[A quick note: I had no idea about this book until Fox and Wit included it in one of their monthly boxes. I’m so glad I discovered it. It wasn’t my usual type of read, and I always appreciate when a book box includes a book I wouldn’t have necessarily picked up or sought out. This one sounded awesome the moment I read the premise. And how gorgeous is the alternative custom art cover they included with the book? I have more pictures below.]
“𝗧𝗵𝗼𝘀𝗲 𝘄𝗲𝗿𝗲 𝗴𝗶𝗹𝗱𝗲𝗱 𝗺𝗲𝗺𝗼𝗿𝗶𝗲𝘀, 𝗵𝗶𝗴𝗵𝗹𝗶𝗴𝗵𝘁𝗲𝗱 𝗶𝗻 𝗽𝗿𝗲𝗰𝗶𝗼𝘂𝘀 𝘁𝗼𝗻𝗲𝘀 𝗼𝗳 𝗴𝗼𝗹𝗱𝗲𝗻 𝘀𝘂𝗺𝗺𝗲𝗿 𝘀𝘂𝗻𝗹𝗶𝗴𝗵𝘁 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗱𝗲𝗲𝗽, 𝗿𝗶𝗰𝗵 𝘀𝗲𝗻𝘁 𝗼𝗳 𝗳𝗿𝗲𝘀𝗵𝗹𝘆 𝘁𝘂𝗿𝗻𝗲𝗱 𝗲𝗮𝗿𝘁𝗵.”—Jenny Elder Moke
Indiana Jones gets a refresh in this gender-bent story with Irish curses, a trip halfway around the globe, and an aspiring archeologist who works in a book repair shop. Sam lost her father to the Great War and has hidden away in books ever since. All that changes when a mysterious diary from Ireland arrives bearing clues to help save the world from a powerful curse. The Spector Queen will rise again, but in Ireland she’s known as the Morrigan, goddess of vengeance and death. Sam, her best friend, and best friend’s brother must solve the clues and decode cyphers hidden in the two-hundred-year-old diary before the famous Helfire Club descendants change the world forever.
This was such a fun, quick read! And different, too! It’s set in the 1920s during the US Prohibition, when archeology was booming. Part of the story is a trip on a trans-Atlantic steamer claimed to be cousins with the Titanic. There’s also a race through the streets of Dublin. And even a little romance in the form of a popular trope known as: dating-my-best-friend’s-brother.
“‘𝗟𝗶𝘀𝘁𝗲𝗻, 𝗠𝗶𝘀𝘀 𝗣𝗿𝗶𝘀𝘀,’ 𝘀𝗵𝗲 𝘀𝗮𝗶𝗱, 𝘀𝗶𝘁𝘁𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝘂𝗽𝗿𝗶𝗴𝗵𝘁. ‘𝗡𝗼𝘁 𝗮𝗹𝗹 𝗼𝗳 𝘂𝘀 𝘄𝗮𝗻𝘁 𝘁𝗼 𝗽𝗿𝗲𝘀𝗲𝗿𝘃𝗲 𝗼𝘂𝗿𝘀𝗲𝗹𝘃𝗲𝘀 𝗯𝗲𝘁𝘄𝗲𝗲𝗻 𝘁𝘄𝗼 𝗽𝗮𝗴𝗲𝘀 𝗹𝗶𝗸𝗲 𝗮 𝘄𝗶𝗹𝘁𝗲𝗱 𝗼𝗹𝗱 𝗳𝗹𝗼𝘄𝗲𝗿 𝗮𝗹𝗹 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝘁𝗶𝗺𝗲. 