Title: Jack Templar and the Monster Hunter Academy (The Templar Chronicles, Book #2)
Author: Jeff Gunhus
Year published: 2013
Publisher: Seven Guns Press
Number of pages: 328
Recommended age: 10+
Reviewed by: Renee (Mother)
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.
Our Review of Jack Templar: Monster Hunter (Book 1)
My Bottom Line: I really, really loved this book and would recommend it to girls and boys about 8 years and older because it has scary stuff and it might be too hard for younger kids to read themselves. I might also recommend it to someone who wants to be a monster hunter (because of the warnings, you might actually need to be one!) Hmmm…I think I actually saw a vampire after I read the book.
My bottom line: This book was so much fun to read aloud to my kids! There is a great plot line, magnificent character development, and the right balance between humour and tension to keep you completely captivated as a reader. This book is just as entertaining for adults as it is for kids. With regards to age recommendations, I’ll suggest 9 years and older because it could be frightening for very sensitive children. Also, I think both boys and girls would really enjoy Jack Templar: Monster Hunter. I really need you all to read it because, let’s face it, the world really needs more monster hunters!
Excerpt From Book 2
My Thoughts: Jack Templar and the Monster Hunter Academy starts off where Book 1 (Jack Templar: Monster Hunter) left off – with Jack heading off with his two pals T-Rex and Will, and the experienced monster hunter, Eva, to the Monster Hunter Academy to get answers to his many questions about his father’s disappearance and the history of his family, the Templars. Jeff Gunhus has created another wildly entertaining book in the Templar Chronicles book series for middle grade and young adult readers.
As with the first book, Jack Templar and the Monster Hunter Academy assembles an interesting and unique collection of human characters including many of the same ones from the first book, but also introduces us to new characters such as Daniel, an instructor at the academy who holds a grudge against Jack for reasons which are eventually revealed; and, Master Aquinas, the aged and wise head of the Monster Academy who takes a special interest in Jack. The reader is also introduced to new Creach species including the evil fog creature they encounter in the sea and the bat-like shriekers which reign terror in the forest. I also liked the addition of the mysterious wolf with the white cross on his chest, Tiberon. He proved to be a very interesting character. I really enjoyed the mix of the old and the new in this respect.
Using a quirky and whimsical writing style, Jeff Gunhus spins an action-packed tale filled with adventure, danger, and thrills. That being said, I have to fess up… I read the first book aloud to my kids. We blasted through the first book because it was thoroughly engaging and my kids were completely captivated with the story. They were once again very excited to read the second book in the series so I began to read through it. Unfortunately, I finally had to give up at the halfway point in the book. My kids no longer wanted me to read it to them. Why, you ask? I’ll tell you.
The first book was 204 pages and the second is significantly longer with 328 pages. Those extra 120 pages are largely backstory to the Black Guard, the Templar family, and other historical pieces that are necessary to move forward with the overall story. So, while the book begins with much excitement and furor, once Jack gets to the Academy, it does drag on a bit and becomes a bit disjointed as tensions arise between Jack and Will, Jack and Daniel, and Jack and Eva. It seems that the focus shifts to these relationships and in explaining some of the history. There was a real lack of any substantive action in a large section of the book (i.e., maybe 80 to 100 pages) such as what we became accustomed to in the first book.
While it may not be an issue for older children (10+), I just have to point out that the second book is different from the first in this respect. And, in all fairness, the last third of the book is jammed-pack full of action and has a very similar feel to the first book. In fact, when I sat down to finish the book (at the midway point) by myself, I read through the entire remaining half in one sitting! It was really great and I’m looking forward to reading the next book.
My Bottom Line: Jeff Gunhus has crafted another winner in the sequel to Jack Templar: Monster Hunter. Jack Templar and the Monster Hunter Academy brings back our young hero, Jack Templar in another captivating story filled with plot twists and turns as further mysteries are unravelled and as Jack seeks further information that will help him find and rescue his father from the evil clutches of his nemesis, Ren Lucre. For those of you who loved the first book, you will likely find the second just as entertaining, although I would say that the plot is slightly more sophisticated in the sequel. I think children aged 10+ who love reading suspenseful stories filled with monsters, adventure, and danger will love this book.
*** Jack Templar and the Monster Hunter Academy was provided to us free-of-charge by the author through the Jack Templar Blog Tour organized by Kathy from I am a Reader Not a Writer in exchange for an honest review.***
Awards for Jack Templar Monster Hunter
About The Author:
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.
*** Jack Templar Blog Tour Giveaway ***
Ends: July 8, 11:59 pm, 2013
Open to: Anyone who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or PayPal Cash.
Terms and Conditions: 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 http://iamareader.com and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.