Saturday, September 2, 2017

Book Reviews: Monster Hunter Vendetta

Monster Hunter Vendetta
by Larry Correia
This is book two in Correia's Monster Hunter series. To recap, just about everything that goes bump in the night is real. The government pays mercenaries or "hunters" who kill or capture (mostly kill) monsters. The government also keeps a watchful eye on these mercenaries, often interfering with their activities for "national security" reasons. At every incident with monsters the government is there to clean up the mess, provide cover stories, handle the media and "convince" witnesses that they didn't see anything out of the ordinary. Particularly stubborn witnesses might find themselves "disappeared". The primary mercenary group is Monster Hunter International. They are overseen by the federal government's Monster Control Bureau. Owen Pitt is the hero of the series. He's a former accountant of rather large size, much like the author, who having survived an encounter with a werewolf with his body and soul intact, joined Monster Hunter International. Monster Hunter International is run by the Shackleford family. This includes Julie Shackleford, Owen's love interest and soon to be wife, and her great grandfather Earl Harbinger. Earl is an all around bad$$$ who also happens to be a werewolf. Earl is not eligible for any bounties, not that anyone would be stupid enough to try. In the first book Owen and his team, Julie, his buddy Trip and former stripper Holly, saved the world from being devoured by those beyond. As part of this process a nuclear bomb was detonated in the dimension where the evil Lovecraftian god The Dread Overlord existed. This didn't kill the Dread Overload. But it did make him pretty upset. And Owen Pitt has moved to the top of the evil god's sh**list. 

In this book the Dread Overlord has sent its cult and wizards after Pitt. It wants Pitt brought to its dimension. Preferably alive, but not necessarily with all of his limbs. To this end the cult has pulled out all the stops to get Pitt. This means destroying Monster Hunter International and going after Pitt's family. But Pitt is a surly wisea$$ at the best of times. He's not going to sit still while anyone threatens his family, even if said someone is an apparently invulnerable wizard known as the Shadow Man

This Shadow Man knows too much about Pitt and too much about his employer. As unthinkable as it is to Earl and Julie, there's a traitor inside of their company. Finding out who that person is may involve going back a few decades and researching some old resentments. And oh by the way Julie's parents, Ray and Susan, are vampires. They intend to turn Julie soon. And they don't think there's a damn thing that Owen can do about it. But Owen has more than a few tricks up his sleeve besides his automatic shotgun, Abomination. He doesn't care what he has to do; he's not going to let anyone harm his family and get away with it. 
Like the first book Correia takes the kitchen sink approach. Whereas the first book imagined elves as stereotypical inbred trailer park residents, this one brings us hyper aggressive garden gnomes who stepped out of a gangster rap video. Julie's childhood friend was a shoggoth. Owen's prior romantic rival for Julie is back with an unknown purpose while Owen's nemesis the enigmatic Agent Franks, Monster Control Bureau employee, is assigned to protect Owen. Owen and Franks hate each other. Franks is one of the few men larger than Owen and one of an even smaller group of men who can beat up Owen without breaking a sweat. Franks and Owen have history. And none of it is good.

This is basically a B-movie set to text. It was fun reading, but I didn't care for the whole Chosen One narrative that is built up around Owen. That took away from the Everyman charm of being amazed at things which most people never see. When a character gets all sorts of special powers and loses vulnerability I think the story loses a little something. But the fight scenes were pretty good, as was the sibling relationship/rivalry between Owen and his brother Mosh, a world famous heavy metal guitarist who doesn't appreciate Owen's world colliding with his. Correia is not only a former accountant but also a former firearms instructor. There's a fair amount of information about guns within the story, but nothing so detailed to make gun novices' eyes glaze over. This book was a little over 500 pages. 
blog comments powered by Disqus