Review Detail

Vacation in the White Mountains... with Monsters!
Overall rating 
 
4.5
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
4.0
Max is glad to have a little vacation from monster hunting, and is glad to go away from Boston to the White Mountains with a school trip. Sure, he gets stuck in a smelly garden shed with the principal, but he's ready to relax. Unfortunately, two campers go missing almost right away, and all signs point to a sasquatch on the loose. In between dealing with Boyle, the school bully, and Archer, a foppish, British monster hunter, Max tries to figure out what creature is responsible for the disappearances as well as the murder of a reporter. After an encounter with a brownie, Max doesn't think the sasquatch is responsible, but in his investigations, he comes in contact with a lot of other monsters, which need to be dealt with. In the end, the culprit turns out to be a very vicious satyr who has a surprising disguise, and Max finds out that he is being targeted by forces of evil.
Good Points
Max is good natured about the difficulties of his work, and managed to deal well with a quirky guardian, smelly hellhound pet, and encounters with bile spewing monsters as well as leeches. His sidekicks, from neighbor Wing to classmate Syd, are all helpful and understanding of his plight, as well as handy at helping to deal with a variety of monsters, which have helpful descriptions from Max's family handbook.

There aren't a lot of monster stories, and it's a topic that appeals to middle grade readers, so add the action-packed, gore soaked Max Helsing series to your list of monster favorites such as Lorey's Nightmare Academy, Hale's The Cure of the Were-Hyena and Lubar's Monsterrific Tales.
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