A steampunk adventure with a serial killer, romance, and a few broken hearts.
Cara Devon has always suffered curiosity and impetuousness, but tangling with a serial killer might cure that. Permanently.
London, 1861: Impoverished noble Cara has a simple mission after the strange death of her father - sell off his damned collection of priceless artifacts. Her plan goes awry when aristocratic beauties start dying of broken hearts, an eight-inch-long brass key hammered through their chests. A killer hunts amongst the nobility, searching for a regal beauty and an ancient Egyptian relic rumored to hold the key to immortality.
Her Majesty's Enforcers are in pursuit of the murderer and they see a connection between the gruesome deaths and Cara. So does she - somewhere in London her father hid Nefertiti's Heart, a fist-sized diamond with strange mechanical workings. Adding further complication to her life, notorious crime lord Viscount Nathaniel Lyons is relentless in his desire to lay his hands on Cara and the priceless artifact. If only she could figure out his motive.
Self-preservation fuels Cara's search for the gem. In a society where everyone wears a mask to hide their true intent, she needs to figure out who to trust, before she makes a fatal mistake.
©2013 A. W. Exley (P)2014 Audible Inc.
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""VICTORIAN STEAM PUNK THRILLER""
It was an exciting steam punk adventurure, a murder mystery and a love story all wrapped into one--WITH an Egyption twist? What more could you ask for?! Witty characters which exploded into life thanks to this extra cool reader. Gonna go straight to the next one in series. Never seen this author before but Lovin her (or is it him?) so far!
"steampunk is an afterthought"
I've been listening to audiobooks fo 30 years so that is a little hard to say, but I will say it kept my interest.
Cara, she's a spunky nonconformist, with a traumatic past to overcome. The last book I listened to had a female character who didn't do anything without her husband's permission, (ugh!, I returned it). So it was nice to encounter a pistol packing heroine who had her own mind.
Possibly, if so I don't remember it.
An Egyptian artifact, a serial killer who wants it, and an unconventional romance, all set in an alternate Victorian England.
First off, the steampunk is only window dressing. The modern vernacular could be off putting at times, but I was able to ignore it for the most part. The serial killer denoument is predictable. The characters should have had more development. All that said, I thought it was a fun, quick listen. Not great, but I will continue the series. Story 3.5.
"Feminist Success, Steampunk Fail"
The artifact plotline is a distant second to the personal plotline, and that's for the best. This book is about a rape survivor falling in love and learning to be safe in her body. On that count, this book is AWESOME. The sex scenes are explicit and plentiful in a way that I felt detracted from the story, but it may be a bonus for other readers. However. The fact that Exley decided to make this a steampunk novel set in Victorian England was a poor choice. All steampunk fiction requires a strong stomach for anachronism, but I spent so much time cringing at the ultra modern and non-British references that I nearly had to stop listening. It was really jarring, and made it hard to get into the story. The artifact plotline could have been excellent, if Exley spent more time developing it. It serves its purpose as a catalyst for the love story, but is otherwise superfluous. I think this novel would be spectacular under the firm hand of an editor. The artifact plotline needs to be developed, and every single page needs a Victorian makeover. As thrilled as I was to see a rape survivor's story told with so much compassion and care, the sloppy disregard for period and genre, and lack of development of the action plot were really irritating and made this a hard listen. I won't be reading anything else from Exley.
"Nefertit's Heart captivates you from the start!"
I have both the e-version and the audible, the reader makes the story if there is a story from the start. Here you have both! A.W.Exley is and amazing writer and Gemma Dawson is an amazing story teller!
A.W.E.... Now isn't that just apropos when you read it like that .. A . W . Exley has opened an AWE-some and mysteriously wonderful world with the Artifact Hunters series. I love the character building and the world building of this writer. The story is enjoyable and exciting with characters you love to love and love to hate and a tale that will totally keep you engaged throughout the entire tale!
Gemma Dawson brings a reading style that makes the listener crave more! I love listening to storytellers that bring you into a story as if you are standing in the "story-world" itself! Ms. Dawson does this and I look forward to listening to more work from her.
Nefertiti's Heart is an exciting and fun trip into the steampunk world of magic mechanicals and mayhem. There are so many instances when the heart rate rises or you feel the pangs of heart ache that you can't help but be engaged throughout the entire tale!
I totally look forward to more from both A.W. Exley and Gemma Dawson in the future! They are truly well matched when it comes to story writing and story telling and all I can say is ... They are MAGIC!
Fun, engaging characters keep the story moving forward while the plot thickens. Enjoyed the steam punk aspects. Looking forward to reading 'Hatshepsut's Collar', next on series.
"Enjoyable romance with very lite steampunk."
This romance reminded me a bit of Amanda Quick's writing, with a little steampunk thrown in it for crunch. As a romance I enjoyed this story but the mystery was very easy to figure out and the steampunk was almost like an afterthought to the story. I would definitely read the next story if it is on sale. I really like the heroine with her feistiness and how she didn't let past horrors ruin her life. I also like how Nate never gave up on what he wanted without pushing too much. I would like to have seen more of how the artifacts were "more than they seem" in the story line. I felt that part was a little underdeveloped and had the potential to be really intriguing and could have utilized the steampunk aspect more. Of course the next books will have more. Narrator was good.
I adored the accents, loved the story line.... Characters were really well defined. World set up was perfect...
I actually found this book a bit hard to get into at first but that could have been because I had a lot going on. It ended up getting me so hooked into the story that I went back and listened to it again.
The author has a wonderful descriptive style that gives you a strong overall visual of the scenes. I'm really looking foward to becoming involved in the twists of her other stories.
"The concept is awesome but the story not as much"
There were moments of unexpected and disturbing violence I had to skip through. Not my cup of tea.
Yes possibly, I enjoy the concept and the imagery.
Her lovely accent(s) is fluid and understandable.
I definitely expected more out of this book, so no.
I will be getting the whole series. The book was unique and refreshing, :)
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