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Trollhunters #1


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In San Bernardino, California, children are going missing.

The townspeople don't believe the rumours of trolls, but fifteen-year-old Jim Jr knows that they're a very real threat. At night, is anyone safe?

TROLLHUNTERS is a funny, gruesome and undeniably del Toro-esque adventure perfect for teen readers and fans of Pan's Labyrinth.

336 pages, Hardcover

First published June 30, 2015

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About the author

Guillermo del Toro

121 books4,314 followers
Guillermo del Toro is a Mexican director mostly known for his acclaimed films Pan's Labyrinth, The Devils Backbone, Crimson Peak and the Hellboy film franchise. His films draw heavily on sources as diverse as weird fiction, fantasy, horror, and war. In 2009, Del Toro released his debut novel, The Strain, co-authored with Chuck Hogan, as the first part of The Strain Trilogy, an apocalyptic horror series featuring vampires. The series continued with The Fall in 2010 and concluded with The Night Eternal in 2011.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 565 reviews
Profile Image for Sam.
125 reviews3 followers
January 2, 2017
After watching the Netflix series and becoming somewhat obsessed, I grabbed this book at the earliest opportunity. It didn't disappoint.

WARNING: Do NOT read this book if all you want is the Trollhunters Netflix series in book form. Because the differences are enormous, albeit well-reasoned on del Toro's part. They are two different beasts that share a common blood.

Reading Trollhunters is like taking a decadent, sobering trip into the 9th circle of Dante's Inferno. It's dark. It's gritty. The trolls (especially the Gumm-Gumms) are absolutely disgusting, revolting monsters, illuminated in a way only del Toro could achieve. The descriptions in this book might actually be difficult for the faint-of-heart or queasy to power through.

The writing is gorgeous - the prose feels wonderfully atypical at times; even the simplest sentences can germinate from a place of pure originality, like a breath of fresh air.
You grow to know and love the characters.
The twists keep readers on the edges of their seats until the bittersweet end.

My singular complaint, is that this novel does read like it was meant to be an ornamented movie script. Scenes that could be more powerful in fewer words are dragged out longer than they need to be, especially action scenes; I felt that the strength of the fight scenes floundered under their own verbosity. Also, some of the smaller scenes added in near the end felt as if pulled straight from film. I've had these same feelings before while reading works from other directors, and while I enjoyed those books as well, it seems to be a common thought that nags at me.

BUT overall, I'm really glad I decided to visit the slimey underbelly that is the novel version of Trollhunters. It was vile, heartwarming, intense, and funny. And I loved it.
Profile Image for Sean Smart.
152 reviews121 followers
August 7, 2015
Written for a YA audience by the incredibly talented Guillermo del Toro this was an interesting fantasy adventure which I felt took a while to get going but was original and interesting.
Profile Image for Bonnie.
1,376 reviews930 followers
July 10, 2017
“It’s a terrible thing, isn’t it? To be dragged under?”

In San Bernadino in the late 1960s, almost 200 hundred children went missing in what became known as The Milk Carton Epidemic. Children weren’t allowed on the streets past sunset, but on the day of Jack Sturges birthday, he and his little brother Jim were having too much fun on their bicycles to notice the sun was slowly making its exit. When Jack raced ahead towards the Holland Transit Bridge, Jim quickly lost sight of him. From the shadow of the bridge came a sight so terrifying that Jim could only run away in fear. Black fur, horns, claws, and massive teeth chased him home that day and while he managed to survive, he never saw his older brother Jack again.

Years later, Jim’s son, Jim Sturges Jr. is fifteen years old and lives alone with his paranoid father. Ever since he lost his older brother, his father has been terrified of the dark. Steel shutters cover their windows, ten locks secure their front door, and the flood lights and security cameras pick up anything that lurks outside. Jim never quite understands his father's paranoia, that is until the day that he’s dragged through a hole beneath his bed and sees his first troll. And his lost Uncle Jack who is somehow just as young as he was the day he went missing. He’s told that the Sturges family belongs to a line of trollhunters, that the battle between humans and trolls has been going on for ages, and that he’s the next in line to step up to the task. Jim’s life is never quite the same again.

“This is the only thing I’m good at. There are times when you have to do the right thing, no matter how scary. […] If I don’t fight now, right now, when am I supposed to fight?”

