I'm the managing editor of the Fantasy Literature blog. Life's too short to read bad books!
Originally posted at FanLit.
“Our business is monsters. And business is booming.”
Owen Zastava Pitt was just trying to be normal. He used to be a bouncer who spent his evenings participating in illegal pit fights, but he managed to earn a CPA and became a boring accountant for a big corporation — pension and dental benefits included. Being tall and weighing in at 300 lbs, he didn’t quite look like an accountant — and he still spent his weekends as a gun hobbyist — but he was making progress…. until his boss turned into a werewolf and Owen managed to defeat him and push him out a window on the 14th story of their office building.
That caught the attention of a covert freelance organization called Monster Hunters International. In contrast to the secret government organization that hunts monsters, MHI is a family business. The Shackleford family has selectively recruited and trained a group of highly skilled men and women who work in teams to rid the world of all sorts of dangerous supernatural creatures. Then they collect large bounties from a special government fund. It’s extremely lucrative, but extremely dangerous, too.
Owen’s stature, militant upbringing, gun expertise, quick wits, and tenacity are exactly what MHI is looking for. When they send Julie Shackleford to interview Owen, he can’t resist her good looks and her guns. So Owen signs up for the craziest job in the world and is soon dealing with vampires, gargoyles, ghouls, zombies, werewolves, meddling government bureaucrats, and the insects of the Deep South. He gets some help from his diverse set of MHI colleagues and the good supernaturals — head-banging orcs, trailer park elves, and the ghost of a dead Jewish man that lives in his head.
In the past the monster incidents that MHI has dealt with have seemed like random infestations, but now it’s becoming clear that there’s a coordinated attack going on. Agents of the Old Ones are searching for an ancient artifact that can stop time and open a portal to a source of infinite power. They’ve tried it before — back when the Nazis were in power — and now they’re back to try again. Fortunately, MHI is standing in their way…
Monster Hunter International, the first inLarry Correia’s MONSTER HUNTER INTERNATIONAL series is high-octane non-stop action-packed fun. Blazing assault weapons, monsters of all sorts, and plenty of blood, guts and brains. OK, honestly, this is not typically my thing — it’s really violent and gory — but after enjoying Correia’s GRIMNOIR CHRONICLES, I decided to give MONSTER HUNTER INTERNATIONAL a try, especially since I found them on sale at Audible a while back.
I felt like I was hooked up to a testosterone drip, but I cringingly admired Monster Hunter International. The plot is tight, exciting, and unpredictable. The writing — especially the dialog — is excellent. Correia’s characters are complex and engaging and the women are just as competent as the men. Best of all is Larry Correia’s dry irreverent sense of humor. I wouldn’t call Monster Hunter International a comedy, but I chuckled all the way through. It was this comic relief that made the violence tolerable for me.
MONSTER HUNTER INTERNATIONAL is a series that is even better in audio than print. Audible Frontiers produces the audio version and it’s narrated by Oliver Wyman. Keep in mind that I listen to about 150 audiobooks each year when I say that Wyman’s performance is one of the best I’ve ever heard. He handles both the male and female voices with ease and effortlessly shifts through several accents including a Southern drawl and some Eastern European dialects. His pacing and inflection is perfect. If you’re planning to try MONSTER HUNTER INTERNATIONAL please consider the audio version. You will not be disappointed.
Monster Hunter International is a little too violent and gory for me to count it as a true favorite, but it excels at what it does. It’s highly entertaining dude-lit that is well-written and humorous enough to appeal to a much wider audience.
Publisher: Five days after Owen Zastava Pitt pushed his insufferable boss out of a fourteenth story window, he woke up in the hospital with a scarred face, an unbelievable memory, and a job offer. It turns out that monsters are real. All the things from myth, legend, and B-movies are out there, waiting in the shadows. Officially secret, some of them are evil, and some are just hungry. On the other side are the people who kill monsters for a living. Monster Hunter International is the premier eradication company in the business. And now Owen is their newest recruit. It’s actually a pretty sweet gig, except for one little problem. An ancient entity known as the Cursed One has returned to settle a centuries old vendetta. Should the Cursed One succeed, it means the end of the world, and MHI is the only thing standing in his way. With the clock ticking towards Armageddon, Owen finds himself trapped between legions of undead minions, belligerent federal agents, a cryptic ghost who has taken up residence inside his head, and the cursed family of the woman he loves. Business is good… Welcome to Monster Hunter International.
Started devouring books at age 7 and haven't stopped since... Now I can read while I drive, do dishes, clean the house, or work in garden!
yes - if they are a whacky/weird, sci-fi/fantasy loving sort. The hero, Pitt, is like a grown up Buffy the Vampire Slayer, who is a man and an accountant. Oh, and a gun nut.
There is definitely a more than a hint of Buffy in this book. not just the monsters, but the conflict between desire for a normal life and the calling of monster hunter, the camaraderie between the team members, and the whole saving the world, now let's party bit...
I really liked the gargoyle shootout.
