This audiobook has monsters of impossible, mind-bending proportions. The main villain, the “Cursed One,” is not just a mwahaha villain – we also get ..Show More »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.
“When monsters have nightmares, they’re dreaming about us.” — MHI handbook
Monster Hunter Vendetta is t..Show More »he second installment of Larry Correia’s MONSTER HUNTER INTERNATIONAL series. In the first book, Monster Hunter International, we met Owen Zastava Pitt who used to be an accountant and gun hobbyist until his boss turned into a werewolf and Owen had to kill him. Now Owen is one of the best agents MHI has ever had.
It’s lucky that he’s so good at his job because Owen made a very dangerous enemy when he recently thwarted the Old Ones’ attempt to break into our dimension (read about this in the first book, Monster Hunter International). Now Owen is being hunted by the minions of the Old Ones, including a necromancer named The Shadow Man and the members of a death cult called the Church of the Temporary Mortal Condition. Because they’re evil, they’ll stop at nothing to get their way, including killing innocent people and targeting Owen’s family to get at him.
This time Owen and the gang are fighting — along with all the usual werewolves, vampires and zombie hordes — doppelgängers, undead elephants, zombie bears, a shoggoth, giant walking trees, gangsta gnomes (so funny!), a brain worm that eats memories, and Julie’s mother. It sounds like too much — everything but the kitchen sink, you know (though I wouldn’t be surprised to find MHI shooting animated kitchen sinks in a future installment) — but it works.
As usual, the government can’t stop themselves from meddling with MHI. They want in on the action and they know Owen is the target, so Agent Franks, one of Owen’s human nemeses, is assigned as Owen’s bodyguard. If you didn’t love Agent Franks already (and you probably didn’t), you will by the end of Monster Hunter Vendetta.
It doesn’t happen very often that the second book in a series is better than the first, but it’s true in this case. Monster Hunter Vendetta is a wild ride — to say that it’s exciting, frightening, creative, violent, bloody and funny would be too much of an understatement. It’s eye-popping, heart-pounding, and totally unputdownable. I was engrossed (and grossed out) from the first page to the last. As I mentioned in my review of the previous book, it’s too gory for me to say that I really love it — a few too many disemboweled bodies and heads bitten off for me — but I can say that I really really admire it and I almost love it. Those who go for this sort of thing are likely to consider MONSTER HUNTER INTERNATIONAL a perfect specimen of testosterone-filled dude lit. (This sounds sexist, I know, but Larry Correia could have made this series more appealing to female readers by increasing the romantic tension.)
One thing I particularly liked about Monster Hunter Vendetta is that it’s very funny. Not the wacky slapstick Three Stooges kind of funny — there’s none of that. Correia uses a delightfully morbid dry humor which works especially well with Oliver Wyman’s narration of the audio version. Though Wyman’s narration is lively, he deadpans the humorous lines perfectly. (If you’re reading MHI and haven’t tried the audio version, you’re missing out.) There are also occasional SFF allusions that made me smile.
I’m impressed with how well plotted this series has been so far. Larry Correia set up the background for Monster Hunter Vendetta back in the first book when we learn about Owen’s family, Julie’s parents, and the history of MHI. I already felt like I knew Owen’s mother, a Serbian woman who demonstrates her love by cooking for people, his father who brought up his boys to be tough survivalists, and his brother who became a heavy metal rock star. When we meet Owen’s family in Monster Hunter Vendetta we (and Owen himself) start to comprehend that his destiny has been in place since before he was even born. This plot is way bigger than we realized back in book one. I can’t wait to read on….
Accountant turned professional monster hunter, Owen Zastava Pitt, managed to stop the nefarious Old One’s 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. The Condition is led by a fanatical necromancer known as the Shadow Man. The government wants to capture the Shadow Man and has assigned the enigmatic Agent Franks to be Owen’s full time bodyguard, which is a polite way of saying that Owen is monster bait. With supernatural assassins targeting his family, a spy in their midst, and horrific beasties lurking around every corner, Owen and the staff of Monster Hunter International don’t need to go hunting, because this time the monsters are hunting them. Fortunately, this bait is armed and very dangerous…
I strongly recommend this book. I really enjoyed the first two in this series, but this one really caught me by surprise. Once I realized where thi..Show More »s book was headed, it had two strikes against it. It didn't involve the Monster Hunter International team, and it was a werewolf story. Earl was not one of my favorite characters, and I have no interest in werewolf stories.
But it turned out to be such an great story, expertly told, I couldn't stop listening. I even found myself cheering out loud near the end.
The narrator is a good choice and has done a good job with this series. I don't know if he was intentionally doing a "Christopher Walken" voice for Nikolai, but that voice cracked me up.
What’s more fun than hanging out with Owen “Big Z” Pitt, Earl Harbinger, Julie, Milo, Holly, Trip, Mosh Pitt, and..Show More » Skippy the orc at the MHI compound in rural Alabama? How about MHI meeting up with teams from all over the world at a monster hunter conference in Las Vegas? And how about if that ancient Lovecraftian god that Big Z pissed off three books ago decides to unleash his wrath right about now? And how about if those incompetent federal agents who keep trying to cover up the monster attacks want to make sure that what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, so they quarantine all those monster hunters in a luxury hotel?
Well, if you’re already a fan of Larry Correia’s MONSTER HUNTER INTERNATIONAL series, I’m sure my description above is ‘nuff said for you. I don’t even need to mention guns, explosions, a brawl in a rotating restaurant, shattering windows, explosions, hotel rooms containing extradimensional spaces, guns, gigantic spiders, WWII weapons experiments, a chocolate fountain, mad science, explosions, slot machines, harrowing helicopter rides, Faberge eggs, explosions, guns, dragons and, best of all, Agent Franks.
So if you’ve already enjoyed the first three books, go ahead and get Monster Hunter Legion because this story is just as exciting as the previous ones. Correia widens the plot, further develops the characters, keeps up the fast and furious action, and continues to make us laugh. The whole thing is still a little too violent for me, but at least Monster Hunter Legion is less gory than Monster Hunter Alpha — more guns and explosives, fewer fangs and claws. The ending makes clear that this series isn’t finished yet. I’m looking forward to book five.
If you haven’t read the previous books, Monster Hunter International, Monster Hunter Vendetta, and Monster Hunter Alpha, you should give them a try, especially if you like great characters, cool monsters, black humor, tight plotting, nail-biting tension, and some serious gun porn. I recommend the awesome audio productions being produced by Audible Frontiers and narrated by Oliver Wyman.