Trollhunters will appeal to fans of Percy Jackson, The Blackwell Pages, The Kane Chronicles and the multitude of series’ that center around kids/teenagers burdened with the task of saving the world. Trollhunters is tagged as YA but the goofiness that is typically present in Middle-Grade fiction is flying high in this one. But there are also several instances of profanity (asshole and bastard are two I remember off the top of my head) so it’s clear this author-duo was possibly trying to entice an audience of various ages. I’m just not sure the way they went about it is necessarily a recipe for success. The fact that it’s marketed as horror doesn’t necessarily help either, especially since it’s really not. Children stolen from their beds at night (by monsters nonetheless) should be straight nightmare fuel but it never quite reached the level of terror I would have expected since the intensity was constantly lessened by the presence of goofy humor.

I’m a huge fan of del Toro, so this became an immediate addition to my TBR, but what most intrigued me about this one is the difference in the fantasy focus: trolls. I’ve read plenty of vampire, werewolf, and faerie stories but a troll story? Can’t recall a single one. But these aren’t the trolls of my generation either.

Oh, no. These trolls are nasty, ugly things that like to snack on humans like they were tasty kernels of popcorn. While the horror was somewhat lacking (except for that bit about the troll fetus that takes up residence inside humans for the night? oh. my. god. Wire my mouth shut, I’ll just breathe through my nose, thank you very much), the gruesomeness is actually pretty intense. For a glimpse of what these disgusting trolls actually look like, check out some of the artwork by Sean A. Murray. One thing I have to note about the artwork, and due to the fact that I read an ARC I can’t be certain this is necessarily the case in the finished copy, but the artwork never coincided with what was occurring in the story. A certain scenes artwork would be shown 20 pages later which kind of threw you off from the scene that was currently happening.

Naturally, this is a start to a new series since various questions were left unanswered. I hope that some thought is put into future installments because at this point I can’t see how they can be anything but repetitive. Trolls try to take over, battles happen, people die, good wins. The story often dragged at times and lacked any twists that would have helped keep me (or any reader) engaged. Less goofiness, more horror, and much more excitement are all I’d like to ask for in the next installment. Still worth the read, but not nearly as thrilling as I had hoped for from an author duo like this.

I received this book free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Profile Image for Chester Dean.
210 reviews157 followers
February 12, 2016

Jim Sturges Jr. nos cuenta la historia del día en que su tío Jack Sturges —al igual que muchos otros niños— desapareció de forma misteriosa una tarde después de caer el sol mientras jugaba con su hermanito (el papá de Jim). Éste suceso convirtió a Jim Sturges Sr en un obseso de la precaución y la seguridad, así que convirtió su hogar en un búnker seguro para crecer a su hijo Jim. Jim quería a su papá, pero su obsesión por la seguridad era sofocante, al punto que hasta su madre los abandonó al sentirse como una prisionera en su propia casa. Nadie comprendía el por qué de ese miedo irracional de que algo malo fuera a pasar.

Jim no es un chico popular, y por culpa de su padre lleva una vida familiar bastante excéntrica y solitaria. Su mejor amigo es un gordo llamado Toby al cual llaman "Gordi" y que es receptor de bullying en una dosis diaria. O sea, eran un par de perdedores. Pero ésta vida solitaria, monótona, sofocante y llena de tipos malos e intimidantes cambia cuando Jim se topa cara a cara con eso que traumó tanto a su padre cuando aún era un niño.

El libro es un poco lento al principio, no voy a decir que lo adoré desde el inicio porque no fue así, fue un enamoramiento lento y por un momento llegué a temer que el libro no me gustara para nada. Pero esa lentitud es parte de su encanto, porque desde un principio te crean un trasfondo de los personajes para que uno los vea crecer y cambiar, y hasta agarrarles cariño.

A pesar de ser un libro de fantasía juvenil, no tiene esa narración simple de letra enorme y con doble espacio que muchos libros juveniles tienen (de esos que 'se leen rápido'). Tiene una narración exquisita, para nada simplona y con un sentido del humor un tanto negro. Sin caer en la comedia, la historia tiene sus partes cómicas que me sacaron un par de sonrisas (una vez de plano me sacó una carcajada) pero en ningún momento pierde la seriedad. El toque está en la forma en que es descrito todo, sin caer en lo simple describen todo de una forma bastante amena.

Los personajes crecen dentro del lector, al inicio algunos pueden no tener ni chiste ni gracia, pero conforme avanza la lectura se les va agarrando cariño, o al menos a mi eso me sucedió. Hay un personaje en particular que se llama Ojitranco que fue mi favorito. Es un personaje divertido, excéntrico, muy hablador, pero que se ganó mi corazón desde la primera vez que lo mencionan.

Cuando brinqué la parte lenta, el resto de la lectura se me hizo fluida e interesante. Nos describen a seres fantásticos de tal manera que se pintan en la memoria mejor que una fotografía, la descripción es magnífica. La historia tiene su toque de misterio, de suspenso, acción y como ya dije, hasta de comedia. Todos los personajes tienen un porqué, un inicio y un elaborado desarrollo. Les recomiendo prestar atención hasta a los más pequeños detalles.

