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|Print List Price:||£6.89|
Save £5.90 (86%)
Jack Templar Monster Hunter (The Jack Templar Chronicles Book 1) Kindle Edition
|Length: 204 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
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|Age Level: 8 - 18|
|Grade Level: 4 - 12|
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What distinguishes a good book, though, turns on a few other considerations for me. Do I like the hero and the voice that the author has given him? Here, the hero, Jack, is a basically sound 14 year old. Smart enough, decent, good-hearted, loyal - he has all of the virtues we value. This is not a book in which the author has decided to experiment with an anti-hero. Importantly, do I want to listen to this hero's voice? Is he too sarcastic, or too angsty, or too flip? Again, the answer here is that Jack has just the right voice. He speaks directly to the reader as though he is confiding his story to a friend, and his voice is clear, direct and neither sarcastic nor exaggerated. It is a fine hero/narrator voice for a middle grade adventure. I'm happy to accompany and root for this guy.
Now, how do we feel about his companions. Quest, adventure, fantasies need companions. Here we have two excellent side kicks and a female guide with substantial presence on her own. This is a common recipe, but there's no guarantee in any particular book that the companion mix will work. Here, it does. (Needless to say when people favorably compare books like this to Potter or Percy Jackson, these are the types of things they are referring to.) The villains are villainous, the monsters are monstrous and darkness surrounds all, but you need to be able to root for the good guys, and these are reasonably well-developed and rootable good guys.
Once we have a hero, companions, and a quest - does the author sustain our interest and reward our diligence as readers? I would suggest that the answer here is yes. This book is exciting and entertaining. The writing style is engaging and neither overwrought nor superficial. The book feels well crafted and the quality of the writing is accomplished and of a high level. Importantly, the feel of the book is one of respect on the part of the author for his middle grade readers. This is not a watered down version of adult fare or in any way condescending - the author has a feel for his audience.
The upshot is that this is a fine beginning to a series. The book has well developed characters, observes hero/fantasy conventions in an appropriate way, adds a bit of humor and personality to the enterprise, engages and respects the reader, and rollicks along at a good pace. It strikes me as a very nice choice for a young fantasy adventure reader.
Please note that I received a free advance ecopy of this book in exchange for a candid review. Apart from that I have no connection at all to either the author or the publisher of this book.
Jack Smith thinks he's like any other thirteen year old boy, it's the day before his fourteenth birthday and he's noticed some changes. He's stronger than he was the day before, he's faster too. He has fast reflexes too.
When he stops the school bully from picking on his friend, he gets called into the principles office. Thinking he's going to get told off, he gets a shock when she turns into something else. He gets sent home and on the way there he meets someone who tells him that he is really Jack Templar, the last of an old family of monster hunters and that at dusk on his fourteenth birthday he will become fair game to all the monsters that live in his town.
From there it's a non-stop ride as Jack and Eva, a monster hunter who has come to town to help him train, must get home safe and survive the night.
This is a good, quick read that is a great start to a new series. If the next book is as funny and witty and action-packed as this I shall definitely be reading it.
Jack Templar Monster Hunter is a thrilling, action-packed book about a young boy who is suddenly thrown into an unknown world of danger and monsters on his fourteenth birthday. As he learns dark secrets and discovers his past and future readers will be swept away in a whirlwind of intrigue, action and fun. This book is a wonderful read, the little asides help readers to connect well with the Jack and properly enjoy his story. The story is told from the main character's (Jack's) perspective ; this makes it more enjoyable and helps the reader to properly enjoy the story. With added twists and turns this book has edge-of-seat moments, more sentimental parts and a humorous thread the whole way through. Readers who enjoy adrenaline pumping books that are quick to action and fast to read will absolutely love this book. If you are the kind of reader who enjoys a big, thick book that you can curl up with for a few days then this might not be up your street. However, this book is thoroughly enjoyable, has a good, strong plot as well as lovable characters. It might be a short read, but it is definitely a great read.
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