Annabeth Neverending by Leyla Kader Dahm

 

An ankh pendant gives Annabeth Prescott glimpses of a past life, a princess of ancient Egypt who is doomed to love a slave yet forced to marry a monster. When the twins that move in next to her are the doppelgangers of the men that feature so prominently in her past life she has decide who she loves- that man she thinks is her destiny or the possible new love who looks like her past enemy.

Annabeth is an adopted – not sure when but I get the feeling since she was a baby – teenage girl who has a habit of sleepwalking, so much so she has restraints on her bed. -While I’m on the point, is that a real thing, sleepwalking restraints/ cuffs, just curious? –  She’s naïve yet quick to make assumptions – they mostly turn out right but she does guess things way too quickly. I really hope I was nothing like her at 16 since she says things like:-

“I don’t want Gabriel to be my first kiss.

I want him to be my last.”

It’s a bit sickly sweet for someone you barely know. At the point she said this she had spent all of a car ride home and then maybe an hour with Gabriel as part of a first date, bit soon to be saying this. Speaking of too soon, this is just after both had shared their deepest darkest secrets – her sleepwalking, adoption and worried her parents don’t love her has much as their birth son and Gabriel, his mother’s death and daddy issues. This realistically sounds too early to be sharing something so personal. Then again, what do I know, I don’t date.

She clearly has issues concerning her adoption, not the adoption process but being a bother to her adopted parents and any problems she may have inherited from her biological ones. It doesn’t seem like she has any intention of trying to find her birth mum until she can when she’s 18 but she avoids telling her parents when something’s wrong because her parents nearly went bankrupt – hospital bills from sleepwalking, something she thinks she got from her birth mum. I can’t say I particular like Annabeth but I don’t hate her either. I actually prefer her princess past self. She has a bit more personality. A spoiled princess, prone to temper tantrums is always fun. Though she is dignified and restrains herself in front of others. I liked that she was good at polearms and gymnastics, something Annabeth can’t do till she’s channelling princess Ana.

Gabriel is one of her love interests and looks exactly like Kha – a dark priest in ancient Egypt who manipulated himself to be princess Ana’s husband. (Really want to avoid spoilers so I’m being deceptive in word choice from now on) Gabriel is nothing like his past life ….. or is he? He’s self-assured, cocky and has no interest or belief in reincarnation, magic or ancient Egypt, despite studying archaeology. Not sure what else to say about him.

Since I’ve already mentioned Kha lets continue with him. He’s a manipulative prick to put is nicely. He seems nice at first, wanting to help Ana escape a marriage to her brother but it’s all a manipulation. He is desperately in love or infatuated with Ana and wants her for himself. Points to him though for his determination and loyalty. Even after centuries… millenniums and who knows how many lives he still has these feelings. If he hadn’t resorted to manipulation and dark magic it to would have been kind of sweet. He’s even loyal to his sister, trying to get her the best marriage he can. He rose from humble conditions of a scribe through his determination – and magic – all so he could be worthy of poor Ana. Don’t get me wrong, he is evil and I don’t want him to succeed but I feel a bit sorry for him.

Unfortunatly for Kha Ana is in love with Sethe, her slave bodyguard. He doesn’t speak much but he is very loyal , but in a nicer way than Kha. He helps her when he can, including teaching her polearms, but he knows to restrain himself. Poor guy just can’t catch a break though, taken from his own land to become a slave – might have had a wife before, not very clear- then falls in love with his slave owner but can’t be with her in that way.

Sethe looks like C.J in modern times, the fraternal twin of Gabriel. Not a big fan of him really. He does everything he can to woo Annabeth, great dates and jewellery but he has a bit of a jealous streak. Won’t say any more about him.

The story was okay but feels a bit rushed. Some things did not make sense, like it getting dark as Gabriel was driving Annabeth home, she hadn’t been at the flea market that long and I think she got there early morning so why was it getting dark. Stupid to comment on I know but I do markets regularly  – in the UK – and I’ve never gone home in the dark from one and that’s when I’m doing the whole market, she left early. Things and assumptions happen way to quickly. Annabeth thought the ankh was the cause of her seeing ancient Egypt minutes after it happened. I mean she touches the pendent when she buys it then hand it over to her friend to show. Its when her friend hands it back that Annabeth gets her first vision, and again every time she directly touches it. Why didn’t she get one when she first bought it. The instant love just adds to this. Ana is instantly attracted to Sethe, and so is Annabeth after the vision. As I mentioned earlier she’s loves Gabriel way too quickly for my liking.

I can’t decide how I feel about two things in Annabeths’ character- her drawing and adoption. She apparently likes to draw but the first time it’s brought up is when Gabriel gives her a birthday present. Then its only used for Gabriel to find out about her attraction to C.J. and to show her going a bit crazy. It’s more a plot device than an aspect of Annabeth.

Same with adoption in a way. Her being scared of what she may have inherited is why she doesn’t tell her mother something weird is going on in her life. Also its given as an explanation for why she’s so interested in finding her past life family. She doesn’t know anything about her biological ones but she can find out about her past life. Saying that I liked how the adoption part was done differently than what I usually read. She’s always known she was adopted, her adopted parents are good people and she’s not trying to find her birth parents yet.

Speaking of parents, that was something that was really well done. It dealt with some of the real issues of reincarnation – her family were all dead. There’s an emotional scene when Annabeth see’s the mummified corpse of her past life’s father. I felt so bad her, it’s a shame that her seeing her ankh makes her more emotional straight after.

I feel the need to mention that the story is in first person present tense, something I’m not a fan of, but it was okay. There was one point that annoyed me though. When Annabeth really gets into her visions, about half way through the book, there’s a paragraph that says she actually became Ana then goes into the vision with “I did”… so and so instead of “I watched Ana” do so and so. It might have been better without that paragraph explaining it – the show don’t tell kind of idea.

All that being said, I didn’t mind the book. Straight after reading it I had issues but now thinking about it, I can appreciate it more. The premise is good it was just a bit rushed and squished together. The plot oddly reminded me of a recurring dream I had in middle school – ancient Egypt, magical priest, reincarnation….. that might be why the plot twist was kind of expected for me. About a quarter of the way through I had a good idea what was going to happen and half way through I knew exactly. Thinking about the characters is what changed my mind about it. They were really well done, just about all of them had their own personality without falling into stereotypes. Hell I even feel bad for Kha. I’m not going to read it again but I would recommend this to people, especially those who like reincarnation.

 

 

 

 

 

Goodreads Link:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27468996-annabeth-neverending

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