Y en conclusión, me gustó muchísimo y lo recomendaría a todo lector. Es una historia que tiene como objetivo llegar a los jóvenes, pero siento que la disfrutarían todas las edades. No se van a arrepentir.
Profile Image for Tony DiTerlizzi.
Author 110 books1,988 followers
August 25, 2015
Guillermo’s grimy world is perfectly paired with Kraus’ gruesome text making for a fantastic adventure in an underground kingdom that’s just as dangerous as the trials and tribulations of middle school. I’m never looking underneath my bed again.
Profile Image for Jeff Raymond.
3,092 reviews181 followers
June 30, 2015
Closer to a 2.5.

I enjoy Guillermo Del Toro. I thought the first bits of The Strain were solid, I've enjoyed many of his movies, and so a foray into children's books really seemed like it should have been down my alley. Why, then, didn't this work for me?

The idea behind the story is a kid who is dragged into a multigenerational conflict regarding underground trolls and prophecies and such. The kid is quickly trained to be part of the war and start working to end the conflict.

this book is tough because it can't really decide who its geared toward from an age level standpoint, and can't decide whether it's creepy or campy in the meantime. Del Toro is an expert in both, which might be part of the problem in any regard, but that expectation only further muddies the water. Worse, it's hard to buy the antagonists as a true threat at any real time, which is a pretty big problem considering the impacts we expect them to have and how they're affected others in the story.

It's just a hot mess in a lot of ways. I can see a lot of appeal, and it's not terrible, it's just something I expected a lot more from than what I ended up getting. Kids would benefit from a campy monster book at this age level, or a creepy one, or even one that walks the line in a successful way. Trollhunters, sadly, is none of those things.
Profile Image for Daniel.
754 reviews74 followers
November 17, 2017
Moram da priznam da kada čitam horor knjige namenjene mlađoj populaciji uvek budem iznenađen nivoom ...brutalnosti... određenih scena. Nema ih puno ovde ali to samo povećava njihovu efektivnost kada se dese. Mada ne bi trebalo da me iznenadi kada se samo setimo kakve su neke bajke koje čitamo našoj deci (Ivica i Marica, Tri praseta, itd.).

Glavni problem koji sam imao ovde je da su sami likovi suviše jednodimenzionalni, klišeirizani, dosadni. Jasno mi je da nije tolko bitno pošto je ovo knjiga za mlađu populaciju ali ne slažem se da da to opravdava ignorisanje kvaliteta.

Sama priča je interesantna, sa finom istorijom i mitovima pozajmljenih iz raznih legendi (ili samo jedne, nisam ekspert za trolove :) ), ima fin tempo i kada se završi ostavlja odličnu podlošku za serijal knjiga, ili u ovom slučaju, crtani serijal. Isto tako kvalitet pisanja je više nego adetvatan ali na kraju imamo knjigu koja niti smrdi niti miriše i najverovatnije ću brzo zaboraviti na nju.

Šteta pošto sam od lika koji smislio Panov Lavirint nekako očekivao više originalnosti.
Profile Image for Mariana.
392 reviews1,771 followers
January 15, 2016
3.5 estrellas! Me gustó pero se tarda mucho en levantar. El final fue lo mejor definitivamente *se limpia la lágrima* Pronto habrá reseña.
Profile Image for Martin Rondina.
115 reviews432 followers
January 16, 2016
El libro está bien. Es un poco lento pero entretenido. Me faltó un gancho que me lleve mas arriba, se mantiene en una historia bien llevada pero sin altos ni bajos, siempre en una misma línea. No es de terror, tiene algunos elementos sangrientos muy buenos, pero se basa en el género fantástico y además con un plus de humor que entretiene. Algunos detalles argumentales me parecieron un poco forzados y tomados de los pelos. Los personajes son carismáticos y entrañables, aunque el protagonista principal me resultó un poco vacio y carente de personalidad. Aún así es un libro que me gustó y creo que si se sigue un camino similar tendremos lecturas entretenidas en un futuro.
Profile Image for Melinda Borie.
397 reviews26 followers
June 19, 2015
Despite a promising beginning and a premise that seemed fun, this book failed to deliver. It might just not be for me, but I found it dull and frustrating. The strong narrative voice of this novel feels like it belongs on a reddit thread, and the character development is similarly oddly-shaped. Plot beats that might work in a film just fail to charm on the page. I've got to agree with other reviewers: this one is a bust.
Profile Image for Aneth Manía.
124 reviews19 followers
March 15, 2016
El prólogo sin duda alguna es muy oscuro incitando al lector a querer leer más y dejándolo con mucha incertidumbre. Sin embargo, el ritmo del libro disminuye mucho en el resto de los capítulos, (capítulos que por cierto son muy cortos), es casi a la mitad del libro cuando los sucesos comienzan a ser más interesantes.

