Friday, October 18, 2013

Monster Hunting in Paris = Seriously Battle-Worthy

Premise: Jack and his merry band of friends are on the hunt for the 5 Jerusalem Stones which will be used to stop the evil vampire Ren Lucre from taking over the world. This book follows the quest for the first stone. It is held by the Lord of the Vampires, a challenging foe with an interesting past.

Title: Jack Templar and the Lord of the Vampires
Author: Jeff Gunhus
Length: 360 pages
Genre: Fantasy
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!
4 stars

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

This review is part of a blog tour sponsored by I am A Reader, Not a Writer.

BookBlast Giveaway
$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash; Ends 10/31/13

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an 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, Not A Writer and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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