Book 50 of 2015: Hatshepsut’s Collar by A.W. Exley

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“Loving you is easy, it’s living with you that’s killing me.”
An ancient Egyptian artifact is driving Queen Victoria insane, and that’s not top of Cara Devon’s growing list of problems.
Viscount Nathaniel Lyons is a man of numerous secrets, but there is one in particular that threatens his fledgling relationship with Cara. Stunned by Nate’s revelation, and before she can absorb the ramifications of his actions, he is arrested, charged with treason and imprisoned in the grim Tower of London. He stole something the mad queen wants, and only has days to deliver, before his date with the executioner.
Although sorely tempted, Cara can’t let him die on Tower Green, not when their connection means she would share his fate.
Only together can Cara and Nate figure out how to wrestle Hatshepsut’s Collar from around the queen’s neck, before she plunges Britain into a world war. The search for answers sends Cara to the opulent Winter Palace of St Petersburg and the frozen depths of Siberia, with every step shadowed by an enemy with his own dark plans.

I received this book from the publisher, Curiosity Quills Press, for an honest review.

Hatshepsut’s Collar is the second book in the steampunk adventure series, The Artifact Hunters, by A.W. Exley. It is the third book in the series that I’ve read and I’m still loving the books.

This book is written differently than the first book, Nefertiti’s Heart. Nefertiti’s Heart is still a steampunk adventure, but has a murder mystery as a focal part of the story. It made a perfect origin story for the characters, the world, and what to expect in later books. Hatshepsut’s Collar is a dash of political intrigue, a hint of spy, and a cup full of heist adventures. Not only does Exley expand on the world of the artifacts, but she expands the steampunk world. We are given a steampunk view of the oppulent Russian Empire (sweet!).

What made this great was that this book was an expansion to the relationship of Devon and Lyons. Right off the bat, the reader learns something that is tied to a little detail mentioned in the first book. That one detail changes Cara. It brings about a struggle and a choice she doesn’t feel ready for, but is forced into it after Nate is arrested. You don’t get much of Hamish Fraser in this one, but he’s there snooping around and trying to catch his white whale. In the midst of all this, the nation is struggling with an impending war and crazed queen.

For me, this book did take a while to stick with. The first one was nonstop have to turn the page. This book, had moments where I could put down. However, I didn’t want to stop entirely. I love the characters and an expansion of an already awesome world is a great experience.

I LOVED how we learn little details about Nefertiti’s Heart while Cara and Nate are finding these things out. To be honest, for the two of them, Nefertiti’s Heart seems like a good thing to have around. They are constantly getting themselves in nasty problems. I also love the introduction of a mythical creature. That creature seemed perfect for the fiery duo and I absolutely love him. It made me think of a certain cartoon movie that shall remain nameless only because said creature is important to said arrest and said adventure heist.

Yeah, I had fun writing that. It’s difficult to choose what to say and what to keep hidden. Know this though, this book is a great addition to an already great series. Once again, I’m going to say that Exley is an author to keep an eye on and to contiue reading. Just one more book and I’ll be up to date with her series!

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