Jim Sturges is your typical teen in suburban San Bernardino - one with an embarrassingly overprotective dad, a best friend named "Tubby" who shares his hatred of all things torturous (like gym class), and a crush on a girl who doesn't know he exists. But everything changes for Jim when a 45-year old mystery resurfaces, threatening the lives of everyone in his seemingly sleepy town. Soon Jim has to team up with a band of unlikely (and some un-human) heroes to battle the monsters he never knew existed.
The book that inspired DreamWorks Animation series Trollhunters, which became the first installment of the Tales of Arcadia franchise.
Tropes in this novel include:
- Blithe Spirit: Claire Fontaine, according to Jim Jr.
- Big Brother Instinct: Jack Sturges to Jim Sr.
- The Big Damn Kiss: Happens between Jim Jr. and Claire on the ruined football field. They even recite their lines from Romeo and Juliet.
- Body Horror: Nullhullers are able to vomit up virtually every one of their internal organs with the exception of their hearts to make themselves more nimble. When Jim tries to take their gallbladders from the vomited entrails, all of their other organs come to life and try to attack him.
- Crazy Cat Lady: Tub's grandmother. They have so many cats that Tub refers to them as Cat#6 and Cat#30 and so on.
- Corrupt Politician: Blinky explains that changeling trolls like Nullhullers replace real human babies with replicants, who then grow up to be deviants, corrupt CEOs and politicians so that they could purposely ruin the world.
- Face on a Milk Carton: Back in 1967, so many children went missing in San Bernardio that the sheer number of them that appeared on milk cartons gave the incident the name "Milk Carton Epidemic".
- Good with Numbers: Claire. Her first appearance is going up to the chalkboard in Jim Jrs math class.
- I Call It "Vera": Jim Jr. calls his sword "Claireblade"
- Informed Judaism: Tub is Jewish, according to Jim Jr.
- Long-Lost Relative: Jack Sturges, who is revealed to be alive but older than he appears to be.
- Missing Mom: Mrs. Sturges walked out the day before Jim Jr.'s fifth birthday.
- Mundane Made Awesome: Jim Sr. running over goblins on a giant lawnmower.
- Papa Wolf: Jim Sturges Sr. Deconstructed as his over-protectiveness is seen as unhealthy and unhelpful by authority figures to the point where the police tell him directly they won't answer his calls anymore, and his son just feels embarrassed and ashamed of his high strung parent.
- School Play: Jim jr. and Claire get cast as the titular Romeo and Juliet during the annual fall festival. played with as the football field is destroyed and they never get to perform.
- Secret Legacy: The Sturges family has been hunting trolls long before they immigrated to the United States. Also overlaps with Lineage Comes from the Father
- Shout-Out: To the infamous Troll 2. When asked by Tub if there are any vegetarian trolls in existence, Blinky mentions a tribe called the Nillbogians that tried to subsist entirely on plant matter. Unfortunately this only lasted nineteen days before the entire tribe dissolved into green sludge.
- Sweet Tooth: Claire. She enjoys licorice and cola.