Jack Templar Monster Hunter (Templar Chronicles Series #1)

Jack Templar Monster Hunter (Templar Chronicles Series #1)

4.3 18
by Jeff Gunhus
     
 
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

Overview

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.

The added fun of Jack Templar is that readers are warned that reading the book will attract the attention of monsters in their area. They are told to read on only if they are ready to enter the dangerous world of monsters and hunters as an active participant. After all, the best way to get a young reader to do something...is warn them not to do it!

For Middle Grade readers and higher
Fans of: Percy Jackson, Harry Potter and The Goosebumps Series by R.L. Stine

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In this fast-paced middle-grade adventure, first in Gunhus's Templar Chronicles series, readers meet Jack Templar, who discovers his hidden heritage as a monster hunter as he turns 14. On the eve of Jack's birthday, he develops amazing physical powers—speed, strength, stamina—and starts encountering the creatures, or Creaches, that hide in plain sight among humans. When an enigmatic teen named Eva shows up to offer training and explanations, they are quickly attacked, propelling Jack, Eva, and his friends Will and T-Rex into a nightmarish fight for survival against an age-old vampire and his hordes. Nonstop action meets surprises galore as Jack's true nature and abilities assert themselves against overwhelming odds. Written in a casually conversational voice, the narrative flows smoothly, and the characters act realistically under the circumstances. Presented as a story designed to introduce hunters like Jack to a dangerous world ("If you read this book, you will be part of this world and the monsters will come after you too,” Jack warns readers), the conceit works; author Gunhus delivers a satisfying, if sometimes hectic, tale. Ages 6–12.
Kirkus Reviews
Gunhus brings young readers a monster-filled romp to read at their own risk. In the first few pages, Jack, the storyteller and main character, warns readers not to read about these real-world monsters that would seem to only exist in fiction. The tone is set--sarcastic, tongue-in-cheek and likable; rooting for Jack is easy. The day before his 14th 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 when he meets a mysterious woman named Eva, they're suddenly attacked by mole-creatures. Before the end of the night, he'll have to save and then fight beside his friends, as they battle werewolves, vampires, harpies, trolls, zombies and more. Gunhus masterfully introduces fully realized characters with whom readers can connect almost instantly. The pacing is quick but not rushed, and events seamlessly progress, complete with action, cliffhangers and surprise reveals. Descended from a monster hunter, Jack has been safe because of a treaty between the humans and the Creach (the term for the collective society of monsters) that forbids killing any youngsters until they turned 14. But his unique upbringing and background made him target number one on his birthday, especially for Ren Lucre, the vampire leader of the Creach. But why is Jack so important among the monster hunters? Who is the last Templar (as they call him)? These questions and others aren't answered, which could leave frustrated readers wanting more from what could easily, hopefully become a series of books. Emotionally honest Jack's first-person narration reads like he's talking directly to you, as when he describes being so paralyzed by fear that he can't even help his friend. But the young monster hunter is learning how to be a hero: "I realized that bravery wasn't about not being scared; it was doing the right thing even when you are scared." A compelling teenage adventure, despite hitting a few clichés.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780988425903
Publisher:
Seven Guns Press
Publication date:
10/10/2012
Series:
Templar Chronicles Series , #1
Pages:
196
Sales rank:
1,285,594
Product dimensions:
5.25(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.42(d)
Age Range:
11 - 15 Years

Read an Excerpt

JACK TEMPLAR MONSTER HUNTER

A NOVEL
By Jeff Gunhus

Seven Guns Press

Copyright © 2012 Jeff Gunhus
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-0-9884259-0-3


Chapter One

Although I was born to be a monster hunter, for most of my life I didn't know any more about it than you do right now. I mean, I knew about monsters. Who doesn't? There are monsters on TV, in the movies, books, comics, you name it.

What I didn't know was that they are actually real and that dozens of them were secretly living in my small town waiting for me to turn fourteen ... so they could kill me.

Yep, you heard me right. And not only kill me, but there were elaborate plans on how to do it in the most painful way possible. Fortunately, monsters tend not to be very creative, so I'm pretty sure that all their ideas where just different ways to eat me. But still, it's the principle of the thing. I mean, what had I ever done to them?

The day before my birthday was when I got the answer to that question.

It started like any other day. I woke up in a panic, realizing that I hadn't done my English homework. After this initial realization, I quickly moved from panic into guilt, then right into acceptance, and then finally back to sleep. (Don't judge me. I know you do the same thing.)

And that's the best sleep, too. Right during the time when you have to get up. I don't know if it's the same for you, but I dream a lot more during that sleep. And, on some days, I can control my dreams a little. I clearly remember my dream that morning. It was about Cindy Adams, the cutest girl in the whole school.

Come on! You can't fake me out that you're not into girls yet (or into guys if you're a girl awesome enough to be reading this book). So I don't want any "ewww ... that's gross" comments during the love story parts of this book. Don't worry, there aren't that many. And some of them are super cool.

