The Guttersnipes by Scott Eric Barrett
Age range: 10-14 | Paperback: 250 pages | Publisher: Vanguard Press (September 29, 2016)
About the Book
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?
Find the Book
*The Guttersnipes is FREE with Kindle Unlimited.
My Tangled Thoughts on The Guttersnipes
It’s a middle-grade novel about a boy named Charlie Daniels, who is freakishly tall and allergic to everything. The story starts in 1982 Arizona. Charlie has a pet dinosaur he keeps in his basement. Why he has a dinosaur and how he got it are not explained. But when Trike (the dinosaur) goes missing, Charlie and his friend Arty go looking for him and become the unintended victims of time travel. They find themselves in 1865 New York City and get mixed up in a mysterious and deadly plot.
Things I liked about the book:
- It’s an interesting story. Pet dinosaurs? Yes, please. Strange beings and supernatural powers? Yes, again. Time travel? Yes, yes, yes!
- There’s lots of action. With no shortage of fist fights, sword fights, strange creatures, riots, and other exciting activity, there’s no threat of boredom.
- An open ending promises more to the story, which is good since I have a lot of questions. I also liked the way the ending wasn’t perfectly packaged with a nice little bow. It felt realistic in that some things got resolved and others didn’t.
- The villain(s) were fantastic. Several people come into play, but the main villain of the story and his Arab warrior side-kick were scary, fascinating, and mysterious.
Things I didn’t like about the book:
- Some parts of the book were choppy and confusing.
- I couldn’t keep track of all the characters. Several of them blended together and I couldn’t remember who was who.
- The age group for this book feels off. This read more like a young adult novel instead of middle-grade. I had to keep reminding myself that Charlie was twelve instead of seventeen.
- There’s a lot of talk about God, Christianity, and religion, most often casting it in a negative light. At times it felt preachy and judgmental and it didn’t add anything to the story.
- Lastly—and this is totally my weird nit-picky self—the editing needed work. There were missing periods, lone quotation marks, and the cover image wasn’t printed correctly so the spine leaked onto the front cover.
Obviously, I had mixed thoughts about the book. I like this author. I think he has potential and I’m interested to see what he comes up with next. I’m also interested to see how this story progresses (I’m assuming there will be more adventures with Charlie and Arty).
Content: Violence, cruelty, and some mild language.
Source: The author sent me a copy of this book.
Three winners will receive a copy of The Guttersnipes and a copy of Oliver Twist.
Open to US addresses only
Ends March 10, 2017
Use the Rafflectoper to enter. Entrants must be 18 or older or have their parent/guardian enter for them. The winner will be chosen randomly. Winner must respond to my email within 48 hours or a new winner will be chosen. No purchase necessary to enter. I am not responsible for lost or undelivered prizes. This contest is void where prohibited by law.
Sign up for my weekly-ish newsletter to stay up to date on new giveaways, author interviews, reviews, and other awesomeness! Sign up now.