Hi, all, it’s Sher today with a book review and giveaway for the blog tour of Jack Templar and the Lord of the Werewolves. I’ve been hooked since book 1, Jack Templar, Monster Hunter, and the series keeps getting better. But don’t take my word for it; read it yourself, especially if you have reluctant readers in the family. If they read the Jack Templar books, they’ll learn to love reading. You might have to wait in line to get a chance at the next installment.
Fresh from confronting the Lord of the Vampires in the limestone catacombs beneath Paris, Jack Templar faces his toughest challenge yet as he searches for the next Jerusalem Stone, this one being held by the Lord of the Werewolves.
But the narrow escape from the vampire lair came at a great cost and Eva battles to survive the new vampire blood in her veins. The only chance to help Eva is to continue their quest and find the Jerusalem Stones. Reuniting the Stones will not only stop Ren Lucre’s coming war against mankind, but also transform Eva back into her human self.
From the ruins of ancient Delhi to the depths of the Black Forest in Germany, Jack and his friends face monsters, bewildering riddles and treachery from the most unlikely of places. Through it all, they are plagued by the Oracle’s prediction that at least one of their group with not make it through the adventure alive. Worse yet, they know that Kaeden, the Lord of the Werewolves, will do his best to make sure none of them do.
But they are monster hunters of the Black Guard… and they will do their duty, come what may.
The stench hung heavy in the air. There was no other smell in the world quite like it. First came the stink of grease fires from the wall torches, the heavy black smoke that roiled through the air like a foul fog. Then a moldering, musty base layer came to the senses. It reeked of decay and seeping moisture that grew black mold on every surface. The mold clung on the rough-cut rocks lining the dungeon tunnels. It covered the thick iron bars holding the prisoners in place. It even grew on the tattered rags covering the miserable creatures in the cells and likely on their skin as well. That final smell overlay the symphony of stink.
The Creach prisoners.
Werewolves, harpies, blind mad-worms, blinderwursts, fangpiercers, even some demons held with the special pure iron chains required to keep them in place. Many of these creatures were pungent under the best circumstances, but locked in the deepest dungeon underground, sometimes for decades, they took on an odor so ripe, so awful, that visitors to the dungeon often had to hold their breath to enter. Even then, the smell would make their eyes sting and well with tears.
Immediately after leaving the dungeon, visitors were allowed a bath or a shower in the castle. As they washed the stench from their bodies, they would feel an overwhelming sense of thanks that they were not a prisoner wallowing in the horrifying conditions they’d just witnessed.
No one, human or Creach, wanted to be a prisoner in the dungeons of Ren Lucre.
Far away, at the end of one of the long, twisting corridors, came the creak of a massive door opening. The prisoners stirred at the sound. Their reactions mirrored how long they had been in their cells.
The newer arrivals looked up with expectation, still hopeful their punishment was going to be short and that someone was coming to tell them their nightmare was over.
Those who had been there longer knew that hope was useless in this dark place. They simply cowered farther into whatever dark corner they could find in their cell, desperate not to be noticed by the Master.
Then there were those who had been there the longest. They simply looked up with mild interest, knowing that nothing they did made any difference. Their spirits were broken. Worse, they knew this to be the dark truth, and they simply didn’t care.
One single prisoner reacted in none of these ways. He simply stood, and the rags that had once been his clothes hung on his bony frame. Unbroken by years of starvation and torture, he still squared his shoulders in the direction of the sound and raised his chin, his eyes glistening in the torchlight with defiance. What he saw would have brought a normal man to his knees, but this man was no more normal than the monster approaching.
Ren Lucre, the five hundred year old vampire, filled the hallway as he strode through it, his cloak billowing behind him as he rushed past the stinking cells. His pale, narrow face looked pinched and concerned. His blood-red lip pursed in a straight line, and his eyes glowered like embers in a fire that might at any time combust into new flame.
He came to the thick set of bars that held the proud man, stopped, and stared him down.
“Well, if it isn’t the Lord of the Creach,” the man said. Even though his voice was course and weak, he still managed an edge of bitter sarcasm. “You look like you’re having a bad day.” The man spat on the floor. “Good.”
Now for my review:
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
As much as I loved the first books in the series, I didn’t think book 4 could get under my skin as much as 3 did. The revelations in Lord of the Vampires hit like shots, but Lord of the Werewolves blew me away. Each new adventure brings me deeper into the world of monsters and hunters, more attached to the characters, and more fearful of the awful consequences if Jack fails. After reading Lord of the Werewolves, I’m as worried about the consequences if Jack succeeds in uniting the Jerusalem Stones.
My favorite scenes focused on Eva’s vampiric transformation. Would Aquinas allow her to live? If so, could Eva ever control her cravings? Would she forgive Jack? The last question is key to the plot, full of riddles, subterfuge, betrayals, and all kinds of unexpected turns. Jack soon learns that another of his team will pay a high price for following the Black Guard Motto: “Do your duty, come what may.”
I also love the foreign settings of this series. The vivid descriptions make me feel like I’m there. First, the team has to find a center much different than the one in book two. Later, thanks to another prophetic riddle, you’re going to wonder about the Werewolf lair. I ended up searching the internet for real counterparts to the awesome retreat in a location I can’t reveal without spoilers.
What didn’t I like? Nothing – except the book ended. That’s where approaching the author about editing paid off. I asked him to fix the parts that needed work, and he did. My only remaining wish is that he could write faster. Note that I wrote my first two reviews before I started editing at book 3, and those provide evidence that I loved the series before I started fine-tuning. Since I don’t usually review books I edit, consider that my disclaimer about receiving a free copy in exchange for an honest review. 5 stars for adults and kids old enough to handle death and monstrous consequences for failure. Great for reluctant readers.
Jeff Gunhus is the author of the Amazon bestselling supernatural thriller, Night Chill, and the Middle Grade/YA series, The Templar Chronicles. The first book of the series, 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. His book Reaching Your Reluctant Reader has helped hundreds of parents create avid readers. Killer Within is his second novel for adults. As a father of five, he and his wife Nicole spend most of their time chasing kids and taking advantage of living in the great state of Maryland. In rare moments of quiet, he can be found in the back of the City Dock Cafe in Annapolis working on his next novel. If you see him there, sit down and have a cup of coffee with him. You just might end up in his next novel.
Blog Tour Giveaway
$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash
Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.