Title: Jack Templar and the Lord of the Vampires
Author: Jeff Gunhus
Length: 360 pages
Series or Stand Alone: Book 3 of the Jack Templar series
Appropriate for: Grades 5-8
Three adjective that describe this book: action-packed, fast-paced, adventurous
I love these Jack Templar books. In fact, I just recommended them to one of my students when he asked, "I just finished reading the whole Percy Jackson series. What can I read that is similar?" These books are similar because the kids are on a quest and battling magical creatures, but they are more action-packed, darker, and don't spend quite as much time on character and world development.
This book, the third in the series, picks up the story right where book 2 left off. The group of protagonists encounter danger right from the start. They find themselves battling a horde of creepy creatures and discovering an uncomfortable truth about monster hunting hero. The action continues in Paris, where the Lord of the Vampires has an entire community of underground, slightly psycho vampires. When one of our favorite characters is captured, Jack and his friends devise a dangerous rescue plan.
My favorite thing about this book is that Jeff Gunhus strengthened the series by adding more character development and starting to flesh out the backstories of Jack, Ren Lucre, and the Vampire Lord. The characters and setting all feel more complete and their interactions are believable. Although the emerging love triangle is tiresome and there was one scene where the teenage protagonists got a bit "teenage-y," Gunhus did well not to linger on this. These characters know they have to save the world, and that's their main focus.
My only real concern with this book is that the cover seems a bit racy for a middle grades novel.
On a final note - I was so glad to see Xavier back. He fights creatures through math, science, and technology. Xavier reminds us that smart people can be awesome too.
I highly recommend this series!
Be sure to check:
My review of Book 1: Jack Templar, Monster Hunter
My review of Book 2: Jack Templar and the Monster Hunter Academy
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