Earl's speech before the big battle was excellent.
After reading this I got the others in the Monster Hunter series. Oliver Wayman is wonderful in his narration. Has a bit of everything. (If you have a weak stomach, and don't enjoy graphic horror descriptions this may not be for you) However there are some laughs and nasty bits, but full of action. Larry Correia knows how to keep a story moving. If you enjoy urban horror fantasy, this is for you.
I've recently returned from living and working in Alaska. I, my beautiful two dogs, and wonderful three cats travelled together.
I did not know what to expect before reading this delightful book. I found it a totally yummy delight for the mind and imagination. There is depth and character development. The plot has a direction and a story to tell. The journey of Owen is the journey of many who bravely attempt to live life to the fullest and so find the answer to the question "Who am I?" As Owen finds out, you are who you decide to be. Sometimes bravery is involved in becoming all that you can be. Owen's decision lies between staying safe and being an Accountant, (no disrespect to any accountants who may see this), or taking one hell of a risk and becoming a Monster Hunter. Owen becomes a Monster Hunter and we all feel better that he made this decision by the end of the novel. We have made this journey with him. So, at the end, my mind, my imagination, and my soul were chocked full of yummy goodness. So, much so that I had to have two more helpings,( I read it twice more).
Love epic sci fi and fantasy, but hate looking of really good books. So many duds out there. I am gamer too.
Two things I disliked about the book. First is that monsters are suppose to be a big secret but about half the world seems to know. Second, I am so tired of the standard fare of monsters, vamps, werewolves, ghouls, etc. I really wish more authors that could be more creative.
Other than that once I got started into the book it was not bad at all. I like the fact the book keeps a pretty fast pace. I did not care the for last battle though, the fight dragged for more than two hours and could have been a little more condensed. Sometimes the book could be a little predictable. The narrator very is good, but, for me, there was just that spark missing that really makes an audio book shine. His voice is clear and understandable and he does a pretty good with female voices. Looking forward to the rest in the series.
If you like this book I recommend the Joe Ledger series or if you like a like more fantasy mixed into your military battles try the Black Company. If you're more into urban fantasy with a little more magic and less guns try Dresden files or Iron Druid.
Audible junkie, history buff, esp. wars through Korea, scifi/fantasy fan, lover of *most* things new & interesting.
To all reviewers who gave 4-5 star ratings, you confirm my contention that the dumbing down of America is a complete success. I'll never trust ratings here again & frankly, you folks scare me more than monsters.
Note regarding Oliver Wyman's narration: In fairness, I can't really give Mr. Wyman's narration much of a review. He has a pleasant voice & did a good job with the material he was given. I look forward to listening to him narrate again.
I was introduced to Larry Correia by reading his Grimnoir Chronicles trilogy. The finely drawn characters, complex plot, multiple storylines & physics as practical magic... I was hooked. I finished the trilogy (40+ hours) in 5 days & went looking for more. There are a couple of 1 hour novellas based on Grimnoir, but I prefer books 15-20 hours, so passed on those.
I found Monster Hunter International (MHI), a self-published book which won praise & launched Correia's writing career. The reviews were good & while fitting the genre's formula, it still promised surprises. The main character in both books are about the same: solo gumshoe, a not too bright, nothing special kind of guy. This is his first line of defense used to separate the foolish from the dangerous. I was pleased to see him throw his boss out a 14th story window in the opening chapter. A bit of clumsy humor, ominous hospital visits from sinister Feds & a snarky representative from a shadow company that wants to recruit Pitt. The writing is not as polished as in The Grimnoir Chronicles, but it was easy to see that this writer was on an upward trajectory. I settled in for another long, satisfying read (um, listen).
That's when I ran into what ultimately caused me to return the book just a half dozen or so chapters in. There were whispers in the Grimnoir books of Mr. Correia's politial views, but they fit the main character's persona & were dropped, almost as quickly as raised, without embellishment. As Mr. Correia states on his website, he is an a convert to a well-known Utah church, a right leaning libertarian, a former accountant & machine gun/arms dealer & instructor. These things give a pretty clear picture of the author's own political beliefs.
Normally, I don't care if the author worships pink unicorns, receives radio signals through his tinfoil hat or is building a death ray in his garage ~ as long as the actual book is politics-free & a great piece of escapist fiction. I'm cool with Correia being a libertarian 2A guy & I know he & other authors have gotten a lot of grief because their books aren't left or right enough. Personally, I object to pressure to self-censor just to gain marketshare. I believe that the very purpose of fantasy/scifi is to make us think of other realities, consider other views & is overall good for the public discourse & evolution.
That is *not* the case here. In MHI, Correia injects his anti-government sentiment into every chapter. As a tool to give anti-establishment cred? Fine. To constantly bash government like any dime a dozen Tea Party RWNJ? Not fine. Same thing with guns. I get that Correia is a Ted Nugent-style gun nut, but the heavy-handed gun enthusiasm here is over the top. Each weapon, lovingly described woodwork, metalwork, bluing, rate of fire, range, ammo, etc., etc., ad nauseam, are excruciatingly detailed each time a weapon enters the story (which is a lot). The weapons are described with carefully crafted passages bordering on the salacious.
