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patroo

the High Desert | Member Since 2005

133
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 30 reviews
  • 52 ratings
  • 511 titles in library
  • 4 purchased in 2014
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FOLLOWERS
3

  • Badlands

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Peter Bowen
    • Narrated By Christopher Lane
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (33)
    Performance
    (18)
    Story
    (18)

    The cult members keep to themselves, but the suspicious circumstances under which they arrived have Gabriel Du Pre questioning their motives and seeking answers. He soon learns from a friend in the FBI that seven of the cult's recently defected members were killed, each shot to death, but no arrests have been made. Then another shooting occurs at the perimeter of the ranch, and Du Pre finds himself blindly searching for a killer, an explanation for the murders, and the identity of the cult's elusive leader.

    Amazon Customer says: "One of my longtime favorites"
    "One of my longtime favorites"
    Overall

    Well read and well written, this is a book I have listened to multiple times. As a fan of this series I am familiar with the speech patterns of DuPre, the main character, and now, thanks to Christopher Lane, I have a voice to match.
    I don't care much about the mystery aspect; I just like spending time with the characters in this book - a brand inspector who drives an old retired patrol car at high speed, plays fiddle with a small band, and investigates incidents as he finds them, his fascinating wife, and the horde of grandkids, most of whom are overshadowed by a precocious grade-schooler, Pallas, that has already selected a hapless FBI man as her future husband. These books really are better when you read the entire series in order so that you come to know the characters. Diving into the late part of the series doesn't work as well; you have no understanding about the development of the people and their lives.
    DuPre is a Metis, descended from French voyageurs. He has a strong accent and unusual speech patterns which I have no trouble understanding, though I tend to start thinking in Metis French after listening to this book.
    Medicine man/shaman Benetsee comes and goes as he pleases, using magic as needed, and using DuPre as a tool and foil. He knows a lot of what goes on and steers DuPre in the right direction as needed.
    The basic story is about a cult purchasing a Montana cattle ranch and turning it to their uses. They bring in bison and many mobile homes to house their members. Time reveals that things are not as they seem.
    The best part is a bison stampede near the end that occurs when a television helicopter spooks the herd while DuPre is checking on their wellbeing. They get it all on camera while he rides for his life.
    I wish more of the books from this series were on audio, and I also wish that the author would get cracking and update the series. I'm anxious to see Pallas marry her FBI man.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Spider Woman's Daughter: A Leaphorn & Chee Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Anne Hillerman
    • Narrated By Christina Delaine
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (160)
    Performance
    (148)
    Story
    (148)

    Navajo Nation Police Officer Bernadette Manualito witnesses the cold-blooded shooting of someone very close to her. With the victim fighting for his life, the entire squad and the local FBI office are hell-bent on catching the gunman. Bernie, too, wants in on the investigation, despite regulations forbidding eyewitness involvement. But that doesn't mean she's going to sit idly by, especially when her husband, Sergeant Jim Chee, is in charge of finding the shooter. Bernie and Chee discover that a cold case involving his former boss and partner, retired Inspector Joe Leaphorn, may hold the key.

    rick says: "The slide continues"
    "It's just not up to par"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Perhaps George Guidall could have salvaged the book with his genius for good voices and acting emphasis. Perhaps.

    It's very difficult for a woman tor do male characters when reading, but some of them pull it off. This one did not. Her males were strained and fake, the same voices that you hear in cliche, usually saying something like "Heap big chief." While they're using good English, the tonal emphasis says they're producing a heap big pile of pony product.

    I don't know if George ever spent any time around Navajos, but he could at least produce the diction and pacing associated with many Natives. Even those who are of different tribes seem to have some speech techniques in common, probably from the large numbers who travel from one tribe to another.

    I don't think Tony would have taken this book in the same direction that his daughter did. There are families of writers who each find their own voice and become successful. This book did not do it for Anne. Perhaps her next effort will do it...but I will be extremely reluctant to try it.

    I cannot recommend this as an audio book. As a written book, you have the option of giving your own interpretation to the words on the page, and this may make it somewhat viable in that form.

