Should-Reads: MONSTER HUNTER INTERNATIONAL by Larry Correia

Monster Hunter International (Monster Hunters International Book 1) by [Correia, Larry]Monster Hunter Vendetta (Monster Hunters International Book 2) by [Correia, Larry]Monster Hunter Alpha (Monster Hunters International Book 3) by [Correia, Larry]Monster Hunter Legion (Monster Hunters International Book 4) by [Correia, Larry]Monster Hunter Nemesis (Monster Hunters International Book 5) by [Correia, Larry]

This is one of the more adult series that I keep up with, so the tone and content of these is pretty different from what I normally plug. Just be advised if any of you take my recommendations seriously, there’s a fair amount of language and violence in Larry Correia’s flagship urban fantasy series.

The premise is this: Owen Pitt is an accountant and gun enthusiast (much like Correia) with a flexible mind and a penchant for pounding the crap out of anyone who shoots first. When he’s working after hours one night, he gets attacked by his boss, who is actually a werewolf. Using a combination of firepower and brute strength, Owen kills his boss, but wakes up in a hospital under the watchful care of the MCB (Monster Control Bureau).

What ensues is a Men-in-Black-esque briefing about the world of monsters, that they’re real, they’re a big problem, and the government pays private companies good money to hunt them down. Owen is invited to come to work for Monster Hunter International, and things go both up and down from there.

Why do I keep reading these books? Well, they’re good rip-roaring fun. They’re what SyFy Channel B-movies could be if the characters weren’t idiots, the weapons were accurate, and the writer(s) really tried to do a good job. Character is king, and Correia makes these characters lovable and admirable.

On top of that, he avoids big-city traps that other authors write. These stories don’t happen in Chicago, LA, or New York. He tries new settings and makes it all that much more interesting for it.

If you’re looking at a 6-book series and asking yourself how each one could possibly stay interesting, here’s a breakdown:

International: Pitt is recruited to MHI, learns he has a supernatural connection to a dead Jewish monster hunter, and needs to fight a killer demon who’s coming to destroy the world. (Takes place generally in the South in USA.)

Vendetta: An ancient evil comes to Earth to hunt Owen after the events of International. There’s an armored zombie bear in this one.  (Set in Mexico, the US South, and New Zealand.)

Alpha. This isn’t from Owen’s POV, it’s about MHI’s leader, Earl Harbinger, who is a government-sanctioned werewolf. He goes to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan to face an old foe, only to learn that their pasts are more deeply intertwined than they thought. (One of the best of the series. Takes place in Michigan.)

Legion. Owen’s POV again. The team is at a monster-hunting convention when a nightmare demon breaks out and attacks the fictional dragon-themed hotel. (Takes place in LAS VEGAS!!!)

Nemesis. Not Owen’s POV. One of the MHI agents, Agent Franks, is actually a monster who’s been alive for hundreds of years. This is his backstory, interspliced with scenes in the present. I can’t remember where this one is set.

Siege. It’s not out yet but I’m dying to read it. Correia has written a bunch of other stuff since Nemesis came out in 2014, so this story has been sort of in limbo for a while.

Keep in mind, these are super watered-down summaries of these stories. There is a huge long roster of characters who are rich and well-developed, and their actions keep criss-crossing throughout the saga to keep things interesting. Correia knows how to write action and intrigue at a pace that does not invite you to take breaks.

So if gritty, high-octane urban fantasy is your jam, dig in. These are just a dang fun ride.

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