As they look at the diary, they must solve the code and follow the steps to figure out what is going on, leading them down paths they never would have expected. This definitely has some Indiana Jones and The Mummy vibes.
The characters were really great, and I enjoyed their journey with all their energy, sarcasm, and witty quips. The code-breaking is a highlight in the book, and I loved watching them solve it all and figure it out. I found the writing to be a bit like a movie, where action happens fast and you fill in the blanks along the way. The start felt a little confusing to me as I put it all together, and it's one that is tough to put down and pick up as you need to remember the details as you go.
Overall, CURSE OF THE SPECTER QUEEN was an entertaining YA historical fiction read with code-breaking, mysteries, and fun characters.