Anyway, like I was saying, this dream was about Cindy Adams, the cutest girl in school. In real life, the real Cindy Adams wouldn't give me the time of day. But in my dream, I walked right up to her, even though she was surrounded by a group of her girlfriends, and took her by the hand.

"Come on," I said. "We're hanging out together."

She smiled and nodded her head. Her friends stared as she held my hand and walked away. More than just her friends, the whole school was watching. Cindy Adams was holding my hand like she'd been my girlfriend for years.

Once we were out of sight, I decided to try my luck. I stood in front of her, toe to toe, and leaned in for a kiss. She blushed, but didn't slap me, start laughing, or run away screaming. (All possible scenarios in my mind.)

She was going for the kiss. Leaning in. Eyes closed. Lips parted ... to reveal a row of jagged, pointed teeth in her mouth!

I tried to step back, but she had me by the arms, her fingers digging into my skin. When her eyes opened, they glowed red. She snarled at me, her teeth growing longer, sticking out of her mouth. She pulled me to her to bite my throat, when ...

I sat up straight in bed, yelling at the top of my lungs.

My Aunt Sophie came running into my room.

"What is it?" she said.

I lowered my hands from my neck, realizing that it had just been a dream. I was glad that no-one was trying to rip my throat out, but I was a little disappointed that I'd only imagined the whole Cindy Adams thing.

"Uh, nothing," I said. "Girl problems."

Aunt Sophie smiled. "You're turning fourteen tomorrow. That's when the real trouble starts. Come on. Breakfast is ready."

Aunt Sophie left and I dragged my lazy bones out of bed and into the bathroom. That's when I noticed something strange. The kid in the mirror looked pretty much the same as yesterday, only ... bigger.

I was the same height, but somehow overnight my muscles had grown larger. Not massive. I wasn't suddenly going to be mistaken for a bodybuilder as I walked down the street, but something had definitely changed. It's not that I looked like a wuss before, but there was nothing going on with my physique to brag about. But this morning? Whoa. I was looking good. I flexed for myself in the mirror, marveling at how my biceps formed into a big lump on my arm.

"That is so cool," I said to myself in the mirror.

Forgetting breakfast (not to mention my English homework), I pulled on my clothes and ran down to our basement where we had a weight bench. Aunt Sophie had gotten it for my last birthday, telling me that if there was ever a year when I wanted to work out and get stronger, this was it.

I had used it a little, but mostly it was just another place where we stored our basement junk.

I grabbed two forty-five pound plates and slid one on each side of the bar.

I eyed the bench press with those big weights on each side. The bar was another forty-five, making it one hundred and thirty-five pounds. No way. The most I had ever done before today was just the bar and twenty-five pounders, and that almost did me in after lifting it once.

Even though I was feeling strong, weirdly strong, I decided that I was being too optimistic. So I slid the forty-five pound plates off, replaced them with twenty-five pounders and lay down on the bench.

With a deep breath, I heaved the bar up, balancing it over my chest with locked arms. Slowly, I lowered it, half-expecting it to drop like a rock and crush me. But it didn't. I rested it on my chest for a second and then tried to push it back up. My arms shot up like there was no weight at all.

I smiled, and banged out five reps right in a row. No sweat.

I racked the weight and sat up, looking at my arms in wonder.

You know what I did next, right? I grabbed the forty-five pounders and put them back on. I lay on the bench, looking from side to side at the giant weights, having second thoughts. Then I decided to go for it.

I grabbed the bar, lifted it off the rack and, straining more than last time, I lowered it to my chest then raised it back up. Ten times.

"What are you doing down there?" Aunt Sophie shouted from upstairs.

"Coming!" I yelled as I racked the weight.

I felt my chest muscles, not sure what was happening to me. But liking it. Whatever was going on, I wasn't asking many questions. I decided to just go with it. Maybe this was what turning fourteen felt like.

"Jack Smith!" Aunt Sophie yelled.

I decided I would worry about it later. I ran upstairs and dug into the huge breakfast of bacon, eggs and toast that my Aunt Sophie had fixed. She poured me some juice and combed my unruly hair back with her fingers. She sat at the table, sipping her coffee, looking just a little sad. Even though I was jazzed about what had just happened, I was concerned.

"Anything wrong, Aunt Sophie?" I asked.

She shook herself out of her thoughts and smiled at me. "No, nothing wrong. Tell you what. Tonight's your last meal before turning fourteen. You can have anything you want. What's your pleasure?"

"Anything?" I asked.

"Anything."

"Pepperoni and pineapple pizza from Papagallo's and a giant bowl of mint chocolate chip ice cream," I said.

"Really? I mean, even if it was your last dinner ever, that's what you'd choose?"

I thought about that melted cheese in my mouth, the tangy red sauce, spicy pepperoni paired up with the burst of sweetness from the hot pineapple. Just thinking about it right now is making me hungry.

"Yep, that sounds perfect to me," I said. "Can I invite someone over?"

"I'd like it to be just the two of us tonight, is that OK?" Aunt Sophie said.

There was that sadness again. I stopped eating. "Are you sure you're OK?" I asked.

