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Cryptid Hunters Hardcover – Bargain Price, December 27, 2004

4.7 out of 5 stars 78 customer reviews
Book 1 of 4 in the Marty and Grace Series

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Hardcover, Bargain Price, December 27, 2004
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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 5-8–When their parents disappear, twins Marty and Grace, 13, are taken in by their Uncle Travis, who searches the world for supposedly mythical creatures. After a parachute fall from an airplane, the kids find themselves in the middle of the Congo, where a surviving dinosaur may still exist. While their conservationist uncle tries to rescue the children, an evil cryptid hunter who kills species rather than saving them pursues the creature. Marty and Grace each have distinct, if not terribly complex personalities, and their adventures are quite absorbing. The first part of the story moves fairly slowly as the characters and the concept of cryptozoology are introduced. Once the twins hit the jungle, though, things get exciting. Along with the atmospheric setting, narrow escapes, and ruthless villains, a couple of neat personal revelations are woven into the tale, affecting nearly everybody involved. Both kids show courage and ingenuity as they try to survive the wild and avoid being captured. Marty's photographic memory provides a vehicle for presenting many facts about the environment without detracting from the tale. Grace is more introverted as she conquers her fears and discovers a life-changing revelation about her past. With the intriguing plot and plenty of well-paced action, this novel has fine booktalk potential and makes a good choice for adventure fans.–Steven Engelfried, Beaverton City Library, OR
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From Booklist

Gr. 5-8. When twins Marty and Grace O'Hara discover that their adventurous parents have gone missing, they leave their Swiss boarding school and join their mysterious uncle, Travis Wolfe, on his island in Washington State. They soon learn that their uncle is one of the world's foremost authorities on cryptids (think Bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster). Wolfe is scheduled to look for dinosaurs in the African jungle, and he plans to leave Marty and Grace in Europe before the expedition starts. Things go awry, however, when an accident plunges Marty and Grace into the middle of the Congolese jungle. Soon the henchmen of the evil Noah Blackwood are pursuing the twins. The action is nonstop in this well-paced jungle adventure, and Smith adds a deeper layer in scenes of Marty and Grace discovering truths about their complicated family relationships. Several loose ends suggest more cryptid-recovery expeditions to come. Todd Morning
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Hyperion Book CH; 1 edition (February 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786851619
  • ASIN: B001QFY1U8
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (78 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,963,551 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

A Kid's Review on November 28, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Grace and Marty are at a boarding school when they find out that there parents are dead. They are then forced to go live with there uncle Travis that they didn't even know existed. Uncle Travis lives on an island and he is big into crypto zoology.

On a trip to find the last living dinosaur on earth, they run into big problems. They have to fight to survive out in the middle of the jungle. Throughout there journey, Grace and Marty reveal some long hidden secrets about there Uncle Travis. Brave and daring, they end up leaving the jungle safely, with the bad guys left behind.

I really liked this book because it keeps you reading. You get to some good parts in the book and you don't want to stop. This would be a great book to come out with a sequel. Another reason I really like this book is because I really like adventure books, and this book is full of adventure.
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Cryptid Hunters is the story about two swiss boarding school kids, a famous cryptid hunter with his own island, who turns out to be the father of one of the kids, a comely female professor, and the requisite evil bad guys, one of whom turns out to be one of the kid's grandfather. They all end up in the Congo looking for a dinosaur cryptid and one of them is looking for revenge--the cold kind--because the famous cryptid hunter used to be married to his daughter and she was killed on one of the cryptid hunter's Congo cryptid hunts. The problem is that the dino cryptid is dead, which the characters don't find out for a long time in the book. However, the real monsters in Cryptid Hunters turn out to be some of the people--the revenge obsessed grandfather and his brutal employees. The action is well-paced and the writing is nicely descriptive, but the true monsters in this book are of the human kind.

I'm on the fence as to whether not to recommend Cryptid Hunters. If you're a fan of Roland Smith, then you'll probably like Cryptid Hunters, but I think Sasquatch, one of his other books, is a lot more entertaining and has a lot more believable action. I will probably re-read Cryptid Hunters, but I will take my time getting around to it.
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In "Cryptid Hunters" by Roland Smith, Marty and Grace O'Hara are fraternal twins and are more unlike than alike, and this isn't just a reference to their looks, Grace is studious and conscientious, and Marty is a goof-off and a troublemaker. Unfortunately, due to lazy writing and characterization is that for all intents and purposes Marty and Grace are just pretty much unlikable. Marty is a smart-aleck and bore who thinks that he just so much smarter than everybody else, that the rules apply to everybody else but not to him, and that actions don't have consequences; he's just a snotty rich kid. Grace is a genius, a whiner, who's scared of, and faints at, nearly everything; she's a clichéd girl stuck in a boy's adventure.

Then they find out that their parents have been lost in a plane crash. No, really lost, Sylvia and Timothy O'Hara's globetrotting and adventuring parent's bodies are missing from the crash site. And since their parent's bodies can't be found, and they aren't paying the tuition, Grace and Marty are eventually dismissed from the Omega Opportunity Prepatory School to be sent t to live with their new legal guardian Travis Wolfe, cryptid hunter and founder of eWolfe. Marty can't wait to go, while Grace just plain doesn't want to go.

Travis is in a rush to go on an expedition to the Congolese jungle to look for the remnants of a dinosaur species long since thought to be extinct, and he doesn't want to take the two thirteen year olds along with him. Long story short, the kids end up going, and they end up lost, through some unbelievable circumstances that could only happen in a novel, in the Congolese jungle.
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Roland Smith writes great adventure books!! Youth through adult readers will find each of them worth the time taken to settle down with a good book!! This book is 1st in a three part series, followed by "Tentacles" and "Chupacabra". Settle in for the set!!
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Format: Paperback
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.
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