Jack Templar: Monster Hunter
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.
Author Jeff Gunhus
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.
“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…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, cliff-hangers and surprise reveals. ”
Watch out Percy Jackson here comes Jack Templar
Move over Harry Potter and Percy Jackson, there’s a new kid in town – Jack Templar, and he will take you on a wonderful adventure of good vs evil, with friends and enemies at every turn. The twists and turns keep the reader on a roller coaster of entertainment in the way of JK Rowling and Rick Riordan. ~ Penny Brein
Fast paced adventure through and through
Written for middle school aged students, this book is action-packed from the beginning and will hold the attention of young readers. Not only that, as an adult reader, it was hard to put down, so parents will enjoy it as an easy read. ~ bluejellybean
Kids will love it!
Not only will kids love it, adults will too! I don’t want to give the plot away but this is a book worth reading. This book is creatively written drawing in the reader to be a participant in the story. There is lots of action with enough blood and guts to be interesting without being gross. Girls will like it too with the strong female role models and the hint of romance. Even though this is a children’s book, I couldn’t put it down. I will definitely be adding this to my classroom library. I am looking forward to reading the book in this series and sharing it with my students. Awesome book! ~ pixiep
Yeah, you read it right. I’m a monster hunter. Back before I actually became one, I would have thought that sounded totally awesome. And don’t get me wrong, in a lot of ways it is. But most of the time, I’m either running for my life or hiding in the shadows, praying the monster chasing me doesn’t pick up my scent. And I’m almost always scared to death. In a few pages, I think you’ll see why.
But there are a few things I need to warn you about before I tell you my story.
First, this isn’t a cartoon. These are bloodthirsty creatures who will stop at nothing to kill. They are scary. Very scary. Second, the only way to stop them is to kill them first…and that gets gross and messy. Third, this is all real.
You think I’m kidding, don’t you? I can almost see you smirking as you read this. But this isn’t a joke. Monsters are real and the story I’m about to tell you really happened. If you’d rather walk through life believing that monsters are only found in books or on the movie screen, then you should shut this book right now and go do something else.
I give you these warnings because the story I’m about to tell you isn’t for everyone. Not everyone can handle it. The blood. The gore. The monsters.
This life was thrust onto me. I had no choice but to take up a sword and fight. But you can still walk away and pretend this dark world doesn’t exist. Or you can walk through the door that I’m about to open and find out the truth about the world around you.
But I warn you (and this is a big warning), if you read this book, if you learn about the monsters that roam among us and the hunters who fight them, if you decide to learn the truth, then you will become fair game for the monsters to chase.
Make sure you understand what I’m saying.
If you read this book, you will be part of this world and the monsters will come after you too. You will start to see things that no other humans can see. The shadows will move when you walk near them. The creatures of the night will seek you out, testing the doors and windows of your house, looking for a way in.
And, at some point, they will find you, just like they found me, and you will be forced to defend yourself.
So, think carefully before you turn the page, because once you do, there’s no turning back.
Once a monster hunter, always a monster hunter.
See you on the other side.
If you’re brave enough.
Then everything seemed to move in slow motion.
I spotted Eva’s sword sticking out of the ground just a short distance from me. I ran toward it, reached out and wrapped my fingers around the hilt. The sword felt hot to the touch, but I ignored it and pulled it out of the ground.
As I did, I heard a cracking sound as if something had broken open. Then a buzzing filled my ears, the roaring of the mole-creature suddenly distant.
I spun and saw the mole bearing down on Eva, its massive clawed hands ready to rip into her body.
I ran as hard as I could, carrying the sword at my side.
As I closed the gap to the mole-creature, I grasped the sword with both hands and raised it over my head. I heard a cry split the air, barely registering that the sound was coming from my own mouth.
Eva stood, the grass up to her waist. She reached out toward me. “No!” she screamed, her voice barely audible over the buzzing in my ears. “Stop!”
But it was too late. I knew that unless I stopped the mole-creature, it was going to kill Eva. I knew what I had to do.
At the last second, the mole-creature turned toward me and raised a clawed hand to defend itself. I swung the sword as hard as I could and lopped the hand off at the wrist. The mole-creature screamed…but only for a second…because I stuck the sword right through its neck.
It slumped to its knees, staring at me. Then it laughed. A deep, taunting laugh that unnerved me more than any roar ever could.
Eva walked up to me and snatched back the sword angrily. With one fast swipe, she decapitated the mole-creature and it fell over on the ground with a thump.
Eva walked back and forth anxiously. “Do you have any idea what you’ve done?” Eva demanded.
“You mean besides save your life?” I said.
“We had time to practice,” Eva said. “The other hunters arrive tomorrow to help protect you. Now what are we going to do? This was exactly what they wanted. Of all the stupid, stupid–”
“Hey, easy there,” I said. “I don’t know why you’re getting so mad. No-one got hurt. Well, except for the mole here.”
“You don’t get it, do you?” Eva said. “You’re only protected by Quattuordecim as long as you’re a non-combatant. The second you swung that sword, your protection was gone.”
“I mean get ready,” Eva said, “because every kind of monster you can imagine is on its way here right now, every one of them excited at the prospect of being the one who gets to kill you.”
“Sorry,” I said sheepishly. “I was just trying to help.”
Eva grabbed me by the shirt and pulled me roughly to her. “There’s more at stake here than you know. More than just your miserable, little life. You got that?”
“Got it,” I said.
“Good,” she said. She threw me her sword and I caught it by the hilt. “Take this. Believe me, you’re about to need it.”
“Look alive,” Eva said. “The next attack could come from any direction.”
I looked around the tree line surrounding the meadow. Every shadow took on a menacing appearance. Every crack of a tree limb made me flinch.
“What now?” I asked.
Eva pulled an odd-looking dagger from a sheath. Instead of a handle, it had a screw at its end. She twisted the hook off her wrist and placed it in a pouch at her side then screwed the dagger in. She pulled a longer dagger from another sheath hidden under her clothes. She flipped it and it extended out into a full sword.
“Now we run,” Eva said. “We run as fast as we can.”
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