Samantha Sutton and the Labyrinth of Lies is the first is a series about a young girl who dreams of being an archaeologist like her uncle. Although it is the first book, it reads like a book from later in the series as it provides no backstory and simply plunges Samantha, her older brother, and her uncle into an adventure; there is no explanation as to why the older brother, who clearly doesn’t want to be there, is along for the trip. In a strange plot point (that’s really just to set up why Samantha has a crucial item later on), Samantha’s parents ask her to divert her attention from the dig in order to sell things for them—again with no backstory. Despite her age, Samantha is a very capable, quick-thinking protagonist and the family relationships ring true. Jordan Jacobs includes the fun element of pages from Samantha’s notebook at the start of each chapter, but the pacing is very slow for a middle grade novel.
Review copy provided by the publisher, Sourcebooks Jabberwocky.