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.
Why should I buy this book? A valid question I had to ask myself when I was reading the description. Let's face it, if you like werewolfs, zombies, vampires etc. then the title alone was sufficient to suck you in. However, if you, like me, were looking for something in the science fiction genre and was surprised to find this so highly rated and furthermore having great reviews by most that read it then I will answer the other question: How can it be?
How can it be that a book that talks about vampires, guns and gore is so highly regarded? How can it be that a book that has a story out of every other book in this genre is so entertaining? How can people like such literature?
Let me tell you something. There is a lot worse out there and this book is actually an oasis among them. The reasons are clear to me and they boil down to this: A cult classic B-rated movie. For those that have seen The Blob or any of the Evil Dead movies this is the feeling you get out of this. Something so bad it is actually good. Let's look at the list.
Monsters out of handbook. Check. Endless beating of main character throughout the book (if you don't like him I would say this is a big plus). Check. Reminding us how awesome he is. Check. Anti-goverment remarks at every chapter (can't wait for a movie to play the drinking game). Check. Classic boy meets girl theme. Check. I can go on and on.
And yet we also see clear writing without straining the language and without taking the reader for a fool. Many different locations and a story that is not boring one bit from start to finish. Entertaining. Good jokes, some I have heard before but the context makes them better. Added bonus - great voice acting by Oliver Wyman.
This is not a masterpiece for sure but I sometimes want something entertaining that I can relax with. This series provides me that pleasure and therefore adds something to the world.
I originally purchased this book when I saw it "on the cheap" on one of Audbiles specials. I had the lowest of expectations just judging from the cover art and the name of the book but as I drive allot and the price was right I figured I would give it a try.
MUCH to my delight this was a fun, action packed and funny as hell book. I ended up well hooked on the series and have now read them all. Larry has a good imagination and a heck of a sick sense of humor, which I can relate to.
Bottom line............Loved it.
This audiobook has monsters of impossible, mind-bending proportions. The main villain, the “Cursed One,” is not just a mwahaha villain – we also get inside his head through his memories in Owen’s ghost-guided dream/nightmares that recall C.O.’s journey from a “mean son-of-a-bitch” conquistador to one very megalomaniacal, unearthly, tentacled, flesh-wriggling being who is intent of stopping time itself. I think I’m in love with Owen Z. Pitt, who’s inherently epic, but it’s hard to let the listener know how epic Owen is through first-person narration without it sounding over-the-top or silly. Like when a master vampire tells Owen he has the strongest will of any mortal she’s ever met, or when one guys says to the other that he shouldn’t mess with Owen because he has “one hundred pounds of muscle” on him. Or worse yet, when Julie reads his file and we find out Owen’s a marksman/genius. This book is cliché in the best way possible. It's like 1 part monsterish gore, 1 part comedy, and 1 part all sorts of artillery. It's like Hot Fuzz.
Oliver Wyman is great. This is the first time I heard him read, and his style is perfect for Monster Hunter International. He has a rather macho tone with just a bit of immaturity, and again, the term “epic” comes to mind to describe his style. His reading of female voices didn’t make me burst out laughing, which is what usually happens when I listen to male narrators read girls’ voices. The only thing that jarred me was how seriously Oliver Wyman took those vocal direction. I usually comment on whether narrators do a good or bad job at distinguishing internal monologue with external speak when audiobooks are in first-person, like this one. The listener has no problem with distinguishing the two in Monster Hunter International, because Oliver Wyman reads the directions in a rather calm soft voice, while reading the actual words with the proper emphasis, instead of splitting the two.
The concept of MHI isn't new territory, that's fine. A group of mercenaries hunt monsters. It's been done but I can always go back to this sort of thing. The book starts out with a great scene in an office building with our main character being hunted by his Werewolf boss, and this scene is fantastic. It's followed up with another fantastic set piece on an abandoned freighter. From there the action scenes devolve into "then there was lots of gun fire. Then more gunfire. And afterward more gunfire and more gunfire and lots more bullets." They become tedious exercises without a hint of suspense.
The main character could easily be broken up into three or four characters. The secondary characters never get fully developed, mostly existing on the periphery of one dimensional archetypes. Our hero is too perfect; "HE'S A GENIUS! HE'S A PIT FIGHTER! HE'S AN ACCOUNTANT!" The requisite love interest is too obvious, her requisite douchey boyfriend is hated the main character as required by law. The government goons are total goons with nary a shred of basic humanity.
I still enjoy books in this style, and perhaps MHI later books are significantly better, after all, this is Correia's first book. It's pretty bad because of that. But the MHI universe has a lot of followers, I can't imagine it's because the stories are universally bad.
The action set piece Correia develops on an abandoned freighter is really great, it goes on for a long time and allows several characters to begin to develop; it's a shame those character's developments end there.
I would seriously consider cutting every character from this book. Not because they are bad, but because there's too many with too few attributes. The main character is good at everything: guns, math, wrestling, fighting, weight lifting, people, etc. And this character could be broken up into three different characters: an accountant, a fighter, and a gun nut. Instead his abilities get in the way of other characters being able to do anything or contribute to parts of the narrative. The main character is part of a team but solves every problem himself.
