General Summary: Shit is going down in the Underworld. And Pierce is going to have to put her big girl panties on when John faces imminent peril. Will she be able to save her love? And why are all these birds appearing out of nowhere like it’s a Hitchcock movie?
I liked this one and oddly I didn’t think I was because the first third because I was like nothing is happening. While stuff was happening but Pierce was just a spectator and then…well then, shit happens.
I will have to say this is the first book in this series that really felt to me, genuine Meg Cabot. Arguably, Underworld had its moments. But I finally saw the development I wanted to see in Awaken which was more than a little refreshing.
Let’s start with the plot. It’s intricate and somehow she puts it all together. Grant it, I didn’t like how a little of the threads were left till the very end…but it worked. And I liked how Meg would throw you a piece of the puzzle and you would think you’d know how it fit together and bam a curve ball. Also, you could tell a substantial amount of research went into this book and I have to thank Meg for that. Lots of the times authors try to avoid research. And I get it, researching can be a pain in the ass. But it really does make a book.
What I think was surprising to me the most about this book was its characters. I’ll be honest, up until this installment I really liked the side characters better than the main characters. That was sort of the opposite with this book with the exception of Mr. O who was just awesome.
Best Feature: John. I really grew to love this guy. In the first book he came off as your typical YA ass. But he’s really grown on me. He reminded me of Indiana Jones in this book at the beginning-you know when Indy jumps off the boat and….well, he has that sort of attitude. And he only improves with the story. I thought his interactions with Pierce’s friends and family, especially her father, were hilarious.
Worst Feature: Pierce. I really get annoyed with this character. She means well and I get that Cabot wanted to have a character that wasn’t book smart which is refreshing because most of these YA girls are all AP Harvard bound students. But sometimes Pierce….well, she’s a little too stupid for her own good. In a lot of ways she reminds me of Snow White. She’s a nice girl but compared to all the other Cabot characters she’s bland and lacks any sort of street smarts. Okay, so she sort of grows a backbone at the end. But still, she lacks logic. Suze and Jess would both be laughing at her. And both those girls would’ve jumped to action from the very beginning. And I’ll admit, when it comes to Cabot books I have a bar set pretty high when it comes to my heroines. I always expect a Suze, Jess, or Mia. And Pierce is comparison to a lot of these YA MC’s isn’t bad at all. But really some of the things she doesn’t understand…just Google it. And really, why is she content on NOT finishing high school. Yes, not every kid is academic bound and she’s going to live in the underworld and all, but if John ever ditches her she’s going to have to have a diploma to get any sort of job (even a low wage job). Seriously, do you want to be doing these jobs (if you’re lucky)? I guess it helps her dad is Tony Stark Mr. O, but couldn’t she have some drive to at least get a GED or something.
Appropriateness: If you’ve read the second book then you know that Pierce and John share the same bed (i.e. have sexual relations with each other) it’s never discussed in much detail only that they do it and that they’re essentially shaking up together. There’s also some language in this book. Drug use is discussed in passing and there are some battle scenes.
Blockbuster Worthy: Sure. I’ve already done casting here. Though I will have to say one role I didn’t cast (because he didn’t appear in the books until really this installment) is Mr. O. And it’s obvious who should play him: Tony Stark.
Overall Rating: Even though the first third of this book moved sort of slow (I’m not a patient person), the last 2/3 really wowed me. Yes, it was a little over the top but I loved it. So I’m giving this one an eight out of ten death deities. I really have to give Meg credit for this series, I was less than thrilled with Abandon, but the books have improved with each installment. And you have to give credit where it’s due.