Terry Hughes suddenly has the opportunity to join her father on a project for 6 months to finish her mother’s work in Egypt. Her summer plans with her boyfriend are pushed to the side as she finds herself knee deep in the clues that could lead to Cleopatra’s lost tomb. With Maude and Fraser’s help plus her first crush Awad’s hieroglyphics skills will she be able to solve the puzzle?
Diadem of Death
Nefertari Hughes Mystery, #2
by B.R. Myers
Publication Date: April 25, 2017
Publisher: Blue Moon Publishers
I loved ASP of Ascension so I was really looking forward to book #2 in the Nefertari Hughes series. I wasn’t too sure about having Awad suddenly appear when she’s still in love with Zach but I was game for an adventure in Egypt!
I was really disappointed in how this book opens. It felt clumsy and hamfisted plus took 25% to really get started. I would have preferred to have opened the book in Egypt. Maude, Fraser and Terry having traveled there with her dad for a two week vacaycay on the real Prince’s dime. While there it comes to light that her father may take a leave of absence from the museum to work with a Dr. Elnadi on the asp and the map they found on the coffin. By starting tighter and past the start of the action we can deal with resolving the past as the new mystery is presented weaving them together. Having the new mystery follow resolving the past was really boring. Also the drama with her father and Zach would have distracted us from the foreshadowing being presented once they reached Egypt.
The locating of the tomb, figuring out the puzzles and understanding what is really going on at this dig site was well done. Almost as well done as the first book. I figured the mystery out quickly in the first book too but the journey was excellent nonetheless. I can almost say book two was as good… This time around there was no bully to distract the reader nor add drama to the day to day happenings. Terry whined a little about breaking up with Zach but it was a decision she made very adult-like and he didn’t seem to want to spend any extra time with her either! So while it was a depressing turn of events it wasn’t dramatic and didn’t serve the same story function as the bullying in the first book. Awad did not present himself in a strong light either facilitating too much about talking to Terry for the reader to get behind him.
I did really enjoy the villains and red herrings in this book. I knew who did it but not why and that kept me reading to the end. I also was distracted by Awad and his purpose. I had guessed right early on but it did get twisted in the middle and I really liked that. The twist and the struggle with Terry’s power were both great ideas! I was sucked in when she became weak Terry and even though I was screaming at the book at one point I was totally sympathetic to her pains.
I absolutely loved Maude in this book!! The friendship was a really shining moment in the first book and it didn’t fail me in the second! If there is anything a teenage girl ought to read about it is just such a friendship! Everyone is a hero at some point or another and the same is true for Maude:
Maude straightened up and tried to mimic her grandmother’s voice. “Your greatest power is your mind and your choices. Being a hero is only one part of who you are, and you are more than the sum of your parts.” Then she nudged Terry’s prosthesis with her hand and said in her own voice, “Terry, you are more than the sum of your parts.”
Maude’s little “check the candy hearts” 8-ball thing was quite cute and everyone needs a friend like her… but I did miss Fraser’s Scooby-Doo references. Though he talked about headlines a lot and I thought that worked well. Friendships evolve and change and adapt and I like that due to the change of location their friendship did that as well… Fraser ended up being a source of tension for Terry and I appreciated how it showed he cared about Maude but I also love that Maude wasn’t kept down by his doom and gloom attitude!
There is a lot more Egyptian talk in this book which is cool for Egyptian fans… and i loved learning all about what we know about Cleopatra. The end was dynamite! I seriously wondered how this could end and not be a total B movie happy ending. I loved the twist with Meera and the diadem, it totally worked. To be frank the weakest part of this series are the love interests and I have to say that is not a bad thing to have be weak at this point. Terry is only a teenager and young love is not the forever after that we like to portray, but that doesn’t mean Zach or Awad are totally out either!
This series is so much fun! Terry is smart and one-legged! How can you beat that? Plus she will always have best friend Maude… many sequels slump badly but not this one! A total must read if you love Egyptology or the story of Cleopatra.
BOTTOM LINE: A fun Egyptian mystery with a clepto monkey named Midas…
Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
“NetGalley delivers digital galleys, often called advance reading copies, or ARCs, to professional readers and helps promote new and upcoming titles. Professional readers–reviewers, media, journalists, bloggers, librarians, booksellers and educators–can join and use NetGalley at no cost.” Netgalley is a special section of my book discussions where I post reviews of the digital books I read through this service. It’s quite amazing the gems you can find. I’ve yet to regret reading a book, even if I don’t like it…