Algo que destaca mucho es que se nota la esencia de Guillermo del Toro cuando de seres sobrenaturales se trata, en este caso los trolls. Y el toque de fantasía en la pluma de Daniel Kraus.
Los Autores han sabido explotar y desarrollar perfectamente cada detalle de esta mitología troll, las leyendas y mitos que rondan a través de los años sobre estos seres.

RESEÑA COMPLETA: http://www.elplacerliterario.com/2016...
October 26, 2020
Si tienes la intención de leer este libro porque amaste la serie en Netflix (como yo) déjame decirte que aquí vas a encontrar una historia COMPLETAMENTE DIFERENTE. En serio no se parecen en casi nada. El libro es su propia historia, así que es como tener otra versión de los hechos.
Se lee rápido y es muy simple y aunque tiene elementos y escenas más oscuras y crudas, el libro se siente mucho más infantil que la serie. (No quisiera compararlos pero pues ni modo, es lo que hay xd) pero es entretenido y fue bonito reencontrarme con algunos de los personajes que tanto quiero. Digo algunos porque en serio, es muy diferente, hay personajes que en la serie no existen y que son los que llevan la historia de manera súper distinta, y también hay personajes que en la serie existen y aquí no y otros que aunque existan en ambas, no son para nada iguales.

Personalmente me quedo con la serie.

Por un momento me aburrió y dudé entre dejarlo en 3 o ponerle 2.5, pero bueno, dejémoslo así.
Profile Image for Wendy F.
890 reviews186 followers
February 27, 2017
Trollhunters is being classified as a YA read, but I think I would recommend this book more toward the Middle Grade age children, 10-15, whichTrollhuntersIll01 makes sense as that’s the age range of the characters in the story. The co-author’s did a spectacular job of not talking down to their target audience, while also not writing a story that spoke over young teen heads. The pacing was action packed, and humorous. In fact, if I were going to critique the flow at all, I could say that the writing was so fast paced that at times I felt like I was missing something important, or only absorbing 80% of the story because everything just kept barreling forward.

That would be my only thought that could be considered on the negative side. Surprisingly, because I was nervous about it, I actually found that I liked Trollhunters more than I thought I would. It starts off in 1969 with Jimbo and Jack, Doctor X and Victor Power as they call themselves. The prologue sets up the story, gives us a quick dip into the underworld that Del Toro and Kraus have created, then moves on to present day and picks back up with Jim Jr. Reading about Jim and his best friend Tub takes us back to high school, bullies, and the struggles of just not fitting in without turning it into a serious book. Don’t go into this thinking that it’s about serious real world topics. The story is lighter than that. It’s funnier. The characters are exaggerations of real world types, which really fit with the fantastical troll storyTrollhuntersIll05.

Another aspect of Trollhunters that I really liked was the inclusion of a strong female character. There weren’t many girls, only one actually, but Claire was pretty spectacular. She was smarter, stronger, more assertive, unafraid and unapologetic. She could be charmed by snakes, because nobody is perfect, but once she realized that she was being manipulated she wasn’t afraid to stick up for herself and for her friends. I applaud the authors for giving little Jim a spectacular yin to his yang. I also applaud them for writing a unique female character, down to her style of clothing, her accent, her physical appearance… and then letting you see how all of her strangeness was beautiful. I hope as our children grow up, the next generation of readers, these types of women/girls become the norm because this is who I hope my daughter emulates.

Lastly, I am such a fan of illustrated fictional books. I don’t mean like Charlotte’s Web, or typical young child chapter books. Those are wonderful too, come on. Who doesn’t love Charlotte’s Web… but I mean the books with true artwork. Glossy pages, serious attention to detail, true TrollhuntersIll03beautiful artwork. Probably my absolute favorite representation of exactly what I mean is A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness and Illustrated by Jim Kay. Trollhunters contained such amazing full color artwork. You couldn’t help but pause each time one came up and stare at them, there was such detail. Each troll looked different, just as they should, and the images are as vibrant as described inside the pages. They are the perfect accompaniment to the story.

