Indiana Jones meets The Mummy meets National Treasure meets 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.
In the 1920’s teenage Sam Knox is working at the antique bookstore in her small hometown in Illinois. Everything normal and uneventful just as she likes it. The mailman delivers her packages just like always only this time, there is a mysterious package that has arrived from Ireland. After initial assessment, she notices how badly the book needs to be repaired, but determines that it is ultimately something that should be delivered to the owner of the shop. So off she goes to drop off the book at a house she hasn’t been to in months only to find herself face to face with Bennet, her childhood crush and the son of the shop owner. He determines that the book is from his professor, someone he is meeting in Ireland for an archaeology dig. He takes the book from her and Sam heads back to the store only to discover that it has been broken into. She faces off the intruders but the store goes up in flames. At the police station she is reunited with Joana, her friend that she has fallen out with, and they race off to Chicago to chase after Bennet as his life is now in danger just for having the book.
As the team of them work to stay safe and figure out just what is so special about this book, Joana and Sam end up going to Ireland with Bennet and encounter danger along the way. Once in Ireland, everything starts getting more weird and more mysterious and, if possible, even more dangerous. Quickly, they work to solve the riddles they’ve encountered, help the professor, and try to solve a centuries old mystery before eternal damnation and the world being enveloped in war.
Initially (and honestly for most of the book) I felt like Sam was a bit of a weight on this book. The comparison to the Mummy lead me to think that our girl Sam would be like Evie and that is not the case. But she grew on me. Joana I loved. Her fire and wit and her abilities, desires, and knowledge that were so obvious and yet ignored by those close to her, made her the most relatable character for me and the one that I latched onto the most. Bennet and his rigidness was a bit annoying and frustrating at times but he was just so cute that I’ll let it slide. The side characters lent a lot of depth to the story and trying to figure out all of the potential twists and turns was so fun and nerve-wracking. This book, if I haven’t made it clear yet, is really fun and just a joy to read. If any history filled adventure has ever caught your eye or made you intrigued and excited, pick this up.
Also as like a small addition to what this book feels like, I would also say The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown. This is definitely YA and not on the same level as that book, but they have a lot of overlapping themes and pieces. So if you liked Da Vinci Code and don’t mind reading from a younger perspective, you might also like this.