She nodded, but tears welled up in her eyes. She grabbed a dish and took it into the kitchen. Sometimes, when she looked like that, I wondered if she was thinking about my dad. I always had to remind myself that when I lost my father, she also lost her little brother.

My dad had been a soldier, some kind of special branch of the Army or something. One day, according to Aunt Sophie, because I was too young to remember, some of his buddies knocked on our door with the news that my dad had been killed. It was some big Army secret how he had died. Aunt Sophie said she didn't know. But in the back of my mind, I wondered if she really did know and she was just keeping it from me.

I obsessed over my dad while I was growing up, always thinking of new ways that I could solve the mystery of his death. No matter how often Aunt Sophie asked me to leave it alone, I swore that when I got older, I would do everything I could to uncover the truth.

Don't get me wrong; I missed having a mom too. She died when I was born and all I have left of her is one photo taken from a distance. But I think having Aunt Sophie basically as my mother made it a lot easier. And she's awesome. She's into fishing, rough-housing, playing baseball. She even comes to all the father/son events at school where we beat the other teams at sports, showing up all the jock dads.

Still, even with Aunt Sophie, I grew up feeling the loneliness that only an orphan can feel. That aching sense that something that is supposed to be there, just isn't. And worse, that it will never be. Into that empty hole, I put all my anger and my frustrations and I used it to focus me on the one thing I wanted more than anything else in life: to find out what really happened to my dad. It may not be true, in fact it's probably not, but part of me wants to believe that when I figure it out, the hole will go away and the loneliness will be gone forever. I can only hope.

OK. Enough of that. I don't want to make you think this story's going to be all mopey. Let's get on with it. I've got to tell you about the first monster I saw that day.

After gulping down enough food for three kids, I grabbed my book bag and ran out the door. The town of Sunnyvale was pretty rural. Our house was set back several hundred yards off the road and backed up to an old-growth forest. Trees lined our gravel driveway and our nearest neighbor was far enough away that you couldn't see another house until you got out to the main road.

Once at the end of the driveway, it was less than a quarter mile to school, so I could easily walk to class. Most days, I ended up running because I was late. I glanced at my watch. There was no way I was going to make it on time. I tightened my book bag straps and sprinted up the gravel driveway.

Just like when I was lifting the weights, something felt different. My legs were like springs, pounding out long strides as I ran. I was easily going twice as fast as normal. I pushed a little harder and found that I had one more gear left and could go even faster.

I stopped when I reached the road, panting, but not tired. I looked behind me. A trail of dust hung in the air the length of the driveway, just like in a comic book when someone has gone super fast. I grinned. It was pretty cool.

I walked over to the first house on the street. It was empty and the lawn was overgrown with weeds, but it had a basketball hoop set up in the driveway. I slid my book bag off my shoulders and grabbed a ball half-covered in the tall grass.

I sized up the hoop. With a quick look around to make sure that no-one was watching, I bounced the ball a few times, then ran up to the hoop, jumped ... and slam dunked it.

I'm not talking about barely getting over the rim and having the ball dribble in, either. I two-handed that bad boy into the hoop like I was an NBA all-star. The day before, I had only been able to get a handful of net with my best jump.

That was the first time I felt a little bit scared. Whatever was happening to me was happening in a big way. And it clearly wasn't normal. But, honestly, I didn't feel that scared. Mostly, I just felt totally awesome about it.

Even from a block away, I heard the first bell ring at my school. I grabbed my backpack and ran up the street, unaware that I was about to meet my first monster.

Chapter Two

At first, the monster appeared to be just a normal man walking toward me. I didn't recognize him, but like I said earlier, Sunnyvale was a nice, quiet town, so there was no reason for me to be suspicious. I was just running by him, enjoying my newfound speed, when this guy stuck his foot out and tripped me.

I tumbled headfirst toward the cement. I was going down hard and I knew that hitting that sidewalk was going to hurt. Bad.

But then the weirdest thing happened. Without thinking, I twisted my body in midair, reached out and found the ground with my hands, spring-boarded off the cement and landed back on my feet, staring at the stranger who had tripped me.

I mean, it was like I had turned into an Olympic gymnast or something.

The stranger looked at me curiously, only mildly impressed by my tumbling skills. I wanted to demand why he had tripped me, but one good look at him and I somehow knew better than to say anything. I felt a chill pass through my body and my skin dimpled over in goose-bumps. I felt a little dizzy and I had to fight down a sudden impulse to turn and run. Whoever this guy was, every fiber in my body was telling me that he was bad news. I should have listened to my instinct and just gotten out of there, but I couldn't stop myself from staring at him.

The stranger was pale white, with long, colorless, almost transparent hair down to his shoulders. His face was angular, with high cheekbones and a squared chin. I thought he might be an albino, because his eyes were a blue so pale that they seemed colorless. He wore an old-fashioned duster jacket that hung down to his knees and covered black trousers and heeled, leather boots. The outfit made him look like he had stepped out of a different time.

