Reviewed by Caleb Shadis

We meet the main characters on the night of a meteor shower. Louise, Pablo, Zak and Thora are all students in the same small school district of Zion Falls. Pablo and Thora are great friends and Pablo sneaks out of the house to meet Thora and her brother Bryce at the gravel pit to watch the meteor shower over the lake. On the way, he’s passed by Zak and his family and witnesses them crash into something, something big.

After a little while Dr. Hoo finds all four of our heroes and brings them to his home. There he tells them that they need to be humanity’s champions and fight the trolls. Apparently, the trolls are trying once again to infiltrate the earth and subjugate everyone.

Troll Hunters is a young adult book that seems to almost be very good. It feels like the author had a checklist of things that make a good YA story and put it together by the numbers. It wants to be a good story, and it almost is, but it just kept falling a little short of the mark for me.

Now, Troll Hunters definitely wasn’t a bad book and I had no problems reading it. As a matter of fact, I read it rather quickly. There was a lot going and and the action was non-stop – kind of like a Dan Brown book. It was about as internally consistent as one too. However, it just doesn’t seem to work as a fantasy book since one thing that a fantasy writer needs to have is consistency.

When reading fantasy the reader sets aside many things to accept things they know do not happen in the real world. Such as flying horses, magic, and monsters that go bump in the night. The author then sets up the ‘rules’ by which this universe works. If the rules are not followed (or if the author does not at least explain why they are not followed) or worse yet there are no rules, a good story can be easily ruined. One of the things we’re told is that the trolls want people for food. Yet not one person is eaten throughout the entire book, not even nibbled on…

Rating: ★★★☆☆ 

Also by Michael Dahl: Hocus Pocus Hotel

Caleb is a software engineer and amateur woodworker living in southern Minnesota. He has more hobbies than he has time or money for, and enjoys his quiet time reading.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Stone Arch Books. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.