It’s a bit of a story: my dad got a free copy during a promotion, and when he finally read it…
He shoved it into my brother’s hands when they were taking a long drive together, and ordered him to read. My brother…
Started paying his own money for the next books in the series, geeking out at every opportunity, is currently slavering for the author to finish Book 7, and badgered me left and right to read Monster Hunter.
So here I am. I’ve joined the club. Maybe I’m not normally in the demographic for ripping apart monsters with anatomically correct firearms, but sometimes you just gotta let your inner “Heck, Yeah!” have some fresh air.
Full Steam Ahead
My brother says the part that got him sold was when the book opens with our hero (Owen Zavasta Pitt) defending himself against his accounting supervisor (who has transformed into a werewolf) and pushing the supervisor out a fourteenth-story window onto a double-parked Lincoln Navigator.
(For my dad, it was when Owen violated his company gun-free policy, thanks to Texas concealed carry law.)
You won’t find no tea parties in gardens here. Or, if there was a tea party in a garden, it’d get crashed by zombies or vampires and most of the guests would end up vivisected somehow.
This book doesn’t catch its breath very often, and it doesn’t pull punches. It’s got enough humor, though, to keep the more feminine of us engaged in the action.
Another thing Mr. Correia is good at is escalating tension. I know we authors are supposed to keep making things worse and worse until the very end, but not all of us are good at grabbing our hero’s hopes, mashing them into pulp, eating them in front of him, and then laughing maniacally while he thrashes desperately, trying to find a way to defeat us.
Mr. Correia piles on the hurt. What starts with Owen’s boss trying to eat him snowballs into an extinction-level event involving curses, Elder Gods, a nuke over Alabama, and…
Well. Anyway. No spoilers or anything.
He’s also good at making you like a character, then immediately ripping their heart out, painting the walls with their entrails, and animating the shredded corpse.
Good stuff. Like that.
Prepare for Pain
On that note, this won’t be a good series for you if you object to flying body parts. Considering the way I physically pass out at medical descriptions, I was surprisingly cool with this book. Well, the vampires gave me some restless nights.
And I am never owning another “Welcome” sign.
We love your romance!
Compared to how part-icular the violence is, the romantic elements are refreshingly low-key! There are some sex jokes, a couple instances of extra-marital sex, and Owen has a serious crush on a girl…HOWEVER, it was handled with more class than 90% of the female-authored romance novels I’ve read.
Just because the characters “get it on” doesn’t mean we need to do it with them!
A Note for Mothers-in-Law
Another detracting factor is the language, which sprinkles crudities throughout.
Then again, unless your mother-in-law wears a handgun under her sweater and will murder with her plastic leg anyone who eats her chocolate pudding, she probably wouldn’t want to read this anyway.
There are chicks like that, of course. Monster Hunter International has its fair share of gun-toting sniper babes who love their high-explosives.
High-Powered Characters…and Explosives
The characters, plot, and world-building get just as much caring detail as the weapons.
Creatures from humanity’s fairy-tales and nightmares lurk in the outskirts of civilization, hunted by Monster Hunter International Inc. and covered up by the government. This makes for an interesting world, full of explosive characters with their own secrets and struggles.
Take a Break and Grab Your Auto-Feed Rapid-Fire Shotgun With Bayonet*
Sure, this is explicitly geared toward the testosterone-fueled, run-and-gun, muscle-bound, flame-throwing, monster-shredding demographic…but that doesn’t mean it’s like an ogre: big, dumb, and stupid. (It is big…like 700+ pages. Mr. Correia doesn’t skimp on his story.)
It’s complex, layered, and hard-hitting…and the later books add to that.
There’s a reason we’ve sucked them down like a vampire sucks blood…erg. (Okay, technically, I needed a break after finishing MHI. You can only take so much sucking void Overlords of eternal torture at a time.)
Point being: my brother hasn’t raved about a book in quite some time. There’s no question Monster Hunter is aimed at a specific demographic — but thankfully for that demographic (and my brother) it hits it right in the bull’s eye.
Evil exists. Cowboy up. Kill it. Get paid.
(*”How many gun laws does this break?” … “All of them.”)
Find out more about the author at his website: MonsterHunterNation.com.
Subscribe to Kimia Wood’s mailing list for a free e-copy of the post-apocalyptic adventure novella Soldier, plus periodic updates on her latest reading and writing exploits.