Author: Stephanie Campbell
Reviewed by Fran Lewis
A young child is plagued by visions of monsters that his parents think are in the realm of a child’s imagination. But, are they? Seeing visions of a black figure on his room at night and hearing the voice leading him down a strange and scary path, young Ronnie often leaves his room in search of the safety of his parents who think he is just imagining things or that he has a serious illness. After many episodes and many tests the doctors prescribe some heavy medications to try and alleviate what this child has seen. With parents that are relatively supportive but do not quite believe him life is difficult for this young man. Then, things get worse as his mother becomes ill and vision he encounters would explain his mission and how he alone could save her. Just what that is you won’t believe and what other worlds this young man will enter still remain to be seen as I review Poachers by author Stephanie Campbell.
Ronnie tormented by adults, kids in school and monsters that appear to him at any time. Caring for his mother he is taken in by a ghostly figure who encourages him to bring her a necklace in exchange for a green orange whose juice when sprayed over his mother would cure her illness. Naïve, thinking that this creature was telling him the truth he takes the green orange and sprays it over his mother and she dies. But, when he awakens later his father relates an entirely different story that exonerates him from the murder and stating she committed suicide or did she? Added to that he gained new respect from the kids in middle school when he beats up the captain of the football team and decided to fight back when approached by five kids in dark cemetery. Just what really did happen to his mother and what will Ronnie do next you just won’t believe.
What would you do if you could see things not as others do but as they really are? What would you do if everyone thought you were crazy and you knew you were not? What happens when one young man is forced to endure too many tests, doctors, tormented by visions of figures that are half human and half creature and no one would believe him? What happens when this same young man learns he was tricked by one of these creatures from the other realm and the end result was tragic? A lone girl, or was she created an illusion so that Ronnie would part with a valued possession and she could lure him into committing a crime. Revenge is not always sweet and cannot bring back his mother but Ronnie does retrieve his necklace and after his encounter with this creature he finds himself a whole other person. Able to see things that others cannot and cured from his mental illness, Ronnie will now follow a path totally different to avenge his mothers death and much more.
Someone who illegally kills or hunts wild animals is called a poacher. What are they called if they hunt humans? Hunting animals might be illegal but in some cases hunters do not need permits to hunt certain animals. Poachers will hunt and kill animals that are protected as an endangered species. But, what happens when one young man decides to join forces with this group, become a poacher and go after those responsible for his mother’s death. Poachers target any type of animal or in this case people. Going off to the other realm Ronnie will face demons and monsters and his own inner self. Ronnie decides to become a poacher hoping to protect humankind.
As Ronnie finds himself in difficult situations and uses his skills to take down a dangerous bird, finds a dog that only he can see and fights demons in order to avenge his mother’s death an odd occurrence will bring it all to light. One man named Lyle who seems to be following him and one dog named Pyro who is his protector and friend when his own father seems to have lost the luster for life and hope to survive. Alone most of the time and dealing with real demons and his own inner ones, Ronnie fights these monsters, sets traps for them and now one man just might change it all. Being able to see creatures in the alternate realm is not what most people would want to experience or endure. But, Ronnie can and Lyle being a Federal Society of Realm Informant for the Alternate Realm wants to enlist his help as Ronnie is already working independently as a poacher could this be why he wants him? Would he get paid to do this?
Plagued by his memory and guilt due to his mom’s death Ronnie will stop at nothing to kill the monsters and demons responsible but he takes on much more along the way. All too often when a parent dies the other one falls prey to the wiles of others but in this case Leon, his father becomes despondent, distraught and abandons his son through his work and forgets about his own personal life nor does he pay any attention to Ronnie.
Imagine working as a Poacher for yourself and now being hired by our government to do the same job for a salary of six figures. But, what they never told Ronnie, because he might have given it more than just a second thought, is that he was putting more than just his own life on the line and that the end result might be more devastating than hunting and killing these monsters. One monster that started a chain reaction in his life and no one knows where it will lead. One young man haunted by the memory and guilt of his mother’s death and aims to get the one responsible and rid the world of the monsters that would kill others. Two monsters at the head of their realm. One young man sent to get them. What will the end result be and is Ronnie up to the task? Trust is something he does not have even for his own father at this point. One dog named Pyro who only he can see. One dog that protects him and is truly loyal.
As Ronnie is sent off in a mission to rid a family of monsters that are supposedly plaguing them and their business he meets a young woman/AKA/ Fury that changes his perspective on things and helps him to realize as in real life, the government does not always play by the rules we think they should and once again he is tricked and his life is in danger. So, who is this Fury named Claudia and what about his new human partner named Fred? What was really behind this mission and what are they trying to steal from Ronnie that he needs to do his job and they find so valuable? Betrayals, deceits, distrust, friendships gained and loyalties renewed, this book gives the reader much pause for thought as Ronnie has become a Poacher joining not only the government’s group of Poachers but others too.
As all of the forces come together and meet what will happen when the truth behind the mission, the government’s plans and the deceits come to light. What will finally happen to Ronnie, Pryo and one Fury named Claudia that risked everything for the sake of humankind and much more. ? Will Ronnie avenge his mother’s death? Will the Campe get what she deserves? Will the shadow’s meaning finally come to light for him and will he realize why he was given the sight to start with? Who lives? Who dies? Will the war between the humans and the monsters ever end? Human nature, you know what that means so you know the answers to these questions will be solved and much more for the reader when you read Poachers.
Author Stephanie Campbell brings to light many important issues that we all face today. Trusting our own instincts, faith in those we love and hope won’t betray us, friendships and bonds formed in unlikely places and one world that should be able to hold everyone maybe even creatures. What does the world and fate have in store for Ronnie? Only time will tell and of course if the author writes a sequel. This is one ending you won’t see coming and one story that you will want to read and never forget. Fast paced, easy read and really quite thought provoking. One young author, one outstanding novel. Sometimes dreams become realities. Find out what that means. Read this Five Star Book.
Fran Lewis: reviewer
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