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.
Increasing my ops tempo by allowing storytellers to whisper in my ear(buds).
I listened to this after finishing the three Grimnoir Chronicles because it is rated even higher. Since that series turned out to be a pleasant surprise, due primarily to the sublime performance of Bronson Pinchot, I thought this one deserved a listen. Both are tightly-plotted non-stop action adventures with a nerdy strong man as hero. I never warmed up to this story or the characters. I much prefer the quasi-Science Fiction super-hero trappings of the Grimnoir Chronicles to this supernatural motivated monster shoot-em-up story. The novel did have occasional moments of greatness when it provides character situations that the narrator can really bring to life.
Oliver Wyman is excellent here and I may choose to pick up the next in the series just to listen to his fine characterizations. He is the best reason to listen to this book. The super-heroes of the Grimnoir Chronicles and the Monster Hunters of this book would never find their way onto my reading shelf but when paired with great narrators, as these two series certainly are, I find that that is sometimes reason enough to give them my ear.
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.
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.
While I really liked Correia's Grimnoir trilogy, I'm not that fond of urban fantasy gun porn, so I probably would have passed on MHI, except that Audible put the first book on sale for $1.99. So why not?
Monster Hunter International is a great big cheesy action flick, and more than any book I can ever recall saying this about, it really, really read like the author had the movie visuals in his head as he wrote. He wants MHI to be a big-budget summer blockbuster movie, and I admit it probably would look pretty cool. It would also be one of those big dumb movies that are fun for the special effects and the action scenes, and probably feature pretty actors who can't act and care even less about consistency and suspension of disbelief than the book.
Don't get me wrong - MHI was fun. I probably liked it better than I liked Harry Dresden. Owen Pitt bears suspicious evidence of being a bit of authorial wish-fulfillment (great big guy who used to be an accountant, a gun nut, and of course an almost unkillable action hero who gets the hot girl by virtue of True Love and not actually doing much other than shooting lots of things to impress her), but if you want an urban fantasy hero who's all testosterone and none of that whiny faux-gallantry of Harry's, Pitt's got all of that plus a dose of Chosen One.
Oh, the plot? Well, Owen gets attacked by his weenie middle manager boss, who went and got bitten by a werewolf and thinks this is the path to upper management or something. Pitt throws him out a window, and wakes up in the hospital being grilled by federal agents who slap a bunch of made-up secrecy laws on him. Then a mercenary shows up and gives him a business card for Monster Hunter International. This leads to him joining a monster-hunter organization, killing lots of undead, and having to save the world from a medium-weight Big Bad who wants to summon Cthulhu. (Not actually called Cthulhu in the book, but same basic idea.)
The premise is basically that all the monsters of myth and legend are real, more or less. As is usual in these sorts of stories, somehow you've got a world full of vampires, werewolves, faeries, ghosts, chupacabras, and eldritch horrors, but the general population remains unaware of them. MHI makes money by hunting down and killing supernatural creatures. There is a lot of kvetching about the government and bureaucracy, with the government Men In Black being obstacles to the MHI actually getting stuff done. This is actually kind of funny since MHI gets its money from government bounties on the creatures it hunts. ("The government sucks! Except when we can get rich off of taxpayer-provided subsidies...")
There's nothing special about the writing or the setting, but for fast entertainment (despite the length of the book), Monster Hunter International was enough fun that I'll probably try the next book in the series. This is really a book for genre nerds, as in- jokes abound and no trope goes unexploited. And the trailer park elves and heavy metal-loving orcs were pretty funny.
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.
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 started to wonder why I was not enjoying this book as much as his Grimnoire Chronicles...and I was really questioning the quality of his writing--it's pretty bad. In comparison to his other work, which I think is really exceptional, it's shockingly bad in fact. Come to find out, this was originally a self-published novel and was written years before the Grimnoir Chronicles and all it really succeeds in doing is showing what a few years and a LOT of practice can do for a writer. I don't think I'd have the patience to stick with this series (the dialogue is truly painful) but if he adds to the Grimnoire series I'll be all over it!
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.
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.
This book was a series of hits and misses for me.
The hits? An interesting if familiar premise - monsters secretly living among us and secretive groups battling them. The protagonist is a likable, self-conscious guy with a complicated past. The back story of the bad guy is well-crafted. And the narrator is quite good with his range of voices.
The misses? Whole lotta gunporn - cool for a while, then tedious. An anti g-man subplot that portrays the monster-hunting feds as largely incompetent losers. (Really? The elite gov't paramilitary forces battling the most evil beings on the planet are bumbling bureaucrats?) And like many books, the progression of the main character from simple everyman to uber-hero feels rushed and (at times) overly predictable.
Overall, this book deserves 3.5 stars. I'm still on the fence as to whether I'll continue with 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!
"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!
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!
"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.
"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.
"When you find a good book, share it..."
I'm starting this by not talking about the book, but about my reaction to it - I got this as it was suggested from other books I had seen, so thought I'd pick it up and give it a try... BOY was I surprised!
It's one of those books that I had to talk about it to friends, and not only has a friend at work picked up the series, but his mother has now read the entire series - it's one of those infectious series that as soon as you start, you can't stop going through them
The book itself is funny, smart, has good pace & is well written, but the narration suits the style amazingly well, the characterisation is superbly done, with accent switching being seamless and pacing of the reading fitting the action brilliantly
As with all narrators, each has their own odd pronunciation, and Oliver Wyman is no exception, something that rather than distracting, it made me smile because of the bad grammar of the word use - the book talks about someone being close to crying, so they "tear up", but instead of it being pronounced as "teer", it's pronounced "tare", as in as though something is torn
Overall though, this book is a high recommendation from me, if you like the type of fantasy books set in the current era, this series is great, going over government cover-ups, the company, old gods and much more - once I had this book I HAD to start on the others
Listen, enjoy & smile
"Not bad but corny."
The idea behind the story of this book I found solid. Just bad dialogue overall spoilt it a bit. But a good thing is how the story draws upon classic horror literature such as hp love craft , shelly and bramstocker. its just a shame that the execution was not a little more poe. But overall good.
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