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This series is a favorite with my boys. They like the books because they’re creepy in a fun, adventurous sort of way. They make very enjoyable read-alouds, especially at Halloween. I had hoped to finish this review in time to post the week of the holiday, but this third book was substantially longer than the others. But anytime is a great time to write up a super story.
Monster Island was another kid-pleaser. It’s very suspenseful, more so than the first two. And it has a nautical element to it that I enjoyed. AJ and his friends chase down buried treasure referenced in an ancient journal and get tangled up with an infestation of Krakens who come back to Craggy Cove each century to spawn. The results are definitely lively.
My fellas gave this another five-star rating. They were fully into the adventure and especially enjoyed Vlad’s character, as always. I would probably rate it a four-star, personally. The adventure at sea got quite lengthy, with an overdose of Kraken fighting while the storyline took a backseat. Still, it was a fun read.
I’ll give my blog audience a minor caution that did not influence my rating but is worth mentioning. At one point, eccentric Aunt Zsofia gets out her crystal ball and has a séance-type moment with changed voice and manners. It’s a brief scene used to amplify the quirkiness of Zsofia’s character and set up her affection for the crystal that is later stolen. In our case, however, it prompted a discussion with my naive boys about both spirits and charlatans.
Even so, I give Monster Island another thumbs up. The authors obviously take pains to keep their stories young kid-appropriate, with an overwhelming absence of gore, violence, language, and other questionable content. They leave in the fun. And any series that keeps my boys’ attention through three installments is tops in my book.
Also available in paperback.