As you can probably tell from the fact that I write a blog reviewing books, I love reading. I’m also heavily into audiobooks. My mother instilled a love of these in me as a child during long car trips. I’ve taken this advice, and I listen to them these days while walking Micah, falling asleep, and, yes, during long road trips.
I subscribe to Audible so that I can get them cheaper than retail with a selection and app library that really can’t be beat at the moment. However, the problem is that, unlike library books, I have a hard time picking what to listen to. Maybe it’s because the choice is permanent and I’m paying for it, but I always think I’m going to regret my choice, especially if I don’t know a lot about it. But sometimes I just hold my nose and jump into something with a lot of good reviews.
Larry Correia’s Monster Hunter International series has been one of these series. And much like The Dresden Files and The Iron Druid Chronicles, it’s a long running series that I only listen to. I finished the first one in March, and it was okay, but the ending left me feeling a little blah. Well, a few months passed, and I was looking for something light to listen to while falling asleep, and I thought I’d give Correia another chance.
And this book was totally fine. For most of it. But we’re getting there. Anywho, so monsters are real, and Owen Pitt, our main character, works as a bounty hunter that kills monsters. They’re based out of Alabama, and these weapon crazy, monster-hunting fools are constantly getting into scrapes with the federal government and with monsters trying to end the world. This time, it’s a crazy cult called with Condition who wants to blot out the sun and raise an army of undead. Which is fine by me, because cults are scary and people are way more interesting as villains than pure “monsters.”
Well, Owen keeps getting attacked by the Condition, first in Mexico, then at a concert his brother (a metal rock star named “Mosh” Pitt…love the pun.) is throwing, and then at the compound. And the whole time he’s being followed around by a pack of federal agents that are his protectors, but he keeps giving them the slip because the government is totally ineffective. Also, spoiler kinda, one of them is a spy for the Condition intent on killing him. Because the government put them there to suss out who they were.
I mean, the sentiment of the book is kinda at odds with my worldview. Not exactly conservative, but very small government and libertarian. And sometimes it’s a little much. The government in the book is always evil and meddling and ineffective. Regulations are always meant to be subverted. Weapons are always meant to be unregistered. The government is the boogeyman that understands no nuance and only cares about forms. Oh, and their suits are all cheap. Okay, we get it. It’s a little un-nuanced, to say the least.
So anywho, there are lots of battle scenes and monsters are constantly coming out of the woodwork and the story is engaging if a little…so what. You never get the sense that any of the major characters are in any danger (because they’re not), and you never get the sense anything big is going to be resolved (because it’s not). I mean, that’s just the way that series writing works in the non-George R. R. Martin world. And then the ending…is a little precious. Everything works out just so with no real explanation. I mean, spoiler, but Owen recovers from a zombie fight, defeats an extradimensional Old One uber-baddie, and the cavalry arrives from Alabama to New Zealand just in the nick of time by discovering how teleportation works. And they win. And then they go home. And while the epilogue alludes to future fights with demons, I kinda wish that’s what this story was about, but this kinda felt like filler.
Maybe I’ll give the next one a chance (because the reviews say it really breaks the mold and succeeds in ways the others didn’t), but this one was just fine. And sometimes that’s enough.
JMF Rating: 6/10
‘Til next time,