Thursday, February 24, 2011

MHI–Larry Correia

mhiI knew about 20 pages in that Monster Hunter International was going to keep me turning pages until I finished it. It is a 700 page book I started on a Sunday and finished on a Wednesday. Now that is not my personal best, but it comes quite close. This book is an addicting thrill ride from page 1 through 700. Corriea takes horror action to the next level and I appreciate how he broke tropes of the Urban Fantasy genre.

I am going to make a comparison between this novel and The Dresden Files, it is probably not a really good or fair comparison but it is going to happen anyway. from the get go some of this story reminded me of Butcher’s accounts of Harry Dresden. Our world, plagued by monsters, overbearing authority with lots of complex rules about what the protags can and cannot do when fighting them, etc. Where MHI diverges is in one small but extremely important area. Correia never cripples his characters. I appreciate the fact that the good guys are rough and they are tough and they are capable of fighting anything that comes their way. They don’t simper and complain, they don’t spend pages of the book whining. They kick in the door and kick monster butt. Too many authors today think the protag has to be vulnerable or weak to get people to identify with them. Not Owen Z Pitt, he is a straight BAMF from the first page to the last, and I loved it. Sure he gets beat up, sure he loses some fights, and sometimes monsters get the best of him. But I never felt that he was getting through every encounter based solely on his luck. Pitt made his own luck. As opposed to Dresden who spends the whole of each book barely escaping from events by happenstance, then complaining about it. I loved reading about the good guys fighting evil with nearly limitless resources. There was very little of the “omg yay we are getting saved by something out of nowhere that we never thought would happen” bullcrap and a whole lot of “empty your shotgun into its face then cut off its head” moments. I can never help but sigh when Dresden is captured by a couple of weak easily killable monsters, those monsters don’t have a chance against Pitt and MHI.

Corriea makes the danger come from the strength and power of the evil dudes. Rather than writing one semi tough vampire being fought by a few unprepared sheep not ready to face its strength, Correia gives us 7 amazingly powerful vamps facing off against the collective might of modern weaponry carried by the Army, the Feds and MHI. This feels so much more epic to me.

I did have a slight problem with a bit of the wacky magical stuff toward the ending, and the way Pitt ended the threat (not a spoiler there is already a second book out) I don’t like that “magic saves the day” stuff, but Pitt did all he could with his guns, knives and fists before he resorted to it, so I am not gonna complain much.

Monster Hunter International is rip roaring good read. it is so much fun that I could not put it down. I highly recommend it if you like horror or action.


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