    Meanwhile I only finished this to see what happened to the legendary Lieutenant. I'll never have a reason to listen to it again.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Stick Game: Gabriel Du Pré, Book Seven

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Peter Bowen
    • Narrated By Jim Meskimen
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (13)
    Performance
    (12)
    Story
    (11)

    Something is rotten in the Fort Belknap Reservation. Life has always been tough on this barren stretch just south of the Canadian border, but now the children are dying. While playing his fiddle in a reservation bar, part-time deputy Gabriel Du Pré meets an accordionist who suspects that the children’s health defects and low test scores are connected to the nearby Persephone mine.

    Amazon Customer says: "This story is even more relevant now"
    "This story is even more relevant now"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Jim Meskimen is steadily improving his narration skills as he works through the series. He is still not as versatile in character voicing as Christopher Lane, but he's trying. The pronounciation issues that were noticeable in "Specimen Song" are much better now, and Toussaint is now Too-sont, as it should be. He does have trouble with Belknap, which is more like Bell-nap, not Belk-nap. Benetsee has developed a good voice now.

    I think of the Gabriel Du Pre' series as one long book. I listen to them over and over, not out of an interest in solving the mystery, but just as a visit in Montana with some people I like ver' much, and wish there were more books.

    "The Stick Game" refers to an Indian gambling game, and one of Madeleine's cousins is very good at it. She's battling alcoholism, and her kids have their own problems. One is a deaf mute, but runs the household while her mother is off on her alcoholic tears. There are two brothers, one who is mostly okay, but one is having trouble...and he's missing.

    Du Pre' searches for the lost boy as a courtesy, but he pretty much knows what he'll find out there in the sweetgrass country. A chat with the lad's friends takes him to a favorite hideout of the kids, and a rank odor leads him the rest of the way, where a rotting corpse dangles from a rope in an old well. The despairing boy had left a suicide note.

    The spring in the hiding place is poison, no wildlife in it, plants all dead, and these kids have ben drinking from it. The survivors tell Du Pre' that Danny was slow but not too bad until a few years ago, when he suddenly couldn't concentrate. It was getting worse and worse, until Danny couldn't take it any more.

    What's in that water? It's almost certainly a polluted source from a big gold mine in the area, but supposedly everything that mine does is clean and legal. Paperwork's right.

    While Du Pre' asks questions, he and his friends make music at the bars. Them Turtle Mountain boys, Bassman and Talley, play them some good music, goes nice with his fiddle. Talley has suffered since he was born with spina bifida or something similar, leaving him with an open wound in his lower spine. When Bart learns of the man's condition, he promptly sends Talley to the Mayo Clinic for help. Got to help a good musician any way you can.

    You need to read/listen to these books in order, as they grow on the previous events. You can read them as stand-alones, but you're going to miss about thirty percent of what's going on because you don't know the backstory.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Specimen Song: A Gabriel Du Pre Mystery, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Peter Bowen
    • Narrated By Jim Meskimen
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (35)
    Performance
    (33)
    Story
    (33)

    A lost and frightened horse plods down the National Mall, startling the crowd. When Gabriel Du Pré spots the confused animal, the connection is immediate, for neither of these creatures belongs in the sweltering heat of a DC summer. Du Pré, a Métis Indian from the wilds of Montana, calms the horse and leads it to the nearest policeman. Du Pré is in Washington to play his people’s music for a Smithsonian festival, but after leading the horse to safety, he encounters a murder instead.

    Kathi says: "Good, but read after the first book!"
    "The difference between reading & performing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The Gabriel Du Pre' mystery series by Peter Bowen are my favorite books. They are written with a lot of dialect, and have a lot of mystique in them. Now we finally have some more of them in audio, but we no longer have the gifted Christopher Lane reading them. Lane voiced Gabriel Du Pre' with Coyote French gutturals and western twang, creating a truly life-like character in all dimensions.

    Mr. Meskimen reads the book adequately, but he does not have the acting ability or the vocal range to bring the characters alive.

    Du Pre' is a Montana brand inspector that drives too fast, drinks too much, dances when he can, and fiddles to the happy crowds in Toussaint's lone bar, as well as at other gatherings. He lives in sin with the lovely Madeline, and they both have kids and grandkids. In the case of Du Pre', it's a passle of grandkids, as one of his two daughters decided to make up for her mother's early death by giving her papa a big family to love. The other daughter is a genius, off doing big things.

