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Samantha Sutton and the Labyrinth of Lies [Kindle Edition]

Jordan Jacobs
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)

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Book Description

A Legendary Ghost, An Ancient Treasure, A Mystery Only Samantha Sutton Can Solve
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.

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 6-8-Samantha, 12, and her brother, Evan, are spending the summer in Peru. They travel with their Uncle Jay, an archaeology professor, to work at the Chavin de Huantar site north of Lima. This pre-Inca culture dates back to 3000 BCE, and the local people are very much involved in the tourist trade that brings in visitors from all over the world. But vandalism at the sites and the theft of valuable artifacts has everyone on edge. The fact that two American children are allowed to work on a government-controlled site seems a little far-fetched, but the possibility of a madman haunting it has Samantha trying to solve the mystery before her uncle, and the kids are denied access and forced to return early to California. The story itself is slow to develop but does include brief information on the actual site and the cultural life of the small Peruvian village that may be of interest to some readers. Evan is busy trying to get play time with the local soccer team and show his prowess at the video arcade while Samantha attempts to learn the local language and explore ancient underground passages that her small size allows her to access while her uncle waits outside. A long list of characters and a labyrinth of site names can be confusing. Astute youngsters will figure out the less-than-surprising ending by the second chapter. Only the most dedicated readers will stay on to unearth the final chapter.-Cheryl Ashton, Amherst Public Library, OHα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


"Readers will be focused on the mystery, pulled on by the gripping suspense."-Kirkus

"Capable, passionate Sam is a rewarding heroine to follow."  -Publishers Weekly

"A groundbreaking first book." -The Washington Post

"If you're looking for a suspenseful story, then pick up this book and follow Samantha through hidden tunnels and haunted ruins" - TIME for Kids

"This book does not miss a beat, and Samantha is a thoughtful, smart role-model for young readers." -ScienceGrrl

Product Details

  • File Size: 2068 KB
  • Print Length: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky; 1 edition (October 1, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #633,688 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
By Marcie
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.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read -- fun mystery and fascinating archaeology October 15, 2012
By Jo W.
This is a fantastic book, great for any young reader who likes mystery and adventure. Samantha may inspire an lifelong interest in archaeology, as her adventures are inspired by a real life dig site, with enough detail to get a glimpse into the lives of archaeologists. This book definitely doesn't talk down to its readers. Highly recommended!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read for future archaeologists! January 5, 2013
Samantha Sutton is one part Indiana Jones, mixed with two parts Veronica Mars, and a splash of Scooby-Doo mystery for good measure.

I'm a thirty something archaeologist, not really the target demographic for this series, but as I'm always eager to explore how archaeology is presented to the next generation, I knew I had to give this book a shot and I'm glad I did.

The book follows young Samantha Sutton, future world famous archaeologist, current awkward teenage girl and her annoying older brother as they travel with their uncle to Peru to experience an archaeological dig. It isn't long before mystery and mayhem seize their vacation and have them scrambling to stay one step ahead of mischievous looter. The book is peppered with despicable characters and all the drama you can find at an actual field school.

At just over 350 pages, it's a manageable read for tweens. The novel is chock full of illustrated journal excerpts that give young readers a tease at what lies ahead as well a handy afterword which separates the facts from the creative liberties Jacobs took to weave his narrative.

"Think like an archaeologist, Sam. Work from hard data. Get evidence before deciding what did or did not happen." One can't help but feel that Jacobs is speaking through Uncle Jay throughout the entire course of the book. At first it felt preachy, but soon Jay was one of my favorite characters. I was impressed by the way Jacobs is able to lay out the procedures involved in archaeological excavation and the reasoning behind them in a manner that wouldn't fly over the heads of its young readers. Too many books and movies glaze over the science of archaeology, either because the author knows nothing about it or because they think the reader may lose interest.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cute October 2, 2012
The Kid: I really loved this book. I love mystery books now. It took me a week to finish this book because of school. But, I loved it! I hope SourceBooks sends us some more stuff to read. The Mom: This book was so cute. I wish they would have included the pictures that are blank in our ARC.
"*I received a copy of this book for free to review, this in no way influenced my review, all opinions are 100% honest and my own."
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Captivating read! November 24, 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This was a fantastic, well-written page turner that I really enjoyed! Samantha is a likeable young girl with plenty of gumption and is fun to follow as she discovers things about her surrounds and herself.

