FALCON QUINN is thirteen years old and is not sure where he fits, either in his middle school or among the world of monsters. Of all the students, he is the one whose nature seems to resist “diagnosis.” As a result, Falcon finds himself asking the same question all thirteen year olds ask themselves, only with more urgency: Who am I? What am I becoming?

Falcon has one blue eye and one black eye; each of these eyes aches at various times, depending on whether he finds himself drawn toward the world of kindness or of anger. As his monster nature develops, he finds he can shoot fireballs out of the black eye, and heal people with the blue one.

Falcon has a long-standing crush on Megan Crofton, the wind elemental; in practical terms this means that Falcon is in love with a girl who is slowly becoming invisible. The age old story.

MEGAN CROFTON is one of Falcon’s friends from Maine. She begins the book angry and silent, mourning her missing older sisters. She bears guilt and sadness bestowed upon her by her mother, who has made it clear she wishes it had been Megan who’d “vanished” instead of the sisters. At the Academy, Megan is revealed as a wind elemental, and she slowly transforms to a being both powerful and unseen.

MAX PARSONS is loud, huge, and tremendously glad to be alive. He’s revealed to be a Sasquatch. Max is a gentle hippie with a big laugh and an enormous presence. He’s in love with Pearl, a tiny Chupakabra about fourteen inches tall. He is loyal to his friends, and brave in manners he himself does not suspect. Max loves pizza.

PEARL is la Chupakabra. “The famous goatsucker of Peru!” Brave and fearless, Pearl is tremendously proud of her Chupakabra heritage. She has a stinger which she wields like a Peruvian Inigo Montoya. Pearl is also in love with the giant Sasquatch Max. “The mysteries of love,” she says. “Who can explain?”

JONNY FRANKENSTEIN has long, shaggy blonde hair, and a rebellious manner. He can play his Fender Stratocaster by plugging the guitar into his own neck. Jonny’s something of a mystery, and although he and Falcon come to be friends, it’s late in the story before his true nature is revealed.


THERMA REDFLINT is the dean of students at the Academy for Monsters; she’s the dragon lady. Mrs. Redflint is somewhat reminiscent, in her dignity, of a Margaret Dumont who can breathe fire. She welcomes the students to the school, gets them set up in their dorm rooms, and enforces the rules.

MR. HAKE is half Mr. Rogers and half Terrible Kracken. He speaks in warm, happy tones, unless angered, at which point he transforms to a horrible writhing creature with tentacles.

QUIMBY is a head in a jar who serves as Falcon & friends’ dorm “crystal.” He has the gift of prophecy, and tells the students fortunes in cryptic manner. Quimby wants one thing: to get out of the jar.

Other characters:

SPARKBOLT is a Frankenstein. He wants to be a poet. He is the author of the poem, “Rose are red; violets are blue; humans—destroy.”

MERIDEATH VENACAVA is a vampire from Philadelphia. Really unpleasant.

DESTYNEE BLOODFLOUGH thinks she’s a vampire and yearns, at first, to be part of the vampire girls super-cool group. Turns out, however, she’s really an enchanted slug. This makes her very sad. In particular, she needs to stay away from salt.
Destynee has a monster crush on Falcon, which is unrequited.

MORTIA is a vegan zombie. She plays folks songs on her guitar. She’s decaying.

LINCOLN PUGH is roommates with Falcon and Jonny; a tiny nerdlike boy with orange, rectangular glasses, Lincoln thinks he’s in a mental institution, and longs for the proper “medication” which will make him well. He does not know that he’s really a were-bear, and transforms to a huge and terrifying bear at night.

TERPIN is a were-turtle. He is very slow. At one point he says, “Must – get—help—“ He starts to run for help and puts a foot on the ground. Three minutes later, he moves the other foot.

WEEMS is a ghoul. He is in love with Destynee, but ONLY when she’s in slug-form. He cannot understand why she is unable to see the beauty in herself. He designs and builds the coffin ship on which the children make their initial escape from the castle.

PEELER and WOODY are Sasquatches, friends of Max’s. Love bananas.

MR. SHALE is a cave troll. He teaches “Guidance.” His favorite phrase is “Shaddap!”

WILLOW WORDSWASTE-PHINNEY teaches Poems and Fabrications. She thinks that the best form of revenge is love. She also has a pen of red ink she can stab people with.

ALGOL is a hunchback with a Cockney accent. He wants to turn Falcon into a gargoyle.

MONSTER ED teaches Monster Education. He’s a horse with three eyes. Sometimes, when he’s upset, he raises his tail in class and then things get really nasty.

PROFESSOR ZIEGFIELD GRUFF is a goat/man who teaches Human Behaviors. He has a thick Austrian accent. He is bewildered by the behavior of the humans he is trying to teach, and lectures ponderously on things like “das human toilet machine!”

  • FalconQuinn revise2
  • Falcon Quinn is a new series from HarperCollins books about a young man who finds himself turning into a monster. Falcon and his friends find themselves taken to the Academy for Monsters, where they're taught how to imitate human beings, and thus survive in the world. Raising the question: What's the right thing to do-- to imitate something you're not, in order to survive? Or to embrace your true self, if your true self is, say, a zombie?

    The series is written by national bestselling author Jennifer Finney Boylan, and the artwork is by legendary book illustrator Brandon Dorman.