In The Grimnoir Chronicles, weapons also play a big part, but again, they were part of the backdrop of the story, not the subject of such intense scrutiny & description. For me, these tedious descriptions of the minutiae of weapons was extraneous & detracted from the pace of the story.
All that said, these books obviously have a wide appeal for individuals with Correia's mindset. I'm not one of them. It's too bad, because I'd come to know & like the characters in The Grimnoir Chronicles & care about what happens to them. I hoped I'd feel the same about Pitt & his eventual band of comrades, but the 2D characters in MHI left little impression in the short time I spent with them. Care about the anti-government sentiments, casual racism & misogyny AND weaponry? Nope.
The author beats you over the head with his politics in this book. It got more tolerable as the book went on, but there was a pretty racist point mid book where he uses a character to explain what in my opinion is covert racism, that really isn't a problem anymore and that politicians who advocates for the poor are racist. So in my mind he's advocating covert racism.
Aside from its politics its an okay smash monsters book. It is a much less well written Dresden Files for gun nerds instead of pop sci-fi / fantasy nerds, and I'm all for having some good bubble gum in my reading diet. If it hadn't been so soapboxy I probably would've enjoyed it.
Also feminists may not like how he relates to women. His attitude toward women seems to be that persistence after being told no is okay with a smidge of butthurtness.
Aside from the politics, the most frustrating part was just how obviously Larry Correia wrote himself into the story. If you take a look at his bio, his character is almost a carbon copy of himself. Maybe he gets better as the books progress (though I don't think I've got the stomach to keep going and find out). He essentially published a dream fulfillment (where he gets to explain to the world just how tough, macho, and right he really is) fan fiction (the quality of the writing) set in a surprisingly rich and inventive setting.
Oliver Wyman was the only thing that made reading this book tolerable. I thought he sounded alot like Ron Swanson reading an audiobook, and it was perfect. I could limp through the storyline and get some enjoyment imagining that the whole thing was a parody.
Given all the good reviews I was disappointed. I wouldn't spend the credit again. The attitudes toward women and hammer to the head politics made me angry. The fact that it has such a large following made me sad.
After some research I found out the author pretty actively promotes his views, villifies people who advocate for progressive issues, and defends people like Vox Day (guy is an overt racist and misogynist) so in the future, whatever likelihood I had for looking past his politics and immaturity is over with. I don't want to give him any money.
Go spend money on Jim Butcher or Brandon Sanderson instead.
Currently studying psychology in Norway. I primarily read fantasy, sci-fi and fictional books
Where do I begin with Monster Hunter? It's a book that wants to be an action movie more than a book, and it feels like it was written by an 18 year old. The book is suffering from a lack of story. Yes, there is a plot there, but a vast majority of the book is spent describing guns and fights. I am not joking, the weapons in this book will receive better descriptions than most characters.The protagonist is uninspired and hard to love. This won't be a spoiler to the plot, let me tell you the backstory of the main character here: His dad was an army nut, so he raised his son to become some badass army kid knowing how to handle guns and fights. To make money as he grew older, he became a cage fighter. Here's the twist, he suddenly regretted beating up a guy so much that he decided to become an accountant. Yeah... that's his backstory. You're apparently supposed to feel sorry for the guy for being involved with killing monsters because "he wants a boring life", but the author barely attempts to make this believable at all.The only reason this book isn't receiving a 1 star is because the narrator does a decent job.Save your credits for a better book, go watch a cheap action flick instead.
The main character is an idiot. All he wants to do is shoot things and punch people and curse. I can see a high school boy liking this book but very immature writing.
The narrator does as good a job as he can. He never laughs while reading this and that is hard to believe.
Disappointment and concern
Not bad on the action but every character is a cliche.
I expected trash and for my sins I received refuse. Every line is a cliche regardless of context, so it doesn't always make sense. Transparent attempts to make characters seem maximum badass leaves dimensionless ciphers occupied by yet more cliche. Masturbatory firearm description, hack plot from EVERY shlock film you've ever seen, minimalist vocabulary; and mountains of exposition informing me how I feel about characters, rather than demonstrating it with their actions. The narration is so dry and slow, as if waiting for wit that never comes, that I could not finish this miserable banality.
It is supposed to be akin to B horror films, where the hackneyed is part of the charm, but even they had some originality.
The protagonist, in whose dull head we must spend the book, is recruited into a secret agency to fight monsters, where he falls for a supermodel babe who is also maximum badass. But she has a boyfriend who is an inexplicable dick, hates the protagonist and out ranks him. But protagonist is the best at monster hunting and also used to fight for money where he nearly killed people, but he doesn't like to talk about it. You know the type. OF COURSE YOU KNOW THE TYPE!
Fuck this book.