Reviewed by Sarina
SERIES: The Talisman Ring of Amenhotep #2
AUTHOR: Zev de Valera
PUBLISHER: MLR Press
LENGTH: 99 pages
RELEASE DATE: January 17, 2015
Determined to find answers to the mysteries surrounding the ancient electrum ring he inherited from his late lover, Egyptologist Theo Barojas, Julian Wingate and his new partner, Dinesh, seek out the help of Theo’s aging mentor. When the lively centenarian reveals secret knowledge that ties him to Julian’s nemesis, the Directrix, the trio unit to seek out the truth. But not all the secrets that will be revealed are ancient ones. Dinesh must deal with demons from his past, Julian will struggle with his attraction to the seductive Hiroshi Sato, and Dinesh’s daughter, Rachna, will be torn between loyalty to her father and the demands of her charismatic new employer. And then there are the questions that nag at Julian. What strange bond does he share with the Directrix, who possesses the mate of his talisman ring? Why can only they wear the relics with impunity? To find the answer to these and other questions, Julian must return to the point of origin; the tomb of Amenhotep Son of Hapu.
After the previous book, I was looking forward to getting into this one; I just love Egyptian history and the blending with paranormal/sci-fi is just so appealing to me. The beginning of the story had me hooked immediately; I loved being able to ‘see’ what was basically the beginning to the tale of the rings and while I would’ve liked more (naturally) it drew me into the book regardless of length. The rest of the story, while moving the plot forward some, was more like a bridge between books one and three, if that makes any kind of sense. There’s more character development, especially on the part of Dinesh, and more characters have been added, but most of what you’re getting is pure set up for the next book in the series.
Don’t get me wrong, there was quite a bit happening over the course of the story even if it didn’t seem like it. More character development (as I already mentioned) between old and new characters, and there was also quite a lot of plotting going on behind the scenes and off to the side of the main plot point that I look forward to exploring in the future. It will certainly be interesting to see what works out for whom! Add in some additional information about the Directrix and surprising revelations about a connection between here and Julian and this was a fairly interesting read. I will confess to some minor disappointment that I didn’t get more information about the past or any significant time spent with the characters in Egypt but as the next book is set up to give me (hopefully) both, I can totally live with it.
If you enjoyed the previous book, I’d certainly recommend continuing the series.