I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not impact my review in any way.
My rating: 4 stars out of 5
Dinosaurs, bitter rivalries, and a forbidden romance–can you get any better?
When I first opened Every Hidden Thing, I thought it was a contemporary, but as I started reading I was pulled into a fabulous historical novel, full of just enough detail to really place me there. The historical impact of a single, young woman going west a part of an all-male team of prospectors and archaeologists just after the American Civil War makes this story so intense. The social and political layers under the main story, of the Bolt and Cartland rivalry (and romance!), add so much dimension.
Every Hidden Thing is an adventurous, exciting read full of engaging and exasperating characters. And, I even learned some latin! I really enjoyed reading this book. The setting was one of my favourites (gold rush era, the west) but it was also completely new (badlands, archaeological digs). Oppel did a wonderful job of mixing in serious subjects like racism, classism, and science, with fun romance, some definite humour, and some fabulous competition.
If you’re looking for a fast-paced historical with scientific elements and a strong female, this is a book for you.
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?
Book: Every Hidden Thing
Version: Uncorrected Proof
Author: Kenneth Oppel
Publisher: HarperCollins Canada
Release Date: September 20, 2016