Darcy wrinkled her nose.  "S.M.U.G.G.  That sounds like something old people would come up with.  Wait, did you come up with it?"

Loch glared back.  "When you've fought monsters decade after decade, you'll appreciate a sense of madness, too."
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The book starts out with intrigue and a dab of mystery.  People are going missing in their little town.  Nobody knows why or what connects them.  Nobody knows who could be next.  Nobody knows when it will stop.

The book takes you along, mixing the everyday with the extraordinary.  It gives a different spin on a very old story, that of the hero.  I'm not sure if it's the book, or if I've just become accustomed to reading these types of stories.  All stories are formulaic to a certain extent.  I guess I've come to feel these types of stories are even more formulaic than most.  There is the big bad (the Dark Prince), the leader (Charlie Sullivan), the teacher (Loch), the fellowship (the other four kids), the dark realm (Otherworld).  There is discovery, then training, then conquering evil.  I want to see some element I don't expect, something new, something different.  I was especially drawn at the beginning of the book, but my interest waned near the middle, drudging through the training without much to keep me engaged.

The authors could have done a better job of capitalizing on the emotions in a scene, especially when dealing with teenagers that frequently feel things more urgently than adults.  I never felt the urgency, the fear, that a big bad should instill.  The Ancients are mentioned, but it isn't until they've already decided to risk their lives and are in the Otherworld, that they really understand how dangerous the Ancients are, or the Dark Prince for that matter.  That sense of danger and urgency is never stressed early on.  It kind of had an "Oh, the Dark Prince is bad and we must stop him."  Telling rather than showing.  I felt like the authors were pulling the cart ahead of the horses.

That beings said, the best analogy I can make for reading this book would be like walking up a mild incline (beginning of the book), then suddenly coming across a hundred foot cliff you must climb (middle).  Then, when at the top, the rest of the journey is like a water slide (end).  The authors made me work for it, but it got better once I got to the top of that cliff.  I enjoyed the battle scenes.  They  did a good job with the tension in the battles, maintaining the momentum.  And I liked the ending, even if it wasn't altogether happy.

Was it a bad book?  No.  I think it could have been a great book, but it missed that, largely because it took me days to get through the middle.  On the upside, I got more editing done than usual.

Source: Gifted by Author
eReader: Stanza for iPad
File type: ePub

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About the Author:

D.C. McGannon officially wrote his first book in 4th grade. It was about a dog named Snoopy. It was inspired by Charles Schultz. Thankfully he was in 4th grade, or he might have ended up in jail. He got a grade for it, passed 4th grade, and has written “legal” works from that point on. D.C. believes every human should have access to passionate teachers, clean drinking water, and sustainable sources of food. His greatest joy in life is being a husband to Holly, and a father to Michael and Nathaniel. He drinks coffee with joy.



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About the Author:

C. Michael McGannon has been creating characters, writing stories, and chasing dragons for as long as anyone can remember. After win-ning an award for writing in grade school, he decided the best medi-um to put all his creativity into was the written word. He’s been writing ever since. C. Michael believes that the true power of a story lies in its ability to both entertain and enlighten. He thinks walking barefoot is grand.


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Author's Website:
http://dcmcgannon.com/
http://www.MonsterHunters-TheBook.com

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3/6/2013 05:39:43 am

I found your great blog through the WLC Blog Follows on the World Literary Cafe! Great to connect!

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