Nefertiti’s Heart by A.W. Exley (Artifact Hunters #1)
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
A bit too much focus on the romance (and a lot more raunchy than I was expecting!), and not enough hunting and crime solving for my liking. It’s all very well having a romance in a novel, but when there’s a serial killer on the loose, and important, mystical, and valuable artefacts to be found, AND time is of the essence – why does everything stop so that two characters can have sex? There are more important things going on in the world!
There’s an obvious cliche to begin with: the “strong female character” central to the story – Cara – has a history of being a victim of extreme sexual violence (it’s ALWAYS sexual violence towards women, notice that?); so what is the cure for this… well apparently it’s more sexual advances from another character with questionable morals!?!? Personally, from the introduction of the Nathaniel character, I would not have expected Cara to fall in love with him… he’s initially a really creepy guy. He’s a criminal, a smuggler, and has his own outbursts of violence… so why does Cara think he’s so great? Just because he’s handsome? Not for me, thanks.
Anyway, despite all this questionable relationship stuff, the murder mystery is a decent plot and the supernatural item in question “Nefertiti’s Heart” is interesting. Cara’s father had a huge amount of artefacts hidden around London, so I expected there to be a lot more hunting and puzzle solving. I did quite like the slant towards a steampunk 1800s London setting of the story, the use of airships and other enhanced technology that wasn’t around at that time (and some technologies which are solely in the realm of fantasy).
This was a mildly distracting read. The first of three. I have since read the second book, and will subsequently render my judgement on that.
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