Reawakened begins with Lilliana Young is a smart New York City high school student, raised in wealth by non-existent, but overbearing parents. Lilli has heeded her parent’s advice her whole life and stayed safely within the boundaries they have established. By doing as they say, she is afforded relative “freedom” to do what she wishes. Self-described as careful and thoughtful, the Phoebe we find at the beginning of this novel is surprisingly sheltered for someone who has free reign on the world—this is partly her overbearing parent’s fault, but also Phoebe’s fault for never daring to challenge their desires. She’s lonely and feels trapped by this life of relative freedom. She has yet to come out of her shell.
“Please don’t let hot model guy turn into Hannibal Lecter.”
As she visits The Metropolitan Museum of Art one day, she gains access to a new Egyptian display (not yet open to the public because…money), Lily hears a noise, comes across some footprints and ignoring strong reservations, follows the footsteps to encounter a boy in mummy wrappings. She’s immediately smitten with the boy she finds in a way that only a naive teen could be around a really good looking person of the opposite sex, who may or may not be crazy.
They immediately begin attempting to communicate (language barriers) and miscommunicating. While Houck could have prolonged this comedy of errors, she instead puts curious and observant Lilliana to use. The boy’s name is Amon and he seems not of this time or continent. He claims that he is an ancient Egyptian prince in search of his canopic jars. Lilly is curious to bridge the gap with the possibly crazy, but extremely good looking Amon and when she finally does accept the truth, a wondrous, worldwide adventure begins.
“Young Lilly,” as Amon immediately terms Lilliana, is a typical smart teen of this decade, technologically savvy and street smart. She’s extremely curious, methodical and patient. Instead of dismissing the crazy guy she meets, she instead takes a reporter’s approach and begins interviewing Amon about his life and times. As she’s exposed to more, she tries to understand the things and people around her, so the exposition, instead of taking place within many pages of dry history, actually takes place within a question and answer format. Not only does it make it interesting, but it puts you in the mind of a teen girl who has probably spent too much time with adults and not enough just being a teen.
“Young Lilly…you have the heart of a sphinx.”
For me, though, this book is all about Amon. He is written in a formal, staccato manner that draws him beautifully as an archaic relic stuck in modern times. He’s intelligent and thoughtful and extremely curious. His back-and-forth with Lilly can be hilarious, especially with regards to today’s slang. He has a zeal for life that balances out Lilly’s reservations with life and he teaches her how to begin to enjoy her life. However, Amon is also very dedicated to his appointed task, saving mankind. Also, he’s extremely romantic, in both a gentlemanly way as well as in his approach to “life.”
Through their international adventures, Lilly and Amon must discover secrets, keep secrets from each other and fight the bad guys to save the world. It’s a wonderful and exciting take on Egyptian mythology and Houck has obviously done her homework. This book will definitely fulfill those that need more Ancient Egypt and mummies in their life.
I’m pretty sure I’m being influenced by the 10-year Anniversary of the release of Twilight when I say that Reawakened affected me in much the same way as Twilight did a decade ago. It made a love story between (essentially) two humans with many years between them something palatable. I’m not sure if the shelf-life of this novel will be the same, as in becoming the go-to joke amongst YA of the future mixed in with a rabid fandom, but at its center is a hero and heroine that must learn each other’s worlds and limitations in this fantasy/historical fiction/contemporary YA setting. I can’t wait for the next installment, Recreated, to be released next year.