Monster Hunter International
by Larry Correia
Cover Artist: Alan Pollack
Review by Steve Sawicki
Baen Mass Market Paperback ISBN/ITEM#: 9781439132852
Date: 28 July 2009 List Price $7.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /
One day, while working late Owen Pitt discovers the real reason his boss is a beast and not easy to get along with--he's a werewolf. Owen, while taking a pounding in the process, manages to push the monster out a window. The fourteen story drop does the rest and Owen, gashed, gored, and gushing blood, ends up in the hospital.
While in the hospital, he's visited by a couple of guys who look like detectives but who act more like the mob. They debrief Owen and, after making a job offer that's laced with threats and warnings, leave. Shortly afterwards he gets a second offer of work, from Monster Hunters Inc., a much more upfront organization and it helps that the offer comes from a comely young lady. Shortly there after, Owen finds himself at the headquarters of MHI, along with a number of other new recruits, all with similar stories, they survived attacks by supernatural beings. Just a short time later, Owen finds himself in the middle of one of the biggest operations in MHI history, an operation that could lead to the end of life as everyone knows it, and which will require all of his old and new skills to survive.
Larry Correia enters the supernatural/action subgenre fray with a book that is part GI Joe, part survivalist nut job, and part paranormal free-for-all. There's quite literally something here for everyone--post military adventurers, guys who were just raised right by their folks, gun toting philosophers, rigid traditionalists, and there's even a hooker with a heart of gold. What brings them all together is the supernatural, which is being fought two ways--the government way (not efficient, expensive, not productive) and the non-government way. This is the conservative mantra by the way, wrapped up in spooks, ghouls and vampires.
For all of this, it's a fun book and an entertaining read. Owen is a likable character and if he's pushed a bit too quickly into leadership roles and positions of responsibility, well, you just have to go along with it for the sake of the plot. The world hangs in the balance, interesting things will be done by reluctant heroes and maybe the good guy gets the girl in the end.
This was a pretty good book as far as entertainment goes. I read it in two sittings while flying somewhere I no longer remember, so at least the book was more memorable than the trip. The action is hot and heavy with barely a pause to breathe and Correia keeps a couple of twists in store for the end to make sure the path from here to there is not a straight one.
I would imagine that if the book sells moderately well we are looking at the beginning of a series here since the structure is pretty well laid out for that to happen and there's plenty of room for further adventures and further antagonisms between the MHI and pretty much everyone else. Fun and entertaining and that makes it worth picking up.