Book Review (SERIES): Monster Hunter Mom Season One

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JD Blackrose is one of my favorite humor authors. Both her Monster Hunter Mom series (covered here) and her Zombie Cosmetologist (covered in October 2022), just tickle me to pieces.

The Devil’s Been Busy: Monster Hunter Mom Season One by JD Blackrose

  1. Tweety & the Monkey Man
  2. Runaway
  3. Handle with Care
  4. End of the Line

BOOK BLURB ON AMAZON for THE DEVIL’S BEEN BUSY: MONSTER HUNTER MOM SEASON ONE

Whether it’s kitsune running rampant in the museum, were-gorillas rampaging at the zoo, or a cupid wreaking havoc on her daughter’s birthday party, Jess Friedman can handle any monster the supernatural community of Cleveland can throw at her.

Except maybe the disapproving stares from the women at her daughter’s day care. Or the awkward conversations with her rabbi about her working for the Catholic Church as a New Templar, hunting down the things that go bump in the night.

That’s right, Jess Friedman isn’t just an ordinary mother of three trying to make it through the world, she’s also the official Cleveland Regional Monster Hunter for the Holy Roman Catholic Church (What? You thought Bubba was the only one?). This Jewish mother is anything but stereotypical as she battles demons, tames monsters, negotiates with a vampire lord, and tries to get snacks delivered to her daughter’s kindergarten class on time!

MY REVIEW for THE DEVIL’S BEEN BUSY: MONSTER HUNTER MOM SEASON ONE

The most deeply rooted in reality of the Bubbaverse, edging out the mechanic Mark Wojcik of the Martin’s Spell, Salt, & Steel by three small children, Jess Friedman is Monster Hunter Mom – a wonderful bundle of contradictions and chaos.

A Jewish woman who works for the Catholic Church. An kickin’ monster hunter scared of the perfect normal women around her. The happily-married mother of three with a vampire best friend. Jess collects things – an ex-were gorilla, an overly-friendly tomahawk, a phoenix who gives pony rides to children, and a bounty on her head. Reading the four novellas of season one is like going through the pockets on laundry day – always a surprise.

These books have my type of humor, all about family and life. Venues for the books include going to the zoo, being a parent chaperone at a museum, visiting the mall, and a child’s slumber party.

Lots of monsters, kickin’ them back where they belong, all the while throwing the humor of life at you. How do you go from fighting a gorilla to taking snack to your son’s elementary school class? With a quick side trip through the grocery story, of course.

I really loved these novellas. If I was writing in the Bubbaverse, this is what I would have written. Just not nearly this good. Ms. Blackrose did an awesome job melding family life and monster hunting.

 

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BOOK BLURB ON AMAZON for TWEETY & THE MONKEY MAN

Move over, Bubba, there’s a new Hunter in town, and she’s having a really crappy day!

Jess Friedman is a Monster Hunter. And a mom. Depending on the day, one of those jobs might get her killed. Depending on the day, either of those jobs might get her killed.

Today, it’s probably the monster hunting.

There’s a phoenix running around town, and a were-gorilla going nuts in the zoo. That’s not the worst thing Jess has to deal with – she’s also in charge of snacks for her daughter’s kindergarten class, and it’s looking an awful lot like Cheetos are the answer. This won’t go over well with the other moms, but they’re the least scary thing Jess has to worry about.

Were-gorilla, remember? Can Jess get the Monkey Man dealt with before snacktime? How many pushups will she owe her trainer for all the swearing it’s going to take to get out of this mess? And how old was the apple juice in her cupholder?

J.D. Blackrose spins an awesome blend of the mundane and magical in this novella about a woman just trying to make it in the world, a world that happens to contain a lot of monsters, and judgmental kindergarten teachers. But it also contains Cheetos, and that makes everything better.

MY REVIEW for TWEETY & THE MONKEY MAN

By now the “Monster Hunter” genre is pretty well defined, but a Monster Hunting Mom? Now that is different. And this novella delivers everything the title promises – non-stop action Monster Hunting and the humor of the Bubbaverse slanted to Mom-ness (instead titty bars, this mom hangs out in Zoos pushing strollers complete with sticky handles from Popsicle sticks and a special hatchet in the diaper bag just in case a monster comes running out of the monkey house … which it does).