And then there were his hands. They were too long for his body and each finger was capped with a long black fingernail. He raised one of his weird hands in my direction and pointed one of those long black fingernails at me.

"Good," the stranger hissed, "your change has begun. It will make things more fun when we find you tomorrow."

Then the stranger smiled and that's when I saw them. Long, pointed canine teeth, just like the vampires have in the movies. I couldn't believe it, but not for the reason you're thinking. At this point, I had no reason to believe that I was looking at a real-life vampire, so I assumed the teeth were fakes ... and that the guy was a total freak. It's one thing to see people walking around town as vampires on Halloween. But when they did that in the month of September, it was just plain creepy. No wonder I had goose-bumps.

I decided that I had seen enough of Mr. Weirdo. I backed up slowly, then turned and got the heck out of there. I heard the man laugh softly as I ran away, but I didn't stop to look back; I just ran as hard as I could to school and got myself to class.

The school day passed even slower than usual. I tried to focus but all I could think about were my new abilities. On top of that, Mr. Weirdo's comment kept rumbling around in my head. The more I thought about it, the more it occurred to me that somehow the stranger had known about what was happening to my body. Your change has begun. But how could he have known? What was my change? And if it had only just begun, what was going to happen next? Just how much was I going to change?

More importantly, since he got the part about my change right, I started to worry that there was truth to his other comment: It will make things more fun when we find you tomorrow. I had no idea what that meant, but it certainly didn't sound good.

I decided to keep all this to myself until I could figure out what was really going on. It was pretty easy to keep it a secret for the first half of the day, but then lunchtime came around.

Usually, I sit with the same two guys at lunch. Will Akers and T-Rex Boyle. In the hierarchy of middle school popularity, I'd say my crew fell right in the middle. OK, maybe a little below the middle. We weren't the super cool kids that everyone immediately identified as school royalty, but we weren't part of the geek squad either.

Well, maybe T-Rex was, but we liked him anyway. He lived with his ancient grandma who insisted on making his clothes for him. Her eyesight wasn't so good and her hands shook, so the outfits he wore sometimes looked like a berserk machine sewed them. T-Rex was chubby, almost to the point of being completely round. While that alone set him up to get picked on by some of the jerks in school, what really did him in was the way he picked his nose all the time.

It was a nervous habit for him, but he did it so much that we all wondered what he was looking for up there. Those two holes were mined so many times an hour that there just couldn't be any nuggets left to dig out. Still, that didn't stop him from doing it. One day, Will started calling him 'T-Rex'. You know how a T-Rex has those itty-bitty arms? Will decided that if only he was a T-Rex, then he wouldn't be able to reach his nose and all his problems would go away. When his grandma started calling him T-Rex too, we laughed about it for an entire afternoon and the name stuck.

T-Rex was still in line when Will and I headed off to our usual table in the corner of the lunchroom. I say usual, but Will was often in detention instead of the lunchroom. He was constantly in trouble because his mouth ran full-time and typically went twice the speed of his brain. You know how sometimes inappropriate things come into your head but a little voice stops you from blurting it out because you know it might be rude? Well, Will didn't have that little voice. He just let it all out there.

(Continues...)



