Author: Leyla Kader Dahm
Series Number: 1
Publication Date: December 15, 2015
Genres: Fantasy, YA
Where I received the book: I received this free eARC from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.
Summary: At first, teenager Annabeth Prescott thinks she’s found quite a deal when she talks down the price of an ankh pendant she discovers at a flea market. She soon wonders if the bauble is more than she’s bargained for when she faints and glimpses images from a past life in ancient Egypt.
The discovery coincides with another new find: Gabriel, a handsome young man who takes an interest in her. When she meets his twin brother C. J. at a Halloween party, she realizes they look exactly like two boys who figure prominently into her memories.
Does C. J. share the heroic qualities held by his past incarnation Sethe, her bodyguard when she was Princess Ana? Does Gabriel possess the same evil powers he wielded as Kha, the black sorcerer who sought her affection?
Love meets the supernatural in this gripping young adult paranormal romance. Readers with an interest in reincarnation, as well as ancient Egypt, will be drawn to its mystical mixture of history and hesitation as Annabeth sways between the two brothers.
Will her reincarnated soulmate win out? Or will Kha finally find the way to her heart?
So, as a huge Ancient Egyptian fan I was more than excited to read this book. I absolutely love history (hell, I just started uni where I plan to major in it), and it was Ancient Egypt that got me into it. So yeah, I was more than excited for this book.
The first thing I’d like to point out that I noticed was that everything jumped around. Nothing followed a set plot that made sense. Ideas were thrown in at random times and old ones were almost forgotten. It felt like I was reading a first draft where you’d expect ideas to jump around because it hasn’t been properly edited.
I was extremely annoyed with Annabeth. I’m not sure how annoying fifteen olds are today, but I swear to god I don’t remember them acting like seven year olds. I mean, what fifteen year old would say, “I’m practically sixteen”? No one would. I’m more than positive you stop saying “and a half”, “nearly __” at like 9 years old okay.
I think everyone knows I hate instalove more than anything. I can stand love triangles, but instalove is a HUGE no for me. I was barely 20% into the book when I stopped reading, but I’m pretty sure they were already at the falling in love stage when they’d known each other a week. Get real guys, you’re not going to meet the love of your life at fifteen! Not to mention, I think there was the startings of a love triangle with the Sethe guy (I can’t even remember his reincarnation name).
On the subject of reincarnation, which I thought was a cool concept, except for the fact that Annabeth seems more than fine with the idea. It’s crazy. If I found out I was reincarnated, I’d probably quickly move past the idea, maybe go see one of those crazy people helpers and ask for the help I clearly needed. It’s not something a few seizures and flashbacks will make you become comfortable with immediately.
I’d also like to talk about the white washing of certain characters. If you’re reincarnated and you have the whitest skin and ginger hair, how do you expect any reader to believe your ancestors are from anywhere other than Scotland? You’re probably the whitest person ever but your family is from Egypt (completely believable, right???). I’m not sure if the author was against the idea of having a POC main character but what??? Why not? It’s not that hard to say they were adopted from Egypt and make it somewhat believable. Also, the Sethe guy is white af too (because his brother is). According to character descriptions, he looks identical to the way he did in Ancient Egypt and she recognised him within seconds (except he’s white), surely she’d have noticed that he wasn’t the same, and that he, like her, has no Egyptian features at all???? I genuinely got so angered by this. Like, yes it’s highly possible that over thousands of years their families can become white due to interracial relationships/breeding, but as a reader it sounds unlikely and just another excuse for white washing your characters and minimising the actual people of Egypt.
Sorry, I ranted there a bit.
One thing I loved about this book is that it was filled with history. I’m no historical researcher, so I don’t know how accurate the history is, but from what I remember learning many many years ago in my beloved childhood, it looked pretty legit. Some of it was a little boring as I already knew it, but other people who don’t know much about Ancient Egypt will love this book and learn many things (and hopefully encourage you to go on and learn more in your own time!).
I’m a little sad that I didn’t finish this book as I really was looking forward to reading it, but I did love the history side. I wish it wasn’t filled with this white washing. Am I overthinking it? Or am I right to question it? I know many people agreed with me on twitter, but they hadn’t read the book so I’m not too sure if it really counts. Overall, I guess I would recommend this book to others unless they have a problem with annoying 7yr old protagonists and white Egyptians.