Basically, Trollhunters contained a cast of crazy characters as unique as those from Goonies with a plot that felt like a throwback to the 80’s Little Monsters (Howie Mandel, Fred & Ben Savage, monsters under your bed…). The trolls, one in particular, was as sweet and lovable as Ludo from Labyrinth. Trollhunters may be, in my opinion, targeted for that Middle Grade crowd but I think anyone who enjoys as fast, fun, magical read (either by yourself or with your kids) will be surprised by how much they enjoy this story, even if they’re (like me) hesitant to start it at first.

Thank you to Dysney-Hyperion for offering an advance copy of this book, in exchange for an honest review.

If you like this review, check out others like it at Badass Book Reviews.
Profile Image for Mangrii.
898 reviews263 followers
November 26, 2015
Es un 3,5 en realidad, pero con Goodreads ya se sabe ;)

La novela nos narra como un adolescente de San Bernardino llamado Jim Sturges, el típico niño pringadillo del colegio que vive con su padre, el cual es muy sobreprotector debido a un suceso de hace 45 años, su hermano Jack desapareció misteriosamente. Jim se verá envuelto en una misión en la que debe salvar al mundo de un mal que asola la ciudad, los trolls Gum-Gums capitaneados por el malísimo Gunnar El Negro. Junto a un equipo formado por dos trolls y su fiel amigo, se enfrentará a esta temible misión.

Co-escrita entre el famoso director Guillermo del Toro (Hellboy, Pacific Rim, La Cumbre Escarlata) y Daniel Kraus, nos llega esta middle grade pasa páginas de manual. Es una historia llena de los típicos tópicos de este tipo de historias: el protagonista es un marginado, por alguna razón es el elegido para salvar el mundo, tiene un amigo muy fiel, se enamora de una chica de clase, pasa de ser un niño miedoso a todo un valiente héroe y un largo etcétera; pero tengo que reconocer que es una historia igualmente entretenida y genial para pasar el rato.

Una narración fresca, amena y sorprendentemente llena de detalles (sobre todo en cuanto a la cultura troll) que ayuda a que tenga ese ritmo imparable. Además trata algunos temas como el abuso o la soledad, que le aportan cierto toque interesante y no lo dejan en una mera historia de aventuras, aunque son tratados de forma muy ligera y siempre buscando el tono divertido.

Tengo un par de punto negativos en cuanto a la novela: el primero de ellos es en cuanto a una escena de índole un tanto sexual que no me encaja en el tono de la historia y me hizo chirriar los dientes. La segunda, es en cuanto a la edición española, y es que aunque la edición de Puck por fuera es genial con esa sobrecubierta con relieve y la edición interna tiene muchos detalles, no tiene las ilustraciones del artista Sean A.Murray que tiene la original, y que yo creo que le hubieran dado un plus de gran calidad al libro.
Profile Image for Andre Fernandes.
67 reviews18 followers
August 25, 2016
2,5 ......

Quem me conhece, sabe que Guillermo Del Toro é um dos meus realizadores preferidos. Já vi quase todos os seus filmes e, inclusive, já li o primeiro volume da trilogia Estirpe (tenho de ler os restantes). Assim sendo, quando saiu este livro quis logo lê-lo.

O livro começa com um prólogo promissor. Passado em 1969, durante uma onda de desaparecimentos de crianças, Jack Sturges desaparece sem deixar rasto e a última pessoa que o viu foi o seu irmão Jim Sturges. Passados quarenta e cinco anos Jim Sturges é um pai de meia-idade que vive atormentado pelo desaparecimento do seu irmão.

ler mais em : http://saboreiaoslivros.blogspot.pt/2...
Profile Image for Lisa Tobleman.
254 reviews8 followers
July 1, 2015
Guillermo del Toro, Daniel Kraus
Disney Book Group Pub Date: Jul 14 2015

I received this as an eGalley through Netgalley free in exchange for an honest review.

What a perfect, creepy, gory, wonderful book for middle-schoolers. Especially middle-school boys. I was a little leery when I saw Guillermo del Toro' name as one of the authors since his movies are by no means kid friendly. However, He and Mr, Kraus did a fantastic job of blending in just enough horror to make Goosebumps proud, but infuse enough humor and fun to keep the story from becoming too much nightmare. I called our head librarian as soon as I finished this story and told her to put it on our purchase list. Our boys are going to love this novel and I think some of our adventure reading girls will as well. There is a wonderful female lead character who in some ways is stronger and better prepared than Jim.
The story is about Jim Sturges, son of a hard working, highly paranoid mechanic who was left scarred after his brother was taken during the great Milk Carton epidemic in a small sunny California town in the 60s. Now kids are disappearing again, and it is up to Jim and his friends to find within themselves the courage to stand up and fight. There are good guys, bad guys, slime, and a whole host of creepy crawlers that go bump in the night. I love great Middle school horror novels. I would not recommend this to a sensitive reader or one prone to nightmares, but it has a great good triumph over evil message and a kick butt ending.

