Owen Zastava Pitt, protagonist in Monster Hunter International, finds out he’s had an inter-dimensional hit put out on him after being blamed for attacking an Old One. Monster Hunter Vendetta, the second book in Larry Correia’s Monster Hunter series, picks up shortly after the first book. The primary antagonist is a mysterious older gentleman who turns out to be the leader of the Sanctified Church of the Temporary Mortal Condition.
After being thrown in a Mexican jail on suspicion of mass murder (following a zombie outbreak at a spring break hotel), Owen is rescued by Susan Shackleford, Master vampire and mother of his beloved, Julie. Susan wants to work together against the Condition, but Owen isn’t so sure that’s a good idea. The Condition then goes after Owen’s parents and his international rock star brother, Mosh, so Owen strikes a grudging and wary truce with Susan.
Correia continues to shine as he introduces more “friendly” monsters as well as plenty of evil ones for the monster hunters to kill. The antagonist is very interesting and extremely smart, so Owen and the rest of MHI have to really work to try and stay ahead of him.
The individual characters, both older ones and those introduced in this book, are very well crafted and draw you right into the story. There is someone with which everyone can identify, no matter your background. Did I mention the characters are all interesting?
Correia paces things extremely well, and this is one of his strongest points. I especially liked how well he created the motivations for the bad guys as they were entirely believable and sinister in their thoroughness. These are not idiot Bond villains, but rather highly intelligent, three-dimensional (or even more multi-dimensional, in some cases) villains who are just as careful as the protagonists in everything they do.
Monster Hunter Vendetta is a worthy sequel to Monster Hunter International. I strongly recommend it to all fans of action horror. It has just the right combination of humor, in-your-face action and excitement, and an excellent story to move things along.
Release Date: September 28, 2010 (USA)
ISBNs: 1439133913 (9781439133910)
Publisher: Baen Books
Alcohol/Drugs: 1 (Earl is always smoking, some social drinking)
Language: 3 (somewhat regular weak and strong expletives)
Sexuality: 1 (some innuendo, mentions of characters being naked)
Violence: 4 (some brutal and/or graphic descriptions of violence, monster fights, death)