I was looking for some pulp. I got that. What I didn't expect was hours and hours of Libertarian stump speeches inserted into a supernatural Rainbow Six. Seriously, the book was fine except for this. It wasn't really amazing, but it was doing it's job fine. But seriously the GOVERNMENT-MESSES-EVERYTHING-UP-AND-PRIVATE-INDUSTRY-IS-ALWAYS-RIGHT message is clear from the go. Then Larry Correia goes and has a character literally say just that. Then it happens again. And again. Seriously, Corriea should have gone all the way and renamed "MHI" to "Rand Industries." The plot of this book is like playing D&D with that one weird kid from your freshman dorm. Not recommended.
All that aside, Oliver Wyman is really a great narrator. Big points to him.
I started to wonder why I was not enjoying this book as much as his Grimnoire Chronicles...and I was really questioning the quality of his writing--it's pretty bad. In comparison to his other work, which I think is really exceptional, it's shockingly bad in fact. Come to find out, this was originally a self-published novel and was written years before the Grimnoir Chronicles and all it really succeeds in doing is showing what a few years and a LOT of practice can do for a writer. I don't think I'd have the patience to stick with this series (the dialogue is truly painful) but if he adds to the Grimnoire series I'll be all over it!
My favorite books are when rational characters are put into an interesting world and let go. Favorite narrators: Bronson Pinchot, Tim Curry
Did anyone else absolutely love the Grimnoir Chronicles and absolutely hate Monster Hunter International? I did, and I'm still trying to figure out what the difference is. Part of it is probably the order in which I listened to them. After the brilliance of Grimnoir, I had high hopes for MHI and was severely let down. If I had listened in reverse order, maybe I would have found MHI to be just mediocre, and not such a thorough disappointment. I rated it 2 stars because I'm trying to overcome that bias, but how I felt after listening to it (and even during the later parts of the book) was a 1-star reaction.
In the Grimnoir books, Correia created a new set of supernatural rules, and it worked really well, intertwining with historical events and the politics of the day. In MHI, it's just your typical werewolves and vampires and basically a bunch of people try to shoot them and blow them up. I guess that didn't do it for me. The plot and character development of the Grimnoir books seemed so much more developed and interesting, while the Monster Hunter characters are superficial and stereotyped. I found myself neither believing them nor caring much one way or another what happened to them as the book progressed.
And the narrators definitely play a role. Bronson Pinchot really brought the Grimnoir series to life, not just with character voices, but with his tone and with pauses in just the right spots. Oliver Wyman kind of read MHI and didn't add much. Or maybe the writing was just that much worse and he had less to work with. I honestly don't know where one stops and the other begins.
Anyway, you have two popular series by the same author with very similar overall ratings. But in my opinion, they are nothing like each other, and I recommend digging a little deeper into the reviews to try to figure out if this is what you want.
This book was a series of hits and misses for me.
The hits? An interesting if familiar premise - monsters secretly living among us and secretive groups battling them. The protagonist is a likable, self-conscious guy with a complicated past. The back story of the bad guy is well-crafted. And the narrator is quite good with his range of voices.
The misses? Whole lotta gunporn - cool for a while, then tedious. An anti g-man subplot that portrays the monster-hunting feds as largely incompetent losers. (Really? The elite gov't paramilitary forces battling the most evil beings on the planet are bumbling bureaucrats?) And like many books, the progression of the main character from simple everyman to uber-hero feels rushed and (at times) overly predictable.
Overall, this book deserves 3.5 stars. I'm still on the fence as to whether I'll continue with the series.
The main character seems to be the author, who's imagined himself killing "pure evil" bad guys, while everyone around him tells him how awesome and special he is. There is a love interest of sorts. She is just as awesome, and she is simultaneously smitten at first site with the awesome hero, but also has to be won-over in time... by his sheer awesomeness.
There are other characters, but don't worry, they are just there to contrast with the special-ness of the hero. Some of them are well meaning, but they don't quite measure up. Not their fault, really.
The bad guys are all "pure evil", and we know this because the special hero can feel the "pure evil" rolling off each and every one of them. Convenient when you don't want the story to pause for anything like character development, or any kind of story development.
This books is bad! Stay away!
Me? I'm too late to get my money back. Or the time I wasted.
I don't remember how I first discovered Monster Hunter International. Maybe it was as an ebook, maybe an audiobook. Regardless, it was a terrific introduction to a writer whose work I've come to enjoy, read by a reader I've always enjoyed.
A bit about the book: It is Larry Correia's first book, and has the rough edges you'd expect. You can definitely see the improvement in his craft as a writer in later things he's written. But that said, this was still a fun book. I loved the idea that there are secret Monster Hunters out there, protecting us from the things that go bump in the night.
Now some people get spun up about the guns in these books. If guns bother you, don't read or listen to anything by this author. I, on the other hand, felt truly educated. And one of the things I learned is if I ever become a writer of urban fantasy myself, I'm never going to mention guns in more than a cursory way. Because I just don't know them like he does, and my ignorance would show.
Now on to the reading. As I said, Oliver Wyman is one of my favourite readers. I loved his reading of Anathem, and he was one of only two listenable readers in the Safehold series. He does a killer job of vocal characterisation. You always know who is speaking, just by how they sound. And he takes the time to learn the correct pronunciation of words, which is one of my bugbears. I hate readers who get words wrong. But that is not a failing you can ever accuse Oliver Wyman of.
So I urge you, o fan of urban fantasy, to take a listen to this series. Understand that the author was just getting started when he wrote this, and that he continues to improve with every new book published. So listen, enjoy, and Good Hunting!
If it were actually good, well written and funny.
His attempts at humor fell flat and he seems to have an agenda in the way he writes. His constant reminders that his character is libertarian and anti government get really old, really quckly. He subtly interjects little things related to Mormonism as well, perhaps in an attempt to make people curious to learn more about it. As an ex-mormon, I assume he thinks he's doing God's work by trying to spread the word about mormonism through his writing. Any non-mormon would perhaps not notice these cues from mormonism, as some are very vague unless you've been a member and recognize the jargon and such.
I didn't connect with the characters whatsoever, like, when people die that you're supposed to want to live, it didn't matter to me. I was just begging for the the story to end. I listened to it all just to appease a friend who'd recommended it to me. It feels like he tries to emulate the Dresden Files type humor, banter and action, and fails completely. Though I'm not sure which came first.
maybe. as long as it's not written by Larry Correia
anger and ambiguity. I hated the characters and couldn't have cared less what happened to them. Just wish more of them died instead of being saved by one Deus ex Machina after another.
it sucks, don't read it.
This was a big commitment and with the reviews, I thought it would be solid. The narrator, often sounding like Nick Offerman, I thought I'd give it a try. The story offered a fantasy based typical hero who doesn't know he's a hero, with classic guides, love interests and teams. I often felt, though, like I was listening to a low budget shootem up film dialogue with cliché fighting dialogue. It was entertaining enough to get me through the first one, but I'm not interested in any sequels.
I wanted to like this but I just couldn't stand the way the narrator swaggers through the text. It's pretty juvenile to begin with and the narrators style just makes it impossible to take. If you enjoy paramilitary drama saturated with simplified macho dialog and endless weapon-porn maybe it's to your taste. I think a more subtle and swagger free narration might have saved it for me but the characters just had no personality in this narrators interpretation.
The premise of this book could be a great series. Unfortunately the main character is a Mary Sue, the author's political views dominate the book, and there's some weird gun fetishes going on. I read plenty of scifi/fantasy and strong libertarian views are prevalent in the genre, this book takes things too far. It's a shame because the premise could have led to a cool series.
The narrator is pretty good.