The Vanquishers by Kalynn Bayron

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Young adult fantasy author Kalynn Bayron has turned her hand to pre-teen fiction with the fun and spooky The Vanquishers. Set in an alternate San Antonio, Texas, Malika “Boog” Wilson and her best friends and neighbours Jules and Cedrick are just normal kids who spend their evenings after school riding their bikes along their street and eating too much junk food before dinner. In their world, it is normal to talk about store brand vampire repellent, silver spiked water and garlic wreaths.

Because years ago, way before they were born, an elite group of hunters called the Vanquishers carried out the Reaping, an attack on the last and largest hive of vampires left in the city. No one has seen a vampire for twenty years and for most people, they are starting to fade into myth. So are the Vanquishers, no matter how Boog wishes they were still around so she could meet them. That is, until one day, a new friend vanishes without a trace and Boog and her friends suspect they know why - vampires are back.

The Vanquishers is a funny and entertaining read, perfect for pre-teens and younger teenagers. Boog and her friends are fantastic examples of loving and supportive friends. The characters are kind, brave and resilient and the novel is packed with plenty of action and mystery. Be aware however that some scenes may be a little scary for some younger readers.

Themes: Fantasy, Adventure, Horror, Mystery, Vampires, Friendship, Family.

Rose Tabeni