Can the Creature Keepers keep the cryptids safe?
Twelve-year-old Jordan Grimsley is not pleased to be leaving Wi-Fi behind so that his parents can rehab his missing grandfather’s isolated home in the Okeeyuckachokee Swamp, especially since their nearest neighbors are all strangely energetic retirees. One exception is Eldon, a Badger Ranger and, it turns out, part of a secret society of kids founded by Grampa Grimsley who help to keep the cryptids of the world (like the Loch Ness monster, sasquatch and the skunk ape) safe. When Nessie vanishes, Jordan and Eldon take off to find out what is going on; their hunt is made even more urgent by the fact that the lost monster controls the waters of the world. Can the boys, with Grampa Grimsley’s notes and some assistance from the cryptids themselves, find Nessie, stop a madman, duck the attacks of a vindictive rogue cryptid and save the world? Well, they’ll give it the old Badger Ranger try. Despite the promising premise, the kickoff for Nelson’s new series is an invitation to a nap. There’s not much to laugh at, and the mystery/adventure unspools so slowly that the pages won’t keep turning for long. Neither Jordan nor Eldon has much personality, and their supporting cast is pretty bland, too.
Steer legendary-monster fans to the Imaginary Veterinary or Cryptid Hunters series for cryptozoological fixes. (Fantasy. 8-12)