Monster Hunter International showed some initial promise, but as the story developed, sometimes in a web-like fashion of family politics, it failed to create a real reason to really care about the vast majority of characters. The main character seemed to have intense anger issues; his demise was something I would have taken particular delight in (that doesn't bode well for your protagonist.) The gun porn was fine, even for a non-gun-nut like myself. But as the dozen or so action scenes go on they get less and less interesting. The near invincible vampires became a study in tedium as I read about the thousands of rounds of ammunition being shot at them with no progress made toward their demise. For professional monster hunters they certainly are ill-equipped to kill vampires.
I can see where this sort of thing interests people and, again, maybe the later books are better, Correia shows loads of promise here. His other novels, especially Son of Black Sword, show a matured and nuanced writer this early work barely hints at.
Speculative Fiction Book Review Blogger
I was shopping around for an fun author / narrator combo because nothing on my listening pile appealed to me at the time, and this audiobook was only $1.99 after downloading the free Kindle edition which made the cost vs reward a no-brainer. MONSTER HUNTER INTERNATIONAL was clichéd to the max with a hero that was made for the job, a similarly perfect female love interest, and Larry Correia dedicated more pages to describing the weaponry than to developing the characters or the world, but bottom line—I was wildly entertained!
This novel really was ridiculously excessive, so if you want a little more substance with your laughs then I’d suggest you try THE DRESDEN FILES by Jim Butcher instead. The humour is comparable, James Marsters excels as the reader, but the writing isn’t obnoxiously implausible. This story was complete, there were no cliff hangers, and it progressed from Pitt’s first encounter with a monster to him staving off the apocalypse as a full fledged member of MIH which was again a huge leap, yet also in all likelihood because the author didn’t know if this would become a series.
I really enjoyed Owen as a protagonist; he was fearless, a bit of a show-off, and brimming with snark which is a trait that I LOVE, especially when I’ve opted to go the audio route. The blurb describes him as an “average guy” when the only thing commonplace about him was his job, and even that was by design. After being a competitive marksman, bouncer and cage match fighter in his youth his goal was to pick the most boring profession possible, thus a CPA. The romance between him and Julie was also super stereotypical, however it fit in with the rest of the overkill.
Listening to the sample clip of Oliver Wyman was enough to hook me into signing up for 23+ hours. His macho tone was exactly what was needed for this three-hundred-pound lead, and he varied it enough so that it was clear when the first person POV was in internal monologue or external dialogue mode. The cast was fairly large, and Wyman made sure to work the accents to assist readers with keeping everyone straight. Even his female voices were good which is saying something because as a general rule the majority of male narrators struggle in this area.
MONSTER HUNTER INTERNATIONAL was so absurd in its hilarity that it was irresistible.
Fast paced pulp fiction, filled to the brim with every satisfying B-movie monster-clich?? out there, good humor and great gory fun as legions of undead and interdimensional beings meet inventive, usually explosive, ends. For those interested, the book is peppered with gun-trivia. Mr Wyman does a good job narrating. At 23hrs its good value as well.
Hello, my name is Teresa and I'm an addict.
This was a fun and gory romp of killing the bad monsters. There was comedy, horror, adventure, romance (enough to appeal to us girls), and good vs. evil all the way through. In a way I was reminded of the movie Hell Boy (which I liked). Very bloody and gory but what do you expect with a name like Monster Hunter. Although at no time was I bored, the book is long. The characters were all very real to me and felt like people I knew. Narration is great. I have already purchased the next two in the series and am going to try his other one soon.
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.
I have to say that I just wanted something to fill time... After listening to it once, twice... and will do again. I was very pleased. Fast paced action that never seemed to let up. The monsters were as they should be... evil and nasty. The humor was as fast as the action and I found myself laughing out loud at times. I literally could not stop listening to this one. I loved Larry's approach to the MHI crew, and his characters were great.
Having read Lovecraft and very knowledgeable about the Cthulhu mythos, I was happy to see it incorporated in a way that stayed true to the original but was tailored to fit his story as well. This was a welcomed addition to my library and I will be buying the books also.
The story was narrated excellently and the characters sounded as I pictured they should. I was very pleased and can not wait to go on to vendetta. I would highly recommend this to any sci-fi fan.
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.
"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.
"Full of action"
Really enjoyable story, lots of action and of course loads of guns! Very good narration and I eventually even became used to the American accent. Well worthwhile
"great performance, fun writing"
great humour and a fun writing style but I think the characters are a bit over powered.
"OK story but lacked finesse"
This story was OK but seemed a little obvious at times. there weren't any clever plot twists or devices that make the listener sit up and take note.
performance was good but a lot of characters sounded the same.
all in all 6 out of 10 - worth it if you like the monster genre but not the best introduction
"Made me want to eat my ears"
The creepiest thing about this book was the protagonist.
This will probably spoil the book for anyone reading this and about to listen to it, but I imagined the narrator delivering all of his lines like he's looking at an imaginary camera, head tilted slightly forward with one eyebrow raised and saying the word 'Duh-uh-uh!' Over and over again for twenty hours of my life that I'll never get to spend with my family.
If you're from Texas, you'll love it.
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