Review: Nefertiti by Michelle Moran

TitleNefertiti by Michelle Moran

Pages:  480

Genre:  historical fiction

Where did you get it? Purchased at Target

Why did you read it? My book club voted it in

What’s it about? Greed and power and immortality.  Told from the point of view of Nefertiti’s younger sister Mutnodjmet, this is the story of the rise and fall of the ambitious and beautiful teenage queen and her Pharoah, Akhenaten.  They decide the people should worship a minor god, Aten, changing the Egyption religion and taking control of the riches away from the powerful priests.  They build an entire city, Amarna, with giant monuments to Aten and to themselves in the desert.  Tensions run high as the priests and people rebel.  Meanwhile Nefertiti, Akhenaten’s chief wife, is unable to give him a son, while a lesser wife, Kiya, produces several, including Tutankhamun.

What did you like? It was a well-researched and super-quick read, exciting and fast paced, with lots of period detail and political intrigue.

What didn’t work for you? It was a bit repetitive and the dialog was simplistic- a very easy read and what I might call “hist-fict lite.”  I got frequently annoyed with Mutnodjmet for falling for her sister’s BS over and over again and being repeatedly surprised by her betrayals.  The repetitiveness of situations and conversations seemed like filler to me and caused the book to be longer than necessary.

Who would enjoy this book? Anyone with an interest in ancient Egypt or anyone looking for a light and easy read.

Who else has reviewed it? Many others including Caribousmom,  Diary of an EccentricPeeking Between the Pages, and Violet Crush.

Anything else to add? I enjoyed the book but did not love it, and most of our book club members expressed similar feelings.  We found there wasn’t that much to talk about, although we did have fun perusing a book on Ancient Egypt (with photos) that one of our members brought to share at the meeting.

Discussion questions can be found here.

18 Responses

  1. I have heard that the audio of this book is really good. I THINK (if my memory is holding up today) that it was narrated by Cassandra Campbell, who is just a fabulous narrator. I have had my hand on it several times at the library but always get distracted. I don’t like repetition as filler, so that makes me hesitate…

  2. So many people seem to love Moran’s work, so I’ve been looking forward to this one. I’m glad you lowered my expectations somewhat.

  3. Too bad this one wasn’t as good as you thought it would be. I really loved her book Cleopatra’s Daughter and had high hopes for the rest of her books. I still want to read them at some point, but my expectations have been lowered slightly.

  4. Interesting review format, Lisa. I haven’t read anything by this author yet.

  5. I’m a fan of Moran’s…so I’m sorry you didn’t love this one! Thanks for the link love 🙂

  6. I am a big fan of Michelle Moran. Our book club really liked lCleopatra’s Daughter .

  7. I loved all her books!

  8. I read Cleopatra’s Daughter a few months ago, and actually, it was a book club choice as well. I think that we had much the same opinion of that book as you did this one. It was light and sort of fun, but it was a little repetitive and at times simplistic. I have this book on my shelf, and at some point, I will be able to get the chance to read it!! Thanks for the great review on this one!

  9. haven’t read this one, but i tend to shy away from historical fiction. i know, i know! i’m such a bad reader! i need to be more well-rounded with my book choices.

    on a related note, i would like to visit egypt one day. my dad went when he was a kid, but the opportunity hasn’t presented itself to me yet. 🙂

  10. I definitely want to read one of Moran’s books.

  11. I’ve always been fascinated by Ancient Egypt so I’m pretty sure I would enjoy this one.

  12. Thanks for an honest review. I’m still undecided on this one!

  13. Your take on this book is exactly what I was imagining the book would be like even though it seems to be universally loved. I think I’m looking for something a little less light.

  14. I loved this book. The repetitiveness did not bother me. The easy style was good for me too. And it was a quick read too.
    I never really thought that it could be an issue for others though!

  15. I loved all of Moran’s books so far. I wasn’t sure I’d like this one because of all the Egyptian names but she made it easy for me to get past that and enjoy the story.

    Thanks for linking to my review. That link redirects to the home page of the new URL, but here is the updated link:

  16. Will have to try this author, thanks! for the review.

  17. Please bring back the series “In Praise of Book Clubs”! I don’t think the link for Volume 24 is working. Our book club just finished “Hunger Games” and is now reading “Molokoi”. (sp?)

  18. I reviewed her second book The Heretic Queen for BookPage, and then went back and read Nefertiti – liked Heretic Queen MUCH better! I think her research is spot on and the second book had a much more interesting heroine. So even if you didn’t like Nefertiti, try The Heretic Queen. I’ve been recommending it since it came out…

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