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Curse of the Spector Queen


[A quick note: I had no idea about this book until Fox and Wit included it in one of their monthly boxes. Iโ€™m so glad I discovered it. It wasnโ€™t my usual type of read, and I always appreciate when a book box includes a book I wouldnโ€™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.]


โ€œ๐—ง๐—ต๐—ผ๐˜€๐—ฒ ๐˜„๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ ๐—ด๐—ถ๐—น๐—ฑ๐—ฒ๐—ฑ ๐—บ๐—ฒ๐—บ๐—ผ๐—ฟ๐—ถ๐—ฒ๐˜€, ๐—ต๐—ถ๐—ด๐—ต๐—น๐—ถ๐—ด๐—ต๐˜๐—ฒ๐—ฑ ๐—ถ๐—ป ๐—ฝ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ๐—ฐ๐—ถ๐—ผ๐˜‚๐˜€ ๐˜๐—ผ๐—ป๐—ฒ๐˜€ ๐—ผ๐—ณ ๐—ด๐—ผ๐—น๐—ฑ๐—ฒ๐—ป ๐˜€๐˜‚๐—บ๐—บ๐—ฒ๐—ฟ ๐˜€๐˜‚๐—ป๐—น๐—ถ๐—ด๐—ต๐˜ ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ฑ ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐—ฑ๐—ฒ๐—ฒ๐—ฝ, ๐—ฟ๐—ถ๐—ฐ๐—ต ๐˜€๐—ฒ๐—ป๐˜ ๐—ผ๐—ณ ๐—ณ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ๐˜€๐—ต๐—น๐˜† ๐˜๐˜‚๐—ฟ๐—ป๐—ฒ๐—ฑ ๐—ฒ๐—ฎ๐—ฟ๐˜๐—ต.โ€โ€”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 sheโ€™s known as the Morrigan, goddess of vengeance and death. Sam, her best friend, and best friendโ€™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! Itโ€™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. Thereโ€™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-friendโ€™s-brother.

โ€œโ€˜๐—Ÿ๐—ถ๐˜€๐˜๐—ฒ๐—ป, ๐— ๐—ถ๐˜€๐˜€ ๐—ฃ๐—ฟ๐—ถ๐˜€๐˜€,โ€™ ๐˜€๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐˜€๐—ฎ๐—ถ๐—ฑ, ๐˜€๐—ถ๐˜๐˜๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด ๐˜‚๐—ฝ๐—ฟ๐—ถ๐—ด๐—ต๐˜. โ€˜๐—ก๐—ผ๐˜ ๐—ฎ๐—น๐—น ๐—ผ๐—ณ ๐˜‚๐˜€ ๐˜„๐—ฎ๐—ป๐˜ ๐˜๐—ผ ๐—ฝ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ๐˜€๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐˜ƒ๐—ฒ ๐—ผ๐˜‚๐—ฟ๐˜€๐—ฒ๐—น๐˜ƒ๐—ฒ๐˜€ ๐—ฏ๐—ฒ๐˜๐˜„๐—ฒ๐—ฒ๐—ป ๐˜๐˜„๐—ผ ๐—ฝ๐—ฎ๐—ด๐—ฒ๐˜€ ๐—น๐—ถ๐—ธ๐—ฒ ๐—ฎ ๐˜„๐—ถ๐—น๐˜๐—ฒ๐—ฑ ๐—ผ๐—น๐—ฑ ๐—ณ๐—น๐—ผ๐˜„๐—ฒ๐—ฟ ๐—ฎ๐—น๐—น ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐˜๐—ถ๐—บ๐—ฒ. ๐—ฌ๐—ผ๐˜‚ ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ฑ ๐—•๐—ฒ๐—ป๐—ป๐—ฒ๐˜๐˜ ๐—บ๐—ถ๐—ด๐—ต๐˜ ๐—ด๐—ฒ๐˜ ๐˜†๐—ผ๐˜‚๐—ฟ ๐—ธ๐—ถ๐—ฐ๐—ธ๐˜€ ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ๐—ฎ๐—ฑ๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด ๐—ฎ๐—ฏ๐—ผ๐˜‚๐˜ ๐—ผ๐—น๐—ฑ ๐—ฑ๐—ฒ๐—ฎ๐—ฑ ๐—บ๐—ฒ๐—ป ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ฑ ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ๐—ถ๐—ฟ ๐—ผ๐—น๐—ฑ ๐—ฑ๐—ฒ๐—ฎ๐—ฑ ๐—บ๐—ฒ๐—ป ๐˜๐—ต๐—ผ๐˜‚๐—ด๐—ต๐˜๐˜€, ๐—ฏ๐˜‚๐˜ ๐—œ ๐˜„๐—ฎ๐—ป๐˜ ๐˜๐—ผ ๐—น๐—ถ๐˜ƒ๐—ฒ ๐—ฎ ๐—น๐—ถ๐˜๐˜๐—น๐—ฒ ๐—ฏ๐—ฒ๐—ณ๐—ผ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ ๐—ฎ๐—น๐—น ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐—ด๐—ผ๐—ผ๐—ฑ ๐—น๐—ถ๐˜ƒ๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด ๐—ถ๐˜€๐˜‚๐˜€๐—ฒ๐—ฑ ๐˜‚๐—ฝ.โ€™โ€โ€”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.

