Uncle Mike usually brought a rifle with him, just in case we met a bear, and he’d made sure I could use it. I dug around in our bags, throwing clothes everywhere, but the rifle wasn’t in the tent. The only thing I came up with was a wicked-looking knife with a smooth bone handle. I pulled it out of the leather sheath, shocked by its weight. It was much heavier than it looked and my fingers buzzed, like the knife was vibrating in my hand. I must’ve been shaking really hard.
I gripped the handle of the knife, hoping I didn’t end up stabbing myself by accident. The blade was longer than most hunting-knives I’d ever used—maybe eight or nine inches—and honed to a sharp edge. I had no idea where Mike would buy something like this, but one thing was for sure: no one would want to be on the receiving end of this weapon. It looked like it could gut a buffalo.
The creature walked the perimeter of the tent, brushing up against the nylon, and a rancid scent wafted through the walls. I gagged and threw up a little in my mouth. The stench reminded me of how the vent in my room smelled after my guinea pig got loose and bought the farm in the air duct. Seriously freaked out, I held still, clutching the knife so hard my knuckles ached. I was planning to let the beast stalk around outside as long as it wanted. One thing Mike taught me during paintball was to make your target do the work. If you could be patient, you’d get the better strike, and I’d only have one shot.
The beast paused and I took a gulp of cold air, knowing I wouldn’t have to wait much longer. With a blur of claws, dark fur and sharp teeth, the thing crashed into the tent, ripping the nylon with one slash. I didn’t have time to think or even get a good look at it. When it pounced on top of me, I thrust the blade into its stomach and twisted. The handle burned in my hand, glowing a faint green.
The beast howled and struggled against me, until I thought I’d drown in the reek of its fur. Somehow, I squirmed out from underneath it just before it collapsed on the floor of the tent. Once it was down, I stabbed it in the back, over and over, swearing at the top of my lungs. Some kind of red-rage took control, and I didn’t stop slashing until the thing shuddered and was still.
In the quiet, I fell to my knees, shaking all over.
When I could finally breathe without wheezing, I gathered up the last shreds of my courage and found our lantern in the wreckage. Scared pissless or not, I wanted to see what attacked me. Squaring my shoulders, I turned on the light.
Then bit my own tongue trying to hold back a scream.
The creature was misshapen, with a huge head, pointy ears and narrow snout, and it had to be at least eight feet tall. Teeth like tusks protruded from its lower jaw. It had brown fur like a grizzly’s and its paws looked like a bear’s too, except bigger, with those brutal, velociraptor claws. If that wasn’t weird enough, the thing’s arms and legs were long, like a man’s. It was like some mad scientist threw a bunch of DNA into a blender and this is what came out.
What the heck could it be? Was it some kind of alien? A scientific experiment gone horribly wrong? Did we have a Dr. Frankenstein living in Billings? Seriously, the creature looked like a resurrected Wookiee made from spare parts.
Utterly creeped out, I pulled the knife out of the beast’s back and dropped it on the ground. My hands had blood on them, dark stains glistening in the moonlight, and now that I wasn’t fighting for my life, I shivered, half-freezing and clueless about what to do next.
I liked that although Matt seemed to be the most unlikely to be able to wield a killer magic knife and slay monsters, he was the chosen by the knife. He had work to do, and he did it. Scared and nervous yes, but he became very dedicated to his new "role" in life. He took his training and strength building regimen seriously and even started trying to build bulk right away.
I really enjoyed this book and think it's a great book for young teens. The action was very on point from the beginning of the book. And again I saw, "poor Matt" who had to now be a monster hunter when all he wanted was for Ella to notice him.
*Disclosure of Material Connection: I am a member of Reading Addiction Blog Tours and a copy of this book was provided to me by the author. Although payment may have been received by Reading Addiction Blog Tours, no payment was received by me in exchange for this review. There was no obligation to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are entirely my own and may not necessarily agree with those of the author, publisher, publicist, or readers of this review. This disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commision’s 16 CFR, Part 255, Guides Concerning Use of Endorcements and Testimonials in Advertising**Disclosure of Material Connection: I am a member of Reading Addiction Blog Tours and a copy of this book was provided to me by the author. Although payment may have been received by Reading Addiction Blog Tours, no payment was received by me in exchange for this review. There was no obligation to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are entirely my own and may not necessarily agree with those of the author, publisher, publicist, or readers of this review. This disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commision’s 16 CFR, Part 255, Guides Concerning Use of Endorcements and Testimonials in Advertising*