Newly orphaned Clivo Wren’s about to discover a monstrous family secret.
After 13-year-old Clivo’s archaeologist father dies on a dig in Colombia (his mother passed away previously), eccentric Aunt Pearl, who used to care for Clivo during his dad’s frequent expeditions, moves in with her cats. Clivo’s ready to settle into his average life when Douglas Chancery, a pushy stranger, visits to inform Clivo that his father, Russell, was actually a cryptid catcher traveling the world hunting for legendary creatures. Russell was trying to locate a specific cryptid whose blood is the key to immortality. Russell and Douglas had an agreement that, should something happen to Russell, Douglas would hire Clivo to do the job. Suddenly, all the martial arts, language classes (in Japanese, Hindustani, Arabic, and Russian), and survival training Clivo’s parents put him through makes sense. Clivo agrees to help grumpy Douglas find the one Russell was looking for and keep it out of the hands of evildoers…but Clivo’s going to need more help than Douglas’ money can buy. Fisher’s debut, the first half of a duology, delivers adventure and laughs to readers who are willing to check their disbelief on Page 1. Clivo’s a white boy, a good-hearted Everykid, and the helpers he finds are a multicultural melting pot of monster-loving nerds.
Though there’s a bit of closure, readers will be ready for the sequel when they turn the final page. (Fantasy. 9-12)