โ€œ๐—ฆ๐—ฎ๐—บ ๐—ต๐—ฎ๐—ฑ ๐˜๐—ต๐—ผ๐˜‚๐—ด๐—ต๐˜ ๐˜๐—ผ ๐—ฝ๐—ฟ๐—ผ๐˜๐—ฒ๐—ฐ๐˜ ๐—ต๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐˜€๐—ฒ๐—น๐—ณ ๐—ณ๐—ฟ๐—ผ๐—บ ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐—ฝ๐—ฎ๐—ถ๐—ป ๐—ผ๐—ณ ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฎ๐˜ ๐—น๐—ผ๐˜€๐˜€ ๐—ฏ๐˜† ๐˜๐˜‚๐—ฟ๐—ป๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด ๐—ฎ๐˜„๐—ฎ๐˜† ๐—ณ๐—ฟ๐—ผ๐—บ ๐—น๐—ถ๐—ณ๐—ฒ, ๐—ฏ๐˜‚๐˜ ๐˜๐—ต๐—ถ๐˜€๐—ต๐—ฎ๐—น๐—ณ ๐—น๐—ถ๐—ณ๐—ฒ ๐˜„๐—ฎ๐˜€ ๐—น๐—ถ๐—ธ๐—ฒ ๐—ถ๐˜๐˜€ ๐—ผ๐˜„๐—ป ๐—ฑ๐—ฒ๐—ฎ๐˜๐—ต. ๐—œ๐—ป ๐—ผ๐—ฟ๐—ฑ๐—ฒ๐—ฟ ๐˜๐—ผ ๐—น๐—ถ๐˜ƒ๐—ฒโ€”๐˜๐—ผ ๐˜๐—ฟ๐˜‚๐—น๐˜†, ๐—ณ๐˜‚๐—น๐—น๐˜† ๐—น๐—ถ๐˜ƒ๐—ฒโ€”๐˜€๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐—ต๐—ฎ๐—ฑ ๐˜๐—ผ ๐—ฒ๐—บ๐—ฏ๐—ฟ๐—ฎ๐—ฐ๐—ฒ ๐—ฎ๐—น๐—น ๐—ฎ๐˜€๐—ฝ๐—ฒ๐—ฐ๐˜๐˜€๐—ผ๐—ณ ๐—น๐—ถ๐—ณ๐—ฒ, ๐—ฒ๐˜ƒ๐—ฒ๐—ป ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐—ฑ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ด๐—ฒ๐—ฟ ๐—น๐—ผ๐—ผ๐—บ๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด ๐—ผ๐˜ƒ๐—ฒ๐—ฟ ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ๐—บ ๐—ป๐—ผ๐˜„.โ€โ€”Jenny Elder Moke

The romance was cute too. Bennett was always the handsome older brother of Samโ€™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 theyโ€™re thrust into solving a curse together, all her old feelings resurface. And it appears heโ€™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. ๐Œ๐˜ ๐‘๐€๐“๐ˆ๐๐†:๐Ÿ’/๐Ÿ“โญ๏ธ





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