Before I dive into the full review, some of you may remember when I read and reviewed Nefertiti’s Heart last year. I was recently contacted to see if I would be interested in reviewing the other books in the Artifact Hunter series. Since I thoroughly enjoyed the first volume, I said, “Absolutely!”
So, here we go:
- Title: Hatshepsut’s Collar
- Genre: Steampunk/Romance/Fantasy (it’s complicated)
Cara Devon has an airship full of problems. Not only is she recovering from her brush with a serial killer who liked to break hearts (literally), but there’s the unexpected effects of Nefertiti’s Heart to deal with as well. Then she learns her lover, Nate, is keeping dangerous secrets, the Queen is gathering every able-bodied man for war — oh, and Nate was thrown into the Tower of London for treason. Now Cara has to race to clear his name, before his execution kills them both.
Much like the first novel, Hatshepsut’s Collar features a whole host of the things I love. Egyptian references, Regency era British society, steampunk references, hot and heavy romance, and a little bit of mystery. Again, the building fantasy/paranormal element caught me a little off guard, but it wasn’t as abrupt as it was in the first volume – and I still very much like it. It’s neat that one book can have aspects of all my favorite genres wrapped into a single package!
I will admit that the initial surprise (and the initial plot conflict) annoyed me at first – I thought it would turn into the typical male/female misunderstanding that adds tension to romance novels. However, the way events unfolded immediately solved that little problem – and let me tell you, you don’t see this plot twist coming. In fact, the entire novel keeps you on your toes, with unexpected (and fun) twists and turns throughout.
I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who read the first book – in fact, anyone who enjoys romance, fantasy, or steampunk should check out both books.
Disclaimer: there are a few sex scenes scattered throughout the book (it is a romance). In addition, any hardcore fans of individual genres might find the author’s approach to integrating multiple categories off-putting. I personally found it refreshing and delightful, but I can see how a history buff would take offense at Queen Victoria’s non-historical actions or a steampunk junkie might hate the paranormal elements. Then again, you never know until you try it, right?