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Monster Madness (Nightmare Academy Series #2)

Monster Madness (Nightmare Academy Series #2)

4.2 27
by Dean Lorey

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It's the monster hunters' last chance to stop an all-out monster war!

We're under attack! The last of the mega-monsters known as the Named are fighting their way into our world, and only a mysterious being known as the Guardian can help—but the Guardian is dying. To save him, Charlie Benjamin and his friends from the Nightmare Academy must journey into


It's the monster hunters' last chance to stop an all-out monster war!

We're under attack! The last of the mega-monsters known as the Named are fighting their way into our world, and only a mysterious being known as the Guardian can help—but the Guardian is dying. To save him, Charlie Benjamin and his friends from the Nightmare Academy must journey into the heart of a Hydra cave, through the spooky Bermuda Triangle graveyard, and across the treacherous, monster-filled San Diego Zoo.

Editorial Reviews

VOYA - Kate Rose
Nightmare Academy is a coming-of-age story mixing reality and mystery. Charlie Benjamin would be an average thirteen-year-old except for his unusual situation and "gift." Even in his new world, Charlie has issues fitting in and his "abnormality" pushes him into an adult role. The book's tone is humorous and light even when violence arises and devotion to family and friends is shown. This book is written for ten and up and presents fantasy with a comic touch reminiscent of the Harry Potter series.
VOYA - Sarah Cofer
In this sequel to Nightmare Academy: Monster Hunters (HarperTeen, 2007/VOYA August 2007), Charlie, Theodore, and Victoria are taking their final exams, hoping to move up from Noobs to Addys, when a Netherleaper uses their portal to kidnap Violet, taking her deep into the Netherworld. Charlie, Theodore, and Rex, the cowboy banisher, rescue Violet and discover a far more serious danger is looming. The Guardian of the Netherworld has been weakened by The Named, the most powerful Netherstalker, who plan to kill The Guardian in order to escape. If all four Named escape to Earth, they will summon The Fifth, which will in turn start a full-scale world war. The Headmaster gives Charlie and his friends a dangerous mission. They must go into the Netherworld and find the only female Hydra, a vicious water dragon, get her milk, and bring it back to The Guardian before he dies. This fun, fast-paced fantasy adventure is a great sequel. There are plot twists on every page, and just when a conflict is resolved, another one arises. The themes of good versus evil, trust, and loyalty are explored through Charlie and his friends as they hone their skills, becoming more independent and self-confident. The constant fighting and bloodshed are balanced by the characters to provide a good dose of comic relief. The audience for this book is most likely middle school reluctant readers, fantasy fans, or those suffering Harry Potter withdrawal. This projected trilogy has been optioned for film. Reviewer: Sarah Cofer
Children's Literature - Sue Poduska
Add Monster Madness to the list of books that encourage young boys and girls to want to read. In it, the second book in the "Nightmare Academy" series, the story of Charlie Benjamin and his friends continues. The author effectively creates a world in which the nightmares of children are actually glimpses into the nether world. At the Nightmare Academy, children develop their powers either to enter that world (portal) or to banish the nether's monsters from our world. Charlie can do both. In this book, Charlie and friends encounter the worst monsters, including the Named, and try to save the world. The Named are the lords of fire (Barakkas), water (Verminion), earth (Slagguron), and air (Tyrannus). They also encounter hydra, a creature called the Guardian, and untrustworthy humans with powers. The friends learn that things are not always what they seem and that the best of intentions do not guarantee a good result. This action-packed book has many parallels to mythology and history, which could be useful in a classroom. Reviewer: Sue Poduska
Kirkus Reviews
The comic mayhem continues in this first sequel to 2007's fluffy-but-fun Nightmare Academy, a sort of Men in Black for kids. Three friends, all misfits, strive to pass their first major examination by battling some weak monsters, but find themselves fighting the biggest and baddest monsters known. Hero Charlie, now 13, maintains his appeal as the shy but courageous leader of the trio, although buddy Theodore's overbearing confidence crosses the line into obnoxious territory. Smart, Hermione-like Violet fades a bit into the background in this outing, but the three major monsters they battle emerge as nicely drawn, quirky personalities, especially the entirely crazy Tyrannus. Cliffhangers abound, yet Lorey holds onto his comic touch amid the suspenseful battles. It's all just for fun, and if it's clearly riding Harry's coattails and sitcom-like dialogue dominates, never mind. The middle-school set will snap up this rollicking romp. (Fantasy. 10-14)

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Nightmare Academy Series , #2
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Sales rank:
File size:
1 MB
Age Range:
8 - 14 Years

Read an Excerpt

Nightmare Academy #2: Monster Madness

Chapter One

Dora's Darkling

Final exams don't normally end in death, but Charlie Benjamin wasn't normal, and neither was the final exam he and his friends were about to take.

