions are 100% on point. If the book was like that scene from the get-go, I would've given this book a much better grade. So I'll admit, there are some good things that prevent this book from feeling like an absolute atrocity. The race against the full moon doesn't often seem there, but the fact that it is there ensures us that there will at least be a more interesting ending than T's C. And I sort of enjoyed the superpowers Amon showed off, with a slight reminder to Michael Vey's Taylor Ridley. And there are a few places the characters went that made me sort of interested. And I'd say the ending brought out more interest in me to continue the series. If that happens though, my expectations will still be low.
I would say Reawakened suffers from being too much like Tiger's Curse, a book she wrote that I already hated, but it's simply not as bad. This time, the end result had a little more adventure and a better ending, but I still can't recommend it for the way it's hard to actually read. After her last book, I was more willing to forgive, I guess.