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. 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.
©2009 Larry Correia (P)2011 Audible, Inc.
Outstanding story! Fun, thrilling... Lots of action, humor, and ghoulish monsters.
The narrator did a very fine job, distinct and appropriate voices for all of the characters, emotions are well portrayed... but... talks... way... too... SLOOOW! Had to speed it up to 1.25x playback, then it sounded like a normal voice and was an excellent listen.
Yes, because it was a fine example of an urban fantasy novel. But there was one major problem I had with it. Like a lot of novels in the genre, MHI has a "hidden world" setting, but the way the author justified it really broke my suspension of disbelief. Apparently all the monsters are kept secret because congress passed a law and now Federal agents roam around threatening anyone who tries to tell the public. Of course, that's merely a justification for the main character not knowing about monsters before being attacked by one. Still, if you notice how off it is the first time, it's not something the novel will ever let forget.
I found the early monster fights against weaker monsters the most interesting. The blend of firepower and wits in them is the book's greatest strength.The most tiresome part of the novel is the conflict between the federal agents and the monster hunters. Both sides come across as incompetent jerks and I don't see any reason for Monster Hunter International to be better monster hunters than the feds. I've stories where the heroes work for the government, freelance or without getting paid at all, why the author trying to make one group better than the other? It's a fictional profession in the first place.
I liked how well his voice fit the main character and how well he did female voices.
Not really. As another reviewer mentioned it is Buffy with a conservative undertone. Not much of a hook for adaption.
This books was recommended to me while waiting for the next Dresden Files book to come out. "It's a fun read!" No. Not really. Owen Pitt, is the kind of guy men dream about being. Big, strong, "exceptional" with guns, yada, yada. He didn't really appeal to me as the protagonist. He seemed to be very one dimensional and rather boring. I found the same to be true of Julie. The only reason I kept reading this book is because I liked Holly, Tripp, and Earl. I've been encouraged to read the second book, as it "is much better" than the first, but I'm rather hesitant to pay for and delve into another campy B-flick book.
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.
Doesn't have the colorful characters of the Grimnoir series (Jake, Fey, etc) but good characters and fun story fighting werewolves, vampires and then the really dangerous creatures. Plus a love story.
The reader does an excellent job voicing all the roles, hope to hear more of his work.
After coming off a very enjoyable listen of Larry Correia's Grimnoir Chronicles, I hemmed and hawed about giving his other series a try. Boy, am I glad I did! I even bought extra credits because I couldn't wait until my next one came in!
The story is fun, adventurous, and would make the most amazing movie. Oliver Wyman does a fabulous and enthusiastic job reading this. I laughed out loud in the supermarket, was on the edge of my seat in the car, and couldn't wait to see what Owen shot up next!
Do yourself a favor and try this one out.
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.
No, only listen to each book once but worth the listen...
The main "Z" he was full of surprises and strong but yet in touch with his feelings.
no I havent
The ending, was full of twists and surprises.
Looking forward to listening to next book in the series.
"They Shoot Monsters, Don't They?"
This was a great surprise! It's a really great action / adventure fantasy novel which doesn't pretend to be anything other than it is. Just sit back and listen to the great narration by Oliver Wyman as the adventure washes over you. I know a lot of people out there have issues with Larry Correia's gun lovin' attitudes and obvious political opinions but if you can get over that then you'll really enjoy this book (and the rest in the series). It's fun, it goes bang, it has monsters and then the monsters go bang!
A good story, densely plotted, and a great reading by Oliver Wyman makes for an enthralling listen. So why only three stars? Well, partly because I think the book could have done with some stricter editing. It's a long, long journey with a number of diversions which, though entertaining, would have improved the pace of the book by their absence.
But the main reason for my docking two stars from my review is the barely hidden subtext. Anyone with any understanding of the last decade will spot the right-wing, redneck militia-leaning protagonists. For 'monsters' read 'terrorists' and for 'Monster Hunter International' read 'Anti Government vigilante militias' who operate on the basis that 'my gun is bigger than yours'. It was as if the author was channeling the spirits of Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld as he wrote.
I realise that for many this aspect is probably an attractive and positive part of the story, but it left me feeling slightly uncomfortable while enjoying the mayhem. It is possible to write exciting monster hunting and supernatural mayhem books. I need only mention Jim Butcher and early Laurell K Hamilton as prime examples of politically neutral masters of the genre.
Having said all that, I'll still go for the second volume!
"Fantastic, the hunt is on!"
This is a face paced story, although you need to get over the fact that you will know your guns by the end. The Hero Owen Z Pitt is both funny, humble, arrogant and fantastically violent. The rest of the gang is just brilliant and the banter will keep you giggling, The story has enough complexity to keep your interest and the characters are sufficiently rounded for you to care what happens to them. Urban fantasy at its best!
"Book 1 sets the bar high. "
A great first book in MHI series. Larry Correia has a great imagination and brings a fresh take on the classic monster type book. As I've bought all the books in this series and listened a few times I can highly recommend them. Narration by Oliver Wyman is great and all characters are easily recognisable he really brings them all to life.
A fairly simple book, but entertaining nontheless. Ideal for those listening to a book while doing something slightly distracting.
"I think this simply wasn't for me"
Having listened to this I think I simply don't like the protagonist. I'm sure the whole macho shoot first think eventually thing will appeal to some but didn't for me. I found myself constantly hoping that something would manage to kill pitt for good which sadly didn't happen.
The unhealthy obsession with guns, barely hidden political views and telegraphing of events to come throughout the book left me disappointed. This was topped off by one of the most inexplicable romance angles I have ever listened to and terrible attempts to build emotion with characters before something dreadful happened to them.
However it's all fine because guns are cool, especially if you are shooting guns and even more so if you are shooting them at something that doesn't require a moral justification on if its right or wrong. I will be sticking with Harry Dresden where good story, character development and well written action blend together into an interesting and gripping read. It's a shame this book lacks any of those.
"Great book well written"
Great book good twists, well worth the time to listen to, starting next book now
"Now this book is alot of fun"
Monsters, Guns, Fun
There was a real balance of horror, humour, adventure and a little bit of romance thrown in. It reminded me a lot of the Bureau 13 books, the same sort of wisecracking adventures, throwing monsters, mayhem and maidens into the mix
I loved the way he opened a new chapter, like he was dropping a bomb. For a guy with such a deep voice, his range is amazing
Laughter! The book was filled with a lot of humour. You sometime wondered if you should find a scene funny, but hey it was
"Lots of fun!"
This book is a great laugh and about as fast-paced as a book can get. I love this writer but this series is just a tad less good than the Grimnoir chronicles, so just 14 points out of 15. Given that I rarely give any book more than 12 it is an achievement. Unpretentious amusement with lots of sweat and blood, great distraction from your office job!
"Great books! "
I've listened to several of the Monster Hunter, Inc., books - several times - and I love them. I hope a new one comes out soon.
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