Jack is back.
After his adventures at the Monster Hunter Academy (which included fighting a goblin army, befriending an ancient werewolf, and battling two fire breathing dragons), Jack Templar was hoping for a rest. No such luck.
In Book #3 of the Jack Templar Monster Hunter series, Jack embarks on a quest to track down and acquire the first of the five mythical Jerusalem Stones, an ancient power found by his ancestors the Templar Knights. Only the reunited Stones can stop Ren Lucre, the Dark Lord who holds Jack’s father hostage and prepares for an all-out war against an unsuspecting human world. But each Stone is held by a different Creach Lord and recovering them will not be easy. Jack and his friends begin their quest by seeking out one of the most powerful and dangerous keepers of the Stones, the Lord of the Vampires. The fate of the world rests on Jack’s shoulders and he will be tested like never before. But true monster hunters always do their duty…come what may.
Jack Templar and the Lord of the Vampires.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
First my disclaimer. I wasn’t just provided a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review, I edited the book. Here’s the deal. I took error notes on my Kindle starting with book one. Errors bug me, so I always let the authors know. I’d sure want to know. Anyway, after I sent Jeff Gunhus an error list for the first book, he asked me about editing the second. I was disappointed that our schedules didn’t mesh. Later, I jumped on the chance to edit book three because I would get to read it earlier than the rest of the public. Here I am, old enough to be Jack Templar’s grandma, and I was exited!
See, along the way, I got hooked on the series in spite of some juvenile humor. Does that mean I have juvenile tastes? Maybe I am a little young at heart. But I think it’s more a sign of Jeff Gunhus’s storytelling skill. T-Rex’s nose-picking habit – yes, I was glad when he got over it in book two – was a minor flaw in a gem of a series crafted with enough depth and polish for adults.
I can’t promise I found every error because I was too engrossed to do a proper edit the first time around. I stayed up most of the night more than once because I didn’t want to stop reading. Plot, pacing, story structure, characterization, internal and external conflict, all well done. I loved the book for the characters and their relationships as much as for the nonstop action and plot twists even before I went through again and got to work on typos, grammar, all those nitpicky details, including inconsistencies. Voila, monstrous fun for humans and Creach.
This time around I got to find out some of the history and motivations of the monsters as well as the humans. I cried at heart-wrenching losses. There were some events I guessed but not as many as the ones where my mouth dropped open and I said to myself, “I did not see that coming!” I doubt you will either. Want to know what I mean? Read! But start at the first book to get the full significance of the revelations in this one. I hope you enjoy the book as much as I did.
After barely surviving the onslaught of monsters that tried to kill him the day before his fourteenth birthday, Jack Templar leaves his hometown on a quest to rescue his father and discover the truth about his past. Joined by his friends Will and T-Rex, and led by Eva, the mysterious one-handed monster hunter, Jack sets out for the Monster Hunter Academy where he hopes to find answers to his questions. Little does he suspect that the Academy is filled with dangers of its own, many of them more terrifying than anything he’s faced so far.
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.
Jack Templar Monster Hunter was chosen as a Book of the Year Finalist by Foreword Reviews.
Jeff Gunhus grew up in Cyprus, Greece, and Saudi Arabia where there was a distinct lack of television. He quickly found books were the gateway to incredible adventures, fascinating characters and unbelievable discoveries. Now, with five children of his own (all who watch too much television, in his opinion), he has enjoyed revisiting his old books and reliving those adventures all over again.
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