Since the ILVN 2024 Reading Challenge has twelve prompts, I’m completing one prompt a month, like we did last year, but without the book club attached. Instead, I’ll be letting you know WHAT I read and fit it into the prompt accordingly instead of hoping the one I chose matched.
Plus, we still get to talk about it.
For January, the blank board had me tackling a tough one first, and that was a Book Box Book. Now, given that I work on a book box subscription, you’d think this one wouldn’t be so hard to fulfill, but I’ve missed this prompt on SOOO many previous personal challenges that I had to tick it off first. For the pure satisfaction of finally being able to do so.
The book was our Sassy & Strong book, Harleigh Sinclair and the Raiders of the Lost Ankh by Tamara Grantham. I also got to discuss the nitty gritty with the author for Bite Me Box’s quarterly book club chat with our subscribers. It was such a good time.
AND it was a good book. A solid 4.5 stars. If you’ve been around, you know—or if you’re new, you will now—I’m a tough critic. It’s the former Editor-in-Chief and former English professor in me that’s hard to shut up.
The story was intriguing and entertaining. I LOVED the tension between Harleigh and Jagg, our resident mysterious bad boy who seems to have a heart of gold as big as the chip on his shoulder. Their dynamic had the right development for the five-book series, and I can’t wait to see how they finally earn each other’s trust. The moment they let each other in will be so nice.
This book also had a nice magic system that was different. A relic released power across the world, giving powers to the people and creating Neotacts. No one yet understands why the magic chooses who it does. Something else that’s cool about these powers is that all Neotact powers are centered in the hands—in touch. Harleigh can read an object’s or person’s past by touching them. It’s how she solves a murder in the opening of the book.
Tamara does a great job of showing how the power works without overwhelming the reader, too. We get layers, like Harleigh has had practice sifting through images to find the right one. It was so well done.
Describing the surroundings and the history was also handled well. Using a host/tour guide to show off a Scottish castle and questioning the locals to showcase a small Egyptian village gave us a rich world that didn’t become telling or info dumping.
The mystery was interesting, too, but I’m not delving too far into that to keep from spoiling it. The objects that control Neotact powers are stolen and used to curse people and turn them into mummies—that ankh is a badass relic.
Tamara also set us up for more mysteries in the following four books. I am so excited to read the next one, Harleigh Sinclair and the Ice Crusade coming out this March.
Have you read Harleigh Sinclair and the Raiders of the Lost Ankh by Tamara Grantham? If so let me know in the comments below.
Tag us at @ILoveVampireNovels to share your pick for this month’s reading challenge.