Scarlett Hart Monster Hunter
By Marcus Sedgwick and Thomas Taylor
Published by First Second
Scarlett Hart is an underage monster hunter, and the next in a line of famous hunters. With her trusty butler Napoleon, they skirt around the law, hunting monsters to keep their heads above water, all while competing the Count, an older established monster who is so obviously evil it's ridiculous. Together, Scarlett and Napoleon find a dark conspiracy, and the cause of many of the monster infestations.
The art is simple and cartoony. Nothing particularly impressive. The colors are generic, without much going on in the image. Character designs do reinforce their traits and personalities, so that's a plus. The monster design isn't the best. It goes for more generic monsters, without complex or interesting designs, The last monster especially. Overall the art is okay, but doesn't hold a candle to other things I've reviewed.
I don't like these characters. They're one note and boring, and even then some of them don't seem to have their motivations or personalities straight. The Count is a terrible villain. He's such a stock character, it hurts me. The dialog isn't very good. There's an immaturity around it that doesn't work for me.
The setting is early nineteenth century Britain, and it doesn't add anything to the story. It provides a look and feel, but this story could have been set on the moon in the future hitting the exact same story beats and it could have worked. There are a few faux Briticisms that rubbed me the wrong way, and over all the setting didn't work.
Bland and boring. One note. Nothing I haven't read before. It's the classic monster hunt with slowly escalating tension, except it doesn't escalate until the final fight, and even then a secret skill the main character had is pulled out of the either so that even that doesn't work.
The cover is the best part of the book. It is mediocre and uninspired.