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5.0 10
by Roland Smith

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Monsters of legend come to life! The final thrilling title in Roland Smith's popular series.

Marty and his best friend, Luther, have managed to rescue Marty's cousin Grace from the clutches of the nefarious pseudo-naturalist Noah Blackwood, but their most dangerous mission lies ahead of them. Marty's parents have been missing in Brazil for months and


Monsters of legend come to life! The final thrilling title in Roland Smith's popular series.

Marty and his best friend, Luther, have managed to rescue Marty's cousin Grace from the clutches of the nefarious pseudo-naturalist Noah Blackwood, but their most dangerous mission lies ahead of them. Marty's parents have been missing in Brazil for months and their trail has all but run cold. With time running out, Marty and the Cryptos Island crew race off for Brazil -- where they discover that Noah Blackwood has twisted the natural order of things beyond their wildest, most terrifying dreams.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Praise for TENTACLES

"A high-octane page-turner that will reel readers in and keep them riveted." --SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL

"Swashbuckling adventure, narrow escapes, sea monsters: The fascinating science of cryptids and Smith's fast-paced story will capture the imagination of any action-loving reader." --BOOK PAGE


An American Library Association Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers

"Enough new characters, dangers, and cool science to reel in reluctant readers and keep them turning pages long after their lights should have been turned off." --SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL

Children's Literature - Renee Farrah Vess
The Cryptos Island crew is in Brazil to pick up the trail of Sylvia and Timothy’s helicopter crash, hoping to find their missing friends alive. At the same time, they’re also trying to keep two baby dinosaurs fed, happy, and away from the nefarious Noah Blackwood. Both would be a lot easier if crew members didn’t keep disappearing. The characters divide into groups, each tasked with a different goal. The story initially jumps between the different groups, naturally reuniting everyone at the end for a final group adventure. The pacing picks up once the characters are grouped and then never stops. Action trumps emotional character development; so readers are running alongside them, but don’t get a chance to get to know them any better than in previous books. There are at least a dozen characters, with thirteen-year-olds Marty and Grace as two of the leads; and there are many plot lines to follow. Readers could be overwhelmed at first simply understanding who is doing what, where, and why. The chaotic rhythm becomes a comfortable hum once everyone is in his or her place and the reader becomes familiar with the large cast. This is the fourth and final book of the “Cryptid Hunters” series and many characters come from its previous titles. Series readers will be happy to have one last adventure with them all before their release into a world beyond the reader.. Although the gore isn’t explicitly detailed, there are scenes featuring gun violence and lethal animal attacks, leading to an increasing body count as the story continues. There’s a lot to cover here, and it’s done efficiently and briskly. Reviewer: Renee Farrah Vess; Ages 8 to 13.
Kirkus Reviews
The cryptid hunters are back (Chupacabra, 2013, etc.), but this time they're the hunted. It's only been a day since 13-year-old Marty O'Hara and his cousin Grace Wolfe (who he used to believe was his twin sister) rescued two baby dinosaurs and Grace herself from fake naturalist (and Grace's grandfather) Noah Blackwood's clutches. They are relatively safe with Grace's father, actual naturalist and cryptid hunter Travis Wolfe, but they need to keep the hatchling dinosaurs out of Blackwood's grasp and continue the hunt for Marty's parents, who were lost in a helicopter crash over the jungles of Brazil. Grace, their school friend Luther and Wolfe head to a jaguar preserve with the hatchlings via helicopter while Marty, new friend Dylan and Wolfe's partner, Ted, head there in a souped-up boat. But nefarious Blackwood and his paid minions are far from idle, and they have surprises both technological and historical for the young adventurers and their friends. The conclusion to Smith's four-book series has some thrills, but key events of the denouement occur almost entirely off camera, so series fans don't get to enjoy the villains' comeuppance as they would probably like to. A huge cast list (thankfully summarized in a character list and series recap at the outset) and too many story threads undercut the action. For series fans mostly; readers grabbed by the cover should go back to the beginning. (Adventure. 9-12)

Product Details

Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.30(d)
680L (what's this?)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

Roland Smith first worked with animals at the Portland Zoo, and he has been involved in animal rescues and conservation work around the world for more than twenty years. He is the author of numerous books for young readers, including JACK'S RUN, ZACH'S LIE, CRYPTID HUNTERS, PEAK, TENTACLES, and the Storm Runners series. He is also the co-author of numerous picture books with his wife, Marie. Roland lives with Marie on a farm south of Portland, Oregon. You can find him online at www.rolandsmith.com.

