Review: Awaken by Meg Cabot

Title: Awaken
Author: Meg Cabot
Series: Abandon series
Rating: ★★★★

After being left wanting a little something more with Abandon and Underworld, Awaken really stepped it up and made an impact. It was the culmination of everything that had happened in the previous two novels and when things finally happened, it was wonderful.

Pierce has accepted her role as consort to the ruler of the Underworld. She’s made her decisions based on how she felt and what she thought was right for her. She’s finally found a place where she feels at home, like herself, and she’s happy to be there. When something goes horribly wrong, she must take on a new role and fight for the ones she loves. She must rely on the help of her new friends to face this new evil and save those she cares about.

The supporting characters are what really make this novel stand out to me. They don’t let Pierce shy away or ignore them. They make sure she knows she can rely on them for help, and they’ll be there for her whenever she needs help, sometimes even before she knows she needs it. They’re a different group of people, I wouldn’t call them normal, but they are there for Pierce and John when they need to be. They provide the real element of the novel.

I’m so relieved the storyline went where it did. Most of the little pieces that had been dropped in the first two novels were put in place. There were still a few things that seemed to fall too perfectly into place, and I wish the rules of the Underworld and real world were fleshed out more, but for what it was, the story was great. I had gone into this series thinking it was a modern take on the Persephone and Hades myth, and in a way it was. But it was more about figuring out how to fit into the world and deal with the things thrown your way.

Sadly, the relationship between Pierce and John still felt off. The spark just wasn’t there for me. They said they loved each other, but I just didn’t feel like it was really there. There was development, though, and I can see how down the road, there will be a great love between them. They finally trust and respect each other. I still don’t feel like it was love, but I can sense the potential and that was enough for me.

The Abandon series was not what I expected, but Awaken was the best ending to the series I could have imagined. It put nearly all the missing puzzle pieces back together and left me with a satisfied feeling at the end. This part of Pierce and John’s story is over, but it’s easy to imagine their future together. Overall a good series, even if it wasn’t quite what I thought it would be.

If Awaken sounds like your kind of novel, you can purchase it here:
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Thank you to NetGalley and Scholastic Inc. for an advanced copy of the novel in exchange for an honest review.

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Review: Underworld by Meg Cabot

Title: Underworld
Author: Meg Cabot
Series: Abandon series
Rating: ★★★

Like Abandon, Underworld wasn’t quite what I expected. It’s still not the Persephone and Hades myth I was expecting, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Underworld definitely has more of the myth elements, and the new characters that are introduced are fantastic, but I’m still wishing there was a little more myth influence.

John has taken Pierce away from the physical world and placed her in the safer Underworld. Here, at least, he can work to protect her from the Furies. In this, Underworld is like the Hades and Persephone myth. Pierce understands why John has done this, but that doesn’t mean she likes it. She’s a little in over her head with her new life and has trouble adjusting to the idea of leaving her old life behind. When she sees that her cousin Alex might be in trouble, all she wants to do is help him, not understanding the possible consequences.

A few of my favorite parts of this novel were the cast of characters introduced in the Underworld. The shipmates John relies on to do his job are all interesting, funny characters and they provide a light note, especially little Henry. I wouldn’t mind reading a book about the adventures this little group had gotten into. They were dynamic and really added something to the novel.

The relationship between John and Pierce still feels a little off to me. Maybe it’s because there hasn’t been much focus on it, but things feel rushed and stiff. I don’t see this love they proclaim to have for each other. A deep caring, I see. Love I don’t. It makes it difficult for me to understand the reasoning behind some of their choices. There’s still a lot of miscommunication and misunderstanding between them and even though I enjoy the sweet moments, I can’t believe it’s love. It just doesn’t feel that way. I’m holding out hope that Awaken has the relationship development I’m looking for.

I find myself confused by the major plot of Underworld as well. I’m not sure the part Alex and his misadventures will play in the overall storyline, but I do see pieces of a puzzle falling into place. That didn’t stop me from being confused as to the Alex plot, though. It makes the novel feel as though it has split personality. Everything either has to do with the Underworld or with Alex, but not really both. I wish there was a better blend between the two.

Underworld was closer to the Persephone and Hades myth I keep hoping for, but there are still things holding it back. The relationship between John and Pierce doesn’t feel authentic yet and there’s a little bit of a problem with the flow of the novel, in my opinion. Those issues don’t stop it from being an enjoyable novel to read, though. I’m looking forward to finishing the series with Awaken and seeing how John and Pierce work together to figure out their lives in the Underworld.

If Underworld sounds like your kind of novel, you can purchase it here:
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Review: Abandon by Meg Cabot

Title: Abandon
Author: Meg Cabot
Series: Abandon series
Rating: ★★★

I’m all about mythology and modern takes on mythology. The Greek myths are especially interesting to read because they come filled with all their own drama. You don’t really have to look far to find a scandal. That’s why I was excited to give Cabot’s version of the Persephone myth a try.The story of Abandon takes place in two ways. We look at Pierce’s life now and how people think she’s adjusted after a near death experience, and we look at what happened during that near death experience through flashbacks. Pierce has her reasons for what has happened in the year and a half since she nearly died, but she can’t fully explain them to people. Her trip to the underworld has given her questions and problems she isn’t sure how to handle.

Not only is she struggling to understand what happened to her, but trouble keeps finding her and John magically appears ready to save her. Pierce’s heart is good and she cares a lot for people, but that caring let’s bad things follow her. I’m hoping that in the next novel, she finds some strength in standing up for herself and being a little bit selfish. I can overlook it because I can sense Pierce’s confusion about what is going on in her life. She doesn’t have the ability to think for herself when she’s trying to protect those around her.

The romance between Pierce and John felt a little stilted, but they weren’t the real focus of this novel, in my opinion. Their relationship felt a little rushed, but I’m hoping Underworld takes the time to flesh it out and make it bloom. The focus of this novel felt more centered on the necklace and setting up Pierce’s history, which worked well for me. It gave me the background to understand Pierce and where she is coming from.

As a retelling or reworking of the Hades and Persephone myth, it didn’t quite stand up. It does however, provide the set-up for the myth. I’m hoping to have more of the mythology come into play in the next novel. From how Abandon ends, I think this is where Cabot is taking it and I hope I’m right.

Abandon is a good novel to begin a new mythology series. It provides an excellent set-up for the world we are about to enter and leaves questions and puzzles open. It wasn’t quite what I had been expecting, but it was still good. I’m looking forward to reading what comes next for Pierce and John.

If Abandon sounds like your kind of novel, you can purchase it here:
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