Is not the first time when CCAM wants me to help her with a review and I wake up with a book (or two in this case) in my arms. And as every time when it happens, she gives me the book only a few days ahead of schedule, and I find myself in a relay race with the handed baton, at the final lap. This is the way women are, they know how to manipulate us, and if you love them ... My only fear, and I think all boys feel alike, was not to wake up with a romantic book, for as you know we, guys, prefer more the adventure than the handkerchiefs soaked up in tears.
It seems that I was lucky because in the Artifact Hunters series written by A.W. Exley, you will get romance, but also smashed heads and fists thrown to the left and right, so everyone will be happy. From this point of view the author has gambled and, in my opinion, she won because the series is not just romance and adventure. The books are a melange of genres: adventure, romance, steampunk, detective, fantasy, mystery, science fiction, thriller. What do you think? Is there something not to like? Furthermore, at times the thriller tends to be something more, and the romance gets some strong sensual notes even explicit sex. There are two stories that take place in a Victorian era filled with steampunk elements, but the action is triggered and led by some ancient mysteries.
The first book, Nefertiti's Heart, is built on the frame of a mystery story which is well-run, with characters shaped in overlapped tones that can easily pass at any moment (or leave the impression that they can easily pass) from light to darkness, from good to bad, leaving to the reader no chance to label the characters from the beginning as positive or negative. An interesting action set placed in the XIX mid-century London, where the fantastic entwines with reality, where the assembly is viewed as through a stained glass. Behind this blurred image anything is possible and all it is in the eye of the beholder. Everything can go hand in hand: normal people and bearers of dark secrets, victims and executioners, aristocrats and people from the underworld, a crucible in which are mixed lives, mysteries, actions and their aftermaths. But all it is only to the readers’ satisfaction and delight. The book is well kept on tracks by the author, and the unexpected ending of the action will successfully conclude a story that deserves to be read.
The second one, Hatshepsut's Collar is a race against time to save the British Empire from self-destruction. The main characters are the same, but all the mystery that enveloped them in the first novel will dissipate. Everything is crisp and clear; the fantastic and the action will come first, not the mystery. Except the main female character which will remain the same untamed feline, a sort of Lara Croft of the XIX century, the male characters lose some of their luster by the disappearance of the mystery that was surrounding them in the first volume. There is not a minus, but in first novel there was an exoticism about them that you will not found again. Maybe it's just my personal opinion, but first novel is my favorite from the two of them.
As a conclusion, you will get a reading that will intrigue you and will make you live intensely the Artifact Hunters stories along with your favorite characters. Maybe, who knows, new adventures of Cara and Nate will come soon.
She survived school by hiding out in the library, with several thousand fictional characters for company. At university, she overcame the boredom of studying accountancy by squeezing in Egyptology papers and learning to read hieroglyphics.
Today, Anita writes steampunk novels with a sexy edge and an Egyptian twist. She lives in rural New Zealand surrounded by an assortment of weird and wonderful equines, felines, canine and homicidal chickens.
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