By Roland Smith
336 pages – ages 9+
Will be Published by Scholastic Press on October 1 (although Amazon has it as September 24), 2013
I HAVE BEEN WAITING (not so patiently) FOR THIS BOOK! Imagine my happy face when I won an ARC copy of it from Mr. Smith’s website! WOO! (Side note – Mr. Smith always has a cool contest going on — check them out by clicking HERE). Chupacabra is the next book in Mr. Smith’s series about cryptids (Book 1 is Cryptid Hunters and Book 2 is Tentacles). “What’s a cryptid?” you ask? Well maybe you didn’t, but I’m going to tell you. Crypids are creatures that are reported to exist, but it hasn’t been proven (like Bigfoot or the Loch Ness Monster).
In the first book of the series (Cryptid Hunters), we meet Grace and Marty.
[taken from Amazon's summary of Cryptid Hunters]
After their parents are lost in an accident, thirteen-year old twins Grace and Marty are whisked away to live with their Uncle Wolfe-an uncle that they didn’t even know they had! The intimidating Uncle Wolfe is an anthropologist who has dedicated his life to finding cryptids, mysterious creatures believed to be long extinct.
In Chupacabra, Marty, Grace, and Luthor (Marty’s best friend, who came into the story in Tentacles) are back! Grace has “willingly” gone with the evil Noah Blackwood (Grace’s grandfather who goes around collecting rare animals to put in his zoos, and after they’ve hit their prime, he stuffs them, plus, he always tries to foil Wolfe and his team, and only for the money and fame). In reality, one of the team (good guys) was held at gun-point to force Grace to go with Noah. And now the team (Wolfe, Marty, Luthor, etc.) have to get Grace back. It doesn’t help that Blackwood has started making weird genetic mutations in a science lab. Blackwood determined that the Chupacabra was really only a myth so he does what any other evil guy would do… he made his own CHUPACABRA! He plans to release it into the world (to be exact, the small town of Glen Rose, Texas, home of the AWESOME Reading with Rhythm blogger dog! WATCH OUT RHYTHM!!!) so he can come in, capture it, save the day, and put it on display at his zoo. Well, that can’t happen. Oh no. Not at all. The good guys have got to stop this (and rescue Grace)!
I LOVE this series and this is the best book yet in it! The action is incredible! The humor is unbearably FUNNY! Mr. Smith knows how to mix the right amount of humor into his books. I like the new character, Daniel. He’s cool. I think the cover is cool, but, in case you find it scary, don’t worry. This is NOT a horror book. This is a clean, fun read, and the scariest part is when Luthor is crawling through a maze of vents and Chupacabra was released into the vents (okay THAT was pretty creepy). The book has exciting moments that will have you on the edge of your seat (or in my case beanbag chair)! I also like how Mr. Smith has characters from his books from his other series show up in other books. It’s kind of cool. I thought it was cool that Mr. Smith wrote a couple chapters in the book from the perspective of the Chupacabra – very cool. I’m lovin’ Mr. Smiith’s writing skills even more, with each book I read of his! His writing style is great – a cup of surprises, 2 cups of suspense, a pinch of scariness, and 5/6 of a cup of humor!
I should mention that you don’t have to have read the other books in the series to totally enjoy Chupacabra (although you should – they are great reads).
I give Chupacabra 5 out of 5 bookworms!
See my reviews of Crytid Hunters HERE and Tentacles HERE. Also, check out Roland Smith’s website HERE!