Charlie Sullivan and the Monster Hunters: The Varcolac’s Diary
The first thing that impressed me about Charlie Sullivan and the Monster Hunters: The Varcolac’s Diary was the cover. There was something about that illustration of the intrepid band of Monster Hunters that made me think of classic young adult novels.
Our story opens with Charlie having a vision, something that he doesn’t understand or want, which sets the tone for the adventure we’re about to undertake. Charlie is a likable character who is the ‘natural leader’ of the group, although I feel like the authors could have done a little more to show us his natural leadership. There are people disappearing, and nobody seems to know what to do about it.
After the book gets off to a mysterious and wonderful start, things slowdown in the middle section. By this time, all of characters have come together and are preparing for their quest to save Hunter’s Key. One of the shortcomings of the book is that the while the action slows, so does the character and plot development.
In terms of the characters, I wanted to get to know them more. Charlie seems close with his father, but what about the mom? I don’t think we got to meet her. Darcy is the mayor’s daughter, and for some reason assumes that she’ll be elected mayor as well. Darcy was one of the more fun characters, but I wanted her to work to evolve. There’s a moment with a bully where you think he’s going to cause them an issue, but that seems to just drop.
And the training just didn’t seem like it was all that much, especially considering what they were going up against.
But the characters do draw you in. So much so that you care about what happens to them. And the adventure is fun and exciting. In the last part of the book, we’re treated to battle scenes and emotional toils that make it all worthwhile.
It’s a decent start to a promising series, and when I finished it made me want to read the next book, which is what you want in a series debut.
All in all, I’d give this 4 stars.
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!
What Reviewers Are Saying:
“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.
C. 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.