- Age Range: 8 - 12 years
- Grade Level: 3 - 7
- Lexile Measure: 770L (What's this?)
- Series: Killer Species (Book 1)
- Paperback: 240 pages
- Publisher: Scholastic Paperbacks; 6.1.2013 edition (June 25, 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0545506719
- ISBN-13: 978-0545506717
- Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 5.2 x 7.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 7 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 68 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #89,746 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Killer Species #1: Menace From the Deep Paperback – June 25, 2013
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From School Library Journal
Gr 4-7-After an atmospheric and ominous prologue in which a pair of genetically engineered "Pterogators" devour a python in the Florida Everglades, readers are introduced to disgruntled Emmet Doyle, a boy forced to move from Montana to the Sunshine State in the middle of seventh grade. His dad is an expert on raptors and his skills are needed by the National Parks Service to help them identify a possible new species of predator. The park ranger in charge of the investigation has a son, Calvin, who is Emmet's age and the two hit it off. Calvin's knowledge of the swampy environment and boats is impressive, and he helps Emmet transition into the new school. The only damper on the main character's adjustment to his new home is the instant dislike his science teacher seems to have for him. None of that is important once Emmet learns that his father has been kidnapped. The ransom? Only the closure of the entire Everglades to the public. There's something here for every reader-ecology, science, and gadgets galore, a realistic portrayal of boy friendship, and unrelenting suspense. This title is bound to please and fans will be hankering for the sequel.-Brenda Kahn, Tenakill Middle School, Closter, NJα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journal. LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
The Killer Species series starts off promisingly with a story of ecoterrorism in the Everglades. Sixth-grader Emmet Doyle is bitterly unhappy when his father, a National Park Service scientist, is reposted from Montana to Florida, right on the heels of Emmet’s mother’s death. When they first meet the Everglades Park superintendent and her son, Calvin, Emmet finds a lot more to fuel his anger: Calvin’s widowed mother and his dad quickly grow fond of each other; Calvin, exceedingly bright and accomplished but prone to shrugging off any other boy’s concerns, makes for a frustrating friend; Emmet’s new science teacher is a bully; and mutant owl-alligator hybrids preying on pythons threaten to put the park in danger. Most of the narrative follows Emmet’s viewpoint, with injections of the mutant breeder’s diabolical world and glimpses into Dr. Doyle’s pursuit of the villain. Both Emmet and Calvin talk and act with realistic preteen cleverness and humor. Well plotted to keep the suspense at full throttle, Spradlin’s latest also has enough science to engage young sci-fi fans. Grades 4-7. --Francisca Goldsmith
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Top customer reviews
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The creatures are some of my favourites I have seen in awhile, and the main antagonist is intriguing and mysterious. Will defiantly be keeping my eye on this series and rising the writer my money for it.
Cool plot premise about genetically altered alligators going on a rampage inside Everglades National Park. The main characters are two teenage boys(see note above about 100 stars)both of whom have conveniently single parents of the opposite sex. And both parents are conveniently most busily involved with figuring out what is causing these attacks. This (conveniently!) leaves the boys with lots of free time to investigate things on their own.
This story is a good, light read for adults who like "monster" stories. But if you got a teenage boy around, pass it to him, he'll really love it. I'll definitely read the next book in this series.
At this point, the 9-year old is still a little intimidated by the Killer Species books and he got several I Survived books for Christmas so he's had plenty to keep him busy. His 11- and 13- year old brothers each read this book in 1-2 days and asked if we had the next one in the series. They weren't doing cartwheels or anything, but they both read it straight through and then asked for more so I'll call that a success. I'll update my review when the non-reader in the bunch gets to it because, for me, that's the true test!