4 out of 5 stars
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Verity Easton by M. Rebecca Wildsmith is a fun and fast-paced novel that blends elements of mystery, historical fiction, and the paranormal. The book begins with Verity and her father traveling from England to Egypt on a steamer ship. Verity’s father is a professor; her mother, now deceased, was Egyptian. The professor (and therefore young Verity herself) is on a quest to find the lost tomb of Queen Nefertiti. Their ship docks in Alexandria, Egypt, and they travel by train from Alexandria to Cairo.
From the beginning of the book, Verity has vivid dreams that seem to connect her to her Egyptian heritage. The dreams get stronger as the book progresses, and Verity doesn’t know what they mean. And while Verity’s life seems as if it should be very exciting, she is quite lonely. Her father, the professor, focuses solely on his quest, leaving Verity to fend for herself. Adding mystery to the plot are the unexplained murders that happen close enough to Verity to raise her alarm. Is Verity’s new home in Egypt safe? Is her life in danger? Who can she trust?
This was a fun book to read. The author did a wonderful job of describing life in Egypt, bringing each scene vividly to life. Verity was a likable character whose character was well-developed. It is clear from the beginning that Verity is neglected by her father, which makes her long for human connection and therefore very vulnerable. The plot was full of intrigue and unexpected twists, and it kept me guessing until the very end.
If there was one thing I would change about the book, it would be the ending. The conclusion of the book felt abrupt, and I reread it multiple times, hoping for more resolution. I understood the ending, but I would have been delighted with a few more paragraphs. Others might enjoy the ending as-is.
I rate this book 4 out of 5 stars. With its compelling characters, intricate plot, and atmospheric setting, this novel was captivating. I took one star away because of the abrupt ending. The author took a risk with the ending, and it didn’t quite satisfy me as a reader. That said, I would recommend this book to fans of historical fiction about Egypt in the 1930s, especially if they like mystery and a bit of romance. This would be a great beach read for anyone looking for a book to take on vacation with them. M. Rebecca Wildsmith is a talented storyteller.
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