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Editorial Reviews

Why we think it's Essential - Quick, who directed The Evil Dead? What action hero starred in The Blob? Which movie studio became synonymous with horror for producing Frankenstein and The Wolf Man? If you can answer these questions correctly, you'll likely be thrilled with Monster Hunter International. B-movie aficionados know there's a fine line between gleefully gory camp and flat-out dross. Not to worry, Monster Hunter International knows the line. Oliver Wyman brings just the right amount of bombastic, smirking swagger to this story of big guns, big action, and a heck of a lot of monsters. —Michael

Publisher's Summary

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.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    8,953
  • 4 Stars
    4,206
  • 3 Stars
    1,362
  • 2 Stars
    423
  • 1 Stars
    272

Performance

  • 4.6 out of 5.0
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    9,361
  • 4 Stars
    3,288
  • 3 Stars
    906
  • 2 Stars
    178
  • 1 Stars
    117

Story

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    7,939
  • 4 Stars
    3,772
  • 3 Stars
    1,388
  • 2 Stars
    431
  • 1 Stars
    295
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Suprizingly entertaining

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.

143 of 170 people found this review helpful

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Did not meet my expectations, thankfully!

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.

92 of 110 people found this review helpful

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Had some good moments

Right from the start I was put off. This accountant gets attacked by his boss, who is a werewolf. The accountant pulls out a gun he keeps strapped to his ankle. Later they explain why an accountant would have an ankle gun, but it was too little too late.

Every single military cliche you have ever heard is in this long long book. There were moments when I laughed and I liked the take on Elves and on Orcs. It was no where near as good as Jonathan Maberry or Dean Koontz. You want monster's try Koontz's Frankenstein series. You want tough guy and Zombies try Maberry's Patient Zero.

Oliver Wyman did ok, but I have never a big fan of his and I wondered if the story would have sounded better from Ray Porter or Wil Wheaton.

37 of 46 people found this review helpful

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Hard to relate unless you're gun aficionado

The writing style is a bit sophomoric, and that the writer didn't use contractions is pretty distracting in the reading. It's a bit of a masturbatory exercise in gun fandom, and the love letters to gun models and ammunition becomes boorish.

10 of 12 people found this review helpful

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BANG! BANG! fizzle...

What disappointed you about Monster Hunter International?

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.

Has Monster Hunter International turned you off from other books in this genre?

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.

Which scene was your favorite?

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.

What character would you cut from Monster Hunter International?

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.

Any additional comments?

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.

24 of 30 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Mariya
  • Rockaway, NJ, United States
  • 04-01-11

Killin’s my business and business is fine

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.

93 of 119 people found this review helpful

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  • Rob L
  • boston, ma
  • 03-08-14

Why didn't I like this?

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.

42 of 54 people found this review helpful

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Not great writing

What does Oliver Wyman bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

He did good work with the material he was provided.

Did Monster Hunter International inspire you to do anything?

It inspired me to write. Stephen King said that at some point you will come across a book that makes you think "I could do better than this". This one did.

Any additional comments?

This was a tough one to get through. I can see why it was popular on a gun forum website but it is just not very good. The story and characters are cliche' in a way that tells you a lot about the author. He clearly likes himself a great deal and he loves his guns. In my business we have a term "Visual masturbation" this is the writing equivalent of that. "He He..Boobs, Guns, I Hero". You get the picture.

The author of this held a campaign to get books like this into the Hugo voting because they are "popular". The point I think he was missing is that this is not well written. Next Christmas, instead of asking for another assault rifle, have someone get you a thesaurus and a dictionary. He might also want to do a little research on how people speak and possibly think twice before he writes more dialogue that sounds like it came from a bad 80's action movie. I will end with the first line from the book that really irked me. I'm not saying this is the worst offense just the one that sticks in my head.
The author wrote...
"He dropped sprawling to his knees." I'm not sure that's possible. But then again it isn't the worst thing written in this.

12 of 15 people found this review helpful

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  • Jessica
  • Annandale, VA United States
  • 02-06-14

Loved his other stuff, but...

Would you try another book from Larry Correia and/or Oliver Wyman?

Absolutely.

Would you ever listen to anything by Larry Correia again?

Sure

Any additional comments?

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!

26 of 35 people found this review helpful

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Not so good ...

The author spends his time making things hip and cool and loud, but there's no substance. Yes, I realize this is a book about monsters, but even books like that have to make some sense and must have characters that are more then caricatures. I think the kids might like this book, because they don't pay much attention to those particular aspects.

7 of 9 people found this review helpful

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  • Moonface
  • 04-08-13

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!

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 05-10-13

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!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Donal
  • 04-03-11

Hmm, interesting!

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!

15 of 18 people found this review helpful

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  • ben
  • 05-09-12

Decent

A fairly simple book, but entertaining nontheless. Ideal for those listening to a book while doing something slightly distracting.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Paul A. Adams
  • 07-31-17

Wasn't what I was expecting

I have read a few of Larry's books (in the magic universe). I almost stopped reading this is I am not into werewolves and vampires. But about. 20% in I got into it. Now I am hooked on the characters and what will happen in the next book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • goldmoonstorm
  • 03-01-17

Loved it!

Loved this book escapism at its best.. story moved with pace.. and what a narrator!! Fantastic! .. he had each voice and accents perfect , you could clearly distinguish the many characters..his narrative of chapter 22 was so good I felt I was there in that dark damp swamp in the heat of the battle. .. it didn't get the full 5 stars only because the authors obvious love of guns did get a bit tiresome but that's the only minus point... at over 20 hours it in no way felt like it! Highly recommend!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Christopher Young
  • 10-15-16

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

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Breen
  • 09-16-16

great performance, fun writing

great humour and a fun writing style but I think the characters are a bit over powered.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Richard
  • 03-08-12

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.

5 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • bobbi1002
  • 07-21-17

Enjoyable

Would you consider the audio edition of Monster Hunter International to be better than the print version?

I haven't read the print edition so am unable to make a comparison

What was one of the most memorable moments of Monster Hunter International?

There are a few parts in the book that are memorable but as I would rather not give the plot away I wont go into detail, but the 5 minute time slip was a memorable part of the storyline

Have you listened to any of Oliver Wyman’s other performances? How does this one compare?

am currently listening to Monster Hunter Vendetta and its looking to be as good as the first

Any additional comments?

I enjoyed the book and am also enjoying the second in the series.

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  • Yacob
  • 03-09-16

Another thrilling tail

Awesome book again exploring the depths of the universe in some weird and wonderful ways

1 of 1 people found this review helpful