book review

Review: Cleo

Lucy Coats - Cleo

Her precious mother is dead – and it isn’t an accident! The young Cleopatra – Pharaoh’s illegitimate daughter – must flee the royal palace at Alexandria or die too. As her evil half-sisters usurp the throne, Cleo finds sanctuary at the sacred temple of Isis, where years later she becomes initiated into the secret Sisters of the Living Knot. But now Isis’s power is failing, Egypt is in danger, and Cleo must prove her loyalty to her goddess by returning to the Alexandria she hates. She must seek out the hidden map which is the key to returning Isis’s power – on pain of death. But will she be able to evade her horrible sisters? And will she find dreamy Khai, the über-hot Librarian boy she met as she fled Alexandria years before? Cleo’s powerful destiny is about to unfold…

Gorgeous and evocative, this captivating new YA novel imagines the life of the teenage Cleopatra before she became the icon we think we know.

I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!

This one caught my eye because a.) I liked the cover, and b.) it’s about Egypt. However, it didn’t totally live up to my expectations. There were definitely things I liked about it, but there was one thing that annoyed me a lot. Anyway, let’s start with the good.

Firstly, it was set in Egypt. Seriously, I’ll read anything about Ancient Egypt. I really liked the detail about the world. However, I think a little more explanation of who the gods and goddesses are was needed – I’m pretty familiar with them, but sometimes there wasn’t a huge amount of explanation about them. The idea behind the story was good too – Cleo’s thought to be dead by her two evil stepsisters until she ends up becoming a secret priestess of Isis and has to return to the palace to find a hidden map. It’s a fun story, with lots of little twists. I also really liked the friendship between Cleo and her slave Charm. I loved the fact that they were always there for each other.

So what was my biggest complaint about the book? The romance. Ugh, the romance. Basically, when Cleo left the palace aged about twelve, she bumped into a cute librarian who was a similar age. Fast forward several years – Cleo is having dreams about said librarian and is totally in love with him. I mean, come on. These two had said ten words at most to each other – why would she be obsessing over him?? And of course, he’s her contact within the palace when she gets to Alexandria. It was full on instalove and it just really annoyed me.

The other thing that disappointed me a little was that this book wasn’t a standalone. I think this book could have worked a lot better if it did have a solid ending. Ah, well.

Cleo could have been awesome, but it didn’t impress me as much as I’d hoped because of the instalove. It’s a shame, because this book had so much potential.

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