I first read Monster Hunter International by Larry Correia a few years ago, and I thoroughly enjoyed it then. There are now five books in the series, with two more announced, and Correia continues the merry (well, maybe not so merry, but definitely exciting) adventure. Let’s go back to the beginning…
Owen Zastava Pitt is an accountant by choice, as he wanted the most boring, mundane job he could find after he nearly killed someone during an illegal pit fight. Things were going well on this front until his boss changed into a werewolf and attacked him as he worked late one evening.
After barely surviving the attack and killing his now-former boss, Owen is offered a job with Monster Hunter International, the premier monster hunting organization in the United States. He learns that all the mythical and storybook monsters are real, and many of them are bent on killing humans. He fits right in.
Correia draws on Lovecraft, campy horror movies, and other similar sources as he puts his own twist on all of them and serves it up fresh for your enjoyment. He even draws on various religious sources, though those aren’t as noticeable in this book as in some of the later books in the series.
The pacing in Monster Hunter International is spot-on, with a perfect blend of action, monster killing, and humor. Each of the characters is unique, and each has his/her own voice, making for a very believable interaction between characters. For those that care about such things, his characters are a veritable rainbow of cultural, religious, and ethnic diversity.
Correia knows his guns, too, and he shares his enthusiasm throughout the text without it becoming overbearing or boring. I think this shows especially through Milo, the resident weapons and explosives expert at MHI, as he comes up with all kinds of modifications and ideas just because he can.
Now, if books were given ratings, this would likely be the equivalent of an “R” due to the violence and somewhat prevalent language throughout. The language is never gratuitous, however, so if you can handle a little saltiness, I highly recommend Monster Hunter International as a great diversion.
Release Date: July 28, 2009 (USA)
ISBNs: 1439132852 (9781439132852)
Publisher: Baen Books
Alcohol/Drugs: 1 (Earl is always smoking)
Language: 3 (somewhat regular weak and strong expletives)
Sexuality: 1 (some minor innuendo)
Violence: 4 (some brutal and/or graphic descriptions of violence, monster fights, death)