ARC Review: Curse of the Specter Queen by Jenny Elder Moke

Thank you so much to Disney-Hyperion and Netgalley for letting me read an eARC of Curse of the Specter Queen! I was never someone who watched Indiana Jones (my family was just never into them), but I love the idea of them, so the idea of a book set in the 20s in that style sounded super cool, so I was very excited to read it!

Curse of the Specter Queen 4/5 Stars

Summary from Goodreads:


Samantha Knox put away her childish fantasies of archaeological adventure the day her father didn’t return home from the Great War, retreating to the safety of the antique bookshop where she works. But when a mysterious package arrives with a damaged diary inside, Sam’s peaceful life is obliterated. Ruthless men intent on reclaiming the diary are after Sam, setting her and her best friend, along with her childhood crush, on a high-stakes adventure that lands them in the green hills outside Dublin, Ireland. Here they discover an ancient order with a dark purpose – to perform an occult ritual that will raise the Specter Queen, the Celtic goddess of vengeance and death, to bring about a war unlike any the world has ever seen. To stop them, Sam must solve a deviously complex cipher – one that will lead her on a treasure hunt to discover the ancient relic at the heart of the ritual: a bowl carved from the tree of life. Will she find the bowl and stop the curse of the Specter Queen, or will the ancient order bring about the end of the world?

Indiana Jones gets a refresh with this female-driven mystery adventure, set in the 1920s, full of ciphers, ancient relics, and heart-stopping action – the first in a brand-new series!

I reallllly, realllly liked Samantha Knox as a main character. I’m so excited for us to get a series featuring her- and Joana, of course- and all of the trouble the two of them and Bennet can get into while solving mysteries and saving the world! This one was super cool, because I know so little about Celtic goddesses and ciphers and Druids and that kind of stuff, but I’m so fascinated by it, so I just kept wanting to read more and more. And all of Sam’s knowledge of how to restore super old and fragile books was so interesting- how does one even learn something like that? Also, in general, I’m normally not the biggest fan of the 20s- The Great Gatsby ruined the whole decade for me- but Curse of the Specter Queen was so good and I actually liked the decade so much more than expected! Plot wise, so many things happened and if there wasn’t a good storyline throughout, you would get lost, but I felt as though there was enough tying everything together that I always knew what was going on. Overall, I definitely recommend Curse of the Specter Queen!

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