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Curse of the Specter Queen

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  95 ratings  ·  81 reviews

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. Ruthl
Hardcover, 352 pages
Expected publication: June 1st 2021 by Disney-Hyperion
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Average rating 4.03  · 
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Jenny Moke
Jun 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
******UPDATE: CURSE OF THE SPECTER QUEEN is now available on NetGalley and Edelweiss!! So if you're interested in my book-length ode to over the top archaeological adventures, go request your copy now!!**********

Do you like:

* The Mummy
* Indiana Jones
* National Treasure

Do you wish they were all rolled into one story about a book-loving codebreaker, her childhood crush, and her reckless best friend trying to save the world from an ancient Celtic Curse??

Then have I got the BOOK for you (this one. I
An archaeological adventure set in Ireland in the 1920s, written by Jenny Elder Moke, author of Hood?!

Say no more...

Thank you so much to Disney-Hyperion for the ARC!!!

I enjoyed Hood last year, so am looking forward to reading more from JEM.
rachel ☾
a little underwhelmed by the cover tbh 😔

✔ National Treasure x Indiana Jones x The Mummy
✔ Set in an antique bookstore in 1920s Ireland
✔ Full of ciphers, ancient relics, and heart-stopping action
✔ Childhood-best-friends-to-lovers
✔ Ancient celtic mythology

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Eliza ☽
Sep 24, 2020 marked it as to-read
A story about ancient relics and ciphers set in 1920s Ireland?

Shannon Doleski
Jun 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Indiana Jones? I'm so in! ...more
★ Jeanette Trinidad ★
Feb 20, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed, netgalley, arcs
spoiler-free review

The whole concept of the book completely had me hooked. Indiana Jones but as a female with national treasure and the mummy combined? Yes please!!!

Curse of the specter queen follows a teenage bookseller (Samantha) in Illinois who had started working there after she had lost her dad in the great war. Sam gets a package containing a diary, which people are after, causing her to flee Illinois for Ireland. It's not every day we get to see the Irish folklore in books and it was inc
Kate✨ (Queen of Narnia)
Nov 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: 13+ (mild violence, mild mentions of the occult, some mentions of past sexual affairs)
Shelves: received-arcs

Check out my objective, non-spoiler review of this book over on my blog, @ Novels and Nonsense:

Actual rating: 4 stars (the more I think about this book, the more I love it)
What a fun little book!

When I heard the synopsis of this book, I knew immediately that I had to read it as soon as it came out. Turns out, I was able to finish it even earlier than that! That being said, many thanks to the publisher, Netgalley, and the author for providing me an eARC of
☀︎El In Oz☀︎
Edit January 12: Idk what to think of this cover. It’s not bad but not amazing

Had me at Indiana Jones, aka the second best male film character ever(in my opinion). And also the best treasure hunting movie trilogy ever(the 4th movie doesn’t exist).
Then you said The Mummy?! Another fantastic film, the first two are so so good👏🏼
And National Treasure?! Y’all my expectations are sky high , if the author manages to roll all 3 of these PERFECT movies together then it’ll be amazing.
Please no love tria
Fifi | A Fairytale Dream
WOW WOW WOW I LOVED THIS BOOK. I CAN’T. I CANNOT EVEN. WHERE TO EVEN START. The setting! The story! The characters THE CHARACTERS I LOVED THE CHARACTERS. I’ve had a string of so so Netgalley arcs lately and this was just the book I needed to pull me out of my weird book slump.

I said this when I was 10% into the book and I say this now upon finishing it. The entire time reading this book, all I could think was what an AMAZING MOVIE this book would make. Holy shit. I mean, we have this mysterious
Neide Gomes
Nov 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Book Bee NYC
Jun 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Jenny Elder Moke writes the best fast-paced stories about kick-butt heroines in fun, exciting historical settings. I loved HOOD, her book about Robin Hood's daughter, and CURSE OF SPECTER QUEEN sounds amazing, too. ...more
I received an ARC copy of this book via Netgalley and Disney Publishing Worldwide in exchange for a honest review.