No deeper meaning – just action-action-action with humor and a dose of love and kisses when knees get scraped.

Five stars for being everything promised. Spot-on perfect example of the Monster Hunting genre with a special Templar.

Picked up free during a promotional. No promise of book review or exchange of any type.

 

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BOOK BLURB ON AMAZON for RUNAWAY

Most ordinary parents can chaperone a field trip without monsters attacking the museum.

There’s nothing ordinary about Jess Friedman.

Jess is one of the New Templar Knights, a secret band of Monster Hunters working with (and sometimes adjacent to) the Catholic Church to protect the world from magical and supernatural threats. Perfectly normal hobby for a nice Jewish mother of three, right?

Between Japanese fox spirits and disapproving trophy wives, Jess’s first outing as a chaperone is fast reminding her why she doesn’t go on field trips. Then there’s the whole thing with the egg, and the police, and then things start to get weird.

MY REVIEW for RUNAWAY

This story is the best of the Monster Hunter Mom series; everything comes together perfectly.

Not so much for our heroine, who has to go on a museum trip as a school chaperone and face all the perfect moms who take time off their perfect lives to go with their perfect children. But it shouldn’t be too bad, because museums never have monsters or anything supernatural among their ancient and foreign exhibits.

Nothing like a talking Buddha statue, or a tomahawk which takes a peculiar liking to our girl, or spirits trapped within curators needing excursions. Nah.

All our heroine needs to fix thing is a single egg from the museum cafeteria, how hard can that be? (Total love for this scene.)

 

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BOOK BLURB ON AMAZON for HANDLE WITH CARE

You thought your shopping trip was hellacious? Well Jess Friedman literally has demons in the department store!

From evil birthday clowns that make Pennywise look like an amateur, to judgmental day care workers, this monster hunting mom has her work cut out for her as she tries to keep Cleveland safe from evil and keep the neighborhood association off her back at the same time!

MY REVIEW for HANDLE WITH CARE

From killer balloon shapes made by a clown at her son’s birthday party to some killer shopping after hours at the mall, Jess has her Monster Hunting job cut out for her.

Now if only dealing with Regina and her suggestions on how to control Daniel’s overactive imagination were as easy as demon hunting.

Fun stuff, as good as the first novella of the series. Novellas one to three can be read out-of-order.

 

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BOOK BLURB ON AMAZON for END OF THE LINE

Enchanted bows, nitpicking witches, and interloping demonettes combine with a babysitting gorilla, a protective magical wolf, and a phoenix masquerading as a…search-and-rescue pony combine to make young Devi Friedman’s birthday one for the ages in the hilarious conclusion to Monster Hunter Mom Season One!

Jess Friedman has enough on her mind with a passel of kindergarten-aged girls running around the house. The last thing she needs is a dark elf bent on revenge showing up on her doorstep. No wait, maybe the last thing she needs is a cop on her doorstep looking for Rocko, the gorilla who escaped from the zoo and might or might not be hiding in her back yard. Or maybe the last thing she needs is a pair of pissed-off female demons crashing the party.

And did we mention that a cupid is inhabiting her toddler son’s body?

Yeah, THAT was the last thing she needed.

MY REVIEW for END OF THE LINE

My least favorite of the Monster Hunter Mom books; this one is more like the rest of the Bubbaverse than the unique signature of “Mom”. It just wasn’t family-friendly fun. Oh, and Pascal’s change was icky. I liked him way better before.

Yes, if you love Bubbaverse, you will still love this. Yes, still funny. Yes, plenty of monster to overcome. Yes Rocko and everyone from the entire season shows up for the final Big Bad – so that all is good. But it was so busy with the Big Finale, it forgot its Big Heart.

Read it for the action and to give Ms. Blackrose the money to make more like the first three novellas of the series. I want more Cheetos for snack day, and museum trips, and “pony” rides And you know you do too.

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