    I tell you these things because you might not learn all of them in this book, and it is important that you know that Du Pre' takes no crap from anybody. Him, he's got good friends, and sometimes he figures things out, just because something doesn't look right. Meanwhile he is proud grandpapa and premier folk fiddler.

    Him, he agrees to go to that Washington, D. C., and play his fiddle at a Smithsonian folk music festival, The crowds bother him some, but he enjoys the other musicians, and then the runaway horse comes, and he goes to get it. Takes the horse back, him, and finds a dead person.

    I cannot reproduce Peter Bowen's well-written dialect, but I have talked to people, talk like this, and I know this kind of people. Good people. Good author.

    You need to start with the first book in the series so that you know more about Du Pre' and the people who live in Montana ranch country. There are several other books in audio form as well, but you'll be hooked by the skills of Christopher Lane in "Coyote Wind," book one of the series. Then listen to this one. Big difference, this. Listen to the others that are already available, and wait anxiously for the rest of them, because even an average reader is better than no reader at all. (and yes, I did buy the kindle version of all of the books that did not come out in audio form until just this year).

    Open your mind and dress warm, Montana pretty cold place most the time, but worth the trip. Take your dancin' boots and don't bump into them other people enjoying themselves.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Bad Blood: A Kate Shugak Mystery, Book 20

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Dana Stabenow
    • Narrated By Marguerite Gavin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (104)
    Performance
    (91)
    Story
    (91)

    In Alaska, 100 years of bad blood between the villages of Kushtaka and Kuskulana come to a boil when the body of a young Kushtaka ne'er-do-well is found wedged in a fish wheel. Sergeant Jim Chopin's prime suspect is a Kuskulana man who is already in trouble in both villages for falling in love across the river. But when the suspect disappears, members of both tribes refuse to speak to Jim. When a second murder that looks suspiciously like payback occurs, Jim has no choice but to call in Kate Shugak for help.

    Charlie Russel says: "Another Great Kate Shugak Story"
    "Wait for the next book in the series"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I love the Shugak series. I listen to them again and again...but I won't bother with this one. It's stuffed with poofy purple prose and so much description that one is ready to gag on it.

    In general, it's a Romeo and Juliet rehash with star-crossed lovers from two different villages that have traditionally feuded with each other. Gack. I don't care for this kind of storyline. I might as well be reading about a grizzly dating a beaver.

    We've also got multiple murders, bootlegging, Erland Bannister is once again on the loose (he's tried to kill Kate before), and Jim Chopin is losing his ability to interact with hostile locals. His skiff is sabotaged, leading to a sinking in an icy cold river and potential hypothermia. Some one -- or everyone wants him to stop investigating the man who drowned in a fish wheel and the man who died, nailed into a crawlspace.

    I don't need to hear stuff reiterated. Hearing the same details repeated inside of 5 or 10 minutes regarding Chopper Jim or Kate or two villages having a pissing match gets old. Really old. I usually listen to these books in a day, two at most. It took me a week to keep interested in this long enough to get to the bitter end.

    It ends with a cliffhanger that's definitely dirty pool. Bullets are flying and two characters are hit. Then it ends. If my favorite character dies, I won't return to these books.

    Wait for the next volume so that you can find out right away who lives, dies, whatever. It would also be a good idea to switch back to the ebook version so that you can flip pages with rapidity instead of listening to hours of blaah. A print version should be only an hour's read. At the very least, use your iPod and jack up the speed to "faster, must go faster!"

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Fox Tracks: Foxhunting, Book 8

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Rita Mae Brown
    • Narrated By Rita Mae Brown
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (14)
    Performance
    (13)
    Story
    (12)

    When Master of the Jefferson Hunt ''Sister'' Jane Arnold is confronted with two ominously similar deaths, she begins to suspect that the killings are linked- and part of a much larger plot. Voicing her opinion soon puts Jane's life in danger. Fortunately, she can turn to her four-legged friends - including horses Keepsake and Lafayette, and even the fox Aunt Netty - for help.

