Monster Hunter Alpha is my favorite of the three Monster Hunter books written by Larry Correia. Having well established his setting and main characters in the first two novels, he really gets a chance to expand on a character that was he hadn't really focused on, even though he was key to the previous two books: Earl Harbinger. Continually adding detail throughout the book while not getting bogged down in exposition, he really shined the spotlight on this interesting and entertaining character. Earl is intelligent, smart-mouthed, kind-hearted, and very, very competent at what he does: Monster Hunting. As you might expect, there is plenty of action and heroic derring-do. What you might not expect is that it is sprinkled with lots of humor and wit. There are some pretty grizzly scenes worthy of a horror novel, but there is also a bit of mushy stuff as well. The story is fast-paced and entertaining. Delving into the how and why of the character's motivations makes the actions so described actually matter. It's a nice balance of character development and narrative that should appeal to modern fantasy fans who favor action over romance. It also moves along the overall arc of the MHI novels a bit, so if you liked the first two you'll definitely want to pick this one up.
Almost stopped listening 12 minutes in, as there was some major violence without context going on. There was plenty more violence to come, but oh the context!
I like smart sci fi. Nothing takes me out of the story faster than poorly considered "super science" or weird nonsensical economies that detract from the feeling of a well considered potential future. The setting of these books feels cohesive and smart. The action is well described and plotted and the narration is solid. Some of the characters are a little thin, but they play their parts well with basic sketches to tell them apart. Mr. Darcie does a nice job with subtle accents to further bring the characters to life.
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