A Samantha Knox Novel
Format: Hardcover, 352 pages
Release Date: June 1, 2021
Genre: Young Adult / Fantasy / Historical
MAY THE HAZEL BRING YOU WISDOM AND THE ASPEN GUIDE AND PROTECT YOU...
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?
Curse of the Specter Queen, by author Jenny Elder Moke, is the first in a new series. Moke's mystery-adventure is based around Celtic mythology featuring Samantha Knox. The story touches upon the myth of the Morrigan, a badass raven queen who's ready for her comeback as the most powerful being on earth--unless Sam and her friends can stop her. Indiana Jones gets a refresh with this female-driven mystery adventure, set in the 1920's, full of cyphers, ancient relics, and heart-stopping action.
Samantha Knox put away her fantasy of being an archaeologist the day her father didn't return home from the Great War. She retreated to the safety of the Steeling's Rare Antiquities where she works restoring old books. Even though she has an insatiable curiosity about the world she lives in and dreams of traveling beyond the small town where she resides, Sam has been stuck in the same town her entire life, lulled into a quiet life aided by the grief for her father. Instead of going off to college with her best friend, she was content with a life of repairing books.
That is until she opens a package containing a strange journal that has clearly been buried for years. Sam's peaceful life is obliterated when her bookstore is burned to the ground by strangers looking for the journal and she barely escapes with her life setting her and her estranged best friend Joana, along with her childhood crush, Bennett, a college student in archeology, on a high-stakes adventure. The journey takes the trio from a small town outside Chicago, to the city itself, all the way to New York, and, finally, to 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? Sam is very intelligent and skilled. She knows all sorts of facts from her reading and knows how to handle precious books, the ones that are liable to fall apart if you don’t handle them right. Because of a childhood game, in which the trio pretended to be archaeologists, she is also skilled as solving cryptic puzzles, complete with codes and hidden messages.
Joana, Sam’s best friend, is more the party girl type, getting drunk and gallivanting about, even getting expelled from school. She’s funny but also very pushy and stereotypical, focusing on the party and the finery instead of on the situation most of the time. Bennett is way too overprotective, lording his experience over Sam and Jo for much of the book. He’s ready to make all the decisions and stop them from participating in the adventure, despite Sam being super useful in solving all the riddles. She’s the first one to find the clues every time and he knows nothing.
With Samantha Knox, Moke has created a young woman who can crack any code, scale the side of a moving cruise liner and troubleshoot solutions for taking down an ancient goddess with a rune and a tube of lipstick, all in mid-battle. Move over Indiana Jones, there's a new adventurer in town!