Jack Templar Monster Hunter
Jeff Gunhus. Seven Guns Press (www.jacktemplar.com), $10.95 paper (204p) ISBN 978-0-988-42590-3
In this fast-paced middle-grade adventure, first in Gunhus's Templar Chronicles series, readers meet Jack Templar, who discovers his hidden heritage as a monster hunter as he turns 14. On the eve of Jack's birthday, he develops amazing physical powers—speed, strength, stamina—and starts encountering the creatures, or Creaches, that hide in plain sight among humans. When an enigmatic teen named Eva shows up to offer training and explanations, they are quickly attacked, propelling Jack, Eva, and his friends Will and T-Rex into a nightmarish fight for survival against an age-old vampire and his hordes. Nonstop action meets surprises galore as Jack's true nature and abilities assert themselves against overwhelming odds. Written in a casually conversational voice, the narrative flows smoothly, and the characters act realistically under the circumstances. Presented as a story designed to introduce hunters like Jack to a dangerous world ("If you read this book, you will be part of this world and the monsters will come after you too,” Jack warns readers), the conceit works; author Gunhus delivers a satisfying, if sometimes hectic, tale. Ages 6–12.
Reviewed on: 04/22/2013
Release date: 10/01/2012