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ARC Review: Spineless by Samantha San Miguel

Publication Date: June 7, 2022


This exciting middle-grade adventure is Hoot for the Gilded Age—with scientific discoveries, secret plots, and surprisingly enormous fauna.              
When his asthma lands him at a health resort in the wilds of Gilded Age South Florida, twelve-year-old Algie Emsworth is over the moon. The scientific treasure trove of unexplored swamps may launch his dream career as a naturalist. But even Algie is startled when he happens upon a brand-new species and her brood in the karst springs surrounding the resort. Algie quickly realizes he must keep his discovery a secret: a famous collector of exotic animals is also staying at the hotel, and the new species is threatened by his very presence. An apparent curse has also descended upon the hotel, bringing with it a deadly red tide. But when the pool starts filling with ink and guests start getting mysterious, sucker-shaped wounds, Algie must pluck up his courage to find the truth about the goings-on at the Grand Hotel—and save the new species from destruction.

My Review:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

This was super cute. It was a wild rollicking adventure that didn’t slow down for a minute once it got going and I read it in one sitting. I was first attracted to the cover, which is gorgeous, and I’m happy to say that the story inside lived up to the cover.

Algie is an endearing protagonist who learns a lot about what you can expect from people, how they always surprise you, and how much he is capable of despite his asthma. together with his friends, he makes scientific discoveries, saves the day, and has quite the adventure whilst doing so.

The events in this novel were… completely, utterly, ridiculously unbelievable. Once you accept that, however, it’s a marvellously fun ride. There are even some science facts sprinkled in to add flavor.

I would definitely recommend this for any 3rd grader (and up) who enjoys adventure and doesn’t mind a little bit of suspense.

*Thanks to NetGalley and Union Square Kids for providing an e-arc for review.

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