Something haunts the woods of Olympic National Park, a nightmare in hiding. Its existence has been kept secret by a conspiracy that stretches back to President Thomas Jefferson and the Lewis & Clark expedition. The truth that we have not been alone on this Earth would have forever been lost except that some species just won't die.
Dr. Samantha Russell has spent her career seeking for truth in the only way she knows how, on her hands and knees, painstakingly digging it up from the crust of the Earth. When the truth arrives by way of FedEx, she cannot help but see it as nothing more than another scientific hoax, especially considering the source. Dr. Jon Ostman has practically been excommunicated by the scientific community for his interest in such subjects as the American Sasquatch.
Suffering from her father's tragic sense of curiosity, though, Sam can't resist the question begged by the bones contained in the wooden crate. How could they be bones and not fossils since Gigantopithecus had been extinct for 125,000 years?
Driven to know the answer, Sam delays going to her father on his deathbed and instead pursues Jon to a remote corner of Washington state where he is about to make the greatest discovery involving the origins of the human species, a discovery Lewis and Clark may have already made 200 years earlier. However, Sam is not the only one pursuing Jon, for one of our nation's first secrets is still being kept by all means necessary.
And if they do survive the centuries-old conspiracy, they will not only rewrite American history, but they will prove that we are not the only intelligent, bipedal primate to survive extinction.
I love a good, creepy, adventure yarn in the spirit of James Rollins or David Golemon, and I really thought I'd found one here. And the premise is wonderful, and the story is well laid out and moves right along.
But . . . there is way too much expounding and lecturing in between the action sequences. It almost reaches the point of preaching about endangered species, government and the like. If it were a printed book, I'd be skipping those sections. They get old after the second time you've heard them. By the fifth, I'm done with them.
In addition, the author tells us 'about' what is happening, rather than writing the scene. And the hyperbole gets almost laughable by the end. He also uses the same expressions over and over. For example, the puppet master who manipulates the marionette strings behind the shadows of the stage, is fine the first time (if maybe a little over the top), but by the third time it's repeated, I'm ready to move on. I get it, all right?
And where one descriptive word would do, the author seems to think 10 would be better. For example ,the phrase 'she was lovely' would, in Penz's world, be 'She was as lovely as the sun through the fragrant pine needles on a summer's day casting dancing shadows on the bright grass'. (I kid you not). It gets pretty laughable at times.
In addition, the author's foreshadowing is about as subtle as a sledge hammer. It's inappropriate, and adds a jarring note throughout. He made his point with describing the Cryptid. He doesn't need to go into the more personal attributes of his characters. It tends to be rather grating, and doesn't fit with the flow of his narrative. He needs to trust his readers to 'get it' without beating them over the head!
Overall, the plot and story are great, and the pieces hold together well. If the author could cut about three hours of redundant posturing and over-the-top language out of the story, he'd have a winner. I hope to see better things of this author as he matures as a writer. So ultimately, worth listening too, but won't listen to it again.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful
Would you listen to Cryptid again? Why?
Yes , see to if I missed anything..Plus I love bigfoot stuff
What did you like best about this story?
The answer to why we never find the bones
What about Sean Schroeder’s performance did you like?
If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?
All urban legends have shred's of truth
Any additional comments?
For a first effort, correct? I found it pace well and entertained. I look forward to the next project from this writer. Perhaps a series ala repairman Jack, Sandman Slim or Joe Pitt
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
Cryptid is a fast-moving conspiracy thriller with all the elements you expect in this genre: shadowy government assassins, greedy corporate interests, corrupt politicians, nut-job conspiracy theorists, and a sexy, skeptical scientist in way over her head. What makes Cryptid stand out most of all is it's ten foot tall furry antagonist that might actually exist - Bigfoot. He's stinky, stealthy, and incredibly strong and violent and one giant ape you don't want to make mad.
The pace and story are good. It's easy to suspend disbelief for most of the elements. I had a hard time imagining a shadow organization inside the National Park Service, but I got over that as the plot developed and the motivations became apparent. The action is suspenseful, tense, and unpredictable. It will keep you on the edge of your seat from start to finish.
Penz includes factual tidbits of science, history, and Bigfoot lore throughout that really added to my enjoyment of Cryptid. I was also very impressed with Penz's knowledge of the Pacific Northwest - he paints a vivid image of the Olympic National Forest that made me both intrigued and fearful of ever visiting it.
Cryptid is a quality story and an excellent first novel. I thoroughly enjoyed it and would recommend it to any reader who enjoys thrillers.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Is there anything you would change about this book?
I am not sure what I was expecting from this book, but it did not deliver. I was certainly not anticipating the evolutionary phenomenon that this book put out. Because of this, I had a really hard time getting into the book or even caring. In short, I was severely let down. Had not that been the case, I think it is an average book: Average writing, average intensity, and average ability to hold the reader. It was nothing special, but also not terrible.
Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Sean Schroeder?
I will say that the narrator should NEVER do an Australian accent ever again. He should be forced to do community service to the people of Australia for that performance. I am not saying that I could do any better, but I could certainly not do worse. Also, it sounded like he recorded this at his home computer. It did not sound like a polished production.
Was Cryptid worth the listening time?
If you have nothing better to listen to, with low expectations, this will not disapoint. However, if you want to be blown away, caught in a whirlwind of suspense or even challenge your thinking on a topic, skip this book.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful
Would you listen to Cryptid again? Why?
Yes, good story.
How did the narrator detract from the book?
When there was a change of location or pace of the story there was no pause to allow your brain to reset. It was one sentence after another. Very disappointing in an otherwise good story.
Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?
2 of 3 people found this review helpful
The author did a great job in keeping me interested through the whole thing; at the same time, the author did a terrific job in painting the story in my mind, plus Adding real info made it sound like these events actually happened. It brought fire back into a subject that i used to love, and brings back the question "what's out there in remote ares like the pacific north west"
Merged all of the popular Bigfoot lore with modern conspiracy theories into a thrilling action packed adventure
Would you try another book from Eric Penz and/or Sean Schroeder?
I'd consider another book from the author, he had a cool idea and made something far fetched believable. His writing can be repetitious but it's a good made-for-movie yarn. The narrator was pretty bad though. He really tried with accents but failed to make it interesting.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful
What would have made Cryptid better?
I could not finish the first chapter, The narration put me to sleep, it could be a great story
but there was no feeling in the reading
What didn’t you like about Sean Schroeder’s performance?
It was monotone, no emotion came through the reading.
0 of 1 people found this review helpful