I read and reviewed Gigi Pandian’s second book in her Jaya Jones series, Pirate Vishnu, last fall, and I received the first installment as a Christmas gift from my sister after I raved about its fun, light mystery. When I got bored of reading historical romance novels but didn’t want to tackle non-fiction I decided to burn through Artifact since a little time with my favourite half-Indian historian seemed to fit my head space perfectly.
Unfortunately, while I enjoyed getting the backstory to some of the events in Pirate Vishnu I just didn’t feel as charmed or enthralled with the story in Artifact. A lot of the disillusionment falls entirely on me because the story was crafted similarly to the second one. I just wasn’t as entranced with Jaya’s adventures in Scotland as I was with her search into her mother’s family’s past in California and India. The details about Colonial India fascinated me, but I wanted to see more of that world, not the relatively safe one of small town Scotland, a locale I feel much more familiar with. I also never fully bought into the relationship between Lane and Jaya since it wasn’t explored very deeply. Their attraction seemed to grow out of physical closeness to one another rather than any great understanding of the other’s character, which left me feeling cold.
It’s still an enjoyable mystery; it just didn’t have enough exotic locales for my personal tastes. However, if you love the charm of Scotland Artifact may tickle your fancy!