Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Review: Every Hidden Thing

Every Hidden Thing
Rating: 4/5
Buy or Borrow: Buy 
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher! 

Somewhere in the Badlands, embedded deep in centuries-buried rock and sand, lies the skeleton of a massive dinosaur, larger than anything the late nineteenth-century world has ever seen. Some legends call it the Black Beauty, with its bones as black as ebony, but to seventeen-year-old Samuel Bolt, it’s the “rex,” the king dinosaur that could put him and his struggling, temperamental archaeologist father in the history books (and conveniently make his father forget he’s been kicked out of school), if they can just quarry it out.

But Samuel and his father aren’t the only ones after the rex. For Rachel Cartland this find could be her ticket to a different life, one where her loves of science and adventure aren’t just relegated to books and sitting rooms. And if she can’t prove herself on this expedition with her professor father, the only adventures she may have to look forward to are marriage or spinsterhood.

As their paths cross and the rivalry between their fathers becomes more intense, Samuel and Rachel are pushed closer together. Their flourishing romance is one that will never be allowed. And with both eyeing the same prize, it’s a romance that seems destined for failure. As their attraction deepens, danger looms on the other side of the hills, causing everyone’s secrets to come to light and forcing Samuel and Rachel to make a decision. Can they join forces to find their quarry, and with it a new life together, or will old enmities and prejudices keep them from both the rex and each other? 

I didn't see the same information that's on GoodReads when I agreed to review this book, so I wasn't entirely sure what to expect when I started reading the book....but I was pleasantly surprised and I would definitely agree with the whole 'it's like Romeo and Juliet crossed with Indiana Jones' comment! I actually really enjoyed this book! 

As soon as I started to read this, I was hooked and sucked in. I immediately adored it and knew I was going to end up loving this book. There's a lively opening, that's amusing and really sets the scene for the upcoming rivalry at the dig site, and quickly provides some background and substance to it as you see it first handed. 

I immediately loved both Samuel and Rachel and I loved getting both of their POVs and getting the insight in to their personalities and the motivation behind their actions. I'm not usually one for insta love, like our dear Samuel felt, but I felt like it was a bit different with this book. Sure Samuel feels something straight away when he first meets Rachel, and his feelings grow from there. But interestingly enough, Rachel doesn't feel as strongly as Samuel, it takes a while for her feelings to grow, and I thought that was an interesting change to the usual. 

I actually really loved the romance. I thought it was cute, and it was fun to watch the romance blossom among the fossils and the rivalry between their fathers. I liked that it wasn't straight forward and that there where problems and obstacles to overcome. 

I really loved the history to this, and even without having read the authors note, it's clear a lot of research went in to this book. I'm actually quite envious of the author getting to go on a dig! Like seriously jealous. There's also some interesting information on the Bone Wars provided by the author, handy because I was curious while reading, as to whether there was that kind of rivalry when it came to find fossils and dinosaur bones back in the day. I feel like this was a nice and authentic read, the racial tensions of the time are presented without being swept under the rug and ignored. You read about how the Americans where expanding and taking more and more Native American land and trying to push them all on to reserves. Understandably  the Native Americans weren't really happy about that. I've read books set in this time period and setting before that either ignores it all or paints the Native Americans in a very unfair and nasty light. But I'm not Native American so I can't really speak completely to the representation of it in this book. 

One thing the author did really well was to create the setting and the atmosphere. It really helped to pull you in and I felt like I was there with the characters digging up the bones! The author really manages to help you picture and imagine what it would be like to find a dinosaur fossil. I found myself pausing at one point to digest the first big find, and just picturing what it would have been like, and thanks to the authors writing and the characters I could. You could feel the awe and the excitement. 

Every Hidden Thing is a humours and fun read. A fantastic blend of history, romance and adventure...oh and dinosaurs! That's three of the things I love most in a book! It's definitely got it's own Indiana Jones thing going on too, and it made me think of the beginning of Jurassic Park at one point too. I so badly want a sequel to this! 

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