I Was A Seventh Grade Monster Hunter Review

I WAS A SEVENTH GRADE MONSTER HUNTER
(THE STOKER LEGACY: BOOK ONE)

By A. G. Kent

E-book/126 pages

Review by Chris Welch

A.G. Kent’s I Was A Seventh Grade Monster Hunter is the first volume of The Stoker Legacy books, which are a series of short novels aimed at Young Adult readers.

This series has a fabulous start and promises even more fantastic adventures. This book (and series) draws inspiration from many elements, including literary, movie, and television sources. The book blends traditional YA themes of fitting-in with classmates and self-actualization, as embodied in a strong but occasionally vulnerable young woman, and the action of the supernatural monster-hunting genre, with a proper dose of humor sprinkled in as well.

Kent’s book is a unique mixture of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Lovecraftian horror, and the 1970s Saturday morning kids show Monster Squad; there are equal parts middle-school melodrama, frightening but not too-scary monsters, cliff-hanging suspense, and sophisticated goofiness.

The story opens with seventh-grader Hannah finding out from her Grandfather that she is a descendent of Bram Stoker, author of Dracula — but that novel was actually about the “real” monster-hunting feats of Stoker himself; Van Helsing was just a fictitious characterization of Stoker’s own accomplishments.

Hannah’s Grandfather explains  that there has been a family-initiated truce between humans and the classical monsters for decades now. And just before he disappears, her Grandfather instructs Hannah to magically summon the monsters, and each one will bring her pages of a special spell book. She does, and the four primary monsters — an aristocratic vampire, a wise-cracking werewolf, a telepathic mummy, and a “man-made man” named Jigsaw — show up .  However Jigsaw’s pages have been stolen.

Hannah and her new Creature Crew have to figure out a number of mysteries: Where has her Grandfather disappeared to? Who stole Jigsaw’s pages? Are they connected to her Grandfather in some way? What awful entity do they plan to summon with the pages, and perhaps most alarming, will the thieves come after Hannah next since she now has possession of the remaining pages? Plus, there’s a party Saturday night she would like to attend.

While this volume has a complete and self-contained story, there are hints of upcoming conflicts for Hannah and the Creature Crew in future books, which will likely tie-in to a larger story arc. There is a strong suggestion that Book Two will have appearances by creatures of a batrachian nature, for example.

The Young Adult category is the target audience for this book, but Kent makes sure there is enough suspense and humor for readers of any age. Definitely recommend for all fans of the ageless, classic monsters.

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