Estoy en el séptimo cielo... steampunk. Sí, lo he dicho bien, porque he encontrado una serie de novelas de corte steampunk que me han cautivado. Tanto El corazón de Nefertiti como El collar de Hatshepsut son lecturas llenas de aventura, misterio, acción, romance y secretos que van brotando en cada esquina. ¡Sólo espero que haya una tercera parte!
En la primera novela, conocemos a Cara, una tía de armas tomar que ha regresado al Londres victoriano para vender la colección de antigüedades de su difunto padre. Hace años sufrió en sus manos un abuso traumático que ha dejado en ella huellas físicas y emocionales. Desde el oscuro mundo del contrabando, un vizconde con muchos trapicheos y reputación peligrosa busca hacerse con esos artefactos. No sabe que se ha topado con una mujer como no hay otra en la ciudad. Entre ellos, surge un juego de voluntades que Cara está dispuesta a ganar. El vizconde puede ser seductor, intrigante, pero por nada del mundo va a quitarle el placer de destruir la colección de artefactos que tanto pesar le causó en su infancia.
Mientras la sociedad se debate entre el horror de unos asesinatos al estilo de Jack el Destripador y el regreso de la infame dama que perdió su honor a manos de un noble, Cara y Nathaniel descubren que los artefactos ocultan poderes mágicos.
Me ha conquistado desde la primera página. Tiene una heroína inteligente, fuerte, con un plan propio. Sabe defenderse porque tiene un pasado realmente desesperado y ha tenido que luchar para liberarse. Aún así, sufre por el rechazo de la sociedad. Nunca ha podido confiar en ningún hombre. Y aparece este calculador noble de negocios turbios que, con la astucia de un gato, empieza a seducirla con dulzura y respeto. El romance que se establece entre ellos es hermoso, sensual, aunque a veces parezca precipitado dadas las circunstancias de Cara. Son estremecedoras.
En cuanto al misterio de los artefactos y los asesinatos, es un fondo magnífico donde Londres brilla con toda su personalidad. Los toques steampunk, como caballos mecánicos y vestuario muy visual, confieren a la novela mucho colorido. La autora tiene un estilo narrativo irónico, rico y vivaz.
En la segunda novela, me he quedado totalmente prendada. Se convierte en una auténtica aventura que nos lleva a la Torre de Londres y de allí a Rusia. La reina Victoria ha caído presa de un ansia de conquista militar que amenaza con hundir a Inglaterra en una guerra sin precedentes. Nate es acusado de traición. Además, confiesa un secreto asombroso a Cara que pone en jaque su relación incipiente.
¡Ha sido un giro argumental alucinante!
Sin un segundo de descanso, la acción se triplica junto a la tensión romántica, el humor y la aventura. Aparece un elemento de fantasía que no esperaba y resulta maravilloso. Los personajes secundarios son todo un lujo, incluido un capitán pirata llamado Loki que, pardiez, necesita su propia novela ya.
Me he hecho adicta a estas historias en torno a artefactos malditos. Sólo ese punto da muchísimo juego. Los diálogos son inteligentes, la trama es ingeniosa y variada, con un arco romántico que va profundizándose a medida que avanza. Se nota que la autora tiene un plan para su serie porque va ampliando el horizonte de sus personajes en cuanto a posibilidades de lo que pueden hacer y hasta dónde les va a presionar. El final de la segunda novela promete una vuelta de tuerca a la situación de esta pareja al servicio de su majestad que me tiene nerviosa de anticipación.
Si os gusta la aventura steampunk romántica, no os perdáis esta serie.
MY REVIEWS FOR THE TOUR
Do you know that moment when you're reading a book and something inside your head clicks? You become all excited because you just know you're going to like it. Well, with NEFERTITI'S HEART, it happened to me on page two. That's pretty quick.
I'm in love with this series. Choke-full of mystery, dark deeds, sensuality and arcane antiques, it's a match made in steampunk heaven.
On her father's death, Cara comes back to London to get rid of her inner demons. Most importantly, she's determined to sell the vast collection of ancient artifacts her father amassed during his lifetime. Cara wants to smash or dispose of the things that mattered to her father much more than his daughter's safety. Easier thought than accomplished because she finds herself in the middle of a killing spree while Inspector Fraser and Viscount Lyons pursue her with opposite intents.
