Publisher's Note:  

"You are food. Those muscles you flex to walk, lift, and talk? They're patties of meat topped with chewy tendon. That skin you've paid so much attention to in mirrors? It's delicious to the right tongues, a casserole of succulent tissue. And those bones that give you the strength to make your way in the world? They rattle between teeth as the marrow is sucked down slobbering throats. These facts are unpleasant but useful. There are things out there, you see, that don't cower in holes to be captured by us and cooked over our fires. These things have their own ways of trapping their kills, their own fires, their own appetites."

Jim Sturges is your typical teen in suburban San Bernardino-one with an embarrassingly overprotective dad, a best friend named "Tubby" who shares his hatred of all things torturous (like gym class), and a crush on a girl who doesn't know he exists. But everything changes for Jim when a 45-year old mystery resurfaces, threatening the lives of everyone in his seemingly sleepy town. Soon Jim has to team up with a band of unlikely (and some un-human) heroes to battle the monsters he never knew existed.

From the minds of Guillermo del Toro and Daniel Kraus comes a new illustrated novel about the fears that move in unseen places.

This book was sent to Compass Book Ratings for review by Disney-Hyperion


by Guillermo del Toro & Daniel Kraus

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Overall Review:  

Trollhunters by Guillermo del Toro and Daniel Kraus has one of the best prologues of recent memory.  It is gripping, atmospheric, and intense in its emotional potency. However, the novel then switches to a first person account that is quite different. The book is unusual in that its tone varies widely--sometimes comical, sometimes high fantasy-toned, sometimes macabre, sometimes all action with plentiful gore, and sometimes even Shakespeare.  This variety did not always smoothly integrate, but it certainly moved the plot along as it followed Jim Sturges, nerd extraordinaire, in his initiation into the world of troll hunting.  The climatic ending battle was a bit prolonged to the point it started to feel tiresome, rather than epic.  Battle-action is definitely favored in this book over other elements and there aren't too many surprises.

In some ways, this novel has a Ghostbusters-feel. Jim and his friend, Tub, with their buddy-relationship, antics, and spot-on dialogue will certainly appeal to high school, male readers.

Review of a Digital Advance Reader Copy

Content Analysis:  

Profanity/Language:  9 religious exclamations; 17 mild obscenitie; 1 religious profanity; 4 derogatory names; 5 scatological words; 6 anatomical terms.

Violence/Gore:  Descriptive passage that is somewhat gruesome; various reports of missing children; child pursued by mythical creature; bike crash with minor injury; bully chokes characters and stuffs in lockers; characters fall; character hit in head with basketball; a frightening/scary scene; character knocked out and abducted; description of swords "dripping with blood"; character chased; slurping sounds heard and character later observed to have sores on face and neck (a few separate instances); brief skirmish with mythical creatures involving arrows, swords resulting in damage of property; descriptive (somewhat gruesome) passage of mythical creature; secondhand reports of past battles, deeds, murders, eating of of people, etc. of mythical creature; detailed description of a gruesome body part; description of how to kill mythical creatures and organs involved; brief, descriptive scene in which mythical creature expunge their organs; extended, descriptive scene in which character destroys organs of mythical creatures (blood and gore); extended, descriptive scene in which characters battle mythical creatures (blood and gore), including graphic description of killing of changeling baby by sword; brief scene involving a body part; description of how to kill a mythical creature; extended battle with mythical creatures (not particularly graphic) resulting in deaths of mythical creatures; mythical creatures eats pets (non-descriptive), told in humorous fashion; character falls and accidentally destroys property; characters battle mythical creatures, general descriptions; brief scene fighting mythical creatures cutting off hands, heads, etc.; extended scene involving a mythical body part (which is somewhat gross); character makes speech, some imagery, to rouse others to battle; descriptive passage using grotesque imagery; mythical character sits on throne made from bones of children; machine used to grind up meat with its contents is described in detail; extended (multi-chapter) battle scene with graphic, grotesque descriptions of mythical creatures and graphic descriptions of fighting (blood and gore) involving swords, hitting, shooting creatures in head with gun, children stomping on small mythical creatures to kill, bodily organ destruction, lawn mower running over small mythical creatures and grinding into pulp, splattering gore/body parts, cutting out hearts, etc. all resulting in death of mythical creatures and no specific mention of human death.

Sex/Nudity: Reference to making out; character browses computer for "naked celebrities" (non-descriptive) and "knew how to conceal computer-screen boobs"; references to kissing, shagging; character attracted to another character; characters hold hands; characters kiss upon separate occasions; reference to make-out sessions under the bleachers.

Mature Subject Matter:  

Missing children, kidnapping, death, bullying.

Alcohol / Drug Use:  

Reference to kids smuggling beer; reference to homeless junkies and empty beer cans.

Reviewed By Cindy
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