Parental note: This is a horror novel. While appropriate for Middle schoolers please be aware that it is dark. It is even grisly in places, and it is not until the half way point that we get to see some light at the end of the tunnel. There is a bully, and he is physically abusive of the main characters. A lot of cats die, people are killed, and the final battle involves mowing down tiny bad trolls with a lawnmower.
Profile Image for Hafsa Sabira.
224 reviews47 followers
January 12, 2018
What can I say... as much as I loved the beginning and the ending, I couldn't really enjoy the middle part much. I don't know how but I found all the description a bit too gore for me. I like the characters but not the monsters (that's probably intentional on the writers' part) because of their really weird physique and habits. Also, they eat human children. Not cool!

To be honest, I am already feeling like I am writing one of my worst reviews so far but that's probably the reflection of what I feel about this novel. 3 stars for the plot, amazing character portrayal and storyline. 2 stars are missing because of the monsters (I simply can't get over how awfully they were portrayed here)
Profile Image for Pamela.
Author 46 books175 followers
July 9, 2015
This is the kind of story I enjoyed reading as a kid. Though there is some slightly gory things (trolls being what they are), I think a middle school kid can handle it. It may not be Halloween or October, but this is a summer dark fantasy read not only teenagers and middle schools kids will enjoy, but adults too. Just be sure to check beneath your bed or couch before you do.

Read the rest of the review at http://www.ismellsheep.com/2015/07/bo...
Profile Image for Zombieslayer⚡Alienhunter.
405 reviews68 followers
January 27, 2018
Tub was right. Under beds, that's where the monsters live.

Jim Sturges is a short, scrawny fifteen-year-old who's never been any good in school, any good at sports or any good at.... Well, anything.
To top off the fact he's kind of a loser, Jim's dad, Jim Sr., is uber-protective, mostly due to the disappearance of his older brother when he was a little boy. Because of this deep-rooted paranoia, Jim's father puts ten locks on their front door, metal shutters on their windows, and calls the local police if Jim is out even five minutes after dark. Jim's on a first-name basis with the most famous cop in town, a stuttering Sargeant who was shot point-blank in the head saving children during a domestic disturbance (might be an over-explanation but I liked him a lot, okay?).

Jim Sturges can't speak to the girl he likes, he's failing math, the most popular kid in school beats the crap out of him and his best friend, Tub, every single day and gets away with it, AND he's the only child of a super-paranoid single dad. What could be worse?

Tentacles threaded the air. Eight eyes hovered over my field of vision. I braced for desetruction.

Abducted by a hole underneath his bed, of all things, after finding a strange medallion and catching glimpses of furred, tentacled beasts that make him sure he's losing his mind, Jim finds himself in-

It was an entire city of trolls.

An underground world, accessible by ours through sewers, vents and, yes, bridges, existing outside of it somehow, the world of trolls is rust, dirt, trash and filth. Not every troll is malevolent, Jim is told by a fellow human in trollworld cased in metal, but the ones that are bad are eeeeevil.
The worst of them all?
The Hungry One. He Who Sups Of Blood.
Gunmar The Black.
The legendary troll warlord has slept for decades, weak from an ugly defeat at the hands of a troll Trollhunter, but now, as a bridge known as the Killaheed nears completion at a local museum, his strength returns.

The trolls Jim saw, the medallion finding its way to him, the reason he sucks at everything?

This was the lot of the Trollhunters.
(Trollhunters. I couldn't help smiling a little. I liked the sound of it.)

Sturges is a bloodline lousy with Trollhunters. The name revered through the Scottish Highlands all the way to California, where the first American ones settled. They're the only thing Gunmar The Black is known to fear.
Jim is on the cusp of being too old to enter the world of the trolls, and aided by metal-man Jack, Trollhunter trolls Blinky and ARRRGH!!!, and his man-at-arms, Tub, he'll have to put his life as a loser behind him and be the hero the world of the trolls needs him to be.

"We're going hunting."

But, as his ties to the troll world grow stronger, Jim feels a dark, sick presence. A killing urge. This exists is all Trollhunters, and may be the reason they become them in the first place.
Jim was born for this.
But he wasn't the only one.

"It's a terrible thing, isn't it? To be dragged under?"

HahahahaHA! Holy frak. I can't believe the same dude who made me almost physically ILL with Rotters (in a good way. Like The Jungle) wrote this hilarious, magical story.

Her nipples were mismatched buttons.

Okay, yes I can.

