Sunday, February 23, 2014

Review: The Secret Zoo: Riddles and Danger (The Secret Zoo #3) by Bryan Chick


I've always loved the premise of The Secret Zoo book series and felt the strength of the books lies with the four main characters, Noah, his sister Megan, and their  friends Richie and Ellie.  Plus the covers are always illustrated so lovely.  Book one was really an introduction of the main characters who built their clubhouse, next to the Clarksville City Zoo.  With Megan's disappearance, the scouts jumped into action making their way into the zoo and receiving aid from a polar bear, a flying penguin, a prairie dog,  a rhinoceros and a messenger kingfisher.   The book was both magical and mysterious.  

 After the first book, I was eager to continue with Secrets and Shadows but became bogged down by the large amount of time spent on the scouts training and introduction of their new instructors the Descenders, Tank and the history of how the Secret Zoo came about.   I felt some of the magical elements were still there and still enjoyed the different secret doorways that the children entered.  

 Book three is titled Riddles and Danger.   After Tank discovers muddy footprints, the scouts are called upon to fight off the dangerous Sasquatches that are threatening  the town.  I was expecting a high paced action packed book after the second book.  Chick delivers some of the action and suspense toward the end of the book when the scouts encounter the Sasquatchs and various battles and escapes ensue.  The mysterious black trench coat man wearing a fedora hat who has been elusive throughout the series continues to be prevalent and exactly what his plans are for the zoo will hopefully become more evident in the next books.  

Since reading book three, I've found out that Book 4, Traps and Specters, and Book 5, Raids and Rescues have been published and the book series is outlined as a 15 book series.  Here is where my hesitance comes in with continuing with this series, although there are some magical elements and the action improved from book two to three, I have reservations about vesting the time into such a lengthy series where the action is sporadic. On the other hand, there are still unanswered questions and the animal companions provide some motivation to continue with the series.  Guess it will depend on whether my public library continues to carry the series, seeing that is where I get my review copy.        

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