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The Monster Librarian Presents:
Reviews for Horror Themed Adventure Books for Young Adults
While these books are not actually scary per se they are centered around or based on horror elements. In these books often have vampires, werewolves, and zombies as characters vs. adversaries. A classic example of horror themed adventure would be the Supernatural or Buffy TV series which has more about action than the horror but is done with a horror theme and elements. Other cross genre types that will be included in this section are horror based mysteries and horror based comedies.
Cryptid Hunters by Roland Smith*New Review
Hyperion Books for Children,2006
Marty and Grace O’Hara are bright and resourceful twins, opposite in temperament and interest. When their parents go missing after a terrible accident, the twins are plucked from their Swiss boarding school to live with their mysterious uncle, Travis, whose mission is to find and preserve cryptids, creatures such as Bigfoot that science has been unable to prove exist, before his adversary, Noah Blackwood, can trap them and use them for his personal profit. When the twins accidentally fall from Travis’ plane into the African rainforest, they confound Blackwood’s obsessive hunt for the last remaining dinosaur, and are forced to take action against him.
While the book stands on its own, Smith leaves enough loose ends to set it up as the first of a series. However, although Cryptid Hunters has characteristics of series books, it also shows originality. The twins are engaging characters, each contributing to their survival both independently and as a team. They grow and change throughout the story, unusual to this genre. Smith also uses technology as an unobtrusive method for exposition as well as for opportunities to connect the twins with the outside world and to complicate the plot while they search for the mysterious dinosaur. The plot moves slowly at first, but once the action gets going, it is nonstop. Although long at 348 pages, Cryptid Hunters should appeal to reluctant readers of both genders looking for a gripping adventure. While not true horror, the mysterious cryptids, remorseless hunters, and cliffhanger action will satisfy many readers who enjoy the horror genre. Highly recommended for public and middle school libraries. Contains: some gore, kidnapping. Review by Francesca the Librarian
The Pandora's Box Trilogy: Book One: Into the Void by Adam Teachout
In an extra dimensional space a powerful young lady by the name of Pandora resides. Pandora, seek to remake a plane of existence called The Void to suit her wishes. In order to do so she captures people from our world who have a special gift to alter the makeup of the void. They are called “makers” Pandora has almost all of the makers she needs except for a young school girl with a very active imagination named Lucy. In addition one of Pandora’s makers has escaped into the Void, a boy named Billy, who is a mute in the regular world but had found his voice in the Void. In this first book of the planned trilogy Billy must rescue Lucy as she finds herself in Pandora’s clutches. Into the Void is an ambitious start to a fantasy trilogy, Teachout uses traditional monsters with some of his own creation to round out his world. The drawback to the story is that there is missing backstory on Pandora with bits and hints strewn through out the book that she always wasn’t so evil and ambitious and that she has been wronged in some way but we never find out by who or how. Over all book has good pacing and is very readable and the author lets his imagination flex as he develops the void. Contains: violence resulting in death, gun play. blackmail.
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