“Curse of The Specter Queen” by Jenny Moke

If you like suspense, this is your next read!


Ireland Barten, Literary Review Writer

“Curse of The Specter Queen” by Jenny Moke

“Curse of the Specter Queen” is based in the 1920’s and Samantha Knox is the main female protagonist. She works at a book restoration store in rural Illinois. Sam finds comfort and safety working at the bookstore. One day though, the store receives a delivery in the form of a very old book which is in need of repair. Sam opens the book and is distressed from what she sees. “The proportions were all wrong—the ears too sharp and pointed, almost like horns; the jaw too long and narrow, more fitted to a dog. And then there were the eyes. They were nothing more than blank pages, but the longer she stared, the more they seemed to burn, two desolate holes radiating a promise of danger” (Elder Moke, Jenny. “Curse of The Specter Queen.” New York, Hyperion, 2021.) 

The book that Sam was given was a diary by Professor Wallstone, who is captured by ruthless men that go by the name Hellfire Club. They want to use it to find an artifact that will awaken the Celtic goddess of vengeance and death to create the war of all wars. With the help of the Steeling siblings, Joana and Bennett, Sam hesitantly travels to Dublin, Ireland in a race against the Hellfire club as they solve the cipher to find the artifact and stop the war from happening. 

Despite the fantasy and mystery and romance. “The Specter Queen” really indulges in suspense, making readers want to continue to read to find out what Sam, Joana, and Bennett are going to find while they’re in Dublin, or if danger is right around the corner and if they need to be quick or they need to hide. Jenny’s expression with her words and her authenticity makes readers feel like they’re in the world with the characters. Readers feel anxious when Sam gets into a tough situation, or when Joana and her talk heart to heart about what’s happened over the past few years. Maybe even when Sam and Bennett get closer after having secretly loved each other since childhood.

Over all, Moke takes a genre that can be so boring at times and makes it into something worthwhile. Give it a read!