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Mutation 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Smith's best book yet! Full of adventure and excitement. Noah Blackwood FINALLY gets exposed!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really like the Criptid Hunters series. It is my favorite series by Roland Smith. This is supposed to be the last book in the series, but that could change (probably not).
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Lets be friends
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I haven't read this book but the others are amzing. But what is picking them off one by one? What does Noah create? I hope it's an Onza. Please be an Onza. I love onzas.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I liked the book and the endding but would love like a post book sort to speak. All in all i loved the series!
BooksAplenty More than 1 year ago
In Mutation, Roland Smith impressively wraps up this complex and intense series. The action takes place deep in the Amazon as our heroes attempt to find and rescue their missing parents. Meanwhile, our central sociopath - Noah Blackwood - and his crew are hunting them down. The action is intense, as the various characters race through the jungle, cross raging rivers, track dinosaurs, and get captured by people with blow guns. I was most surprised and impressed with how Smith spiraled these 4 books into darker and darker territory and Mutation is certainly the darkest. Our villains think nothing of slitting throats or executing children. Ultimately, Mutation is a fast-paced, twisty story. It also includes some interesting ethical questions in science including genetic modification, cloning, and human subjects. It may also challenge some readers with it's constant switching around among 6 or more perspectives, but for me this multi-person view was wholly appropriate since the characters were spread out throughout the jungle. As always with this series, I enjoyed following the villain's perspectives so that you could compare how each side of the chase was going. Unfortunately, a few issues tempered my enjoyment of Mutation. A few mysteries were never explained such as who the native people are and how they became so genetically strange. I'm also still confused about how gender can be altered in a clone. But overall, Mutation was a terrific ending to an outstanding upper middle grades series. ** Disclosure: I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher in exchange for an honest review **
This_Kid_Reviews_Books More than 1 year ago
Marty, Grace, and Luther are back in the thrilling conclusion to the Cryptid Hunters series! Wolfe, who is Grace’s dad and Marty’s uncle, and scientist specializing in cryptids (animals rumored to exist but were never proven (Ex: giant squid, Bigfoot)), and his strange group of employees have pinpointed where Marty’s parents disappeared in the Brazilian jungle. The cryptid hunters team get to a member’s research base in Brazil, only to keep having team members go missing. It almost seems like they are getting picked off one by one… It seems like an isolated tribe is to blame, but how do they know basic English, and how to disable modern-day electronics? What will happen when the kids are the only ones left to protect the cryptids that Wolfe has rescued? This was an amazing ending to the Cryptid Hunters series! Mr. Smith has a great series here, and I was sad to see it end, but I was very satisfied with the ending. There is enough action, adventure, and excitement to go around – I couldn’t put it down! Marty and Grace (and you as the reader) learn a lot about Noah Blackwood (the millionaire zoo-chain owner who is diabolically evil) in this book (for example, his name isn’t even Noah Blackwood!). I love how Mr. Smith mixes science and sci-fi together in his story lines. The characters in the series are ones that the reader gets to know well. The good guys are ones you will like and cheer for and the bad guys will make your skin crawl. The ending is great, but I also kind of thought it had to end the way it did (Noah was too popular to just go to jail). I really like how Mr. Smith pulled everything together in the end… now maybe he’ll reconsider and write another Marty and Grace book… pretty please?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I havent read rthis but i have read the other books. I read the preview thing for itand it was good so far. Cant wait to read it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago