Now the hunter has become the hunted…bummer. Max is just your average kid growing up in Gallows Hill, a small town outside of Boston—well, except that he lives in a gothic mansion with an old former prizefighter, and his after-school job is carrying on the monster-hunting tradition of his family, the van Helsings. Despite the bloody legacy he’s inherited, Max always tries to be kind and fair to the ghouls, demons, and other creatures he encounters. So he’s confused when monsters start attacking him willy-nilly—even those he thought of as friends. Max discovers he’s been cursed by an evil Warlock who intends to reclaim the earth for the monsters. To save his life, Max must rely on his gearhead friend Syd, his boy-genius neighbor Wing, and his brand-new puppy for help. But time is running out, and if they can’t figure out how to break the Thirteenth Curse, Max—and the world as we know it—will be in deep, deep trouble…
Max Helsing and the Thirteenth Curse (Max Helsing: Monster Hunter)
This is the start of a series, and I feel like more secrets about Max will surface, and we will see more character development in future books. Where is Max's unmentioned mother? How can Max use his father's notes about monster hunting to good advantage? And will Jed learn to cook anything more? I really enjoyed the character of Syd, who comes to Max's rescue riding her bicycle, but I also feel that there is room for some romance there as well.
Bonus points for diversity on this one-- Jed is African-American, Wing is Asian, and Syd is Hispanic. This is mentioned briefly in various descriptions of the characters, and while integral to who they are, is not why they are in the story.
Readers who enjoy Joseph Delaney's very popular The Last Apprentice series (which was made into the movie The Seventh Son), will find this to be a good, modern update on what it's like to be in charge of ridding the world of monsters. Hegarty's Darkmouth or Lore's The Knightmare Academy would also be read-alikes.
For a good dose of midnight graveyard trysts,threatening gargoyles that come to life, and historically based family curses, it doesn't get any better than Max Helsing and the Thirteenth Curse!