Review of Awaken by Meg Cabot

9 07 2013

awaken Finished: July 9th, 2013
Published: July 2nd 2013 by Point
Genre: YA supernatural/fantasy
POV: First Person
Number of Pages: 352

“Death has her in his clutches. She doesn’t want him to let go.

Seventeen-year-old Pierce Oliviera knew by accepting the love of John Hayden, she’d be forced to live forever in the one place she’s always dreaded most: the Underworld. The sacrifice seemed worth it, though, because it meant she could be with the boy she loves.

But now her happiness — and safety — are threatened, all because the Furies have discovered that John has broken one of their strictest rules: He revived a human soul.

If the balance between life and death isn’t fixed, both the Underworld and Pierce’s home back on earth will be wiped away. But there’s only one way to restore order. Someone has to die.” (Description from Goodreads)

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I was lucky enough to be chosen to start the AWAKEN ARC Tour hosted by Literary Lushes, and after nearly a week of hectic business, I was finally able to sit down and read this book. Well, what can I say about the conclusion to the ABANDON trilogy? The thrilling conclusion wasn’t exactly what I thought it was going to be, but it still had enough excitement and surprises for me to enjoy it. Some of the conclusions to the subplots seemed rushed and came out of nowhere, but the main plot line was, to me, solid.

That being said, I did enjoy the return of the characters from the previous books as well as some new characters.

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Pierce: Pierce returns with a fire in her belly and a heart filled with love for John. When a disaster leaves John indisposed and Pierce in charge of the Underworld, she steps up and tries to figure out how to get John back and stop a pestilence from destroying the Underworld completely. I really enjoyed her character this time around, though she tended to say really stupid things at really stupid times. Granted, she did said stupid things to try and get John back, but I couldn’t help but wonder if the girl was even thinking. Though her common sense was a bit lacking, her love and desire to protect everyone she loves largely made up for that fault and had me cheering her on until the very end.

John: Mr. Brooding himself was down for the count for about half the book, but he did not disappoint when he finally returned. John was still the big tough, brutish bad boy we’ve all grown to love. I think what I enjoyed most about his character this time is that he seemed more human. (Mostly) gone were his more serious and dementing sides, leaving a John who joked around a little more. I really loved the way Cabot evolved his character throughout the trilogy.

Alex: Pierce’s cousin seemed to have complete personality change since we last him. NDEs (Near Death Experiences) can do that to a person, I guess. Alex was much more outspoken and hands on in this book than he was before. Other than the whole Thanatos thing (which I thought came out of nowhere and was pushed waaaay too quickly on the reader), I thought he was a good character.

Kayla & Frank: I love Kayla. She’s so funny and witty and, I think, a much needed comic relief for this final book. The flirty scenes between her and Frank (one of John’s shipmates) were priceless! Between Kayla’s ‘do-what-I-want’ attitude and Frank’s fun macho man persona, I couldn’t get enough of this wacky couple!

The Liberty Gang: All of the original Liberty crew members made it back this time around. They were alright. I can’t really think of anything that made them stick out. There were just so many characters that I kept getting them all confused!

Mr. Smith, Richard & Pierce’s Family: Again, with Mr. Smith and his ‘special friend’ Richard, I kept getting them confused with The Liberty Gang. To me, there weren’t a whole lot of indications that made any of them really stick out. As for Pierce’s family (her Mom and Dad) I thought they were annoying, at best. Especially Pierce’s dad. He tried to use his new knowledge of John’s gifts to get John to help him make a profit, and that is just not okay. Her mom was a ball of hysterics when she found out about the whole Underworld thing (which, now that I think about it, can I really blame her?) As for her Uncle Chris (Alex’s dad) he was too naive for me.

New Characters: There were three new characters added to this jungle of characters. Chloe, Reed, and Mrs. Engle are all souls who were originally in line to be taken to the next life (the good line, that is), but when everything went South on the docks, they become unofficial members of Team Underworld. Chloe was a little to Christ Righteous for my taste and Reed came off as an ass, but I kind of like Mrs. Engle. She was a decent character.

Villains: The Furies come back in full force, determined to finish off the Underworld as well as John and Pierce, once and for all. I’ve always liked the idea of the Furies as villains and they were certainly much more brutal now. They literally would stop at nothing to take vengeance. The Rectors returned as well with their own little surprise (kind of) evil. Of all the characters, I think the villains were the best part.

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The entire plot focused on three main things. #1: Getting John back after a fury attack in the Underworld that destroyed the docks. #2: Setting right the balance that was throwing the Underworld into chaos. And #3: Destroying the Furies.

Overall, I thought the main plotlines were good and cohesive, filled with the occasional seduction and kick butt action scenes. What really bothered me were the subplots. The whole Thanatos/Alex plotline seemed rushed and came out of nowhere. I really didn’t like it. It was like the author was saying, “Hmm…how am I going to bring this cahracter back to life? I know! I left that death god floating around, why don’t I put him here!” Maybe if there had been a bit more eluding to the plotline, it wouldn’t bother me so much.

Another thing, the whole Pierce’s grandmother plotline bugged the crap out of me. I can understand why her family wouldn’t want her around after being possessed by a Fury for so long, but I felt that her plotline lacked something. I’m not sure what is was, but it left my unsatisfied and I think it is a little unfair the way they treated her after she was possessed. Maybe that’s just me.

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The final book in the AWAKEN Trilogy left me with a satisfied ending. All the storylines were more or less wrapped up (though some of them seemed rushed and sloppy to me) but finishing this book left me satisfied. I can’t say that happens very oftern with the end of a book series. 4 stars.

4 stars

Support the author and buy the book wherever books are sold (or borrow it from your library).

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