Monday, February 18, 2013

Jack Templar Monster Hunter

This book starts with two big warnings! The first is that this book isn't for everyone because not everyone can handle it--blood, gore and monsters. And if you read it, you'll become part of the monster world and monsters will come after you, too. The second warning comes when you're brave enough to ignore the first warning! He doesn't want anyone blaming him for nightmares or being fearful of creepy-crawlies in your room. So, read at your own risk!

It's the day before Jack Smith's fourteenth birthday. He's dreaming about Cindy Adams, the cutest girl in school. He's holding her hand and leans in for a kiss when her lips part to reveal a row of jagged, pointed teeth and when she opens her eyes, they're red. She snarls and starts to bite his throat when he starts to scream and his Aunt Sophie comes running into his room. She asks what's wrong and, when he realizes it was a dream, he just tells her its girl problems. She tells him the real trouble starts with girls tomorrow when he turns 14 and he needs to get ready for school. As he gets ready, he notices his body has changed quite a bit and is confused, but likes it.

Jack's dad had been a soldier and was killed when he was young. It was an Army secret and Aunt Sophie told him she didn't know how he died, but Jack thinks she does and is keeping the truth from him. His mother died when he was born so his dad's sister, Sophie, took him in as her own. 

Jack leaves for school and comes across his first monster, who tripped Jack, and while he was in midair, he was able to do gymnastic moves that kept him from getting hurt. The stranger, who was scary looking, watched him and then told him it was good the change has begun because it would make it more fun when they found him tomorrow. Jack was freaked out and took off running for school.

There we meet his two misfit friends and he has a run in with the school bully, which got him a trip to the principal's office. He has another strange experience with her when she also tells him that it's nice to see his change coming on because it will make tomorrow more fun. He has a one day suspension for fighting and she tells him to enjoy it since he has such a big day. He's pretty shaken and, after a conversation with Ms. Hester, the school secretary, he takes off. 

At this point, there's an intermission with more warnings because this is where things get really strange. What is happening to Jack? Why does everyone keep telling him how much fun tomorrow is going to be? What strange creature will he meet next?

I enjoyed Jack Templar Monster Hunter by Jeff Gunhus. First of all, he's funny. The warnings are fun to read and made me laugh. There is a lot of action and some twists and turns I didn't see coming. Jack is confused for most of the book but goes along with what's happening and gets some of his questions answered. When I finished, I actually went back and reread the beginning because the things that happened made more sense (I actually need to do this a lot--I don't pay enough attention to detail, I guess), and you'll see why I included certain parts of my recap after you read it. There are lots of unanswered questions still by the end of the book and hopefully the next books will answer them.

I read an interview with the author where he said he wrote these books because his oldest son wasn't enjoying reading at all so he wrote a book that he would enjoy. It's a pretty intense book so if you have a child that is squeamish or gets scared easily, I wouldn't recommend this book for them to read. 

You can visit the author's website here. He has an excerpt for book 2 on there (which he is hoping will be out in Spring 2013), FAQ's, a forum, explanations of The Creach (the monsters in the book) and other links and it's just as fun as his book!

My Rating: 3.5 stars


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