    Amazon Customer says: "It's great to finally have a new Sister Jane story"
    "It's great to finally have a new Sister Jane story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I am a long-time fan of Rita Mae Brown's books, particularly the Sister Jane fox-hunting series. She chose to narrate this one, as she has done on at least one of her past books. Unfortunately her voice is neither particularly suitable, or does she have the acting range to bring the words to life.

    Since I am a devoted reader, I can put up with a fairly monotone-like reading, but it might put off those who are new to her books. The only advantage is that she could ably pronounce every single one of the exotic Indian names of characters in the story. Please, Ms. Brown, let a professional do the book - either over again, or in the future. Really. It makes a difference.

    The plot is certainly different, based on illicit tobacco sales, and not especially engrossing. I learned a lot about the tobacco industry, but I wasn't avidly seeking every detail about that enterprise. There is also a terrorism angle.

    I am not one that plays at solving the mystery as I read it. I simply "live" in the story while it takes place, enjoying the setting, the activities (and in this book, the fox hunts are fantastic as always), and just cruising along for the ride. When it ends, it ends, and I'm not sitting there, "Well I didn't see THAT coming."

    The Sister Jane books are all based on fox-hunting, using hounds to track fox across country as riders follow along. It is a long-standing American and British tradition with strict rules and etiquette. American hunts do not kill their quarry, just running it to ground (into the den or other inaccessible place), and calling it good. There are two primary groups of riders, First Flight, the riders who ride in the main body of the hunt, taking virtually all the obstacles and riding at speed, and the Hilltoppers, who are mostly inexperienced horsemen or those who prefer to travel at slower speeds, with little or no jumping. The First Flight is under the Master's (Jane) direct eye and follows her instructions. Another senior member escorts the Hilltoppers, trying to get them views of the fox and the main body of the hunt while letting them participate at their own pace. He makes sure that everyone gets back safely and teaches them about hunting technique and etiquette. If you aren't interested in horsemanship, foxhunting, wildlife -- this isn't the book for you.

    By the way, the foxes enjoy the challenge. Those who don't, go to ground quickly and evade further attention that day. Others delight in laying difficult tracks that are hard to decode by the eager hounds.

    It was a delight to revisit most of my favorite characters in this series, though the multiple references to Betty and Bobby's financial situation got tedious. We all get it if you tell us ONCE. These favorite characters also include the non-human members, the animals and birds of the area, the hounds and horses, all of whom can carry on conversations very intelligently, though their humans don't have a clue about it. As an animal lover, I know darn well they're talking about us.

    I also liked reconnecting with the Custis Hall girls, now on to college and adult life. While this is a stand-alone book, you will really benefit by reading the entire series in order so that you understand all of the inside remarks, and why Crawford Howard, millionaire foxhunter and jerk, makes so much trouble.

    One of the foxes finds human remains as he roams his woodland, and determines that he needs to let one of the humans know somehow. He doesn't really care that much, but he knows that the humans really get concerned over these things, and that it would be the right thing to do. When the hunt comes out the next day, he leads them into the area of the remains, where a sharp-eyed whip, Sybil, spots the bones.

    Story-wise, you'll either love Brown's books as a body of work, or you'll hate them. For this particular audio book, it could have been done in a better manner.


    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Desperate Passage: The Donner Party's Perilous Journey West

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Ethan Rarick
    • Narrated By Christopher Prince
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (371)
    Performance
    (298)
    Story
    (298)

    In late October 1846, the last wagon train of that year's westward migration stopped overnight before resuming its arduous climb over the Sierra Nevada Mountains, unaware that a fearsome storm was gathering force. After months of grueling travel, the 81 men, women and children would be trapped for a brutal winter with little food and only primitive shelter. The conclusion is known: by spring of the next year, the Donner Party was synonymous with the most harrowing extremes of human survival.

    Roger says: "I REALLY enjoyed this book"
    "A complex story that we never knew in such detail"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a superb book, especially for listening to while driving in the country traversed by the Donner party members. The amount of research that went into this book is overwhelming. I've never heard of some of these details, nor had I ever studied the event enough to realize the complexity.

