*I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.*
Title: The Smoke Hunter
Author: Jacquelyn Benson
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Publication Date: September 13, 2016
Synopsis from Goodreads:
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.
Ellie is trying to establish her career in a time where women can’t vote. The expectation is that she marry, but that would result in her no longer being able to work. That’s an option that she is not willing to put up with. She is lead across the world on an adventure to discover an impossible world, a trip that completely changes her life.
I love that Ellie is a take-charge kind of girl in a time where women are not widely accepted in the professional realm, especially in a position that takes her out into the wild. Ellie wants to discover the world and all its secret. She’s not afraid to speak her mind and take control of her situation. She’s inventive. She also has her flaws, she doesn’t think before she speaks and she doesn’t always consider all the risks before she acts. I love that she’s imperfect.
The villains are a bit typical. They are minions of an unseen forces who’s funding their expedition, ready to draw guns and eliminate threats at the drop of a hat. They’re all stock characters, but it adds a fun hokeyness to the story. It kind of reminds me of a Disney-esque adventure story. It doesn’t take away from the story in any way. In fact, it makes the story all the more enjoyable. It’s a fun read!