Monster Hunter International by Larry Correia
Initially, I did not think I would enjoy this style of book (vampires, werewolves etc.) but I was pleasantly surprised when I did. I had lifted it at random from the shelf at my favourite bookshop, Pulp Fiction, read the blurb and immediately had my interest piqued. In the end what actually pushed me over the edge was something a little sillier and real world - it was the feel of the pages as I flicked through them, soft, silky and very tactile. I know it sounds ridiculous but it was the combination of these things that encouraged me to purchase the book, which I was thankful for, as I did really enjoy the story.
In Monster Hunter International we inhabit a world of werewolves, vampires, trolls, orcs and much much more. It’s a hidden world known only to those who fight these creatures and those who have suffered at their hands. From the opening pages this book contains a lot of action and gun love, and continues in this vain from the start to finish. Think of it as a book that runs up hill without stopping and then jumps off.
The main character Pitt is a hulking beast of a man: tall, strong, skilled and smart. With a dark past as a bare knuckle fighter he initially hides away as an accountant to escape his sins. He has been trained from an early age by his military father in all things war - he is the perfect monster fighting machine. Stepping back I will say the idea behind Pitt was a little on the nose for me and he could have had some bigger flaws and a little more of a learning curve as he deals with his new world.
We still have the traditional fantasy memes, only one person has the innate skills, untapped power and destiny to save mankind and that man is Owen Pitt. We have the expected love interest, an over-arching villain with their willing and unwilling agents and a hidden Evil. This main agent of destruction, The Cursed One was a well thought-out character that inspired distrust and dislike from the moment the reader is introduced to them.
** SPOLIER **
He even has a shred of humanity at the end and saves the day for an even greater evil, so you kind of feel bad (only a little) when he dies.
** SPOLIER END **
Soapbox time! I have said it before and I am sure to say it again, I am not a fan of vampire/werewolf fiction. Within the last ten years these creatures have been done to death (pun intended), the only original aspect I took away from the vampires in this story was the idea that a vampire’s strength and mental control did not come from age (being an old vampire) but from the creature who turned them in the first place as well as the amount if blood they have drunk to date.
I did have issues with the amount of gun love throughout the book, but considering the biography of the author, it is not surprising (have a read, you'll see why). Don't get me wrong I am not adverse to some gun action but it was taken to another level in this book. The author gave great detail and description to each weapon used or mentioned, almost like he was writing a manual on how to perform brain surgery.
** SPOLIER **
Certain concept points came across a little transparent and while not taking away from the story they didn’t leave much of a mystery for the reader. For example, there is an ancient obelisk with writing across its surface, which the Cursed One thinks relates to him and a prophecy, but it was fairly obvious from the words written and the "hidden" context it was meant for Pitt. It may have just been easier to write it as such and have it done with.
** SPOLIER END **
This was enjoyable book, which came as a surprise. The shape and flow of the story is well defined and you easily breeze through the pages with glee. I do hope the gun love is toned down for the next book, but I doubt it.
This Monster Hunter International book review was written by Fergus McCartan
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