Samantha Sutton and the Labyrinth of Lies

Jordan Jacobs. Sourcebooks Jabberwocky, $8.99 trade paper (352p) ISBN 978-1-4022-7560-9
Samantha Sutton, 12, whose dream is to be an archeologist, couldn’t be more excited about joining her uncle Jay on a dig in the Andes Mountains of Peru, even if her annoying older brother, Evan, is coming along, too. The dig site is everything Sam hoped for, though getting paired up with Evan and a hostile grad student assistant is less than ideal. The local myth of the ghost of “El Loco” and recurrent looting of the dig site form the central mystery of this book, first in a planned series. Debut author Jacobs, an archeologist by trade, meticulously describes both the Peruvian setting and the excavation processes, which should fascinate readers who share Sam’s interest in archeology. The many threads of the story—including budding friendships with local kids, Sam’s testy relationship with Evan, and Jay’s secret romance with another professor—can compete for attention. But Jacobs effectively builds suspense and pulls the plot lines together in a satisfying resolution, and capable, passionate Sam is a rewarding heroine to follow. Ages 9–up. Agent: Cathy Hemming, Cathy Hemming Literary Agency. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 10/01/2012
Release date: 10/01/2012
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