Author: Colleen Houck
Publisher: Delacourte Press
Length: 400 pages
When seventeen-year-old Lilliana Young enters the Metropolitan Museum of Art one morning during spring break, the last thing she expects to find is a live Egyptian prince with godlike powers, who has been reawakened after a thousand years of mummification.
And she really can't imagine being chosen to aid him in an epic quest that will lead them across the globe to find his brothers and complete a grand ceremony that will save mankind.
But fate has taken hold of Lily, and she, along with her sun prince, Amon, must travel to the Valley of the Kings, raise his brothers, and stop an evil, shape-shifting god named Seth from taking over the world.
From New York Times bestselling author Colleen Houck comes an epic adventure about two star-crossed teens who must battle mythical forces and ancient curses on a journey with more twists and turns than the Nile itself.
Protagonist: As a character, I really liked Lily, she was sarcastic, spunky, and very strong. She might not have that kick-ass quality that I typically like from the female protagonists that I read about, but she has that potential to grow even stronger and become a more kick-ass character in her own way. Another quality that I admired was that she wasn't quick to accept the magical things that were happening, and while that slowed down the story a bit, it added a great sense of realism to this fantastical adventure story. What I didn't like however was her narration, or specifically how she narrated her own character development. By that I mean there are at times full pages of her looking back on her adventure so far and commenting on how much she has grown. Thinking of the old saying "show don't tell" it's ironic that in this case the author achieves both, which just came off extremely superfluous.
Romance: So the romance in this book wasn't bad per se, it just wasn't my cup of tea. In the beginning Lily finds Amon attractive but tries to force herself not to fall for him and denies doing so for quite a while, and when she finally does acknowledge her feelings Amon is very aloof with her. This all may be fine if there was a way for only the reader to know that Amon too has feelings for Lily, but it's so obvious to everyone that only Lily's the one that doesn't realize that Amon reciprocates her feelings. This kind of romance really bothers me, especially because it takes a strong character and shows a weakness and near stupidity of a character that is obviously not an idiot. There is chemistry between the two which helps. and there isn't a love triangle which I thanked God for because there was a moment there when I was worried that there would be.
World-Building: So I've read a great many reviews that criticize Houck on her knowledge of Hindu mythology in the Tiger Saga, and while I cannot speak to that, I can say that her Egyptian mythology is fairly spot on, with just a few adaptations here and there that I actually found very entertaining. Now I'm not some authority on Egyptian mythology and I don't know as much about it as I do about, say, Greek Mythology, but I do know that mythology was an oral tradition and there are a great many variations on myths of many different cultures, so just because it doesn't match up with what you personally have been told doesn't necessarily make it wrong. Now, with my rant out of the way I can talk about the plot and the adventure wrapped up in this book. I will say that there are many elements that this story shares with the Tiger Saga, and maybe if they weren't written by the same person I'd feel differently, but in my experience this is by no means the Tiger Saga with a new coat of paint, these characters are different, they have different goals, back stories, and motivations.
Predictability: So this was a weird one. I never felt truly shocked by this book, except for maybe at the end, but I'll get to that in a minute. It didn't matter if I had called the twist or didn't see it coming, I never felt that shock and awe when something was revealed. I don't know if it was the over abundance, or even at times lack, of foreshadowing or if it was just my mood, but there was specifically this huge twist that I had called and when it was revealed I felt very apathetic towards it.
Ending: So this ending was very complex. First we have the final climax which was great, here all the twists made me feel alive inside. Things happened that I wasn't quite expecting and I really enjoyed it as it came to a close, however, how this book closed had me scratching my head. If this book had cut out it's epilogue, I would have felt that it would have had a very satisfying, though maybe a bit controversial, ending. However, what I'm scratching my head at is the epilogue. It ends on a mind freak of a cliffhanger that no matter how many times I read it I'm confused as to quite what happens.
So I had at one point actually thought that this book wouldn't get more than 3 stars, it was a bit of a frustrating ride for me, but looking back on it I did really enjoy the book and am way more intrigued than I thought I would be to see what happens next...