CHARLIE SULLIVAN AND THE MONSTER HUNTERS: THE VARCOLAC’S DIARY
by D.C. McGannon, C. Michael McGannon
Publication Date: April 2012 (Original), April 2015 (Revised)
Age Group: Young Adult, Teens, Middle Grade
Genre: Fantasy, Science Fiction, Mythology, Bullying
Monsters are real. They have always been here, even when we choose not to see them.
Now, for the residents of Hunter’s Grove, the choice is no longer theirs. As a power-hungry varcolac—a Greater—tries to break through the magic holding him back and lead his army of monsters to vengeance against human-kind, there are five who unknowingly possess the power to finish what centuries of humans before them have been unable to do. Charlie Sullivan and his band of new friends will be tested as they attempt to strengthen the magic that can lock the monsters and their evil prince away for good—even if the cost is their lives.
This is the story of five unlikely friends who uncover the sinister past buried under their sleepy hometown of Hunter’s Grove. This is a story about looking past differences, overcoming fears, and rediscovering what is truly important in this life. This is the story of Charlie Sullivan and the Monster Hunters of Hunter’s Grove.
All New, And Even More Exciting, Revised Edition for 2015!
(I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a review).
(This review may contain spoilers).
I found this book to be an entertaining read, even though it was quite short. In some ways, it reminded me of books like the Animorphs, with a group of young people thrust into a huge responsibility.
There was a good element of mystery through this book in the disappearances and I thought it was good to see how those disappearances were the catalyst to draw the five together… though I did find it a bit confusing to suddenly find out quite a way into the book about Darcy’s mother.
While I did think that the main characters were well-defined, I couldn’t really see much of that in Donnie… or understand his sudden and apparent change of heart. I did think it was good to see that bullying was involved in the book, but I wasn’t sure it added that much to the storyline… and not many of the effects on the characters were shown.
I did think that Darcy was the character easiest to empathise with. I thought that she did evolve somewhat over the course of the book. And I also thought it was really good to see the different abilities the children had.
I would have liked to see a bit more of the other characters’ relationships with their families and also more of the training expanded upon. I was a bit disappointed to see that so much of it was glossed over, since even by the end of the book, I couldn’t figure out where their sudden, apparent skillset came from.
The dream at the beginning added a new element of tension to the book, though I’m not sure why Charlie’s abilities meant he had to be the leader. While he did have to deal with some inner conflicts, I didn’t feel they were expanded upon like they could have been.
I really liked Liev and Lisa and I would have liked to see more of them. Some of Liev’s comments made me smile and I enjoyed seeing him and his sister and how their ability linked together.
There was a lot of action in this book and I did think the characters managed to pull together really well. While there were some sad moments, there was also a lot that was hopeful. In the future sometime, I would definitely read the other books in this series.
“D.C. and Michael pack a wealth of wonder and fantasy into this young adult adventure. Incorporating some of the most fascinating legends…I found myself being drawn to the depth of the characters and enjoyed watching their bonds grow as they explored the gifts hidden deep within them as well as the evil that hunts for them.
I recommend this story for anyone who loves folklore and monstrous fun! From vampires to dragons, from witches to eerie ferrymen, this tale has it all.”
– Solomon J. Inkwell, Author of Vickie Van Helsing
“A must read for all young adult fiction fans!” – Amazon Reviewer
“I picked this book up for my oldest daughter. I thought she might enjoy it and asked her to let me know what she thought. She loved it! I ended up reading it with her and I have to say that I enjoyed the story as much, maybe more, than she did.” – Amazon Reviewer
“The characters are real enough that I found myself cheering them on and hoping they succeed in their mission. I look forward to reading the next installment.” – Amazon Reviewer
“Great book with a great cast of characters. Keeps your attention and makes you want to come back for more. I really appreciated the underlying theme of bullying and how it was addressed, but I especially loved the unique challenges and monsters the Monster Hunters faced. Can’t wait for more!” – Goodreads Reviewer
A message from the authors:
We began this journey together, as father and son, with the goal of writing a story that spoke to friendship, overcoming obstacles (and the ultimate evils in our world), and of the power of working together to face the biggest challenges in our lives. Yes, it’s full of monsters, peril, and steeped in exciting mythology and folklore, but it centers around the powerful bonds formed between an unlikely group of friends as they face a unique set of challenges. We wanted to write a story that we would be proud to read aloud to our then newborn son/baby brother (who now, years later, has read them through twice more). It has turned into the adventure of a lifetime as we are meeting people from all over the world who are falling in love with Charlie Sullivan, Darcy Witherington, Nash Stormstepper, and the twins Lisa & Liev Vadinknov – along with a wild, often humorous, and mysterious cast of humans and monsters alike.
Charlie Sullivan and the Monster Hunters: Witch Moon in the next adventure in the series, which takes us across the ocean to the Old Country, then on to Book 3: Council of the Hunters, where the group’s character and loyalty face the ultimate tests when they meet a surprising and spooky new cast of characters. The Dragon Gate (Book 4) will be released soon, and there will be a total of 6 books in the series!
We’ll leave you with more kind words from another Amazon reviewer:
“In my opinion, this series deserves to be a huge hit … I can guarantee you’ll be hooked!”
About The Authors
D.C. McGannon is finicky about his coffee. And loves tea. And lemonade. Sometimes together. He has had a lifelong love of things that lurk in the dark, and is quite comfortable under the light of a full moon. A writer, director, painter, and doodler, McGannon is co-author of the Charlie Sullivan and the Monster Hunters (Wyvern’s Peak Publishing) series of novels for young adults, and KAOS Obsidere: The Nightmare Has Begun (Dark Waters Press). He plays a mean air guitar, and lives and dreams with Holly, Michael, Nathaniel, and their sweet puppy, Jewel, somewhere in the Midwest.
Michael McGannon appreciates weird fiction, perhaps a bit more than one should at any given time. It has made him particular, fostering strange phobias, and even stranger dreams. He is fond of dragons, Japanese mythology, and the fine art of delivering timely and inappropriate puns. McGannon is an artist of diverse talents, and is co-author of the Charlie Sullivan and the Monster Hunters (Wyvern’s Peak Publishing) series of novels for young adults, and KAOS Obsidere: The Nightmare Has Begun (Dark Waters Press).Sushi is his delicacy of choice, if he has any say in the matter.
LIEP Promotions is organizing a review opportunity for CHARLIE SULLIVAN AND THE MONSTER HUNTERS: THE VARCOLAC’S DIARY by D.C. McGannon and C. Michael McGannon, a young adult/middle grade fantasy. The review opportunity closes NOVEMBER 3, 2015. Reviewers will have 3 weeks upon receiving the book to have a review posted. The eBook will be provided in PDF, Nook and Kindle formats.
PLEASE NOTE: Not only is this book perfect for a Halloween themed post, but this book also addresses bullying themes, which is an important topic for the authors, and October is National Bullying Prevention Month.