Camouflage by Ivy Keating and Scott Spotson sounded like a Horror novel at first glance, but as mentioned on the back cover, it is more of a mystery. The story focuses around a police officer named Sean and his developing love interest, Vanessa. The story takes place in a quiet town in New England, which seemed a strange choice, for it is harder to imagine isolated lonely places in Connecticut, but it worked.
Publisher: Champagne Book Group
Stars: 3.5 Stars
Reviewer: Michael D. Griffiths
The scene begins with an encounter with a giant ‘Nessie’ type aquatic dinosaur which somehow survived throughout the eons. An attack from this creature puts Sean’s best friend into a hospital and starts a manhunt for these beasts, for yes, there is more than one of them.
Things escalate quickly when the state police, led by Frank, decide the creatures need to be killed. After getting assistance from a Herpetologist, named Greg, Sean fights, not to slay, but to save the creatures. Some detective work helps them discover where the creatures came from. It then becomes a test to see if they can find a way to get the legal rights to save the beasts and somehow safely guide them back to their homes.
The novel had a certain wholesome aspect to it. Besides Frank, who comes around, there are few in the way of adversaries. The creatures themselves, although dangerous, are seen as things which need protection and everyone allies themselves to do so. Sort of a feel good dance, while the relationship between Sean and Vanessa blossoms.
A few dead ends remained unexplained, which is strange for a mystery. Some things were hinted at, but were left unsure. I also wish the horror level could have been raised to create a deeper tension. More close calls and maybe some characters paying the ultimate price might have gone a long way in making this happen. Again, this created a feel good vibe even in regards to the creatures. Sort of like, wow this amazing thing happened, we found dinosaurs but then it just becomes a nuts and bolts journey to get them home with everyone working as a team.
This might be a good book for younger kids moving from dinosaurs toward a mystery enjoying stage in their reading. Sean and Vanessa move quickly, but I still think this would be a good novel for middle school or high school readers.
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Hi Michael. Thank you so much for the review. I usually don’t comment on reviews of my book but you hit upon an aspect that I grappled with, and that’s the genre. I wrote it as a science fiction. Some sites label it a mystery, horror, and fantasy. Your review is honest. I’m glad you found some enjoyment in it and I can see where it came up short for you. Happy reading! Ivy