    It wasn't just that they got stranded on the wrong side of the summit when the snows of Truckee started falling in earnest. Over the course of the trip, there were times over and over when they could have gained a day here or there, thwarted by a flooded river for a loss of three days in one spot, taking an extra day off for a 4th of July hangover, etc. If any one of those events had been changed, sending the party on down the trail just a little faster and sooner, they'd have been able to crest the ridge and struggle into the California settlements.

    Poor decision making made an impact, as did a shyster named Hastings, who promoted the Hastings Cutoff as a way to save time. It turned out to be an undeveloped trail that hadn't even been fully traversed by wagons, and the promoter didn't wait to guide them as promised. Trail progress was gained in inches as the roadway was built literally in front of the struggling train.

    Had they stuck with known trails, they'd have made much easier and faster progress overall. They lost cattle and oxen during the trip, and when they finally gave up to winter over at the lake, they didn't have enough supplies. Animals wandered away, died under the deep snows, not to be found without grave difficulty. Even when found, the starved animals provided little food.

    There were several efforts to push through to California with a few of the members, each group given a name, such as "The Forlorn Hope." Some made it through to Sutter's Fort, and Sutter himself helped in assembling relief parties to rescue the stranded. Some of these foundered in the foothills and lost heart themselves as they rationalized that these people in the mountains must be dead, or else doing just fine with all that livestock to eat.

    Meanwhile, the stranded travelers, living in rude cabins roofed with ox hides, were eating everything they could, including the hides that formed their roofs. Eventually cannibalism became the only option left, for all but one family. The escape parties also engaged in cannibalism. The dead had been emaciated when they passed, and they provided little sustenance for those who yet lived.

    Tamsen Donner is a heroine, nursing a dying husband while sending her children to safety. The first time she sent them away, paying their guardians a substantial sum of money for their trouble, the guardians promptly dumped the kids with another stranded family that was camping a ways away. A second attempt at getting the kids out went better, but there were casualties in that party. Tamsen didn't go out with the last big group, electing to check on her husband once again, 7 miles by trail in their shabby cabin. She was going to catch up to them, but it was an unrealistic dream, as even strong men could only do some 5 miles or so a day in the snows, and Tamsen had been on starvation rations for months. Of her fate, we have only Lewis Keseberg swearing that she showed up at his cabin after George Donner died, and that she died that night, presumably from the stress of her journey from their own cabin. Did Keseberg help her into that final darkness? Rob her of family treasure?

    It's a fascinating tale, though a tragic one. We know a luxurious life today compared to those struggling travelers who spent months in wet or icy clothing, huddled around a sputtering fire while gales howled through the drafty walls.

    The narration is very well done.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Dance of the Thunder Dogs

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Kirk Mitchell
    • Narrated By Stefan Rudnicki
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (30)
    Performance
    (17)
    Story
    (18)

    On the reservation, Emmett Parker finds an intricate web of familial and tribal duties - and what could become a massive class action suit. Indian plaintiffs are suing the BIA for oil well funds they never received. Drawn into the controversy, Emmett is accused of murder by an investigator of his own blood, and now, the man who used to be the law is running from it.

    Amazon Customer says: "This has always been my favorite of the series"
    "This has always been my favorite of the series"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Emmett Quanah Parker, BIA investigator, is on his own in this book. He thinks about Anna Turnipseed of the FBI, but she's not playing a part in this one.

    Emmett receives an honor dance as a gesture of recognition for his hard work, but it goes downhill steadily from there, as old friends start getting dead and injured. Worse, it's all being set up so that it looks like he's become a crazed killer, gone rogue on the res.

    While he's trying to stay ahead of a major manhunt, he also must find the real killer. He revisits old haunts from his childhood and draws support from friends, but it looks more and more hopeless that he'll be able to clear his name.

    Meanwhile a native woman is engaged in a shyster royalty check cashing scheme, taking the funds that belong to legitimate recipients, cashing the checks and disappearing with the cash, which goes to her controller. She used to have a husband who participated in this crime with her, but he got on the bad side of the controller and wound up dead in the motorhome bathroom. Now she's desperately following the instructions of the controller while hoping for revenge. She's never met this man who keeps ordering her around and threatening her life...but she'd like to, just once.

