The Monster Hunter: The Adventures of Benjamin Gaul by Kit Cox, Book Guild Publishing, ISBN 9781909984943
Monsters, kids, steampunk, Victorian, orphans – The Monster Hunter seems to hit every touchpoint that’s big right now in storytelling. Fortunately it’s also a fun and intriguing read, and one that will leave you looking forward to the next title in this new series.
Benjamin Jackson Gaul (great name) has to leave his home in Ceylon after his mother is attacked and killed by a terrifying creature in a tea plantation. With an unknown English soldier father, he’s sent to an orphanage in Kent, England. There he discovers that strange creatures, scary monsters and evil can be found anywhere…
The Monster Hunter is nicely original, with some very unique ideas and I loved the weird and creepy creatures. Kids 13+ with wild imaginations will love it, and Cox does a good job of capturing the more real problems of childhood that readers can relate to and combining them with the fantastical elements of the storyline.
I’m not entirely sure the timing of the plot is spot on – the middle of the book dragged a little and the ending then felt a bit rushed – and the nature of this as the first book in a series meant that perhaps there is a little too much that felt unresolved at the end. But to be fair these are only middling criticisms. I thoroughly enjoyed The Monster Hunter and I am definitely keen to find out what happens next to Benjamin Gaul, what creatures he will next face and how Major Jack Union will fit into it all!
Also I think we can all agree that Kit Cox, the author, has a brilliant moustache.