I have read the first book in this series and enjoyed it! I couldn't pass up the opportunity to let everyone know about the third book. It looks fantastic.
Read an Excerpt:
One thing you learn early on as a monster hunter is that the Creach are everywhere. They blend in with regular people. They can be policemen, teachers, shopkeepers, anything you can imagine. Hiding in plain sight, they bide their time, waiting for the Creach war to come when they will be in position to strike against us all at once.
But even though they can be anywhere, the ancient places of the world are crawling with them. I’m not sure why. Maybe monsters feel more comfortable surrounded by old stone buildings and cobbled streets as a reminder of a simpler time, back when superstition kept them safe and hunting was easier to do unnoticed. There are too many cameras in the modern world for an army of monsters to hunt and feed without making a mark. And that’s the last thing they want.
Not yet, anyway.
So, the challenge for any monster hunter is to balance the desire to seek out the Creach to battle them with the understanding that it’s possible to overstep, be too aggressive and find yourself in over your head. One or two monsters, depending on the type, are something most first-degree hunters can handle. But multiply that a few times over and you’ve got a real fight on your hands. In some of the older cities of the world, that number can swell to the hundreds before you can say, “Your mother was a mug-wump.” And then you have huge problems.
These were my thoughts as I watched the sun rise over the ancient Moroccan city of Marrakech. Low, square buildings stretched out in a ramshackle maze punctuated by the spires of dozens of mosques. In the early morning light, the red sandstone of the old city walls glowed a deep ruddy color showing why Marrakech had long ago earned the nickname the red city.
I imagined I could have stood on this spot a thousand years earlier and seen pretty much the same sight before me. Well, almost. Satellite dishes sprouted from most roofs like mushrooms in a field, and the tangle of power lines that crisscrossed the buildings looked as if a manic army of spiders had spent the night spinning metal webs. Still, even with those obvious signs of the modern world, the weight of history hung in the air.
Miles to the north, there were parts of Marrakech with modern skyscrapers, nightclubs and Internet cafes. But we were in the Medina, the ancient center of the city, filled with souks with their haggling merchants, taverns with rough, dangerous characters, open squares packed with performers, merchants, beggars and thieves. And, most important to our mission, thousands of hiding places existed for all kinds of men and monsters that wanted to be forgotten by the rest of the world.
I couldn’t help but feel the pull of the city. The idea of disappearing into its deep underbelly and losing myself in its honeycombed streets seemed for a second like the only reasonable thing to do. Gone would be the weight of the quest to find the Jerusalem Stones and save my father. Gone would be the fear that at any minute my friends would be killed because of the danger I’d put them in. Gone would be the impossible responsibility to stop Ren Lucre and the coming Creach war. I could leave all that behind and be a normal fourteen-year-old kid simply by going for a long walk and never looking back.
I let out a deep breath and let this fantasy go with it on the morning air. Behind me I heard the others stirring in our single, cheap hotel room we’d straggled into late the night before. After two long weeks on the road where we’d kept away from civilization as best we could, we were due for at least one good night’s sleep. Compared to camping out in abandoned houses and in fields throughout the south of France and into Spain, the threadbare beds seemed like the height of luxury.
The road from the Monster Hunter Academy had been uneventful compared to events before we left. Standing on the balcony, I thought back to the awful day when the Creach attacked. After the Cave of Trials, battling dragons, fighting off the goblin hoard, and watching the black wolf Tiberon transform back into human form and disappear into thin air, I hoped we would have at least a little time to recover before it was time to leave. But it didn’t happen.
The morning after the goblin battle, Aquinas summoned me to her tent. I made my way through a small tent city that had sprung up near the gates to the Citadel to temporarily house the students. The dorms had burned to the ground. Outside the Academy walls, a student work party shoveled dirt over the bodies of the two dragons I’d killed. Aquinas wanted a deep burial where no Regs (non-hunter humans) would find them. Her tent was easy to spot. It was large and round with a pointed center, like a miniature version of a circus tent. The leather flap covering the entrance was open, so I crouched down and stepped inside.
Book of the Year Finalist by Foreword Reviews.
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.