Sam is a small-town girl with a penchant for ciphers and puzzles who's thrust into the centre of an ancient mystery that threatens to tear the world apart. Set against the backdrop of the roaring 20s, Sam's adventure also features her former best friend, Joana, and her childhood crush, Bennett, as the trio tries desperately to stop an ancient evil from being unleashed.

I really wanted
zita campbell
Feb 25, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arcs
*3.4/5⭐️ Arc provided through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Indiana Jones set in the roaring 20s? Yes! With a nerdy, kickass female lead? Double yes!

Curse of the Specter Queen follows Sam, a small-town bookstore worker and her childhood best friends Joana and Bennett Steeling on an adventure to stop a deadly and ancient Celtic curse that could be the end of the world…

And WOW did this book deliver. Going into this I was a little worried I would find myself getting a little lost amo
Debbie Gascoyne
Nov 19, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: kindle, ya, netgalley, arc, 2020
Quite enjoyable but not as good as its concept. I like the idea of a series of books about a female Indiana Jones, but it seemed to take a long time for the heroine to pull herself together. Perhaps the mixture of historical adventure romp and portrait of a girl coming to terms with her grief was a little awkward. Characters also had much too much of a tendency to indulge in what I guess was intended to be banter but just became annoying. I most liked the relationship between Sam and her friend ...more
Rachel 007
Nov 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
*Thank you to Netgalley and Disney Books for the opportunity to read this book early!*

Oh this book was so much fun! Perfect for fans of The Mummy (!!!), books by Meagan Spooner and Amie Kaufman, and Indiana Jones.

Curse of the Spector Queen is a fun adventure YA about a teen bookseller girl named Sam (Samantha) Knox who ends up solving codes, riddles and sailing all the way from her small town in Illinois to IRELAND! Along with her best friend Joana and Joana’s stiff and academic brother Bennet
Nikole Clow
Dec 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I LOVED this book so much! I'm such a fan of Indiana Jones and this book has all those elements, with a sprinkle of romance, a snarky and fun best friend, and a heroine who is beyond clever and adventurous. This was an absolutely fun read and I can't wait to see what's next for these characters! Full review to come in the new year. ...more
Jan 16, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Samantha Knox lost her dad in the great war and is working as a book restorer when her adventure begins with the Steeling siblings. From Illinois to Dublin she follows clues and keeps the reader entertained and trying to figure out which other characters are on side of good. The publisher and NetGalley provided me with a digital copy for an honest review.
Feb 27, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
The publisher provided me with the opportunity to read this (via Netgalley).

This was a fast paced and easy read that I enjoyed. The writing was well done and the history/legends presented in a way that made them easy to understand even if you (like myself) were unfamiliar with them.
J Wells
Dec 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
What a fun adventure! Truly looking forward to Sam’s next adventure. It all reminded me of Evie from The Mummy, Anja Creed from the Rogue Angel series and Veronica Speedwell from Raybourne’s series. Thanks to NetGalley for the read.
Apr 04, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc-s
update: Where do I start with this one?? I loved reading this! The entire time from start to finish I was hooked! I never wanted to put this down! I loved the characters and the settings and while sometimes the problems the characters were a little repetitive, it didn’t detract from my entertainment. I loved the writing style and the way the story just flowed so smoothly. There were points when I was confused while some history was being explained but whenever I started to get confused, it was a ...more
*I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.*

I would describe this book as a mix of Indiana Jones, National Treasure, and The Mummy set in the 1920s. If you like those things, you'll probably like this book. Luckily for everyone involved, I really enjoyed reading it. I've marked it as young adult, but I'm not sure if it technically is or not because of the characters' ages.

Actually, the characters' ages are one thing I can't help complaining about bec
Keelin Rita
Jan 13, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley

After additional thought and time with this, I think if you enjoyed The Da Vinci Code and don't mind reading from a younger perspective, you might like this!