"Monsters, watch out!" Theodore exclaimed as he, Charlie, and Violet gathered their gear on the deck of the pirate ship at the very top of the Nightmare Academy. "Soon as this exam's over, we're gonna be Noobs no more!"

In the six months they'd been training, the gigantic banyan tree that held the Academy in its mighty branches had come to feel like home—Charlie knew every weathered plank of every wrecked boat nestled there. It had been a lot of work, of course. He'd lost count of the numerous bites and scratches he'd received from the Class-1 monsters in Beginning Banishing, and having to continually summon your deepest, darkest fears to open portals in Neophyte Nethermancy was no picnic, either.

But none of that mattered, really.

For every bad time, there were three good ones—swimming in the clear, warm ocean with Violet and Theodore; playing hide-and-seek in the Academy's crazy web of catwalks, boats, and branches; eating wild plums with sweet purple juice dripping down their chins.

It had been heaven . . . and it had all led to this moment.

"That final exam is toast!" Theodore shouted. "You just let me at those monsters and I will show you the true meaning of the words pest control! I am a walking, talking can of Raid!"

"Well, you're definitely as tall and skinny as one," Violet said with a laugh.

"And just as deadly," Theodore shot back. "I amextra-strength Raid—do not point at face, do not use near open flame, wash hands after use!"

"I'm just glad the day is finally here," Charlie said, grinning. "I feel like we've been Noobs forever."

"Because we have!" Theodore seemed as if he were in actual physical pain at the thought. "I mean, come on, we should have been promoted to Addy, like, forever ago! After all, who rescued your mom and dad from the lair of Barakkas and Verminion?"


"You're dang right, us, and on only our second day at the Academy! We are the A-Team! The Nether Squad! The Monster Mashers!"

"Okay, okay, calm down." Charlie was laughing now. "Don't worry, we're gonna get plenty of opportunity to strut our stuff tonight."

"You can say that again! I'll tell you this much, I am seriously RTR!"

"Ready to roll?" Violet asked.

"No, that would be utterly ridiculous." Theodore hated it whenever anyone guessed the meanings of his initials before he explained them. "It stands for . . ." He seemed to search for an answer—then his eyes lit up. "Really Truly Righteous!"

"You just made that up!"

But before Theodore could respond, a fiery purple portal snapped open next to them. Rex, Tabitha, and Pinch stepped through.

"Howdy, my eager little Noobs," Rex said in his thick Texas drawl, a wide grin plastered across his tanned face. He was dressed in his usual outfit of faded jeans, worn boots, and a crisp cowboy hat. A lasso was loosely looped at his hip, accompanied by a gleaming short sword. "You ready for your big final?"

"More than ready," Charlie replied. "I feel like we've been ready for forever."

"Then let's get it done. Like my daddy always said—failure is not an option."

"We are going to destroy that final!" Theodore blurted. "Utterly annihilate it! Spank it on its—"

"Asinine," Pinch interrupted, shaking his head. "All this boastfulness is just asinine."

"Nothing wrong with a little confidence, Pinch," Tabitha said, her green eyes sparkling as brilliantly as the jewels that decorated her short, red hair. "You were that eager once. Remember?"

"I try not to," Pinch replied with a sigh. "Let's just get on with it, shall we? The sooner we start, the sooner we finish, and I'd prefer not to spend my entire evening waiting for these Noobs to bumble their way to becoming Addys—that is, assuming they succeed."

"We will," Violet said, smiling. "Failure is not an option."

"I wonder where I've heard that before . . . ," Pinch muttered.

"Dunno," Rex replied. "From someone very wise, I suspect. And very handsome. And clever. And—"

Tabitha held up a finger to his lips, silencing him. "Why don't we just go get those monsters, huh?"

With a wave of her hand, she opened a portal to the Nether.

