Monday, September 7, 2015

Trollhunters (Trollhunters #1) by Guillermo del Toro, Daniel Kraus

Release Date: June 30, 2015
Publisher: Hot Key Books
Series: Trollhunters series, Book 1
Author Website:  ,

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.

The innocence of childhood was ripped away from the town of San Bernardino, California as more children disappeared during the lazy, summer days of the 1960s. Jack and Jim Sturges spent Jack's birthday playing their favorite games up to the moment that Jack vanished and Jim's world shifted forever. That moment defined life for the Sturges family.

Now decades later, Jim Sturges Jr dealt with the paranoia and aftermath of his uncle's disappearance with the nonchalance his teenage years allowed. When a series of weird events raised questions about the history of his family, Jim Jr found a group of people who had some answers. But these weren't the ones he thought he'd get. Can Jim Jr set things right within the time given?  Or will everything be changed forever?

NetGalley sent me an email alert to let me know that this book was available for reading and reviewing. I was excited for a couple reasons. First, I love being part of the start of a new series for many genres. The excitement about a new world and the uncertainty of how the story played out were always at the top of my list with books in a new series. Second, I didn't know that Guillermo del Toro and co-authors wrote different series of books. I know that I'm behind in that knowledge, but I made up for it slightly by diving into the realm of San Bernardino and the Sturges family.

From the very beginning of the book, the authors made it clear there were at least two types of beings sharing one world. Of course, they weren't sharing very well since one species constantly snatched and ate the other! The human world was largely ignorant of the Trolls. This ignorance lasted until an abundance of child abductions forced the town to become hyper-vigilant. Yet, even with all the curfews and layers of security, Jack Sturges disappeared while playing with his younger brother, Jim. Thus began Jim Sturges' lifelong ambition to seek out the other world in the shadows, find the monsters who tore his family apart, and destroy them. His son, Jim Jr., wasn't keen on carrying on his father's work until the day he saw the trolls himself for the first time.

Because the book fell into the children/YA categories, I kept in mind that many of the over-the-top descriptions and outrageous characters would capture the younger reader's attention.  They would be able to identify with Jim Jr. and the other teen characters due to the authors' use of modern technology and situations that kids find themselves - dealing with bullies, school, and worrying over parents or girl/boyfriends. Now, a couple of characters were exaggerated a little too much for me to like them, but I felt they'd be a good draw for the young readers. The trolls weren't the cute, little ones we've all seen in cartoons or the old dolls from the 1990s. These were mean, nasty and gross creatures who wanted nothing more than to chomp a good kid or two for dinner!

I thought the book's pace was steady and revealed a decent amount of information as action propelled the story forward. Not a lot of scenes were filled with gross descriptions, but I loved how the authors really created the world of the trolls by exploring what their homes might have looked like and how the trolls family dynamics would be. Overall, the story entertained me, pulling me from the real world and into one where the imagination can run rampant. If you love reading books that push your creativity or enjoy something otherworldly with a hint of ickiness, then you really should try this book! Kids should too!

Trollhunters (Trollhunters #1) by Guillermo del Toro and Daniel Kraus is currently available for purchase at several online retailers and bookstores. The book can be bought in hardcover, paperback, audio-book and digital (Kindle) formats. Below is a link to the book's page at Amazon.
Trollhunters (Trollhunters #1) by Guillermo del Toro, Daniel Kraus

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