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Zeuglodon: The True Adventures of Kathleen Perkins, Cryptozoologist

3.77  ·  Rating Details  ·  77 Ratings  ·  19 Reviews
"A skeletal hand clutching an iron key lies hidden within a mermaid's wooden sarcophagus; a hand-drawn map is stolen from beneath the floorboards an old museum; an eccentric sleeping inventor dreams of a passage to the center of the hollow earth, and by dreaming of the passage, brings it into being. Pursued by kidnappers thinking of riches and murder, Katherine Perkins and ...more
Hardcover, 217 pages
Published August 31st 2012 by Subterranean Press (first published August 23rd 2012)
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Mar 03, 2013 Mike rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone
For some reason, I was sure that I had read the book that started this “series”, “The Digging Leviathan” but it is not in my GR lists and my local library does not have it available. Still, since it was written long ago when hominids were still evolving, I may actually own a copy – packed away in one of 40-or-so boxes of bound printed matter.

I snapped up this book, Zeuglodon because I saw the cover blurb stating that it was the “sequel” to “The Digging Leviathan” and thought that I should obviou
Nov 04, 2012 Tom rated it really liked it
I became a fan of James Blaylock in middle school, after reading his Tolkienesque novels The Elfin Ship and The Disappearing Dwarf. In 1984, Blaylock's then-newest book was published - The Digging Leviathan. I was expecting, and hoping, for something set in the same world as the Elfin Ship but this was something different. Set in Los Angeles some time after the Kennedy Assassination, The Digging Leviathan was the story of Jim Hastings, his "lunatic" father William, and Jim's friend Giles Peach, ...more
Kat  Hooper
Oct 12, 2012 Kat Hooper rated it really liked it
3.5 Review originally posted at

Eleven year old Kathleen Perkins considers herself a scientist — a cryptozoologist, to be exact. She studies legendary animals. According to Kathleen, “legendary” just means that they don’t appear very often. (“You can hardly blame them.”)

Kathleen’s mother disappeared in a submersible while trying to find the entrance to Pellucidar, so Kathleen now lives with her orphaned cousins Perry and Brendan at her eccentric uncle’s house. Uncle Hedg
Becky Loader
Nov 09, 2013 Becky Loader rated it it was amazing
I would rate this 6 stars if I could. ;-)
Blaylock has written a story about 3 intrepid cousins and their uncle, who is an important person in a very secret mysterious society. Oh. My. Gosh. The adventures they have with a mermaid, an arch villain, a creepy Creeper, and a woman from Children's Services, who has to be played by Margaret Hamilton. I can just picture my Uncle Hugh as Uncle Hedge, and of course my sister and I would be the adventurers. Our Mother never quite went exploring in the Sar
David Schwan
Mar 09, 2013 David Schwan rated it really liked it
This is a fun YA story. Three young people--one girl two boys have an adventure that takes them far from their home. The story starts in their hometown on California's Mendocino coast with a theft at the local museum. A chase ensues that takes us to Newfoundland and later to the UK. The good guys are members of the Society of St. George, a secret society dedicated to investigating mysterious things. The writing style is quite cinematic, this would make a fun to watch movie. This is a definite di ...more
This is definitely a 3-/2+. I wanted to like this book more than I did. It started out okay, with a very different voice (that felt like a reasonably authentic pre-teen girl), but even as a former pre-teen girl, that got old. Maybe that's not even how old the protagonists were; at one point in the narrative when something that I thought was pretty weird for tweens I went back and looked, but I didn't see it. They sounded like pre-teens, anyway.

The settings were probably the highlight: there's a
Oct 11, 2012 LP rated it really liked it
Kathleen Perkins, a young cryptozoologist, and her two cousins, Percy and Brendan, become enmeshed in a mysterious adventure of Vernean proportions involving the Guild of St George, a mermaid, and two very bad villains. It's a beautifully, sometimes poignantly, written story with plenty of humor and action. I hope there will be more.
Joe Slavinsky
Jan 23, 2016 Joe Slavinsky rated it it was amazing
As I mentioned, in my review of "The Aylesford Skull", I love that Blaylock writes in different styles. That book, is "steampunk", or alternate history, set in England around the turn of the 19th, to the 20th century. This book, is set in "modern" day, about three adolescent cousins, who live with their uncle, in Northern California. The uncle is a member of the St. George Society, a group with both mythological, and metaphysical ties, and the kids get taken on an adventure, literally around the ...more
Overall Assessment: Good Read

Zeuglodon reminds me of the children/young adult fiction I grew up reading in the late 60s and early seventies. Stuff like Sid Fleischman's Mr. Mysterious and Company and By the Great Horn Spoon. Books which are full of whimisical adventures told from the perspective of a child protagonist/protagonists; books featuring daring deeds, odd and mysterious events, and siblings working (and fighting) together against nefarious strangers.

