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Samantha Sutton and the Labyrinth of Lies by…
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Samantha Sutton and the Labyrinth of Lies

by Jordan Jacobs

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This book is mightily ambitious and covers a lot of territory. Much of it is interesting, however I thought it moved pretty slowly for a middle-grade novel. The archeology aspect is undeniably fascinating, but there are lots of characters who are presented in a way which struck me as confusing. I had some trouble following who was whom and who was where and when. The brother-sister interaction was okay, though I thought they seemed more of an age than they were supposed to be. Evan seemed very young. The whole drug theme, with a student doing hands on research on the San Pedro hallucinogenic cactus experience, was kind of bizarre in a book for middle grade readers.

Several plot holes are still nagging at me, and I didn't like the device of showing illustrations of ragged bits from Samantha's notebook about what was coming in the next chapter. I did really like the way Spanish vocabulary and phrases were incorporated throughout. I think I would have liked the book much better (for MG readers) if it was tighter, shorter and snappier. It would also have worked pretty well at this length as a YA with slightly older protagonists.

I got this book free at ALA Midwinter. ( )
  satyridae | Apr 5, 2013 |
If the child me could have been a character in a book, I would have been Samantha Sutton. Samantha is a twelve-year-old girl who has a love for all things that have to do with archaeology. She also has a cool uncle who is an archaeologist who has agreed to take her on one of his digs in South America. However it's not as fun as Samantha thought it would be. First of all, her brother has to come with them. They don't get along. Second, she has to work with her uncle's moody assistant. Third, artifacts start to disappear from their work site, and people are blaming, el loco, a local legend.
I enjoyed this book thoroughly. I am fascinated by archaeology and history. I love that Jordan Jacobs didn't skimp and gloss over those aspects in the story line. She really took care to mold this story into one people who love adventure and mystery would appreciate. The age suggestion is for ages nine and up. While I think some nine-year-olds would love this book, I think it would be a better fit for kids ten and up. This book deals with some issues that might go over the heads of younger children. I am also thrilled to know that this book isn't the end of Samantha's adventures. I can't wait to read more by this author in Samantha Sutton and the Stronghold of the Warrior Queen. ( )
  mt256 | Nov 6, 2012 |
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"There's nothing Samantha Sutton wants more than to become an adventure-seeking archaeologist like her brilliant Uncle Jay. Samantha's big dreams are finally coming true when Jay invites her along on a summer excavation of an ancient temple in the Peruvian Andes. But this adventure isn't exactly what she thought it would be with her nosy older brother, Evan, and Jay's colleagues monitoring her every move. And she has to deal with the local legend, EI Loco: a ghostly madman who supposedly haunts the ruins. But when the project's most important finds go missing, it's up to Samantha to solve the mystery before the treasures of the temple are lost forever."--P. [4] of cover.… (more)

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