Wendy Sparrow's Reviews > Cryptid Hunters

Cryptid Hunters by Roland Smith
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's review
Feb 19, 2013

it was amazing
bookshelves: ya-mg
Read in January, 2012

I'd intended to leisurely preview this for my son to make sure it wasn't too violent. Instead it pulled me in and kept my eyes glued on its pages until 2 a.m. this morning... and I immediately bought Tentacles... at 2 a.m. (Gotta love online buying for that.)

This book was like the Magic Treehouse kids all grown up and taking on Jurassic Park or Journey to the Center of the Earth. It begins with Grace and Marty at a boarding school for gifted or wealthy kids--and it's a great peek into their personalities. The author does an amazing job with presenting them as being kids like any other kids even while they're very unusual and interesting. Marty has a photographic memory, loves extreme adventures, and is curious beyond his control--and often gets into trouble for that. Grace is very, very intelligent but with a healthy dose of phobias. Their parents go missing on a photo-journalism expedition and they're sent to live with their uncle on Cryptos Island. After a few adventures on the island, the two kids are accidentally parachute-dropped into the Congo where the excitement ratchets up to the point that you only breathe every third page. Mambas, dinosaurs, and leeches... oh my.

What stood out in this book is that while the kids were constantly getting into trouble or chaos--they were intelligent and recognition was paid to when they were disobeying the adults around them. Also, I genuinely liked these kids. As an adult reading kids' books, sometimes the characters annoy me. I just want to shake them and tell them to listen to the adults around them--especially when they put themselves in danger. I really liked Grace and Marty. Their personalities were fun and real and the relationship between them was really great to see in a modern-day book.

Even though the technology in this is now over five years old, it's not dated. It still feels fairly cutting-edge. And the study of Cryptids (animals not scientifically proven to be in existence but reputed through myths) has a timeless draw on our minds among the young and old.

For parents: I was surprised at how audience friendly this was. There was some violence and graphic descriptions but I would have read this aloud to my son starting at around age 7. No profanity. No adult situations. It was just an awesome adventure which I'm hoping continues in Tentacles. This book should be in every mid-grade kids' hands. It puts so many other books out there to shame. This is a book you can read aloud to your kids--and then sneak out and read ahead of them after they're in bed.

My favorite line was on page 41: Marty whispered to Grace, "That's the kind of man who keeps squids in his library."

You've got to read this book. I swear you'll love it... or come find me and tell me what's wrong with you that you didn't.
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05/06/2016 marked as: read

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