And maybe it's just that
John Onoda
Oct 23, 2012 John Onoda rated it really liked it
This is James Blaylock's first attempt to write a young adult novel, jumping onto a bandwagon that seems to be overflowing with authors trying their luck in this lucrative niche. I was interested to see how his quirky and whimsical sensabilities would translate into a story targeted at young teenagers, and I'm sorry to say that the result is pretty much like a second-rate Blaylock novel targeted at adults. I wll hasten to point out that second-rate Blaylock is better than the first-rate efforts ...more
Oct 31, 2014 Nigel rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
A lively, endearing novel, set in Blaylock's version of California from The Digging Leviathan and revolving around the many peculiar abilities and affinities of the quasi-mermaid Peach clan. Eleven year old Kathleen Perkins, or just Perkins, trainee cryptozoologist, lives with her uncle and her cousins on the remote Californian coast. Mysterious strangers with ill intent threaten their happy state: a woman intent on taking them back to their Aunt and a man intent on stealing papers and maps from ...more
Dec 25, 2014 Aaron rated it really liked it
Shelves: steampunk, fantasy, ya
Zeuglodon is told in classic Blaylock style. You won't be disappointed. The characters are fulled fleshed out from their very first words spoken, and told in the first person narrative gives the story a fun, whimsical song.

Brilliant from cover to cover with no commercial breaks.

I highly recommend anything this author has written.
Fantasy Literature
Jun 01, 2013 Fantasy Literature rated it liked it
Shelves: kat
Eleven year old Kathleen Perkins considers herself a scientist — a cryptozoologist, to be exact. She studies legendary animals. According to Kathleen, “legendary” just means that they don’t appear very often. (“You can hardly blame them.”)

Kathleen’s mother disappeared in a submersible while trying to find the entrance to Pellucidar, so Kathleen now lives with her orphaned cousins Perry and Brendan at her eccentric uncle’s house. Uncle Hedge, who runs a little seaside museum of strange objects, i
May 15, 2015 Matt rated it liked it
Almost four stars.

It just doesn't amount to much, considering all its elements.

What's here is dandy, though! Like the work of Tim Powers, one can only judge James P. Blaylock's against itself.
He's done this a bit better before, but ZEUGLODON is still a magical read.

Michael Hirsch
Jul 06, 2013 Michael Hirsch rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
an excellent Nobel for kids, written in the wrong decade. It felt like E. Nesbit meets the Mad Scientists Club. It's about three precocious kids (but not too precocious like something Card would write) who get caught up in an adventure right out of Jules Verne.

The story had it all: a strong 11 year old protagonist, a noisy busybody, an eccentric uncle, mermaids, locked boxes, submarines.

If I were 13 I'd give it 5 stars. It's definitely juvenile fiction, but still quite enjoyable ad an adult.
Mar 17, 2014 Karen rated it really liked it
Fun language, plot a bit meandering
Jun 17, 2014 Gary rated it it was amazing
This is James P. showing his mastery of his craft. This is 'the famous five' crossed with 'a series of unfortunate events' - a book I assume aimed at younger readers but still very enjoyable by old curmudgeons such as myself. Blaylock hallmarks of sinister villains and sidekicks plus plucky heroes and heroines and a dog for good measure!
Just a pleasure to read, really. I love his books.
Jan 13, 2013 Jim rated it liked it
i give it only 3 stars as it was a YA book-for Young Adults.Not substantial enough. And it was terribly thin. I wanted more of this story of adventurous kids finding their way to the center of the earth. I was awaiting this story , as it's a sequel to the author's The Digging Leviathan written back in the 80s...
David Marshall
Nov 26, 2012 David Marshall rated it liked it
This is a rather endearing fantasy novel, told from a young person's point of view but cleverly working through themes made popular by Jules Verne, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Charles Fort, and others.
Chris Nielsen
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James Paul Blaylock is an American fantasy author. He is noted for his distinctive style. He writes in a humorous way: His characters never walk, they clump along, or when someone complains (in a flying machine) that flight is impossible, the other characters agree and show him why he's right.

He was born in Long Beach, California; studied English at California State University, Fullerton, receivin
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