Trollhunters by Daniel Kraus and Guillermo del Toro

You are food. Those muscles you flex to walk, lift and talk? They’re patties of meat topped with chewy tendon.

Trollhunters Cover

 

Autumn of 1969. Brothers Jack and Jim Sturges spend a carefree afternoon tearing around their hometown of San Bernardino on their bikes. That is until Jack speeds ahead of his little brother, disappears under a bridge, and doesn’t come out again. Jack doesn’t emerge from the shadows, but something else does. Something that will haunt the nightmares of little brother Jim for years to come.

Forty five years later and we join Jim Sturges Jr, 15 years old and living with the repercussions of what happened to his father on that fateful September day. Jim Jr begins to notice that things aren’t quite right in San Bernardino; a flash of fur here, a clawed hand there…suddenly drains are a whole lot more sinister. Jim may not be ready for the revelations he is about to face, but kids are disappearing, and someone needs to stop it.

The first thing I noticed was that the ceiling fan was shoved into the corner, smashed to pieces. All in all, it was an odd thing to notice first, given that there were two enormous trolls contorted inside my humble little kitchen.

Any book which features a troll character named ‘ARRRGH!!!’ is a book for me. (Incidentally my second favourite troll name, just edged out by Discworld’s ‘Detritus’). Trollhunters was such a pleasant surprise. My interest was initially peaked by Guillermo del Toro’s name, as I have loved many of his films, and I enjoyed this book far more than I expected to. The writing is charming and very funny, and the story is (aside from the trolls) remarkably true to life; it gives interesting insights into family dynamics and the struggle of high school life for those at the bottom of the social ladder.

There is plenty of action, plenty of laughs and several poignant moments which come together to create a really well balanced story that leaves you feeling pretty good about your own chances should you be faced with a sudden troll invasion. The influence of del Toro is obvious in the wonderfully gruesome imagery, and the characters, troll and human alike, drew me in completely. This is one of my favourite new reads in a long time; it quite simply made me happy. If you’re in the mood for something mostly lighthearted and a little bit silly, but still meaty enough to make you care about it, then Trollhunters is definitely worth a go.

Trollhunters are born for this, and to do what you are born for feels like nothing else in the world.

 

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