I would definitely recommend this book to anyone young or old. I cannot wait to read another adventure starring Samantha!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great combo of education and adventure! January 13, 2013
By katie
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book provides a fantastic adventure story - I finished each chapter having to turn the page to start the next one - but you can't read it without learning at the same time. For those who are unfamiliar with Spanish, any Spanish phrases used in a given chpater are translated in the illustrations at the start of that chapter. For those who haven't traveled to Peru, this story takes you there in a very real way. And if you're not yet an expert in archeology like me, this book might just start you on that journey!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By Maria
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Bought this for my 3rd grader who is an advanced reader. A couple situations were a bit too descriptive for her age, but all in all a great read on archaeology and mystery.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Book October 25, 2012
If you are interested in adventure or mystery this is the book for you. My eldest daughter, Diva-J loves Nancy Drew and has been reading the Nancy Drew books in order and has moved quite along in the series. Now and that she has gotten to where she is at she is looking for other books that are similar in nature and this definitely fit the bill. While this book had a bit more archaeology as well as adventure mixed in than some of the Nancy Drew books it was nonetheless such a fun book to read and experience with my daughter.the book is a little bit longer than some books that I child of this age who agreed, but it was well worth the time and effort it took to get through the book. Even sharing in the reading we were able to finish this book in a little less than a week because it is such an engaging read and draws the reader in to every page and every action that occurs. I highly recommend this book to all and know that you will find that it is a great book for all ages.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting subject matter
I liked the subject matter of this story - archaeology - and I identified with the uncle. However, the ending was too quick. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Geoff Lowe
5.0 out of 5 stars Great
I loved this book because it doesn't talk down to kids. You can learn a lot about archaeology just by having fun following Samantha's adventures. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Sandy
5.0 out of 5 stars I'm about to read this..
I just did a search on Pinterest for my name (Samantha Sutton) and this popped up. I'm about to read it. I'm 24. I just find it hilarious that a whole book series uses my name. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Samantha Sutton
5.0 out of 5 stars Adorable
This is an adorable middle grade novel. Samantha is easy to like and makes the science of archaeology come alive. Read more
Published on February 26, 2013 by Stephanie O'Neil
3.0 out of 5 stars Too slow.
The book began like a great adventure MG story. I was hoping for a Scooby Doo like story with tons of mystery and adventure. And the book started great! Read more
Published on January 4, 2013 by FireStarBooks
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Reading
Good book for my granddaughter who is in 5th grade and likes to read and wants to be a doctor
Published on January 3, 2013 by carole wagaman
4.0 out of 5 stars Review - Samantha Sutton and the Labyrinth of Lies
For someone who's dead set on terrorizing her killer, Velveteen doesn't actually spend most of her time haunting Bonesaw. This took me by surprise. Read more
Published on November 20, 2012 by Kris
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More About the Author

Jordan Jacobs ( has loved archaeology for as long as he can remember. His childhood passion for mummies, castles and Indiana Jones led to his participation in his first excavation, at age 13, in California's Sierra Nevada. After completing a high school archaeology program in the American Southwest, he followed his passion through his education at Stanford, Oxford, and Cambridge. Since then, Jordan's work for the Smithsonian, the American Museum of Natural History and UNESCO Headquarters in Paris has focused on policy and the protection of archaeological sites in the developing world.

Jordan's research and travel opportunities have taken him to almost fifty countries-- from Cambodia's ancient palaces, to Tunisia's Roman citadels, to Guatemala's Mayan heartland and the voodoo villages of Benin.

Jordan now works as Head of Cultural Policy at UC Berkeley's Phoebe Hearst Museum of Anthropology. He lives in San Francisco with his wife and two daughters.


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