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Normally hunting cryptids, Marty O’Hara finds himself chasing more dangerous prey, trying to rescue his cousin Grace from her grandfather Noah Blackwood, a criminal and poacher masquerading as an environmentalist TV star. Marty recruits two friends to infiltrate Blackwood’s Seattle Ark, a zoo concealing several secrets… Blackwood not only has two living dinosaurs, but he might have the first chupacabra in captivity. But will Marty and his pals survive long enough to find out? What will Grace discover about Noah?

Chupacabra picks up where the previous novel in the series left off, catching up new readers or any who might have forgotten certain events. (With an elaborate character listing, a recap of the previous novel, and numerous callbacks, any one of which could have handled catch-up duties, the reader is all but hammered with THIS IS IMPORTANTness.) Thankfully, Smith is armed with numerous winning characters to keep the reader engaged. Grace is cunning and capable, a wonderful counterpoint to the brash but well-meaning Marty, and her scenes never descend into damsel-in-distress cliche. There was one major dangling plot thread that distracted me for the last twenty-five pages, though. Here’s hoping Smith ties it up in the final entry in the series.

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Star Count 3/5
Format Hard
Page Count 285 pages
Publisher Scholastic Press
Publish Date 2013-Sep-24
ISBN 9780545178174 Buy this Book
Issue January 2014
Category Young Adult


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