Daniel Kraus, aided by Guillermo del Toro, managed to tone down his dark literary voice with Trollhunters. It wasn't as bleak and outright gorey, at least humanwise. Most of the gore was troll viscera. Gross, but easier to accept and visualize than some of the shit in Rotters.

The characters were also not quite so droll. Joey and Foley (Foley less so. But he was supposed to be a metalhead and we're notoriously more energetic than goths) were listless and dry, not in a bad sense, but Jim, Tub, Claire, Blinky, ARRRGH!!! (I just loved her, especially <333) and Jack were full of life, sarcasm and personality.
Jim and Tub had some awesome back-and-forths, and some of Jim's monologues were priceless.

"Cheers, Mr. Sturges." she said.
That accent never failed to turn my body parts traitor. This time, it was Mr. Right Hand who betrayed me. It shot up in an overzealous wave, as if Claire were a mile away, and Senor Stupid Mouth got in on the act, too: "Cheers to you, Claire!"

It hasn't been THAT long since I was fifteen. 'Senor Stupid Mouth' and I have a long history.

And some character traits were just too good to be true. Clair was, in Jim's own words, what 'society would view as not skinny enough' and yet she has a gaggle of friends, is at least semi-popular (definitely not a loser) and even the bully, the sportsball star, has eyes for her. That's how you write body positive-minded without being a preacher. Major props.

I was surprised to actually see so much of del Toro's influence in the story. I guess I thought he wrote some dialogue or something in order to get a name boost. But the troll world scenes actually REALLY brought to mind Pan's Labyrinth. It was obvious del Toro did contribute to the story. I'm sorry for accusing otherwise.

On influence, I think I spotted a few references to another story about children being the only ones able to fight evil.
To paint you a picture, the book opens to a scene of a child being taken by an unseen monster by the local canal, and children are going missing by the handfuls when things really start getting troll-y.

NOT a ripoff. No way. I'm just proud of myself for spotting the shoutouts.

On a final ramble, Trollhunters is a straight-up illustrated novel. I LOVE that. Always have. I was so excited whenever we ran into another of Sean Murray's drawings.

Beautiful. Trollhunters, alas, appears to be a standalone. But I think I head something about comic tie-ins to the Netflix series? I'm game.

Trollhunters, stupid-fun and real adventure with great characters, amazing world-building and fun for all, is a shining example of how sad it is Daniel Kraus is so underrated. Fans of Christopher Moore or R.L Stine would eat this with a spoon. It makes me happy to see his work be adapted into an animated series as popular as Trollhunters is, though. And The Shape of Water, another co-write with del Toro, was a successful film. There's hope yet.

My first read of the year. An undisputed winner.

We all might be headed to our deaths, but this right here was a family, no matter how unusual it might be.
Profile Image for Sandra.
852 reviews20 followers
July 22, 2015
What if all the folklore from around the world detailing the various sorts of trolls were a litany of species and their characteristics, one handed down to remind us of times when what bumped in the night found us to be tasty treats. Once upon a time is no longer for stories, it is the beginning of a tale of a beast who is intent on revenge against the humans and trolls who defeated him in battle. He has been waiting, gathering his strength, chewing his tongue while waiting for the day that everything falls into place and he will be powerful enough to confront his enemies and destroy them.

While his army grows in the dark, the Paladins, his human enemies, have dwindled across the ages, scattered across the world. Some families have died out and some are clueless to the heritage they own. Jim Sturges is one of the clueless until the night he confronts two trolls and a roboman, he is just a teenage boy who gets bullied at school and lives with a father scarred by his brother's disappearance as a child. By the end of this night however Jim will learn that the rash of disappearances that ended with his uncle are beginning again and this time they are the last sign that the end of humanity is in sight. Jim is a Sturges Paladin descendant but is he up to the task if he can't even face down the school bully or kiss the girl of his dreams?
Profile Image for Brandon Forsyth.
899 reviews150 followers
February 26, 2015
I wanted to like this so much more than I did. There's a couple of great horror beats in here, with some particularly visceral gross-out moments, but it's a pale imitation of Percy Jackson that reads like the first draft of the (hopefully) better film. I love you, Guillermo, but not this much.
Profile Image for Fatima Chunara.
212 reviews
August 29, 2020
I read this because I finished watching the Netflix series by the same name and I was missing the characters so badly.
The book is far darker than the series but makes for a wonderful read and the characters are still as wholesome and loveable.
Profile Image for Gene Barrera.
13 reviews3 followers
January 5, 2016
Estuvo bueno pero esperaba mas, creo que tenia las expectativas muy altas y ese fue el problema. 3.5 estrellas
Profile Image for Colona Public Library.
1,062 reviews25 followers
September 11, 2018
This book is really witty, reads well, has some great illustrations, and is really imaginative. My partner and I read this one out loud (pretty challenging on Blinky's lines, his vocabulary is immense) It was really enjoyable, the level of detail and the smooth writing made it an enjoyable read.

