Cryptid Hunters is one of the few non-Goosebumps and non-Animorphs books I read as a kid that stuck with me. First of all, there is a dinosaur on the cover. What kid does not love dinosaurs? Especially those of us who grew up with Jurassic Park as their favorite movie (i.e. me). The book follows twin siblings Marty and Grace on their first adventure. Marty is the adventurous type with enough curiosity and cleverness to get himself into trouble. Grace is just as smart as her brother, if not more so, but would take books over adventure any day. But things get strange when their journalist parents mysteriously disappear.
With mom and dad missing, the twins are taken away from their boarding school to live with their Uncle Wolfe. Who they did not know they had and have never heard of before. Their estranged uncle makes his career as a cryptozoologist. In Cryptid Hunters own words:
Cryptozoology (CRIP-tuh-zoh-AW-luh-jee) noun
The study of animals, such as the Sasquatch, the Yeti, the Loch Ness monster, the Chupacabra, and others, whose existence has not yet been proven scientifically. There are thought to be more than two hundred cryptids in existence today.
So, monster hunters. Uncle Wolfe is a monster hunter. But the cool kind; the kind who owns a private island, employs a team of experienced (and awesome) adventurers, and uses a bunch of neat gadgets. Things go from odd to complicated when a strange woman shows up on the island and suddenly it is time for a dinosaur hunt. And when Marty’s shenanigans get the twins parachuted into the middle of the Congo. Oops. Not to mention Uncle Wolfe is not the only one hunting for a dinosaur. His nemesis Noah Blackwood sends his own henchmen who are willing to do anything, or hurt anyone, to please their boss.
As I said at the beginning, this book has stuck to my memory over the years. It was no Harry Potter, but enjoyable enough that I have recommended it to my little siblings and cousins over the years. Going back to read it as an adult, it holds up as a solid book. The characters are likable and intelligent, with Marty and Grace running circles around the adults. The sci-fi techy portion holds up as well, with these decade plus old ideas being on par with a lot of modern technology. Plus, you know, dinosaurs! All in all there are nothing but good things to say about this book.