Marty and Grace #1: Cryptid Hunters

Book Information
Rating: Outstanding
Reading/Interest Level: Intermediate, Young Adult
Author: Roland Smith
Publisher: Hyperion
Year: 2005
ISBN: 0786851619
Pages: 348

After hearing news that their parents may be lost in the Amazon, Marty and Grace O’Hara are told they will live with their uncle, Travis Wolfe. Wolfe is a cryptozoologist, someone who studies legendary creatures to prove their existence.  After Marty and Grace join him, Wolfe sees evidence of a Mokélé-mbembé—a small dinosaur—living in the Congo. But spies warn Dr. Noah Blackwood, a supposed wildlife expert, about Wolfe’s trip, and he hires men to steal both the Mokélé-mbembé evidence and Grace. As Wolfe’s expedition heads to Africa, Marty and Grace are accidentally dropped into the Congo. With only a small device to guide them, Marty and Grace work together to find shelter, answers to Grace’s past, and Mokélé-mbembé eggs, all while trying to dodge Noah’s henchmen.

Cryptid Hunters is a rousing read that is totally original in its story, setting, and characters. The story is based on a true scientific study called cryptozoology, where scientists try to prove the existence of many cryptids like dinosaurs, the Sasquatch, or the Loch Ness Monster. Then there is the setting on Wolfe’s private island, Cryptos, off the coast of Washington where he and his partner, Ted Bronson, invent revolutionary technologies. Finally there are the two main characters of Marty and Grace. They may be related and geniuses in their own way, but Marty and Grace are far from being similar in looks or thinking. This is part of a four book series with Tentacles as Cryptid Hunters’ sequel.