Excerpted from JACK TEMPLAR MONSTER HUNTER by Jeff Gunhus Copyright © 2012 by Jeff Gunhus. Excerpted by permission of Seven Guns Press. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Jack Templar Monster Hunter 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 18 reviews.
Penpoo More than 1 year ago
This is a book written for middle-aged children, though as an adult I found it quite interesting too. The book grabs you from the moment it starts with Jack Smith, an orphan boy who grows up not knowing what his true destiny is. He lives in a small town with his aunt Sophie as his parents supposedly passed when he was little so he knew nothing of his parents or his true heritage. Coming into puberty at the age of 14 everything changes in his world. Nothing is truly as it seems, the people you think you know turn out to be monsters from another world, and then you discover that you are the one they've been waiting to become of age so that they could take your life. But a remarkable thing happens when Jack discovers his heritage, and has some great friends who help him and guard his back. This book is so full of adventure and twist and turns that anyone who picks it up is going to be so engrossed and wanting to find out what happens in this young man's life and how it turns out.
quibecca More than 1 year ago
Jack has lived with his Aunt Sophie most of his life.  He thinks that the world is wonderful.  When he wakes up the day before his 14th birthday, everyone and every thing seems to be acting different.  His body is changing.  He is all of the sudden much stronger. Jacks adventure begins right off the bat.  He runs into a stranger on the street, who is dressed in a cloak with weird teeth, and he thinks he is just dreaming up these weird happenings. I love how this book is told in first person.  I love first person.  It is so much easier for me to connect with the character when I feel like they are talking right to me.  This book is full of adventure, strange creatures, awesome battles, and friendships.  I cannot wait to read this with my 10 yr old son.  I think he will love this book.  Jack is a great character.  Strong, and kind.   The creatures in this book are interesting, and a little creepy, but so fantastic.  I cannot wait to see what Jack does in the next book.  I will definitely be reading more of this series.  It's a quick, easy, and fun read.  Great for middle age kids.   Source:  I was given this book in exchange for an honest review.  I was not compensated in any way for this review.  These are my own PERSONAL thoughts on the book.
Varnerd More than 1 year ago
Except for one thing I am an avid new fan of this series.  The one thing, and thankfully I kept reading beyond it, was the rules and beginning warnings of putting the book down if not a monster hunter.  I felt it was a bit silly, redundant and not true to the great adventures, emotions, escapades, etc. of this first book to what I imagine is and will continue to be a fantastic series. I do not have any children or reason such as that for wanting to try this book.  The only reason I tried it, is that the book summary sounded AMAZING.  I mean adventure, paranormal antics, and a large  imagination is clear immediately and stays front and center throughout the book.  I read this in one sitting and imagine many others will or do as well.  Each page sent us to a new place, emotion, situation where I was rooting for JT, feeling his pain, laughing at the antics of him and his team or just slack jawed at the pure and detailed imagery that Jeff Gunhus liberally provides us his readers. This book is well written, gripping and I personally feel (as I am not a YA) that it is something that all ages, regardless of genre preference, would enjoy.  I say regardless of genre preference because this book touches on family relationship (blood and self-made), courage, adventure, a wee bit of romance, looking beyond the surface of people and events and more.  I excpeted a fun and entertaining read (which it was), but I did not expect to find another series that I wanted to dive into and enjoy along with JT and his friends.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed reading Monster Hunter by Jeff Gunhus!  It was so fun and imaginative!  The book reminded me a lot of a cross between Harry Potter and Percy Jackson.  The entire time I was reading I kept thinking to myself that I knew my son and daughter would like it.  My kids vary in ages so that’s quite a compliment!  I also liked that it wasn’t a very long book, which is good for me right now because my self-developed ADD has kicked in full-gear and it’s hard to keep my attention.  This book did a fantastic job of keeping my nose in the book wondering what was going to happen next.  Great read for YA as well as adults who like a quick, fun read.  Can’t wait to read #2!  4 ½ stars.  Clean.  YA. 
TrinityJo More than 1 year ago
This was fun! One I can see young boys (and possibly girls) just loving to death and even, quite possibly, acting out some of the story (safely, of course...put any swords up out of reach!) It's fast paced and, in my opinion, not really that bloody. Violent? Well, naturally...what else is a boy to do when coming up against monsters? But bloody? Nah. Now if your kiddo isn't crazy about monsters, I wouldn't recommend this (like I'd be a little iffy reading this one to my 6 year old). But for those who dream of fighting off monsters? They'd eat this book up! This one is right up my nine year old's alley. There's humor and also some lessons (dealing with fear) that the young ones can learn from as well...which is always a plus, in my opinion. :) If your looking for a fun read, I'd recommend you giving this one a shot...I think you'll like it. ;) Will continue this series. I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
ruthhill74 More than 1 year ago
Let me begin by saying I am not a person who enjoys monsters. I don't read books about vampires, zombies, goblins, or anything like that. Once in a while, I will push myself to read a fantasy book, and I sometimes enjoy it. I have sometimes been told that I automatically mark down fantasies because it is not my genre of choice. Read this review, and I think you might realize just how wrong you would be if you thought that! I will first draw your attention to the rating. I gave it a rating of a five because it is well-written, clean, and in so many ways the perfect young adult book. It is nice and short, and the story is fast-paced. The characters are well-developed, and there were many surprises along the way. It is clear the author has a sense of humor. Be sure to check out the warning along the way. I couldn't help but think that my daughter would love this book. It is not too scary. But you do have to suspend reality to read this book and truly appreciate it. It is one of the better fantasy books I've read (if you can class it as such). I wasn't sure I would be interested in the sequel, but in light of the ending, I think I am intrigued enough to give it a read. I found nothing inappropriate in the book, and I can recommend this to anyone who wants to a quick read with a change of pace. I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. I was not financially compensated, and all opinions are 100 percent mine.