𝗬𝗼𝘂 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗕𝗲𝗻𝗻𝗲𝘁𝘁 𝗺𝗶𝗴𝗵𝘁 𝗴𝗲𝘁 𝘆𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝗸𝗶𝗰𝗸𝘀 𝗿𝗲𝗮𝗱𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗮𝗯𝗼𝘂𝘁 𝗼𝗹𝗱 𝗱𝗲𝗮𝗱 𝗺𝗲𝗻 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗶𝗿 𝗼𝗹𝗱 𝗱𝗲𝗮𝗱 𝗺𝗲𝗻 𝘁𝗵𝗼𝘂𝗴𝗵𝘁𝘀, 𝗯𝘂𝘁 𝗜 𝘄𝗮𝗻𝘁 𝘁𝗼 𝗹𝗶𝘃𝗲 𝗮 𝗹𝗶𝘁𝘁𝗹𝗲 𝗯𝗲𝗳𝗼𝗿𝗲 𝗮𝗹𝗹 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗴𝗼𝗼𝗱 𝗹𝗶𝘃𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗶𝘀𝘂𝘀𝗲𝗱 𝘂𝗽.’”—Jenny Elder Moke
While this is mostly a light-hearted fun read, there are some creepy moments akin to the Mummy, with resurrecting things that should remain dead. The storyline was pretty simple and straightforward. It was definitely a good mix of plot vs character driven. I loved seeing the growth between Sam and Jo as they repaired their friendship together and blossomed into stronger women. I loved the personality difference between Sam and Jo. They were quite contrasting. Jo was the daring rule-breaker, and Sam was the meek quiet one. But that definitely changes as the stakes are raised.
“𝗦𝗮𝗺 𝗵𝗮𝗱 𝘁𝗵𝗼𝘂𝗴𝗵𝘁 𝘁𝗼 𝗽𝗿𝗼𝘁𝗲𝗰𝘁 𝗵𝗲𝗿𝘀𝗲𝗹𝗳 𝗳𝗿𝗼𝗺 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗽𝗮𝗶𝗻 𝗼𝗳 𝘁𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝗹𝗼𝘀𝘀 𝗯𝘆 𝘁𝘂𝗿𝗻𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗮𝘄𝗮𝘆 𝗳𝗿𝗼𝗺 𝗹𝗶𝗳𝗲, 𝗯𝘂𝘁 𝘁𝗵𝗶𝘀𝗵𝗮𝗹𝗳 𝗹𝗶𝗳𝗲 𝘄𝗮𝘀 𝗹𝗶𝗸𝗲 𝗶𝘁𝘀 𝗼𝘄𝗻 𝗱𝗲𝗮𝘁𝗵. 𝗜𝗻 𝗼𝗿𝗱𝗲𝗿 𝘁𝗼 𝗹𝗶𝘃𝗲—𝘁𝗼 𝘁𝗿𝘂𝗹𝘆, 𝗳𝘂𝗹𝗹𝘆 𝗹𝗶𝘃𝗲—𝘀𝗵𝗲 𝗵𝗮𝗱 𝘁𝗼 𝗲𝗺𝗯𝗿𝗮𝗰𝗲 𝗮𝗹𝗹 𝗮𝘀𝗽𝗲𝗰𝘁𝘀𝗼𝗳 𝗹𝗶𝗳𝗲, 𝗲𝘃𝗲𝗻 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗱𝗮𝗻𝗴𝗲𝗿 𝗹𝗼𝗼𝗺𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗼𝘃𝗲𝗿 𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗺 𝗻𝗼𝘄.”—Jenny Elder Moke
The romance was cute too. Bennett was always the handsome older brother of Sam’s best friend. Sam developed feelings for him long ago. She never put much stock in it, since he was from a wealthy family. Even if they did often play together as kids. After Bennett went away to college, Sam pushed him from her mind. But when he returns and they’re thrust into solving a curse together, all her old feelings resurface. And it appears he’s got some feelings for her too!
This is the first in a YA series where each book resolves itself cleanly. I like that. I can foresee lots of upcoming adventures between the gang. 𝐌𝐘 𝐑𝐀𝐓𝐈𝐍𝐆:𝟒/𝟓⭐️