Monday, May 1, 2017

Review: The Guttersnipes by Scott Eric Barrett

by Scott Eric Barrett
Pegasus Elliot Mackenzie Publishers
Middle Grade Fantasy
ages 9+
249 pages

Charlie Daniels is more than six feet tall, allergic to almost everything, and has a pet dinosaur at home. His life in Arizona is relatively normal. That is, apart from the nightmares Charlie has...
But when his dinosaur, Trike, gets kidnapped by a strange old lady and her cat-like sidekick, Charlie and his misfit friend Arty are sucked into a story bigger than both of them. Risking everything to rescue Trike, Charlie and Arty are flung into the past, landing in the chaos of New York City, 1865.
Dodging the mysterious Nasten Cobblestine, and avoiding the perils of New York's nastiest street cleaners' strikes, test Charlie's wits as well as his courage. All he wants to do is reunite with his dinosaur and somehow find a way back home...
As Charlie searches for Trike, he draws dangerously close to P.T. Barnum's eerie museum and the creature that lies within. Will he find Trike and get home alive? And who is the Ice Lady of his nightmares?


A pet dinosaur, time travel, super powers and continuous action make this an exciting read from beginning to end.

Charlie doesn't really fit in with other kids, but then, he does have a pet dinosaur. A strange lady and her monster friend kidnap Charlie's dinosaur and warn him of nightmares. Charlie will do anything to get his dinosaur back, including getting together with a new friend, Arty, to travel to the past. There they discover tons of adventures, dangers and more.

There are so many things in this book which are hard not to love--action, danger, dinosaurs, video games, sword fights, time travel. It'd be impossible to pack in more. The characters are full of life, and come across naturally. Charlie sometimes acts a little older than the twelve years old he's supposed to be, but in general, he's got all the spunk, desire for and adventure that a 7th grader should have. There's friendship and working together as he and Arty go from one sticky situation to the next. And the villains are wonderfully evil and easy to dislike.

Imagination and adventure spill from every page. The plot is relatively complex. At times, things rush past a bit too quick leaving a sense of confusion. It's never explained where Charlie's dinosaur comes from, and there are several other logic holes. But it's an engaging read. There are moments of violence and cruelty, but then this isn't for the youngest readers. Tweens will probably enjoy this the most, since it's a bit young for the YA crowd and leans slightly older than that for the upper middle grader. 

Fans of urban fantasy with a touch of adventure, history and science fiction are sure to enjoy this. And I'm looking forward to see if Charlie will launch into other adventures in the future.

And here he is. . .

Scott Eric Barrett is an award-winning freelance writer and full-time editor from Glendale, Arizona. Scott has published more than fifty articles for various newspapers, history magazines, and educational publications. He completed his first novel, The Guttersnipes, in early 2015, and recently finished his second book, A Christmas Wish. Both fantasy adventures are fast-paced rides with twists and turns galore aimed at young and middle-grade readers. Scott's wife and two children inspire him to work hard every day and stay resilient in a fiercely competitive industry that often forces young writers to give up on their dreams.

1 comment:

cleemckenzie said...

If there's a dinosaur at home this has to be a super read!