Max is just your average kid growing up in Gallows Hill, a small town outside of Boston—well, except that he lives in a gothic mansion with an old former prizefighter, and his after-school job is carrying on the monster-hunting tradition of his family, the van Helsings.
Despite the bloody legacy he’s inherited, Max always tries to be kind and fair to the ghouls, demons, and other creatures he encounters. So he’s confused when monsters start attacking him willy-nilly—even those he thought of as friends. Max discovers he’s been cursed by an evil Warlock who intends to reclaim the earth for the monsters. To save his life, Max must rely on his gearhead friend Syd, his boy-genius neighbor Wing, and his brand-new puppy for help. But time is running out, and if they can’t figure out how to break the Thirteenth Curse, Max—and the world as we know it—will be in deep, deep trouble…
In this series opener from Wereworld creator Jobling, Max is the latest descendent of the famed monster-fighting Van Helsing family his forefather battled Dracula in Stoker's classic growing up in Gallows Hill, Mass., with his tetchy guardian, Jed. (Max's father died young, a common fate for monster hunters.) Aided by best friend Syd, Max is a pro at stopping ghouls, fire phantasms, and vampires (dossier-style profiles of which appear throughout), but Max would rather try to rehabilitate monsters than destroy them. His compassion is put to the test when normally placid monsters begin attacking him on his 13th birthday, and Max learns of a 300-year-old curse affecting his family. A warlock has been unleashed who could destroy all civilization, and Max, Syd, and a young neighbor fight the clock to stop him. Max, a hero in the vein of a young Indiana Jones, is more at ease facing demons than managing middle school, and his wisecracking attitude and quick thinking make for entertaining reading. This action-packed thriller sets up what promises to be a series filled with legend, lore, and epic battles. Ages 10 up.