I am not gonna lie: I was afraid about the new Monster Hunter book. I enjoyed Monster Hunter International so much that I was hesitant about its successor. Was Larry Correia able to get a book as equal in action and fun as the first? He did not. Monster Hunter Vendetta is a great book on its own eight tentacles that you will stop comparing books about 50 pages in and just enjoy this new eccentric ride.
Gun Geek Alert: MHI’s narrative is a brand new cool weapon. It has the awe and lust of the new out of the box handgun and you spend time learning it, taking it apart, lubricating, and taking it to the range to show it off to your buddies for the Drool Factor. MHV’s narrative is the same gun after the 500 to 800 rounds break in period: all rough spots gone, it cycles beautifully, sends the bullet where you want it and melds with your hand with the familiarity of your loved one.
Two things that caught me by surprise with this book: Humor and I mean laughing out loud- neighbors demanding silence- all out laughter and Larry’s totally outlandish imagination for new monsters and monster behaviors. In a couple of notable passages, both intertwine so well that one must wonder what kind of gun solvent fumes inspired these visions.
Both Monster Hunter International and Monster Hunter Vendetta cannot be pigeon-holed into any specific literary movement. Fantasy? Not quite. Yes, both have a serious dose of that, but that’s too easy. Fiction? Yes but it is also very well grounded on those physical things we know and depend upon. Sci-Fi? You got your interplanetary, trans-dimensional beings but we are spared of UFOs…so far. Magic Realism then? Nope, Larry ain’t a starchy or pretentious author plus I was forced to read some of that crap and bore myself to tears in my younger years while the books keep me awake and racing.
If the books have a “location”, it would be next to that shadow we caught in the corner of our eye on a weird day. That shadow that we cannot see if we try to look at it and it gives us a chill down our spine if we turn our backs to it. Larry does not make us suspend disbelief with his books, he just lets us have flexible minds. And in the monster hunting business, that is 50% of the game.