Title: Rise of the Snake Goddess
Series: Samantha Knox #2
Author: Jenny Elder Moke
Genre: YA, Mythology, Adventure
Published: June 7th, 2022 (Disney-Hyperion)
Synopsis: Sam Knox’s second adventure takes her to the island of Crete, just off the coast of Greece, where she discovers the ancient Snake Goddess’s golden girdle in the depths of a cave shrine that has been buried for decades. After having been belittled by her archaeology professor throughout her first college semester, Sam knows this triumph will prove her worth in the field, but before she can take credit for the find, the girdle is stolen and the island is hit with a series of earthquakes that don’t feel quite geological.
Soon Sam, Bennett and Jo are embroiled in a wild hunt – one that takes them to tiny island shops, a glamorous auction party and a near fiery death – to find the girdle before someone can use it to raise an ancient goddess from her slumber. The final battle features gryphons, a labyrinth, the minotaur of legend and lots of snakes. Lots.
Following their adventures in Ireland, the trio have returned to their normal lives, with Sam and Jo joining Bennett in college. Sam has been looking forward to the end of term archaeological expedition to Crete, but despite being top of the class the Professor, who hates her, excludes her from it. However, when Sam discovers a letter from an archaeologist in Crete asking for help with an ancient artifact, the trio waste no time in setting out for Greece. Their search leads them to a long buried cave shrine and the golden girdle of the Snake Goddess hidden in its depths, but before Sam can take credit for the find, which will surely make her reputation in the field, it is stolen. As several earthquakes begin to hit the island in close succession, they realize that the girdle holds a dangerous power, and they must retrieve and return it to the shrine before someone uses it to wake the Snake Goddess.
Samantha Knox’s second adventure, this time in Crete, was just as exciting a read as the first installment. The mythology this time, was something I was more familiar with, though with some new twists that were a lot of fun to ponder over. The pacing was much better in this book too, and while the urgency of the adventure didn’t enter the story until the second half, I didn’t feel like any part of the narrative was rushed.
The adventure wasn’t as fast paced this time, which allowed some time for character development. Sam’s arc was very well done, and she had a lot of growth. She starts off extremely reckless, determined to prove her worth after having been belittled by her misogynistic professor all year, which makes her rather annoying initially. Where she was rather overshadowed by the more exuberant Jo in the first book, Sam has come a long way and is no longer the quiet, uncertain girl any more, and it was wonderful to see her gaining confidence in herself and her abilities.
I did feel like some parts of this book were a little predictable, especially towards the beginning when Bennett and Sam weren’t seeing eye to eye on how to go about things in Crete. Luckily, this didn’t continue throughout the book, and the ending turned out to be an action packed adventure that I could not put down. I was rather disappointed though, to find that the code breaking and solving riddles that were such a big part of what I liked about the first book, were completely missing in this one. The finding of the artifact also felt too quick and easy and then it descended completely into the mystical and mythological aspect which, while interesting was a bit of a letdown considering what I was expecting.
Rise of the Snake Goddess was a fun read and I would definitely recommend this book to fans of both mythology and adventure novels. I’m really enjoying this series so far, and I’m curious to see what the setting of the next book will be. I’m definitely looking forward to the next installment in Sam’s adventures!
Have you read this book? Let me know in the comments below!
Other reviews in this series: