cover image Scarlett Hart: Monster Hunter

Scarlett Hart: Monster Hunter

Marcus Sedgwick, illus. by Thomas Taylor. First Second, $14.99 trade paper (208p) ISBN 978-1-62672-026-8

Scarlett Hart is a first-rate hunter of monsters, even if she is technically under the legal age to work for the local monster-hunting academy. With the help of her deceased parents’ staff—the ever-dapper and car-loving Napoleon, and the kind and doting Mrs. White—Scarlett races from scene to scene, protecting the city and capturing evidence of monsters for her employers. But the Count, the family’s lifelong nemesis, has it in for her, thwarting her efforts until Scarlett isn’t sure who is a bigger threat—him or the growing number of monsters that plague early-20th-century London. Sedgwick and Taylor’s story unfolds in lively action sequences, and the banter between Scarlett and Napoleon provides humorous interludes. Sedgwick, in his first middle grade offering, presents obstacles both monstrous and mundane: Scarlett doesn’t just hunt monsters for the thrill of it—her livelihood depends upon it. Taylor’s energetic artwork captures the time and place through the use of metallic grays and browns, while integrating an array of gothic and steampunk motifs. Ages 10–14. (Apr.)