Publication Date: March 24, 2009
In The Curse of Nefertiti by Charline Ratcliff, Egypt has been decimated and Nefertiti is sent to the future to live as Kayla. In the future, she finds the reincarnation of her husband, Akhenaten. Does she stay with the love she thought she’d never see again or return to the people who need her so desperately?
The author, Charline Ratcliff, gave me a copy of this novel in exchange for my review.
The Curse of Nefertiti is less a time travel novel and more reincarnation. This is a story line we’ve seen done many times of late in The Almighty Johnsons and the fabulous Canadian movie, The Trotsky starring Jay Baruchel. Ratcliff’s novel falls into the romantic fantasy genre.
Kalya/Nefertiti is written as a modern woman. She’s typical of the genre in that she is perhaps too strong to the point of being abrasive, but in a way that will appeal to 20-somethings who feel they are the same way. She is dogged and determined, a woman you can see leading her people. Ratcliff does not rob her main character of emotion. When she devotes herself she feels things deeply and her heart and soul are engaged in a war with responsibility and sense.
There are certain elements of Kayla’s relationship with Paolo that I couldn’t get into. Call it my age or an inability to suspend disbelief. Kayla, at times, was too pie-eyed and Paolo was a bit too awesome. That isn’t to say that Paolo is in any way one-dimensional. The story is told from Kayla’s point of view that gives Ratcliff the luxury of maintaining a sultry, mysterious and dark male lead. Because we have the story in Kayla’s voice there’s a sense of being within the moment if our narrator does “suddenly” realize things perhaps a bit too often.
Something I find interesting that is mentioned in this novel is the expected societal role of women. Often you read women boasting of a lack of household skills as proof that they are sexual beings, but can a woman not be both capable around the house and a unique tiger in the bedroom? We don’t find out with Kayla as there is copious sex but a very clearly declared lack of skills any woman or man needs to take care of themselves in their own living situations.
As romantic fantasy goes, The Curse of Nefertiti is a good novel. Strong and well-defined characters, good flow if not a bit repetitive at times. A bit of a narcissist for a narrator but well-spoken and fun to travel with through the events of the novel. The Curse of Nefertiti is Ratcliff’s first adult novel and as such is quite a solid start to what is sure to be a bright writing career.
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