Saturday, January 5, 2013

ARC Review: Cleopatra Ascending by Maureen Lipinski

Cleopatra Ascending
Author: Maureen Lipinski
Publication: Flux (January 8, 2013)

Description: Sweet Sixteen = You’re a Queen

Despite living with a shaman, a witch, and a muse for sisters, Rhea Spencer feels like a normal teenager—even if she is the reincarnation of Cleopatra. But all that changes on Rhea’s sixteenth birthday, when her visions of the Egyptian queen start unraveling a very different version of history, and Declan, a hot representative of the secret Order of Antony, shows up on the doorstep to keep her from being kidnapped. Together, Rhea and Declan travel to Egypt to stop the Octavians, a dark cabal trying to tap into Rhea’s growing powers. The cabal seeks to access the magic deep below the desert sands, a potentially devastating force that only Rhea can protect.

My Thoughts: Rhea is a typical teen. By turns she is self-involved and selfless, self-absorbed and intuitive and much like a normal teen. But Rhea is also the reincarnation of Cleopatra which hasn't impacted her life much until her sixteenth birthday. All of a sudden two groups of guys are after her. The Order wants to protect her and the Octavians want to use her to further their evil goals. And Rhea is having very vivid dreams about Cleopatra.

I met Rhea in SHADOW'S EDGE which focused on her older sister Leah's story and didn't much like her. I was pleasantly surprised to find that I liked her very much when she was the focus of the story. I thought her wry comments and self-deprecating behavior was engaging. I liked that she has felt slighted in the special powers area because her sisters were each so amazing. But I also liked that she had enough self-confidence to not become bitter.

I liked her relationship with her boyfriend Slade which was a Romeo and Juliet sort of relationship especially given that he was a Dark Creatuir whose parents really didn't like her. I liked that, while he was there to support her at critical moments, events in his own life left her to be strong and figure many things out on her own. I liked that there was no love triangle in this one. Declan was a member of the Order who was assigned to protect her but he had a girlfriend and a life he wanted to get back too. He treated her like a little sister. 

I sympathized with Rhea as her powers manifested. Being able to raise that dead was not really a very cool power even though Zombo the zombie dog she raised was cute in a dead and rotting way. I liked the support she received from her family and liked the contrast of her relationship with her family to that of Declan's relationship with his. 

I did feel that the pacing of the story was a little odd. It took until the 25% mark before anything really happened and then the resolution of the story seemed to happen in just a few pages at the end. I do think that fans of paranormals who like feisty heroines who are very much real teens will enjoy this story though.

Favorite Quote:
I whirled around. "Hello? Who's there?" I realized I sounded exactly like one of those dumb girls in horror movies who falls while the killer is chasing her. And then, I start rooting for her to get offed based on her stupidity. I mean, no one's boyfriend hides in the woods and whispers threats, so don't go check it out. OK?
I received this eARC from Flux via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. You can buy your copy here

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