The 1st chapter got me hooked, I think the very beginning of this book would be excellent to read around the camp fire...then be pleasantly surprised on the adventure to come! Great read, I would totally recommend this book and the show Trollhunters! ~Ashley
Profile Image for zandrama.
151 reviews3 followers
June 27, 2017
Gooey and yucky and at the same time cute, scary sweet and funny. Definitely readable but there's something lacking which makes it 4 stars and not 5.

I think it's a book that will get lots of 12-15 years old boys into reading. My 10 years old son told me that it's a series on Netflix as well and he seemed really curious about the book. And that coming from a child who still prefers children's picture books is huge.
Profile Image for Susi.
962 reviews95 followers
January 7, 2016
Recensione presente anche sul blog Bookish Advisor http://bookishadvisor.blogspot.it

Quando mi hanno proposto questa lettura era un po' titubante perché per quanto amo il Fantasy le letture Middle Grade che si affacciano sullo YA non sono quelle che preferisco ma la presenza del nome Guillermo del Toro è stato un fattore decisivo perché tra i pochi registi che preferisco il nome del messicano è senza ombra di dubbio uno dei più bravi del cinema e non solo dei nostri giorni.

Trollhunters, libro scritto a quattro mani, il regista messicano è stato infatti affiancato da Daniel Kraus scrittore fantasy già con delle pubblicazioni all'attivo, è la storia del giovane Jim, ragazzino timido e introverso che cerca di sopravvivere l'esperienza scolastica indenne cerca di evitare il bullo che cerca in ogni modo di fargli vivere un inferno e le ansie ossessive di un padre che vorrebbe rinchiuderlo in casa per paura che possa sparire nel nulla come lo zio scomparso quando era solo un ragazzino.

Tutto si complica quando nella vita di Jim incominciano a verificarsi strani eventi che lo porteranno a rivalutare le ossessioni di suo padre ma soprattutto l'esistenza di esseri soprannaturali che si nascondo nell'ombra pronti a tutti per portare Jim nel loro mondo, un mondo misterioso, oscuro ma che nasconde più segreti e stranezze di quanto sia possibile immaginare.

Chi conosce bene lo stile di del Toro vedrà come le ambientazioni, il tono della narrazione, il worldbuilding siano estremamente intrisi di quello che è la firma del regista: toni scuri, segreti che si albergano in ogni dove ma soprattutto un carattere mystery/horror/thriller che porta il lettore a rincorrere la lettura ad ogni nuovo capitolo perché incuriosito da una trama che si sviluppa pian piano e che meraviglia di continua il lettore.

Toni scuri, sfumature horror che però si discostano decisamente dai toni macabri dei suoi film, qui il tutto viene tagliato su misura di un pubblico giovane che possa ammirare e meravigliarsi della lettura e incuriosirsi senza spaventarsi e questo è sicuramente possibile grazie al carattere comico che assumono i dialoghi, i banter tra i personaggi è davvero divertentissimo, impossibile non sbellicarsi dalle risate in alcune delle scene principali del libro, e le descrizioni degli ambienti e dei personaggi, anche quelli mostruosi che non hanno nulla di veramente spaventoso se non il fatto di essere Troll.

Il worldbuilding di cui veniamo a conoscenza si basa sulle informazioni comuni che abbiamo dei Troll, essere mostruosi che si nascondo nel buio. Da queste pochi caratteri generali della letteratura si amplia il mondo su cui si basa Trollhunters. Un mondo misterioso, magico e ricco di segreti e novità che il protagonista, e il lettore con lui, non vede l'ora di portare alla luce del sole.

Libro ricco di personaggi dai caratteri particolari, dal protagonista Jim, al padre, zio Jack e tutti i vari protagonisti e personaggi secondari.

Il libro in quanto MG coming of age ha tutte quelle caratteristiche tipiche dei libri per ragazzi come la scoperta di se stessi, del posto che si occupa nel mondo ma soprattutto la scoperta delle responsabilità che si incominciano ad avere con il sovvenire dell'adolescenza.

Primo libro di una trilogia che posta le basi di questa nuova trilogia e di conseguenza la maggior parte dei quesiti aperti sono ancora tutti da scoprire.

Lettura intrigante, interessante e leggera che consiglio a tutti i lettori che amano i libri di Percy Jackson e simili.

3,5 Stelle per un buon primo libro di serie.

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