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.
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.
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I leaned up against the ship’s rusty metal railing, barely able to catch my breath. I took a pull from a water bottle as I looked out at the hundreds of miles of black ocean that stretched out in every direction, the full moon painting broad, glowing strokes across the surface that seemed to point right at me.
I always imagined that the middle of the Atlantic Ocean would be a violent place, filled with giant, rolling waves and massive storms, but the water that night was as calm as if we were on a lake. Good thing too, since the trawler we had been on for the last week was a creaky old lug of a ship whose best days were far, far behind it.
“Come on,” said a girl behind me with a distinct English accent. “Break’s over.”
I was about to complain when I instinctively felt the attack coming. I rolled to my right and a sword sparked against the metal where I had just been resting. I held up my own sword in front of me and crouched down.
“Eva, we’ve been going for hours,” I said. “Can’t we relax just for once?”
Eva paced in front of me in the shadows of the main deck of the trawler. Her brown hair was tied back in a ponytail like every time we sparred. She held a sword in her right hand and had a nasty barbed hook screwed into the socket on her left wrist.
Even though it would seem that a lethal iron hook would attract my attention first, it was Eva’s face that always distracted me when we fought. Even in the dim light, even though she was trying to run me through with her sword, she was just about the most attractive girl I’d ever seen. Every time I looked too closely at her face, I thought of the kiss she gave me right before my fight with Ren Lucre. As I pictured it in my mind again, Eva smiled, her teeth nearly glowing in the dim light. That smile wasn’t good news.
She lunged at me, using a twisting combination to my weak side that I had to jump backward to avoid. I blocked a low blow from her hook, but felt a breeze as her sword swept sharply within an inch of my right ear. I reached up and felt a small patch of missing hair. I guess it was closer than an inch.
“You’ll get more than a haircut unless you practice harder,” she said.
Awards for Jack Templar Monster HunterBook of the Year Finalist by Forward Magazine
Next Generation Indie Book Finalist
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.
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This book picks up right where the first one left off. You definitely need to read book one to know what's going on. I found this one much more exciting though, and that says a lot since the first was so awesome and high on my list.
So many more groovy characters to fall in love with, like Tiberon. All of them add something special to the story, even if at first you don't like them. Believe me when I tell you, there's at least one character everyone will begin off disliking, but learn you are wrong to be so quick to judge.
Younger lads will especially get a kick out of this series. Dragons, goblins, and power wielders of all sorts in this book fill it with action and adventure from the beginning to end. They will also love the secret website shared in the back of the book.
Very clever writing from a very talented author. Jeff Gunhus is quickly becoming a favorite author of mine.
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