A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know Reawakened, by Colleen Houck (The Tiger's Curse), is about a rich 17-year-old New York girl, Lilliana Young, who ends up on a wild adventure to Egypt after she meets a resurrected demigod named Amon in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The two face many violent battles with ancient gods and demons. The characters face many evil, vicious monsters and zombies. Several battle scenes include severe beating, slashing, stabbing, and creature bites. Eyes getting pulled out of their sockets is a recurring theme. Characters are nearly killed in deadly traps in tombs and a dungeon. Torture victims are described, but the torture itself isn't depicted, though there's some gore. Lily falls for Amon and frequently describes his toned body and good looks. Their relationship isn't physical, but it's sexually charged. The book has no swearing, drinking, drugs, or smoking. Some readers might be put off by the notion that Amon uses his powers to create a physical connection to Lily and controls her actions a few times.
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What's the story?
Lilliana Young has what outwardly seems like a dream life. She's a rich New Yorker who lives in a huge penthouse, wears designer clothes, and is generally unsupervised. During a visit to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, she meets REAWAKENED Egyptian demigod Amon, whose sarcophagus has been brought to the museum for an exhibit. That's when everything in Lily's neat, easy life changes. Lily falls hard for Amon and gets swept into his quest to find his brothers and complete a ceremony that will keep the earth safe from an evil power for another 1,000 years. The adventure is dangerous, as it involves battling mythical spirits and demonic monsters in a series of increasingly high-stakes battles. Lily learns a lot about ancient Egypt and even more about herself during this journey.
Is it any good?
This fun adventure through ancient Egyptian lore is bogged down by a tedious romance. For a supposedly smart girl, Lily is pretty dense about why Amon can't return her feelings. She pouts annoyingly throughout the book about being repeatedly rebuffed by Amon, an ancient Egyptian demigod resurrected every millennium to keep the world safe from evil forces. It should be pretty obvious why a demigod who has to return to the tomb for another 1,000 years can't get involved with a mortal teen girl.
Author Colleen Houck employs a formula here that is very similar to her popular Tiger's Curse series: Lily and Amon navigate mazes and traps, engage in life-or-death battles against terrifying monsters, seek out Amon's brothers, and must solve the mystery as to who is helping the evil god Seth's return to power. All of that is great fun, and the book gets going with the action in the second and third parts. The first part, where Lily and Amon meet, drags. The will-they-or-won't-they romance comes across as shallow and flat. Lily is drawn to Amon mostly based on his looks, and Amon controls Lily's mind and actions on occasion. This tactic is put forward as acceptable because Amon is hot and on a mission from the gods, but it's bothersome to read about a teen girl who doesn't have control over her own body. Ultimately, Lily's journey and time with Amon leave her a more outspoken, self-aware person, which is a good thing.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about expectations. Do you ever feel as if you're just pleasing your family instead of doing what you really want? Is there room to discuss your activities and educational goals and maybe compromise?
Many teen romance novels center on the idea of an instant attraction leading to the love of a lifetime. Why do you think this is so popular?
Are you interested in the way myths and lore form in different cultures? Which myths are most interesting to you? Which ancient cultures would you like to learn more about?
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