The first thing Charlie noticed when he stepped back to Earth was the smell: rot. It came from the murky water of a leaf-filled swimming pool in a courtyard surrounded by several small, run-down bungalows. Many of them were boarded up, as unused as the broken Big Wheel that lay overturned on the weedy lawn. The light from the cloud-covered moon was thin and fleeting.

"We're looking for bungalow C," Pinch said, peering into the darkness. "Ah, there it is."

He pointed to a weathered green bungalow. The yellow lamp on the wall next to the front door sputtered fitfully, casting dim, uncertain light.

"Looks kind of spooky," Violet said.

"Duh!" Theodore shot back. "That's 'cause it's full of monsters. Hello?"

"Can I punch him?"

Charlie shook his head. "He's too fragile. You might break him."

"Fragile!" Theodore roared. "Did I just have a mental spasm, or did you say the girl might break me? Because that's seriously—"

"Let's continue, shall we?" Pinch interrupted with a roll of the eyes. "This bungalow is your target and here is your panic horn." He handed Theodore a red airhorn, which looked like an aerosol spray can with a funnel at one end. "If you press the button, we will immediately come to your aid, but remember—"

Theodore pressed the button.

The horn blared so loudly that Charlie leaped backward into Violet, accidentally elbowing her in the face. "Oww!" she yelped.


"Never do that again!" Pinch commanded, clutching his heart as dogs barked angrily throughout the neighborhood. "It is to be used only in case of extreme emergency!"

Nightmare Academy #2: Monster Madness. Copyright © by Dean Lorey. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

Meet the Author

Dean Lorey is a Hollywood screenwriter whose credits include co-executive producer of the cult TV hit Arrested Development. He was inspired to write Nightmare Academy, his first series for young readers, by his personal enthusiasm for imagined worlds and video games. The first book in the trilogy, monster hunters, received the Southern California Booksellers' Award for Best Children's Novel of the Year. Dean Lorey lives in Calabasas, California, with his wife, Elizabeth, and their sons, Chris (first reader for the Nightmare Academy trilogy) and Alex (then too young to read).

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Monster Madness (Turtleback School & Library Binding Edition) 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 27 reviews.
Ori More than 1 year ago
This book is have a very good story plot. It would be good for 9-12yr olds. I liked it because i had lots of action,and friendship. I highly recommed this book to people who like this.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this book in 5 days. And i loved it! It was great! I recomend this book for the ages 9-12
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Dean is a really good book writer and i cant waiit to read rge thirdd and second book, ive loved the first and now i cant wait to read the second and third Dean you have fans you should make a fourth
ksherlock More than 1 year ago
Very good follow up book. Great read for kids. We're looking forward to the next book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
its a awsome book!!!
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
Charlie Benjamin and his friends are back in Dean Lorey's MONSTER MADNESS, the second book in the NIGHTMARE ACADEMY series.

Unfortunately, so also are Level 5 Nethercreatures Verminion and Barakkas, as they continue their quest to bring the remaining named (Slagguron and Tyrannus) out of the Nether and into the human world by weakening (and ultimately killing) the Guardian to a gateway between worlds.

It's up to newly upgraded Addeys Charlie, Theodore, Violet, Leet Facilitator Brooke, and Professor Pinch to venture inside the fourth ring of the Nether in search of a cure.

Enemies don't always come in giant, scary packages, though. Sometimes, they work inside the very agencies for which we fight - and sometimes an enemy is the person standing right by your side...

MONSTER MADNESS is a great book for younger readers suffering Harry Potter withdrawals. While the characters might not be quite complex enough for older teens, Charlie and company are an engaging trio full of bravery and gusto.

Lorey's background in screenwriting translates to steady pacing and key descriptions that allow you to easily picture scenes as they unfold in novel form. So grab your hot chocolate, a warm blanket, settle into a cozy chair, and enjoy an afternoon or two in Charlie's world.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Oh good. No one's here. *Rayden sits at the stage's edge and starts to sing.* Where'd you go?... I missed you so... Feels like it's been forever since you've been gone... Where'd you go?... I missed you so... Feels like it's been forever since you've been gone... Please come back home... Please come back home...
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Its so good i cant wait for the next one it feels as if your charlie and cheering him on as he goes GO CHARLIE!!!!!!!!
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Amajorbibliophile More than 1 year ago
"Monster Madness", the second book in the "Nightmare Academy" series, is definitely not a let down after the first one! It is absolutely an astonishing book!