This novel is a multi-layered combination of plot elements. We have to investigate our way through the gruesome murders of an enigmatic killer. He's preying on society's most treasured flowers with no apparent reason but a tenuous link to Ancient Egypt and a lady reviled for her lost morals. I find this mystery very appealing in a deliciously twisted way. He's one dark villain with a gusto for Jack-the-Ripper-like crime. Sprinkled with steampunk tidbits (I loved the mechanical horses, and the waiters too!!), the story progresses on a path full of surprises, darkness and cinematic crime-solving.
Let's not forget the sizzling tension between Cara and Nathaniel Lyons. Cara is as tough as iron. I can't strain enough how great it was to meet her the way she acts on the first chapter. Wow, she was mean and fabulous! A very dark past stains her for gentle society which has caused a paradox in her life. It's both marked and liberated her from certain social constraints that turn this woman into a kick-ass, genuinely free spirit. She still has some heavy issues to tackle. Wronged and abused, she refuses to buckle. Ironically, that's where the notorious Captain Lyons butts in. He'll challenge her in very different ways. I wasn't expecting so much steam in the premises, but hey, I'm not complaining. I relished every passionate encounter and how their relationship grows hotter and hotter.
A scorching game of seduction that blooms into an intense love story?
Please, give me more.
It was also a great fun to read because of the author's witty humour. Both conversations and inner dialogues were interlaced with bold wit. She also achieves a wonderful depiction of London's streets that come alive with the clatter and clamour of 19th century atmosphere.
I'm really looking forward to reading more adventures of this sassy heroine, her very sexy and tough counterpart, and those infinitely interesting magical artifacts.
And I was so satisfied with this first book that I wanted to go straight to the second. Luckily for me, it was just handy.
HATSHEPSUT'S COLLAR kicks off with a vengeance. London is alive with treachery and hidden enemies. The viscount is accused of a crime against the Crown, so he's taken to the infamous Tower of London to await execution at Queen Victoria's pleasure, but not before he confesses another more personal crime to Cara. Oh, my face must have been a comical echo of Cara's when I read this part. I wouldn't have foreseen that move in a hundred years!
The stakes are higher than ever as international politics take Cara and Nate to Russia while trying to avoid death threats from Queen Victoria herself. I couldn't have asked for a better second installment. It goes further in terms of adventure, quirky steampunk machinery and romance.
Cara and Nate share an unexpected bond. Not only are they emotionally attached, they're also linked in a supernatural way thanks to their previous adventure. To my delight, their relationship reaches a very tense point, ant it also becomes maddeningly sexy. And beautiful to envision. I must say that I'd love to see with my own eyes, even try on, those great outfits Cara dons in her outrageous outings.
I love the author's sarcastic humour. I've really enjoyed this high-class adventure that combines the unending potential of magical artifacts with a sensual love story and a dynamic mystery.
The novel has stimulating dialogue, a romantic couple full of banter and mischief, unforgettable second characters, and a sophisticated plot with plenty of twists to raise my interest till the last page. I can't help thinking that I would also enjoy reading about certain characters' personal stories, such as that Russian count or the incorrigible Loki. Wouldn't they make for wonderfully passionate main characters?
I had a lot of fun reading these two books. At the end, I was sure I wanted to embark on new and more dashing adventures about doom-laden artifacts, exotic destinations and witty mysteries. So I can only hope there will be more in the future and I recommend this series whole-heartedly.
Books and writing have always been an enormous part of A.W. Exley’s life.
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.
Nefertiti's Heart (Artifact Hunters #1) by A.W. ExleyPage Count: 284 pagesPublished: February 4th, 2013 by Curiosity Quills PressGenre: NA/Mystery/SteampunkRecommended Age: 16 and up
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.
Hatshepsut's Collar (Artifact Hunters #2) by A.W. ExleyPage Count: 274Published: November 13th, 2013 by Curiosity Quills Press
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.
Thanks so much, Candace, for letting me join this incredible tour! And dear Anita, I love, love, endelessly love your books :o)
SORTEO / GIVEAWAY TIME
Mis arrebatadores, ¿os habéis hecho fans de alguna saga últimamente? ¿Habéis leído algún libro de género steampunk?
Babel en un zepelín con destino a la diversión.