I received this book for free from Reading Addiction Virtual Blog Tours in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
I’m going to start this review with a little story. I was recently watching Cinderella with my mom, (Yes I still do that even at my age.) and I told her that it ruined my day when I was a child and realized that more than one woman should have fit the glass slipper. One day it just dawned on me that a lot of women should have fit that darn shoe. So my mom being the amazing woman that she is fixed a huge part of my childhood by saying, “No one but Cinderella fit the slippers because the slippers were magic.” Isn’t she great?
I tell you this story because that is the exact mind-set that you will need to fully enjoy Matt Archer: Monster Hunter. Everything makes sense because it’s magic!
Matt Archer is a below average 14-year-old highschool Freshmen. He is shorter and thinner than most of his peers, and they treat him like it. He deals with bullies and can’t manage to get the girl of his dreams to give him the time of day, but everything changes in when he and his Uncle Mike go on a camping trip. After that trip, Matt learns that monsters are real, and it is going to be his job from now on to track down and kill as many of them as he can.
This is the part where you will need to suspend every ounce of cynicism that you have and just be entertained. All it takes is one week training with Uncle Mike and his Green Beret buddies, and Matt goes from geek to chic and becomes a lean mean monster fighting machine! I personally wanted the transformation to take more time. Even if he had just spent the summer rather than Spring break training, the massive change that happened would have been easier to belive. But the author does address how and why Matt adapts so quickly to monster hunting later in the book so it wasn’t a huge plot hole.
The action scenes are where this book really shines! I held my breath and was constantly on the edge of my seat. I wasn’t expecting them to be so well written and detailed, but they were some of the best that I have ever read. But one of the things that I enjoyed most about this story is that it focuses on more than just the supernatural. There was a nice mixture of moments when Matt got to be a teenager and deal with the same things that every other boy his age does, and he has some great interactions with a lot of great of characters. I love, love, loved each and every character in this book, and that hardly ever happens for me. It was so much fun to read and never want to rush and get to the next scene. Every scene was necessary, and each and every person served a purpose.
Will, Matt’s best friend was so great! He didn’t even hesitate when Matt asked him to be his monster hunting wingman. He was the best possible partner for Matt because he had his back front and both sides. Unlike Matt, Will experienced his growth spurt years ago, and has never had to put up with bullies or feeling weak so looking out for Matt is second nature for him. I kept expecting Will to have a moment where he was jealous because his friend, who had always needed his protection, was now not only able to protect himself but was becoming stronger and faster than Will could ever hope to be, but that never happened. The first time Will sees Matt in action, he feels exactly what a true friend should, pride.
However, my favorite character besides Matt was his sister Mamie. Matt has the normal sibling relationship with his brother. They love each other to death, and would never let anything happen to each other, but they also fight. Matt’s relationship with Mamie was simply adorable. Mamie is a year older than Matt and a genius. No, seriously, the girl is Mensa level smart. She is also very secure in who she is, and I couldn’t help but love her. She’s a nerd who knows that she will probably rule the world someday, and everyone else around her knows it too. Mamie is fiercely protective of her little brother, and she watches him like a hawk, that makes it very difficult for Matt to sneak around and kill monsters. But instead of resenting her for this, he respects the fact that she is just built to mother people, and does everything he can to reassure her that he will be safe and happy.
Matt’s relationship with Uncle Mike is also great. Matt’s dad has been long gone for some time now, and Uncle Mike gladly took on the job as the father figure for Matt and his siblings. Even though Mike has to leave often because of his job in the military, he makes his family a priority so he is always there for them when they need him.
There is a cute little romance in the story. Matt has the hugest and sweetest crush on Ella, and what I liked about the romance in this book is how it served a purpose. Too many romances in Young Adult paranormal novels feel forced to me. They are just placed into the story as an afterthought because the that’s the trend, but they don’t actually add to the story or make sense. The romance in this book helped me get to know the main character better. Because of Ella, I got to see him be insecure and nervous, and it reminded me that he is still just a very normal young man. It was adorable the way he could come back from a hunt where he kills this giant bear like creature without losing his cool, but then this sweet young girl would have him stumbling over his feet and stuttering the next day.
Now let me spend a few more words gushing about my absolute favorite person in this book, and then I will let you go. 🙂
Matt Archer is a fantastic main character, and I can not wait to read about his growth as a hero in the next books! He is so well-developed already so I can only imagine how much I am going to love him by the time the series ends. He makes mistakes, but he really is just a very capable and extraordinary human being and those types of people make the best heroes. No stone was left unturned when it comes to his development. I know what makes him happy, what worries him and, what drives him to hunt. By the time I’m done reading these books, I think I will know him better than the author, and that’s just fine with me because I really do like this kid and enjoy rooting for him. After all, he just might save the world someday!
If you want to read a fast paced coming of age story with an exciting, well written storyline, then Matt Archer: Monster Hunter is worth a read. At least download the free sample because if that doesn’t win you over, then the book is just not for you.
Because of violence and mild language, I would recommend this book for ages 13 and up.