"Screw the tomb" --> this seemed a little out of tone for Helen, considering how stiffly and properly British you'd written her dialogue and actions during her encounter with Moody. Could this Alexander Moody be the father or grandfather of Alastor "Mad-Eye" Moody? Or is the name merely a coincidence? I very much enjoyed Helen's reaction to him. I could just picture the look on her face . . . it must have been priceless! I bet we haven't seen the last of him.
Helen is very delightful, by the way. You have given her a fantastic, dry/witty, funny, and distinctive voice. I just loved that part where she says she left Hubert when his needs grew to include her! Also the part where she says she hopes she doesn't need to elaborate on the profession in which women are usually in demand. So far I am really enjoying her characterization. She has this matter-of-fact tone that is very pleasant to read.
Ah, and the plot thickens! At last we see Helen in Egypt! (I say "at last" when it is still early in the story, haha.) I like how she briefly touches on the various jobs she's had without lingering overlong on them. That helps explain her present interest in the tomb without distracting from the meat of this chapter: the appearance of the tomb guardian, or whatever it may be. I'm finding I can't predict what will happen next with the guardian, but I don't suppose it will be something nice.
Oh yes, another thing. I enjoyed the first paragraph as well, where you write about the "romance" of a bunch of tombs in a ditch in the desert! That was really funny! I liked also what Helen thought about men always naming things . . . I'd never thought about it before, but she has a point!
Author's Response: That line does seem off, not necessarily because it doesn't fit Helen's character, but more that it doesn't suit the era. I don't think the slang definition of that word was in use yet. So I ended up changing it to "damn the tomb" - same connotation, better word. :) Helen is a bit on the rebellious side, particularly when faced with "not lady-like enough" comments, which is why I originally wanted her to use "improper" words, but "screw" isn't quite the right word either. Arg. Thanks for mentioning that.
The name is not a coincidence, but that's all I'll say for now. :P It's not that significant to the main story, but more to the reason why Helen is telling this story in the first place. And if you can imagine the most disgusted expression possible, you've probably pictured Helen's face at that moment. :D
It's so wonderful that you like Helen. I used to really dislike her (when writing the first version of this story), but now she's more quirky and fun, wanting to stand out from the crowd. It's also good to hear that the backstory section did not disrupt the narrative flow. I felt like I was telling to much there, and not showing enough, yet all that information is necessary to show how she's matured since leaving home.
Haha, that first paragraph! I re-read it after first seeing your review, and it is funny, but so true. Another reviewer described to me what the valley looked like, and it's so unromantic! Lots of rocks and rubble and all the tombs are hidden in the cliffs. I do wonder who named it, though.
Anyway, thank you very much for this review, and for all of your reviews! They're astounding to read and are definitely making me feel a lot more confident about this story. :)