Review: The Smoke Hunter by Jacquelyn Benson

What a book!

The book was so long I don’t even know where to start.

Ellie is a modern woman for her day. Not only does she work as an archivist, but she’s also an activist for women’s rights. She’s so passionate about equality and women’s right to vote that she finds herself chained to Parliament. Her little protest costs her her job. Right before she gets fired she slips in her pocket a mysterious map and a pendant. She swears she’s only borrowing it and will return it, but soon finds out her curiosity may get her murdered. Still. She keeps it because even if she gives it back, chances are her and her family will be killed. So, she does what only she can and runs away with it. Ellie figures running away will keep her family safe. Plus, it’s her chance to discover something that so grand that she’ll gain the respect of the archeology community. She wants to be seen as an equal and this will give it to her. With the help of her friend, she travels to British Honduras to unearth El Dorado.

The moment Adam stumbles upon Ellie he knows she’s trouble and that she’s hiding something. He goes about his business and tries to ignore her, but it all changes one night when she lands in his room’s balcony as she’s being followed by some men. Against his better judgment he accepts to lead her into the uncharted territory of the jungle, if it means they’ll discover what she swears it’s there. A lost kingdom, the White City. It doesn’t take long for the men who are after her, catch up to them. They’re taken prisoners and Adam discovers Ellie has been impersonating her best friend. He’s angry and pretends he doesn’t care whatever happens to her, but he knows better. The moment they’re of no value to the men that captured them, they’ll be dead. Still, he goes along and pretends his alliance is with the men.

Not long after they discover what everyone’s been looking for: the lost city, and the infamous smoking mirror. Adam and Ellie run for their lives and end up trapped in caves that are right below the city. Each tunnel is a trap and they have to find clues to make it out of each trap alive. Though they think they’re running away from their captors, they end up right back in the main room that contains the smoking mirror. They discover why it’s called that and do all they can to prevent the others from packing it and shipping it to England.

This is a great read. This is a historical mixed with mystery, magic, and lots of action. It’s not a romance though there are bits and pieces of Ellie and Adam developing feelings for each other, and sharing a couple of kisses. The whole story reminds me of The Mummy. Just when they think they’re saved, something else happens. For people who like to read about Mayan myths, this is a good book as it makes several references to Mayan legends and myths that reminded me of when I was in school (I studied abroad and Mayan history was part of class).

I’ll repeat myself again and say this is a great book. It’s long, but for everything the author worked in it I don’t see how it could be cut. It also seems their story will continue.

The Smoke Hunter Book Cover The Smoke Hunter
Jacquelyn Benson

THE SMOKE HUNTER by Jacquelyn Benson brings you the thrills of Indiana Jones, the action of Scott Mariani, the conspiracy of Dan Brown and the authenticity of Clive Cussler. Are you ready to join the adventure?

'Intrigue and suspense aplenty. A refreshing and original new voice' Scott Mariani

'The illegitimate love-child of Lara Croft and Indiana Jones... Fast-paced and action-packed' Stephen Leather

Chasing a threat born in smoke...

London, 1898. Archivist Eleanora Mallory discovers a map to a legendary city . But is it the key to unravelling an ancient mystery or a clever hoax?

Compelled to find out, Ellie journeys to Central America - with a merciless enemy hot on her heels.

In a race to uncover the map's secret first, Ellie is forced to partner with maverick archaeologist Adam Bates, a man she's not sure she can trust. Together, they venture into an uncharted wilderness alive with smoke and shadows, where an even greater danger awaits them.

For what lies there whispering to be unearthed has the power to bring the world to its knees.

Join Ellie and Adam as they battle rivers of scorpions, plummeting waterfalls and pre-historic death traps on the journey to uncovering a deadly secret that could shake the fate of the world.