The book follows Jack Templar, a young man who is turning 14 and begins to realize that he is destined to be a Monster Hunter. No spoiler there (it's in the title).
It was a fun read, the story is told as narrated by Jack, so we get to see his personality and thoughts very clearly which helps us get to know him very well. Because he was narrating in the past tense, we knew from chapter 1 that he wasn't really in any danger of dying (or at least staying dead). I think this is a good way to approach middle-grade readers. Especially with the creatures, danger, and fighting. Having the story told from Jack's perspective makes it very appropriate for the target age audience.
While I did like this book, and would recommend it to young readers, there are some things that were not the best:
The book moves very quickly introducing Jack, his friends, family etc. then jumps right into the adventure. The pace of the book makes it enjoyable for younger readers, but in making the pace so quick, it sacrifices some character development, and never takes time during the adventure to revisit that. As a result by the end of the book I didn't really care about any of the main characters, and actually wanted T-Rex to get killed off so I wouldn't have to read about his disgusting nose-picking habit.
Through the story (which only takes a day), Jack gets super-human strength, because of his lineage. That is acceptable, and explained sufficiently. What I didn't really like was that his friends went from being complete losers, to brave monster hunters in that same time frame. If it was spread out to a couple of weeks, maybe they would have time, but it just seemed rushed.
The one glaring error in the book was the ending. **Spoiler Coming** For fourteen years monsters wanted to kill Jack and eat him. They only stopped because of two things. First they couldn't attack until he was fourteen. Second, the bad guy told them not to attack. At the end Jack is 14 and the bad guy is defeated. So why didn't the monsters kill Jack. They had hundreds of them there, he was wounded, and they just turned around and left. That didn't make any sense to me. I think it would have been really great to have a group of monster hunters show up and take him and his friends out of there, or something like that. The ending just wasn't satisfying.
In the end I did like the story, I liked Jack Templar, and I think it is appropriate for middle-grade children. Just needed to work out some of the minor kinks.
I gave this book 3.5 stars: 3 on Goodreads, 4 on Amazon. (I'm a math teacher It averages out)
I was given this book in exchange for an honest review.