Jack Templar Monster Hunter, by Jeff Gunhus
Orphan Jack Templar has no memory of his parents and only the smallest details from his Aunt Sophie about how they died. The day before Jack’s fourteenth birthday, things start to change for him. At first it’s great: A sudden new strength helps him defend his nose-picking friend “T-Rex” from the school bully, and even his crush, Cindy Adams, takes notice. But then a mysterious girl named Eva arrives and tells him two facts that will change his life forever. First, that he’s the descendent of a long line of monster hunters and he’s destined to be in the family business. Second, that there’s a truce between man and monster that children are off-limits…until their fourteenth birthday! Jack has only one day before hundreds of monsters will descend on his little town of Sunnyvale and try to kill him.
As if that weren’t enough, things get even more complicated when Jack discovers that the Lord of the Creach (as the monsters are collectively known) holds a personal grudge against him and will do anything to see that Jack has a slow and painful death. To stay alive and save his friends, Jack will have to battle werewolves, vampires, harpies, trolls, zombies and more. But perhaps the most dangerous thing he must face is the truth about his past. Why do the other hunters call him the last Templar? Why do they whisper that he may be the “One?” Why do the monsters want him dead so badly? Even as these questions plague him, he quickly discovers survival is his new full-time job and that in the world of monster hunters, nothing is really what it seems.
File Size: 322 KB
Print Length: 197 pages
Publisher: Seven Guns Press (October 17, 2012)
There are three main things that you need to know about this book.
1) The target audience is pre-teen and teenage boys.
2) It is wildly funny.
3) It is very violent.
Honestly, I kept forgetting that Jack was only fourteen. He has the hormones of an older boy and deals with a lot of really tough situations in a very short time span. I had to keep reminding myself of what a fourteen year old kid would look like and try to insert that image in place of the strapping eighteen year old I had in mind. While the target audience is very easily discerned, I had a very fun time reading the book, even though I don’t fit in the category by either age or gender.
Jack is an absolute blast to read about. He is witty, funny, and chuck full of jokes. I spent the first several chapters crying because I was laughing so hard. Between the warnings trying to ward me off of reading the book and the explanations of where Jack and his friends fit into the social ladder, I laughed and laughed and laughed some more. The humor died down once the monsters started showing up, but every now and again Jack would call a “time out” and manage to get a few good zingers in.
Considering the humorous nature of the beginning and the target audience, I was a little surprised at how violent the story was. The violence all revolved around destroying monsters (zombies, trolls, vampires, etc.), but it was still a little too graphic for my tastes.
The characters were a bit generic, but still very fun. They each had some distinct traits that made them individual and interesting. I absolutely loved Eva. I loved the fact that she had a sharpened hook in place of her hand (how many beautiful girls can pull that off?).
The book reminded me a LOT of the Percy Jackson series, from the voice of the main character to the subject matter and the way the plot played out. But since I loved the Percy Jackson series, the similarities worked as a plus for me.
For $0.99, you should just buy this short adventure and have a fun afternoon reading (or let your kid have a fun afternoon).
About the Author:
Jeff Gunhus is the author of the Middle Grade/YA series The Templar Chronicles. The first book, Jack Templar Monster Hunter, was written in an effort to get his reluctant reader eleven-year old son excited about reading. It worked and a new series was born. Jeff is also the co-CEO of College Works Painting, a national company with over 4,000 employees that has been featured in national media for its unique opportunity for college students to learn entrepreneurial skills. He is the author of the motivational career guides No Parachute Required (Hyperion) and Wake Up Call (Seven Guns Press). After his experience with his son, he is passionate about helping parents reach young reluctant readers and is active in child literacy issues. As a father of five, he leads an active lifestyle in Maryland by trying to constantly keep up with his kids. In rare moments of quiet, he can be found in the back of the CIty Dock Cafe in Annapolis working on his next novel.