I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Annabeth Neverending by Leyla Kader Dahm
Release date: December 15th, 2015
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult, Romance
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.
I was so excited to get approved for this book on NetGalley (the plot and subject matter really intrigued me), but ultimately I was disappointed. Annabeth Neverending is a romantic fantasy novel told through Annabeth’s point of view in the modern day and occasionally in flashbacks to her previous life as Ana, daughter of Ramses II. Basically, Annabeth is a regular teenager who works at a flea market. While there, she is drawn to an ancient ankh pendant that transports her to her former life as tragic Egyptian princess who falls in love with her bodyguard. What happens in her past life has a direct impact on the present and those in it.
The main issue with the book was that it was lacking in many ways. At times it didn’t have enough details and seemed beyond believable, which is difficult because it is a fantasy novel about reincarnation! The book could have done with a few more edits and definitely more details to fill in the blanks. Everything was just so rushed! For example, Annabeth quickly figured out and accepted that she was the reincarnated Ana and didn’t really panic or freak out as would be expected. She simply tells her boss, Ms. Lansing, about her visions and get this, Ms. Lansing believes her! No questions asked. Also, I hate insta-love. I just cannot believe it at all and it’s inclusion in young adult books really bothers me. Annabeth had one date with Gabriel and all of a sudden she’s madly in love with him and thinks he’s “the one”. Seriously. It’s ridiculous and silly! The love triangle that develops between Annabeth, Gabriel and his twin-brother C.J. made me worried at times. Bouncing between both boys, her awkward sexual fantasies about one when dating the other and C.J.’s often violent/possessive outbursts made me want to scream at Annabeth. It really sent out a poor message to young women. Oh, and the slut shaming by Annabeth and her friends further soured my view of the book.
Overall, Annabeth Neverending was not a book that I enjoyed. I often found myself grasping at straws and had to push myself to continue. Ultimately, I became very frustrated and just skimmed through the last quarter of the the book. I’m just really sad that it turned out this way. It could have been quite good if only it was executed in a different way.