CHUPACABRA by Roland Smith


From the "Cryptid Hunters" series, volume 3
Age Range: 9 - 12
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Marty and Grace return for their third rare-animal adventure (Tentacles, 2009, etc.).

Thirteen-year-old cousins Grace and Marty were separated at the end of their last adventure. Grace agreed to leave with her grandfather, Dr. Noah Blackwood, even though she knows he is not the wildlife conservationist he pretends to be on his television show. Marty stayed with Grace’s father (and his uncle), Dr. Travis Wolfe, world-renowned cryptozoologist. When Wolfe leaves them alone, Marty and his best friend, Luther, decide to try to find Grace at Dr. Blackwood’s Seattle Ark, one of his chain of zoos. With the help of a new friend, Luther and Marty sneak into the Ark and begin searching for Grace. Blackwood discovers that the boys are on the property, but he can’t pinpoint them; likewise, the boys find the secret research lab beneath the Ark, but they can’t get to it. Everything is complicated by Blackwood’s genetically created chupacabra, a legendary cryptid and voracious monster loose in the lab’s ductwork. Smith’s third in a series of four adventures stands alone well enough, but it works best as part of the series (a helpful recap of the series thus far orients readers to its labyrinthine twists). The adventure sequences are entertaining, but some of the humor may strike kids as rather lame; the ever-hungry Luther’s antics especially ring false.

A decent-enough adventure, but not one for the ages. (Adventure. 9-12)

Pub Date: Sept. 24th, 2013
ISBN: 978-0-545-17817-4
Page count: 304pp
Publisher: Scholastic
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1st, 2013


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