Review: Monster Hunter International & Update

Monster Hunter International (Monster Hunters International Book 1)Being up front here: Urban fantasy wherein weapons, explosions and the gruesome deaths of creatures both eldrich and fell are described in loving detail are not my cup of tea. Larry Correia’s Monster Hunter International is the first such book I’ve ever read, as far as I can remember. So, I’m not really the right guy to review this book. That said – it was a load of fun! You can get it for your Kindle free right now, which is how I came to have it.

Short & sweet – if you need an action-packed, often hilarious diversion for that trip to the beach, this is your book. More fun than a barrel of red neck elves! A week later, and I’m still giggling at some of the scenes and dialogue. The books aims to be fun, awesome, and entertaining, and hits that description out of the park.

The flavor of the book is captured in the opening lines:

On an otherwise normal Tuesday evening I had the chance to live the American Dream. I was able to throw my incompetent jackass of a boss from a fourteenth-story window.

Then there’s the gun love:

“You know that ‘no weapons at work’ policy?” I asked the twitching and growing hairy monstrosity standing less than ten feet from me. His yellow eyes bored into me with raw animal hatred. There was nothing recognizably human in that look.

“I never did like that rule,” I said as I bent down and drew my gun from my ankle holster, put the front sight on the target and rapidly fired all five shots from my stub-nosed .357 Smith & Wesson into Mr. Huffman’s body. God bless Texas.

And so on. Like almost all good stories, it’s a love story, a finding your true self story, and an adventure story – just built around way cool weapons and vampires, werewolves, wights, and deathless horrors from beyond time and space.

Quick spoiler-free recap: Owen Zastava Pitt is a newly-hired accountant who discovers one evening that his “incompetent jackass of a boss” happens to be a werewolf. Instead of getting eaten, however, Owen manages through sheer cussedness and small arms fire to shove him out a window to his death. He is seriously mauled in the process.

This is unusual, to say the least. Owen wakes up in a hospital bed with tubes and wires and bandages all over his body – and two government agents, one of whom holds a gun on him. From there, Owen is swept up into a secret organization called Monster Hunters International, which, in less than friendly competition with a similar government branch, seeks to kill and collect bounties on all sorts of evil creatures infesting the world.

He falls in love with the daughter of the head of MHI, is visited in his dreams by a WWII-era Jewish monster hunter from Nazi Germany, and goes on adventures and adds to MHI massive body count of zombies, wights, and other evil things.

But this time, it’s not just the usual motley crew of monsters – there’s something big going on. Of course, only Owen can stop it.

There are plenty of laughs, and plenty of moments of righteous get-even-itude. We got heavy-metal loving orcs, trailer trash elves, a wacky cast of monster hunters, who don’t need no stinkin’ badges.

So, it’s not like your mind will be raised to dazzling heights of truth and beauty by this book – but you won’t be bored, and will probably laugh out loud. Yard Sale of the Mind says: check it out. It’s even free right now, what do you want?

Update: After reviewing a couple John C. Wright collections I’ve read in the cracks, will be shifting gear away from mostly speculative fiction back to history, philosophy & education. For a while, at least, while my stamina holds up. On the list:

The American Republic by Orestes Brownson – this will require multiple essays. Brownson is fascinating, not only as a public intellectual from back when such people were not ignored in favor of reality TV (a step rightly taken, these days), but as the typical American autodidact and as a Catholic convert from the Burned Over district and the Second Great Awakening. He wrote this at the conclusion of the Civil War with great optimism that America would finally grow up. He only lived another 10 years, so he just missed all the mishegas around Rutherford B. Hayes – which would have killed him anyway, most likely. 

Been working on Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit for a quite a while now. Am well into the body of the work; will continue with the section-by-section commentary.

Will pick one of my growing collection of biographies of the early American educators, and use it to proof-text my crazy educational ideas. Ooops! I mean plumb its black depths for more dirt on our better’s endless and brutal efforts to keep us little people in line. Or something like that.

Hey. I read these books so you don’t have to.

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Author: Joseph Moore

Enough with the smarty-pants Dante quote. Just some opinionated blogger dude.

2 thoughts on “Review: Monster Hunter International & Update”

  1. Hi YOS,

    I saw your link a while back and read this book too. I used to be a big sci-fi fan but that was many years ago now. In between I read a lot of academic stuff in medieval philosophy and economics.

    I think the story here was a rollicking good time. Seriously who wouldn’t love to fire a gun that has a name and the name is Abomination? But I honestly can’t say the writing quality was very high quality. No, I do not have specific quotes. I just know that as I read, there were more than a few times when the descriptions were simply too pedestrian. Military/Action Sci-Fi doesn’t have to have wild descriptions of the love of the main character’s life or of the sky as they approach doom (several times). But it doesn’t hurt to have that kind of thing either. And this was on the level of the sky was dark or the sky was grayish. I like tight prose too but if there is description it needs to be worth reading.

    I know this was Correia’s first book. So I’m hoping the writing gets better. He became a best seller on some list. I have to think it probably did. Again, the story is imaginitive. So props for that. The best description was when the Cursed One was on his way back from the pyramid to the village. That part was pretty visceral and I was in those moments. But the rest was just like watching tv. I wasn’t really in the scene.

    Anyway – those are my 2 cents.

    Keep up the good work. Looking forward to the Brownson review. I have been thinking of reading him myself.

    1. Thanks for the comment, and welcome.

      I guess I went into it expecting a fast-pace crazy adventure, so all I wanted from the prose is that the wheels don’t fall off – none of the writing was so egregious as to break my suspension of disbelief. Pulp, and all that. So, I hardly noticed and got over it quickly when the writing when *thunk* – which wasn’t all that often.

      While it was fun, I don’t know when I’ll get a chance to read any more in the series.

      The Brownson is coming along. What’s great about reading old dead guys is that they really are of a different culture. He says stuff that both sounds like he could have observed it in 2015, and then the next thing he writes sounds 2015 B.C..

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