Review Blog

Oct 09 2009

Monster Revenge by Dean Lorey

cover image

Nightmare Academy series. Harper Collins, London, 2009. ISBN 9780007276714.
(Age 9-12) This is the second book in the Monster Academy trilogy; the sequel is flagged at the cliff hanging end, but I had to Google to discover the first book. In book 1, Monster Hunters (also published as Charlie's Monsters) we are introduced to Charlie who discovers 'the monsters under your bed are real'. Charlie has the Gift - when he has nightmares he can bring creatures from the Nether into our world. Charlie attends the Nightmare Academy,located in wrecked ships in a giant banyon tree below the San Diego Zoo, where the Gifted are trained to fight monsters.
Charlie and his friends Violet and Theodore are taking their final exams as Nethermancers and Banishers in this book. This involves banishing monsters called Gremlins and Darklings from little Dora's nightmares and house back to the Nether. The friends can open 'portals' to other worlds to save themselves or banish monsters.However, a giant Dangeroo monster confronts them and they have to call for help.
This begins a roller coaster ride of monster fighting to save the earth. There are Hydras, a Bermuda triangle graveyard, a Guardian who has an Aura to ward off monsters but who needs Hydra Milk to live, and monsters out for revenge on Charlie. The monsters combine terrifying powers and appearances with a human ability to communicate and as such they are too 'fantastic' to really frighten.
This book suits middle school readers who like fantasy, and is a kind of Harry Potter for reluctant readers. The year 9 student who I gave it to enjoyed it.
A website for the series has spectacular pictures of the Academy and monsters, as well as an author blog, extracts and monster competitions.
The third book in the series, 'Monster War', picks up where book 2 leaves off, with the 4 Named Monsters destroying the world's cities, and civilization depending on Charlie and his friends.
Kevyna Gardner

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