ARC Review: Every Hidden Thing by Kenneth Oppel


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 received an advance copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thanks, Harper Collins Canada!

Every Hidden Thing was exactly what its tagline suggested: Romeo and Juliet meets Indiana Jones. I can say without hesitation that I’ve never read anything like this before. It was my first Kenneth Oppel read, and I was not dissapointed.

Right off the bat we were introduced to the four main characters: Samuel Bolt, Rachel Cartland, and their fathers, both esteemed professors and paleontologists, who, of course, were constantly at war with each other.

Sam fell for Rachel instantly, while she tried her hardest to avoid falling for him. After an interesting turn of events, they ended up on the same train, along with their fathers, headed on an incredible journey. I enjoyed watching the two as they grew closer, bonding over similarities and shared interests. While their romance seemed quite middle grade for some of the story, it was sweet.

The alternating POVs put a refreshing twist on the story. I was able to see into both Sam and Rachel’s heads, which allowed me to connect to both of them, though I found it difficult relating to Rachel. She seemed a bit…robotic, but I still enjoyed hearing her version of the story.

As someone who didn’t know much about dinosaurs, this book was incredibly informative. I learned so much on a topic I never knew I could be interested in. I would recommend to fans of adventure with a splash of fun, forbidden romance.

Favourite Quote: “Even things that seemed ordinary or ugly at first could be beautiful.”

I gave Every Hidden Thing 3/5 stars. You can add it on Goodreads here.


Release Date: September 20, 2016



88922I was born in 1967 in Port Alberni, a mill town on Vancouver Island, British Columbia but spent the bulk of my childhood in Victoria, B.C. and on the opposite coast, in Halifax, Nova Scotia…At around twelve I decided I wanted to be a writer (this came after deciding I wanted to be a scientist, and then an architect). I started out writing sci-fi epics (my Star Wars phase) then went on to swords and sorcery tales (my Dungeons and Dragons phase) and then, during the summer holiday when I was fourteen, started on a humorous story about a boy addicted to video games (written, of course, during my video game phase). It turned out to be quite a long story, really a short novel, and I rewrote it the next summer. We had a family friend who knew Roald Dahl – one of my favourite authors – and this friend offered to show Dahl my story. I was paralysed with excitement. I never heard back from Roald Dahl directly, but he read my story, and liked it enough to pass on to his own literary agent. I got a letter from them, saying they wanted to take me on, and try to sell my story. And they did.



One thought on “ARC Review: Every Hidden Thing by Kenneth Oppel

  1. Pingback: Every Hidden Thing: What Readers Thought | The Savvy Reader

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