Catherine Cavendish – Waking The Ancients Review

Genre: Historical Fiction
Length: 180 Pages
Publisher: Kensington-Lyrical
Release date: April 24, 2018

Egypt, 1908
University student Lizzie Charters accompanies her mentor, Dr. Emeryk Quintillus, on the archeological dig to uncover Cleopatra’s tomb. Her presence is required for a ceremony conducted by the renowned professor to resurrect Cleopatra’s spirit—inside Lizzie’s body. Quintillus’s success is short-lived, as the Queen of the Nile dies soon after inhabiting her host, leaving Lizzie’s soul adrift…

Vienna, 2018
Paula Bancroft’s husband just leased Villa Dürnstein, an estate once owned by Dr. Quintillus. Within the mansion are several paintings and numerous volumes dedicated to Cleopatra. But the archeologist’s interest in the Egyptian empress deviated from scholarly into supernatural, infusing the very foundations of his home with his dark fanaticism. And as inexplicable manifestations rattle Paula’s senses, threatening her very sanity, she uncovers the link between the villa, Quintillus, and a woman named Lizzie Charters. And a ritual of dark magic that will consume her soul.

Review copy provided in exchange for an honest review.

I didn’t read the first book in the Nemesis of the Gods series. But the second book, Waking the ancients, was written to stand on its own. I didn’t feel like anything was missing or that I needed a bunch of backstory about the characters. Waking the ancients revolves around Paula, our protagonist, who lives in a famous house, which seems to have a ghost or two. The paranormal elements were pretty good and I didn’t know if she was losing her mind, or if the ghosts were real. I found the use of a cold draft a bit cliché and over used. Also, I thought the wife and sister being alone in the house a bit stereotypical. Paula’s husband was gone on business for much of the story, especially when the ghost was around and that felt too easy.

For me, the book became much better when the story went back in time and I learned about the history of the previous home owner and why there was the possibility of ghosts in the home. It would have been great for the story to start here, where I found characters to be more developed, including an antagonist who was a real piece of work. This is where things became more interesting and I was engaged in the plot. But, as the plot transitioned back to the current time period, I found myself lost in several places and noticed a few holes that didn’t make sense. I also didn’t understand why certain events happened and further explanation would have been helpful, i.e., why the basement door in the kitchen was bolted. In the end, I was surprised by the multiple betrayals and twists which was a good set up for the next book in the Nemesis of Gods series.

Link to Purchase Waking The Ancients

Catherine Cavendish , Biography-

Following a varied career in sales, advertising and career guidance, Catherine Cavendish is now the full-time author of a number of paranormal, ghostly and Gothic horror novels, novellas and short stories. Cat’s novels include the Nemesis of the Gods trilogy – Wrath of the Ancients, Waking the Ancients and Damned by the Ancients, plus The Devil’s Serenade, The Pendle Curse and Saving Grace Devine. She lives with her long-suffering husband, and a black cat who has never forgotten that her species used to be worshipped in ancient Egypt. She sees no reason why that practice should not continue. Cat and her family divide their time between Liverpool and a 260-year-old haunted apartment in North Wales.

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