Review: Monster Hunting: Monsters Bite Back

Written by Ian Mark
Illustrated by Louis Ghibault
Published by Farshore

Monster Hunting:  Monsters Bite Back is the second scerrifyingly hilarious adventure for apprentice monster hunter Jack, his friend Nancy and 200-year-old monster hunter Stoop.  This can be read as a standalone, but I have no doubt that young readers who haven’t already devoured – and belched a little – at Monster Hunting for Beginners will be eagerly hunting it down after reading this.

When Jack gets a letter from the Sisters of Perpetual Misery asking for his help to rid them of some monsters who are making their lives in Muckle Abbey a misery, he cannot turn them down.  Especially as an ancient curse prophesying THE END OF THE WORLD AS WE KNOW IT may be enacted if they are forced to leave the abbey … 

And so begins a ferociously funny, action-packed and exciting adventure brimming with razor-sharp humour, a splatter (or maybe a platter) of rudeness and oodles of unforgettable, not-at-all-as-expected monsters as Jack, Nancy and Stoop travel by seven-league boots to Scotland via a quick game of Hoo Shank with some Fog Goblins …

Can Jack help the nones nuns (their names are genius!) stay in their abbey?  Could there be something more sinister behind the infestation of mayhem-loving monsters in the abbey?  Will Jack’s monster-hunting skills keep him safe from harm?  And can the THE END OF THE WORLD AS WE KNOW IT be prevented? 

This is written in the first person from Jack’s viewpoint, and I really loved the chatty, funny, warm style with the scintillating witty commentary in the footnotes.  I thought the plot was very clever with some unexpected twists and turns that kept me turning the pages after I’d stopped giggling at some of the most ridiculously funny encounters and characters. 

The monsters which Jack, Nancy and Stoop encounter are just brilliant and I loved reading the entries about them in Jack’s magical book, Monster Hunters for Beginners.  I definitely don’t think I’d want to meet any of them … especially the loud, unpredictable and very dangerous ones!  Maybe I’ve chosen the wrong profession!  Although, on second thoughts, a mischievous Lubber or ten might be fun on the playground – definitely not in class!

The hardback edition is just gorgeous with the cover under the dust jacket full of monsters who could definitely bite back!  The full-and-partial-page internal illustrations are stunning and complement the story’s monstrously good humour perfectly. 

This is a rollicking, ridiculously fun adventure that is guaranteed to bring giggles and groans of delight in equal measure:  perfect for young adventurers of 7+ who I have no doubt will adore monster hunting with Jack, Nancy and Stoop just as much as I did.

Thank you to Rory Codd and Farshore Books for an early copy in exchange for my honest opinion.

5 thoughts on “Review: Monster Hunting: Monsters Bite Back

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