kmoody83 More than 1 year ago
Jack never expected his 14th birthday would bring monsters as birthday presents. The eve before his birthday, he discovers that his parents were monster hunters that died when he was a baby. As per the agreement that no one under 14 could be harmed by a monster unless they attacked first, Jack was raised by Aunt Sophie, who turned out to be one of the monsters. Making the mistake of defending his new friend, Eva, from getting killed by a monster, Jack finds himself without protection and having to fight Ren Lucre, the vampire who killed his father. When Eva, Jack’s other friends, Will and T-Rex, and a girl named Cynthia are kidnapped by the vampire, Jack must figure out a way to defeat the thousand year old being with about a ten-second crash course in monster fighting. Will he succeed? A humorous, action-packed novel for fantasy fans. The characters are likable and complex. The plot is well-developed and fast-paced. The cliffhangers at the end of the chapter put the icing on the cake and easily hold reader’s interest. Readers who like fantasy, adventure, and books with monster will enjoy reading this book
penandtome More than 1 year ago
The book begins with an orphan boy discovering he was born to be a monster hunter when he turns fourteen. From then on he battles monsters. The fast pace and battle scenes will appeal to teenage boys. The twists at the end leaves the stories open for further adventures. Harry Potter wants to be. The author needs to slow down the pace and improve character development.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book! Of course, from the moment I opened it up and the first thing I saw was bold print proclaiming, "Warning", I knew I was going to love it. There's something very Lemony Snicket about having the characters in a story warn you not to read the story. Any of you who have been long time followers know how much I adore Lemony Snicket! Not to be confusing, the story is nothing like A Series of Unfortunate Events. Jack Templar is most certainly it's own entity. The only complaint I have about it is that it's too short! I totally would've invested the time in a book at 300 pages in length. But I guess that's how they get you to buy the squeal right? A little bit of break down: I loved how real the characters where. Yes it's a fantasy story, but you have a bunch of teen aged boys running around in modern day, dealing with crazy happenings. The story didn't shy away from the unpleasantries of life. You have a character who's being abuses, and another who won't stop picking his nose. The latter of which sounds like a disgusting ploy to give the kids a laugh and sure, to some degree it probably is, but it also taps into the realism of how some kids are. I knew kids like that... OK, so in the third grade I got called Booger Woman (an unfounded nickname by the way. I've always had extreme allergies. We all know how kids are). The point is, it's nasty, but it's how some kids really are.  Without giving too many spoilers, let's just say the book isn't afraid to let bad things happen to it's characters. With the boldness that this book takes on, it still remains lighthearted enough to be a fun read. The action and pacing are pitch perfect. At the end of each chapter, you're compelled to jump right into the next. It's possibly why I read the book in like a day. That and it's too darn short! I would say just because of the openess of some of the subject matter, maybe not a good match for young readers. I probably let like an 11-year-old read it, depending on the kid.  I do have one niece who just turned twelve and I'm not sure I'd let her read it, but then again she's the type to go on for a month about the one character who picks his nose.  Maybe proof read it and use your own discretion. It really won't take you much to get through it, and if you're a fan of YA fantasy you'll enjoy the read.
book4children More than 1 year ago
There are three main things that you need to know about this book. 1) The target audience is pre-teen and teenage boys. 2) It is wildly funny. 3) It is very violent. Honestly, I kept forgetting that Jack was only fourteen. He has the hormones of an older boy and deals with a lot of really tough situations in a very short time span. I had to keep reminding myself of what a fourteen year old kid would look like and try to insert that image in place of the strapping eighteen year old I had in mind. While the target audience is very easily discerned, I had a very fun time reading the book, even though I don't fit in the category by either age or gender. Jack is an absolute blast to read about. He is witty, funny, and chuck full of jokes. I spent the first several chapters crying because I was laughing so hard. Between the warnings trying to ward me off of reading the book and the explanations of where Jack and his friends fit into the social ladder, I laughed and laughed and laughed some more. The humor died down once the monsters started showing up, but every now and again Jack would call a "time out" and manage to get a few good zingers in. Considering the humorous nature of the beginning and the target audience, I was a little surprised at how violent the story was. The violence all revolved around destroying monsters (zombies, trolls, vampires, etc.), but it was still a little too graphic for my tastes. The characters were a bit generic, but still very fun. They each had some distinct traits that made them individual and interesting. I absolutely loved Eva. I loved the fact that she had a sharpened hook in place of her hand (how many beautiful girls can pull that off?). The book reminded me a LOT of the Percy Jackson series, from the voice of the main character to the subject matter and the way the plot played out. But since I loved the Percy Jackson series, the similarities worked as a plus for me. For $0.99, you should just buy this short adventure and have a fun afternoon reading (or let your kid have a fun afternoon).
rhonda1111RL More than 1 year ago
