This was our first comic-book review, done when we thought Codex would be drawing more veggie comics for reviews and before we’d figured out how WordPress worked. So…. Nope.
All the book review (with comics!) and movie, TV show & game reviews (with varying degrees of comics & snark) are compiled at “Read, Watch, Play.”
Books we like, chosen because we like them. Reviewed with vegetables, because, um. Carrots are cute. Yeah. That’s the ticket.
Links go to the author’s page, if you can buy it there, (because Author Gets PaidTM, is a Good Thing) or amazon.com.
May 26th: Monster Hunter International by Larry Correia
Larry Correia earns a spot in the First Lines Hall of Fame, right up there with “His name was Eustace Clarence Scrub.” And the book delivers: Not a whole lot more, granted, but who cares? If you’re looking for passages of soaring imagery, mythopoeic prose, and microscopic characterization, and you pick up a tome with “Monster Hunters” in the title, you’re dumb as a sack of rocks
Like the Monster Hunter International team, this book isn’t pretty or sophisticated, but by gum, it gets the job done! Transparent prose, fast moving plot, and detailed descriptions of weapons tech which you can skim (or not) but which other gun nuts will assure you is spot-on accurate. And dang, but it’s fun to “see” some of that cool tech in action. If you have a good visual imagination, Correia does enough of the heavy lifting to make the story about a secret team of private contractors who fight vampires, werewolves, dragon-golems and cthuloid horrors from beyond the Nth-dimensional abyss, popcorn-chomping, cinematic fun. Better yet, every book in the two “Monster Hunter” series just keeps getting better.
Monster Hunter International is told first person, by Owen Pitt. He’s a decent guy from a seriously mixed-up, weird-ass family who might as well have Clean Limbed Fighting Man from VirginiaTM stamped on his forehead. And for those of us who know and like ordinary guys–whatever their Awesome Fighting Prowess–that’s Owen. He’s got that endearing mix of toughness, squishy vulnerability to the folks he loves, and dogged loyalty–and of course, he does need to be hit upside the head with a clue-by-four from time to time.
Now, the be-all end-all of parochial, modern, navel-gazing fiction is the character arc. Writers will shoehorn this fetish in even when it destroys critical story elements (we’re looking at you, movie Aragorn), is unrealistic (how many adults do you know who Grow and ChangeTM over the course of a few months?), or is inappropriate to the genre or story-telling tradition. For adventure series, the wise writer will simply reveal more of the personality and character of the protagonist and supporting characters in any given book–leaving them room to develop across the series as time and changing circumstances dictate. This is exactly what Correia does with Pitt and his diverse cast of southern gothic oddballs. Before you’re half-way through the first book, the ensemble is well-enough developed for humor to arise organically out of their natures and the over-the-top scenarios of the story.
If you love tales of secret worlds, where honorable heroes have exciting adventures, save the day and get the girl, (with just the right dash of cheerful humor) check out Monster Hunters: International. I put this on the virtual bookshelf right next to A Princess of Mars :
Note: Occasional swearing and the usual stupid assumption that the proper course of action when falling in love is shack up first, marry after (if at all) Good luck finding a modern book that doesn’t assume every adult is, emotionally, sixteen. (Where is John Carter when we need him?) On the other hand this is perhaps the only such shibboleth that Correia includes; which makes MHI a modern marvel.