    The narrator does a decent job with this one. In fact, all of them except "Ancient Enemy" are done by the same narrator, but in that particular book, it just didn't quite work for me. In the other books, it's okay.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Monster Hunter Alpha

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Larry Correia
    • Narrated By Oliver Wyman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4279)
    Performance
    (3888)
    Story
    (3903)

    Earl Harbinger may be the leader of Monster Hunter International, but he's also got a secret. Nearly a century ago, Earl was cursed to be a werewolf. When Earl receives word that one of his oldest foes, a legendarily vicious werewolf that worked for the KGB, has mysteriously appeared in the remote woods of Michigan, he decides to take care of some unfinished business.

    Nicholas says: "Unexpectedly Enjoyable"
    "The evolution of the King of the Werewolves"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I read all three of these in print before getting the audio version, and while I liked them very well in print, they are even better in audio format. Reader Oliver Wyman nails a wide variety of voices and personalities for everything from subhuman monsters to crusty century-old werewolves and a combat accountant.

    Monsters of all types are real, and outbreaks are quietly suppressed by the various government agencies for multiple nations as well as private contractors. Monster Hunters International is one of those private groups, recruiting constantly to keep up with demand for their services and to offset the inevitable losses of personnel.

    Earl Harbinger is in charge of MHI, and this book is largely devoted to his story, how he became a werewolf and learned to control his homicidal urges, and how he became a recruit for special forces that dealt with monstrous situations.

    He's come to Copper Lake, Michigan, at the height of winter, traveling solo, and finds himself at the center of a werewolf outbreak. A competitor in the monster hunting business has also arrived with a crew, and a contingent of government monster hunters is on hand. Earl finds that he knows some of the other players, including another aggressive and evil werewolf, Nicolai. Nicolai wants to settle a very old score.

    Meanwhile the townspeople find themselves being attacked, turned into werewolves, and they have to fight or die.

    There's a magical amulet involved, and the magic associated with it strips Earl of his werewolf curse. Human for the first time in many years, he's having trouble adapting to his new weaknesses, the injuries he's acquiring in this battle, and though he's wanted to get rid of the curse, it's obviously a mixed blessing. Deputy Heather has been turned in the process of fighting the werewolves, and she's displaying special powers, perhaps related to the amulet or the strength of the alpha werewolf in the town. Earl is going to have to kill her, though, because she's been turned, and that's his job. Very few of the supernatural beings have ever qualified to be safe from eradication, and Earl himself was a rare one. Now he's just another human, struggling to stay alive while trying to save the town and conquer evil.

    In that fight, it turns out that a snow cutter, a big snow plow with rotary blades, really kicks butt when tackling werewolves!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Monster Hunter International

    • UNABRIDGED (23 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Larry Correia
    • Narrated By Oliver Wyman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (7204)
    Performance
    (6367)
    Story
    (6361)

    Five days after Owen Zastava Pitt pushed his insufferable boss out of a 14th 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. Some of them are evil, and some are just hungry. Monster Hunter International is the premier eradication company in the business. And now Owen is their newest recruit.

    Mariya says: "Killin’s my business and business is fine"
    "Monsters are real, and they're preying on humanity"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I read all three of these in print before getting the audio version, and while I liked them very well in print, they are even better in audio format. Reader Oliver Wyman nails a wide variety of voices and personalities for everything from subhuman monsters to crusty century-old werewolves and a combat accountant.

    Monsters of all types are real, and outbreaks are quietly suppressed by the various government agencies for multiple nations as well as private contractors. Monster Hunters International is one of those private groups, recruiting constantly to keep up with demand for their services and to offset the inevitable losses of personnel. Bounties are paid at varying levels for confirmed kills of the different species, and business is pretty darn good. MHI personnel can rake in a lot of cash as long as they survive.

    One of those recruits is Owen Zasava Pitt, self-described combat accountant. He survived a werewolf attack to be recruited by MHI, and he is the focus of books one and two.