5 STARS The Templar Chronicles: Book One I liked reading Jack Templar Monster Hunter and will continue reading the next book. While Jack is telling the story he cuts back a few times to warn his readers that just by reading it could put your life in danger. It draws you into the story more. Children under 14 can't be killed either human or monster unless you first harm a monster. Jack will turn 14 tomorrow and is body is already changing. He is getting faster,stronger, and can fight. Thier are a lot of different types of monsters in this book. Bullys, vampires.oblins,werewolves, zombies and sirens, plus others. Jack has two close friends T-rex and Will. He was raised by his Aunt after his parents died. He meets Eva that tells him somethings but not a lot about what is going on. I like the characters, they are not perfect kids,they have faults that gets them in trouble but they also have a lot of good traits. Thier friendships make them stronger. Lots of action, drama. The book ends in a good place and I hope more is too come in the future. If your not afraid of monsters this will be a good book to read. I was given this ebook to read and asked to give it a honest review when done by netgalley. Publisher: Seven Guns Press (October 17, 2012) 197 pages ISBN: 0988425904
sandyemerson More than 1 year ago
Wonderfully exciting and enthralling are words I use to describe this book when I think of  'Jack Templar: Monster Hunter" overall. There's just something awesomely cool about the thought of being something you didn't know you were.  I really loved the way this book started and it had me hooked from the very first.  I can just imagine young teens looking over their shoulder, waiting for something to jump out at them.  There was something so easy about getting sucked into the world Jeff Gunhus created and that kept you there as you followed the main character, Jack, along with his friends, on his epic journey to self-discovery. Everything in this book was something a reader could love - action, adventure, mythical creatures, mystery and even a touch of romance.  Not bad for fourteen-year-old Jack Templar.  There were so many messages to take from this book - messages of love, self-sacrifice, faith and and having the belief that you can be so much more than you are if you just believed.  The words poured from the page and I just couldn't help lapping them up. 'Jack Templar: Monster Hunter' was just so easy to read and so much fun!   There was never a moment that I considered this book dull at all, and maybe, just maybe, that's because at heart I'm a fourteen-year-old boy looking for adventure and a chance to believe in the impossible.  Haha, a tomboy at least.  The writing itself was lovely.  I loved how I could picture everything that was happening in my head.  It gave me a connection to the characters that I can only gain from a gifted story-teller.  There was also a way this author introduced me to the novel that utterly unique and amusing.  The characters themselves held individual traits that were cute, but rather gross, all at the same time.  They were feisty, scared, loyal, traitorous and a mixed bag of other things as well.  Other people may read this book and not feel the same things as I do, and that's fine.  All I know is that this book appealed to me in ways that I wouldn't have expected.  It wasn't that the plot was as meaningful as some books I've read, but it struck the 'inner child' in me, and that 'inner child' danced a mad little dance of delight. I've been so fortunate  to have read some books lately that have totally fascinated me and because of that I don't see anything I would like to point out as to be wary of at all.  The 'heart of the reader' came out of me in this book, and not the 'heart of a writer'.  For those who do both, you'll know what I mean. I would recommend this book to anyone who's young at heart.   Book Review done by Sandy at Magical Manuscripts
Vigorio More than 1 year ago
What a fun book this was to read! I tore right through the pages as the tension built with monster battle after battle and one surprise twist after another. This would be a terrific book for Middle Grade boys but even girls will enjoy the adventure.  Jack Templar, the last in his famous lineage of Monster Hunters, has a few surprises in store as he prepares to turn fourteen. But the monsters he’s due to hunt have even more surprises in store than he could imagine.  One word of caution about reading this book, however. Once read, you are a target for all of the monsters in the world—so be prepared or don’t read the book.
NickieAnderson More than 1 year ago
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a review. Jack is a pretty normal almost-fourteen year old. He lives with his Aunt Sophie, spends his day in boredom at school, and hangs out with his friends, Will and T-Rex. But as his fourteenth birthday draws nearer, Jack starts noticing some changes. He's gotten stronger. A LOT stronger. And faster, too. He chalks it to finally hitting a growth spurt and the extra hours he's been putting in to working out. Then there's the way his principal stares at him. She was always a little creepy before, but now? Jack starts noticing some new faces in his small town as well. Jack finally discovers that these changes are all related. He's a monster hunter, descended from monster hunters, and on his fourteenth birthday the monsters around him are finally allowed to take him out. He'll have to figure out how to fight for his life while trying to fight for what's right. What I liked about this book: This was a well paced, action packed book with a great MG voice. It was reminiscent of the 'Percy Jackson' books -- a great balance of humor, adventure, and just a hint of horror. Jack's character is beautifully drawn, and the down-to-earth narrative style of the book sucked me right in. I felt like I could hear jack conversing with me (and telling me to put the book down to keep the monsters at bay!) I *LOVED* Aunt Sophie's character, and I enjoyed that Gunhus left the monsters ambiguously evil. Some of the monsters are clearly over-the-top psychopaths, but others aren't all bad. It led to more moral dilemmas for Jack, and I'm interested to see where this goes in the next book. What I didn't like about this book: The body humor. I guess this is because I'm not a thirteen/fourteen year old boy, but nose picking isn't funny to me. Thankfully, there wasn't too much of this. I also wanted a little more explanation about how Jack was able to so quickly identify and defeat the monsters he fought. He's thrown into a strange world, and while he's gotten stronger, he still hasn't learned about all the different creatures and how to fight them. *SPOILER* I was also a little disappointed at the very end when the group leaves town to go to the Monster Hunter Academy. I had a hard time believing T-Rex wouldn't say goodbye to his grandma. I think a short, emotional farewell would have worked better. Final verdict: 4 1/4 stars (yes, I'm doing quarter stars now. Next week I might do elevenths). If you have a reluctant MG reader on your hands, I would highly recommend this book. It's quick, fun, and kept me on the edge of my seat. I can't wait to read the next Jack Templar installment!
