Title: Karma Fights A Monster
Author: Evan Purcell
Publisher: Duckbill Books and Publications Pvt Ltd
Evan Purcell’s ‘Karma Fights a Monster’ is the first book in the Karma Tandin: Monster Hunter series, which is set in Bhutan. It is the story of an average twelve-year-old kid, Karma, who fights all sorts of monsters including demonically possessed appliances that frequent the quaint town of Jakar.
Before the story begins, Karma has already fought several monsters and saved his peers and townsfolk. In this story, we see him fighting a shark-faced librarian who is also the strict new teacher with way too many rules. She loves books and her shark-daughter more than anything and takes her role as a librarian very seriously. Karma stumbles over her secret identity and wants to eliminate her for the safety of everyone around him. However, he isn’t so sure if she is really dangerous to others ones he sets out to reveal her secret to the world along with his best friend and look-out Chimmi. To him she comes across as a normal—though a monster—mother who reads her daughter the bedtime story of the three little pigs that his father read for him when he was younger. Having lost his father, this small gesture tugs at Karma’s heart.
However, one thing leads to other and even though he doesn’t intend to, the secret is out in the open. Karma realizes that he has made a mistake; more so when his friend, the beautiful Dawa, says so. He tries to rectify his mistake and is successful. But is he really mistaken? Is the librarian really harmless or is there some ulterior motive?
Purcell’s writing is easy to follow and hilarious. The characters bring out a smile on the reader’s face effortlessly. Karma and all the other students act and talk like middle-school Americans though the story is set in Bhutan. The country serves only as a backdrop and we don’t much come across the culture or lifestyle of Bhutan. But this is not a complaint in any way.
Through this monster story, Purcell has tried to introduce the issues that kids face in their lives and how everyone has to struggle against their worst impulses. His cool, shark monster represents something that we can all understand and relate to — teachers and their ways.
The story is still pleasantly entertaining and fast-paced. For monster lovers, it’s a winner.
Evan Purcell is an American teacher who has worked in Zanzibar, Kazakhstan, China and Russia. He's spent two years in the beautiful kingdom of Bhutan, where he hikes, sings karaoke badly and eats way too much of the delicious local food. He has published six novels for both adults and children.