Indiana Jones meets The Mummy meets National Treasure meet Time Team in this whirlwind archaeological adventure of Goddess of Death vs the world. Incredibly fun and fast paced, this one is definitely for fans of old timey adventure and complex friendships.
Beth ~~Just One More Chapter I Swear~~
Are you a fan of National Treasure? Enola Holmes? Indiana Jones? If you said yes to even one of those then you're in the right place. This book kept a brisk pace right from the start and was loaded... seams bursting... with action... not a sluggish spot to be found. There were treasure hunts and betrayls. There was rare book burnings and avenging of said sacrilegious book defilement. There was mystical magical juju and Apocalypse averting action starring our main trio (Sam, Joana and Bennnett) a ...more
Apr 14, 2021 rated it really liked it
This was a book unlike any other I have read! The best and quickest way to sum it up is if a treasure hunt meets a mysterious curse: all wrapped up in a single book.

It started out pretty quick honestly. I want to say this book had slow spots, but looking back at it now -- none of the slow spots were agonizing. They all were vital to solving the mystery of the Specter Queen. They also did not make me want to take a break from reading.

The book starts out good with a mysterious, ancient book appea
Ashley Dang
Apr 17, 2021 rated it really liked it
A treasure hunt, mysterious clues, and their lives are all at stake? Sounds like an adventure. Samantha Knox has shut herself out ever since her father died in the war and currently works at a book repair shop run by her childhood friends’ father. One day when she receives a mysterious book in the mail, she also finds out that the childhood friends she shut out are back in town, and she decides to bring the book to their father. But when arriving back to her store, she finds it set on fire and s ...more
Mar 03, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Curse of the Specter Queen by Jenny Elder Moke is an excellent historical fiction that is the start of a new series: A Samantha Knox Novel. This book has it all: action, historical fiction, mystery, puzzles, curses, mysticism, an excellent character cast, and a narrative that kept me enthralled from beginning to end.

I have always been fascinated by archeology and anthropology, and of course I love historical fiction, so as soon as I read the description of this novel, I knew I just had to read t
Feb 28, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arcs
Thank you to Netgalley and Disney-Hyperion for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Curse of the Specter Queen got my attention straight away in the description: 1920s archeological exploration in Ireland? Yes PLEASE. I am a huge sucker for any book that is described with historical aspects, especially in Europe. So this book grabbed my attention so fast and I’m so glad I got an ARC of it!!

Curse of the Specter Queen follows in the POV of Samantha Knox, a teenage girl working at
Mar 30, 2021 rated it really liked it
Curse of the Specter Queen was a surprisingly good read. The story is compelling and the characters engaging.

Sam has the biggest character arc, which should be the case since she is the main character. She goes from this scared, shy little girl to the female Indiana Jones that readers would expect.

She finds her niche and really comes out of her shell. I love that! But Sam isn’t my favorite character.

That title belongs to Joana Steeling. Jo is a confident, mischievous young woman, and also Sam’
Jordan Lynch
Apr 13, 2021 rated it liked it
Shelves: arcs, unreleased, 2021, ya
Curse of the Specter Queen was a good read, but it could’ve been better. Moke does a fantastic job of building and describing the world, both real and fantastical, but good world building isn’t enough to make up for flat characters.

Although the beginning of Sam’s story seems promising, I never really felt like I got to know enough about her. Her only motivation seems to be solving treasure hunts, and that’s supposed to be enough to push her out of her comfort zone of the last five years? I didn
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Jenny Elder Moke writes young adult fiction in an attempt to recapture the shining infinity of youth. When she is not writing, she’s gathering story ideas from her daily adventures with her two irredeemable rapscallions and honing her ninja skills as a black belt in Tae Kwon Do.

Her debut novel, HOOD, about the daughter of Robin Hood and Maid Marien, will release from Disney/Hyperion in Spring 2020

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