Thursday, September 29, 2016

Recreated by Colleen Houck

Title: Recreated (Reawakened #2)
Author: Colleen Houck 
Date Published: August 22nd 2016 
Publisher: Delacorte Press

Ratings: 2 out of 5 stars

Goodreads Blurb: 
From Colleen Houck, New York Times bestselling author of The Tiger’s Curse, comes Recreated, the second book in the epic Egyptian-inspired Reawakened series, in which a seventeen-year-old must literally go to hell to save the love of her life.
Lily Young thought traveling across the globe with a reawakened sun prince was a grand adventure. Now she’s about to embark on the journey of a lifetime.
When Amon and Lily part tragically, he transports himself to the Netherworld—what mortals call hell. Tormented by the loss of his one true love, he’d rather suffer in agony during Lily’s mortal years than fulfill his duty to protect humanity.
Heartbroken, Lily seeks refuge on her grandmother’s farm. Yet she can feel Amon’s pain, and she has been having dreams—dreams of Amon continually suffering. For before he departed, Amon gave Lily something very special, an item that connects them even though they are worlds apart. Now Lily must use this object to free him, and to free their realms from darkness and utter chaos. She will do whatever it takes.

Isn't that cover absolutely brilliant?

Sadly the book itself does not hold a candle to the cover. I am terrible disappointed with how this book fails to deliver. The characters were awkward, the plot annoying, and the writing absolutely lifeless. I loved Ms. Houck's Tiger's Curse series, it was fabulous. But all I was thinking while reading this book is what went wrong? 

I think its because the plots are almost completely recycled. Yes, this book is based on Egyptian mythology (and any reference to that made in this book I loved, hence the 2 stars), but it was similar to the books in her previous series in that they follow a formulaic pattern! First the character is presented with a challenge, she goes through some kind of transformation that makes her a bit different from who she was in the last book (either mentally or physically), has to solve/figure out around 2-4 small challenges, then she fights the big "battle", and at the end of the book, just when everything seems resolved she's dragged into another problem. 

Yes, I've heard of the Hero's Journey, and that's pretty much what I described above, but most authors tend to employ it a bit more creatively! There should be more to the story than following this mold, and I think that is exactly the reason I disliked this book so immensely. However, there were bites of Egyptian mythology which I happily gobbled down, and even some of the characters seemed like they could be interesting. One (two?) such character being Lily+Lioness= Sphinx. 

The Sphinx is the only interesting concept in this book. Literally. To explain a bit, in order to save Amon from the Netherworld (in which he inadvertently finds himself in while quitting his "job"), Lily has to turn get turned into a Sphinx, which happens when a spell is cast and Lily kills a lioness. But Lily fails to kill the lioness. Instead, the lioness sacrifices itself, and this complicates everything because now the Lily the Sphinx is now Lily and Lioness the Sphinx. The issue with this is both have to share the same body, and the fight for control plays out well. Another aspect of the book I can say I enjoyed is "meeting" all the characters. We are introduced to some Egyptian gods, better introduced to Amon's brothers, and also a crazy Pixie (which I honestly don't understand, because how in the world does it fit in with Egyptian mythology?) that takes up residence in Lily's head. Along with Lily and the lioness (this being the problem that the book ends with). 

The fight for control between Lioness (aka Tia) and Lily took center stage as the most interesting part of this book. Hearing them converse/argue was fun, and the only time I laughed during this book was because of Tia. I recommend this to those who enjoy Egyptian mythology and haven't read Tiger's Curse, because there is a good chance you will not get tired of the homogeneous plots.