Its_Time_Mamaw More than 1 year ago
Beware of the Monsters! Jack Smith is about to turn fourteen and is getting a very unusual birthday surprise.   You see he is starting to fill out no longer the body of a little boy.  Just the other day he bench pressed 135 pounds.  All of this growing is coming on rather quickly.  While he was at school having lunch he noticed the school bully was harassing one of his buddies to the point that his friend started crying.  Something snapped inside Jack and he turned into a regular kung fu master.  Which caused him to be sent to the principals office and was given suspension for one day. The principle even turned into a monster.  Really she turned into a real monster.  Jack thought he was hallucinating.  Nope, she was a monster with a capital M. No one was going to believe him, so he kept it to himself.   For the time being.  On his way home he did end up telling an old woman that was begging for money.  That is after she turned into a girl his age and Jack thought she was a real hottie.  You will have to read the rules before you can find out whether she was friend or foe.  She did tell him he was to start fighting monsters because as soon as he turns fourteen they were coming to torture and kill him.  Now listen you have read what the story is about and hopefully the letter Jack wrote to me that I posted on my blog.  You can't tell anyone about the monsters or this post because it can cost you your life.  If you don't like scary mean monsters do not read the book.  I am serious!   Remember you have to read the rules before you read the book.  Don't forget you have been warned! The author, Jeff must have some major contacts in order to get permission to write this book for Jack Templar and to take it public.  Jeff had to have followed all of the rules because he is still alive. Or is he!  I don't have a problem with monsters so I really enjoyed reading the book.  Yes, I did follow the rules and by the time I got finished reading the book I was exhausted from getting up every ten minutes and moving to another spot in the house so the monsters couldn't track me. I feel privilege to be one of many that have read Jack Templar the Monster Hunter.  Oh, great work guys!  I will let you know if I have any monster problems. I highly recommend this book just read the rules first. Disclosure I received a free copy of this book from author,Jeff Gunhus for review.  I was in no way compensated for this review.  It is my own opinion.
Trinity_Williams More than 1 year ago
This book initially reminded me of the adventures that Harry, Ron and Hermione would have, but as with Harry Potter, it's not just for kids. I'm a reader who loves adventure novels, so this book was amazing to me. This book is about an orphan child, named Jack Smith, who as a child would have loved to be a monster hunter. Once he actually becomes one though, it's a bit of a different story. Nothing is exactly as it seems in his life. The ones who seem normal, are actually monsters from another world. I don't want to give away too much, but you'll love it. I know I did.
Book_DivaKS More than 1 year ago
“Jack Templar Monster Hunter” by Jeff Gunhus keeps the reader on the edge of the chair for the whole story. Never has any thirteen-year-old had a fourteenth birthday to rival the amazing circumstances Jack and his friends find themselves embroiled in. Mild mannered and almost geeky Jack Smith, awakens one morning to find changes happening to his thirteen-year-old body that he can’t explain. But these changes are not the ordinary signs of growing up - they are much more baffling and, frankly, unexplainable. When Jack makes mincemeat out of the school bully, he — and everyone else — knows that something very different is in the offing. Suddenly, on the very eve of his fourteenth birthday, Jack is plunged into a world fraught with very believable gremlins, zombies, Minotaur and harpies, Jack must navigate and use the art and power of a Monster Hunter - something he’s never even heard of - as he and his friends Eva, Will and T-Rex are pursued by the evil and very nasty Ren Lucre. Vivid imagery and tight, fast-paced narrative make this first book of a series a great read not only for middle teens, but for any reader who enjoys suspense a little on the darker side. There is a website associated with this book that is interactive and quite entertaining. Looking forward to more adventures with Jack Templar Monster Hunter!
bemiown More than 1 year ago
This book is written for middle aged children by Jeffrey Gunhus. I'm not a middle aged child but perhaps the book brings out the child in you. SO read it and be a child for a while. The beginning is with an orphan, Jack Smith. He lives in the little town of SunnyVale with his Aunt Sophie, Supposedly his parents died when he was an infant. He knows nothing of his past. As with all of us, when we get to be a teen our whole world seems to change. Everything you think is one way turns out to be just the opposite. This book is written so realistic in a lot of ways. You can place yourself as the characters in the book. Jack felt the people around him were monsters, out to get him. There is so much surprise and wonderment as to what the turning of the pages will bring. The monsters seem to exist only in fiction, but do they? There is a truce between monsters and man that children are off-limits until their 14th birthday. Jack finds his heritage and great friends who watch his back. Jack is the center character, orphaned and loveable, but out there are angry monsters just waiting to kill14 year old Jack. His city is about to come under attack. He finds his legacy from a mysterious girl named Eva. His legacy is that he is now a Monster Hunter. He comes from a long line of Monster Hunters. He is now in the family business. His demise will come if he doesn't save himself, his friends and the world. Is Jack "The One"? Is he the last "Templar"? The book is awesome. It's written not just for middle aged children but for the fantasy seekers (us adults). It leaves you wondering what the next page holds. As you read page to page, you want to be ther fighting alongside Jack. Fighting not only for his life but the world, what's right and wrong. Keep on with The Templar Chronicles. They have a lot to give to the children. Books like these keep children motivated "to read". I received a complimentary copy of the e-book from Jeffrey Gunhus for this review.