    He turns out to have some special qualities as he goes through training, and he also finds his one true love, Julie. Julie is already in a relationship with Grant Jefferson, and he doesn't feel like he really has a chance to catch her eye. Big, ugly, scarred from the werewolf attack, he's no competition for movie-star handsome Grant.

    Julie is a sharpshooter, an important part of the Monster Hunter International team based in Alabama. There are other teams based elsewhere in the US, but Alabama is the primary base and the training center.

    Owen does make some new friends in the latest training class, all of whom are also survivors of their own monster attacks. As the book states several times, it takes a flexible mind to handle the existence of monsters. Most people become monster chow in an attack, and a few manage to survive, even fight back successfully. Those few get recruited, though not all of them can handle the training. Kind of like the Seal Team from Hell, or to Hell as the case may be.

    Correia knows his firearms, knows how to write adventure, and really takes you into the world where monsters lurk just around the corner and under the bed.

    Monster Hunter International and Monster Hunter Vendetta should be read together, as they are a continuation of Owen's story. Monster Hunter Alpha tells the story of the boss of MHI, Earl Harbinger, and while it builds on elements developed in the first two books, it is a stand-alone story.

    I really love Skippy and his tribe, a group of allies that find alongside the humans of MHI. So as not to spoil the surprise, we'll just remember that they are fans of Lord of The Rings as well as fierce warriors.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Monster Hunter Vendetta

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Larry Correia
    • Narrated By Oliver Wyman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5019)
    Performance
    (4473)
    Story
    (4490)

    Accountant turned professional monster hunter, Owen Zastava Pitt, managed to stop the nefarious Old Ones' invasion plans last year, but as a result made an enemy out of one of the most powerful beings in the universe. Now an evil death cult known as the Church of the Temporary Mortal Condition wants to capture Owen in order to gain the favor of the great Old Ones.

    Jason says: "Exciting story, well told, with a great villain"
    "An outstanding reader and a spectacular series"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is book 2 of a 3-book series. I read all three of these in print before getting the audio version, and while I liked them very well in print, they are even better in audio format. Reader Oliver Wyman nails a wide variety of voices and personalities for everything from subhuman monsters to crusty century-old werewolves and a combat accountant. He does a good job on women's voices, too.

    Monsters of all types are real, and outbreaks are quietly suppressed by the various government agencies for multiple nations as well as private contractors. Monster Hunters International is one of those private groups, recruiting constantly to keep up with demand for their services and to offset the inevitable losses of personnel.

    One of those recruits is Owen Zasava Pitt, self-described combat accountant. He survived a werewolf attack to be recruited by MHI, and he is the focus of books one and two. He's died several times and gained some psychic and quasi-magical powers in the process. Being a team-member for MHI is a lot more interesting than being a CPA.

    In this volume, Owen is the target of a cult that wants to capture him for presentation to the evil Old Ones, thus acquiring favor. The US government agency, Monster Control Bureau, wants the leader of the cult, The Shadow Man, and is using Owen as bait. All of MHI is under threat by the evil cult, and they'll do anything to get to Owen, including attacking his family.

    All the favorite characters from the first book are back, including Skippy and his tribe. I won't spoil them for you by trying to describe them, but they are stalwart warriors, and fortunately they're on MHI's side.

    MHI has a wide variety of weaponry, and Milo, their own "Q," is constantly inventing new gadgets. It's a good thing, particularly when you find yourself beset by zombie elephants.
    The substance of a quote from the book: "Just where do you get dead elephants?" asks Owen. "The Internet," replies The Shadow Man.

    In a further complication, Owen has been scratched by a human zombie, and is doomed to die. In an effort to save his family and all of his friends, he sacrifices himself, going willingly into the domain of the Old Ones to satisfy their demands. He marries his true love, Julie, in a quick ceremony conducted by one of Skippy's tribe, but he can't even kiss her goodbye for fear of transmitting the deadly zombie virus. Feeling feverish and shaky, he heads into the underworld, hoping that he can do some damage before he dies...again.

    Monster Hunter International and Monster Hunter Vendetta should be read as a single book. Monster Hunter Alpha is more of a stand-alone book in the Monster Hunter universe.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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