Formats available: ebook, paperback, mass market paperback, audiobook
Genre: Urban fantasy
Series: Monster Hunters International, #1
Length: 452 pages
Publisher: Baen Books
Date Released: August 1, 2009
Purchasing Info: Author’s Website, Publisher’s Website, Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository
Welcome to Monster Hunter International.
Five days after Owen Zastava Pitt pushed his insufferable boss out of a fourteenth story window, he woke up in the hospital with a scarred face, an unbelievable memory, and a job offer.
It turns out that monsters are real. All the things from myth, legend, and B-movies are out there, waiting in the shadows. Officially secret, some of them are evil, and some are just hungry. On the other side are the people who kill monsters for a living. Monster Hunter International is the premier eradication company in the business. And now Owen is their newest recruit.
It’s actually a pretty sweet gig, except for one little problem. An ancient entity known as the Cursed One has returned to settle a centuries old vendetta. Should the Cursed One succeed, it means the end of the world, and MHI is the only thing standing in his way. With the clock ticking towards Armageddon, Owen finds himself trapped between legions of undead minions, belligerent federal agents, a cryptic ghost who has taken up residence inside his head, and the cursed family of the woman he loves.
Business is good . . .
Owen Zastava Pitt and Deacon Chalk would probably get along like a house on fire. Even better, a house on fire filled with monsters that they had just wasted–since both those gentlemen pretty much believe that the only good monster is a dead monster.
And they both surely do love their guns. The bigger the better. Generally described in loving detail, to the point where the MHI series is sometimes called “gun-porn”, and justifiably so.
It’s also fun. Not particularly long on plot, but fun.
There’s an old country song by Johnny Paycheck titled “Take This Job and Shove It”. Owen starts out by taking his boss and shoving him out a window. followed by a desk–and it’s totally justified. His truly rotten boss had just turned into a werewolf and nearly killed him. Very nearly.
Owen woke up in the hospital with two humorless FBI dudes waiting to see if he was going to turn furry, and a job offer from Monster Hunters International to come hunt monsters for a living. He told the Fibbies to shove it and took the job with MHI, mostly because one of the MHI operatives was a beautiful girl that he fell head-over-heels for.
And because Owen Pitt had a violent streak a mile wide and MHI was a sanctioned way to let it out.
He hadn’t bargained on needing to save the world. Or on being the only one in 500 years able to do it. Just that being a Monster Hunter was going to be way better than being an accountant. Trying to be normal had basically sucked.
Escape Rating B: Monster Hunter International is pure, unadulterated mind candy. Think of it like toffee. You know you shouldn’t, but once you bite down on it, you can’t resist. And besides, now you’re stuck. You have to keep going because you’ve got to find out where the story is going to go. It’s one impossible, death-defying fight after another. A Sunday B-movie adventure matinee.
Owen, and the author, love their guns. The descriptions are a bit much, and my eyes tended to skim after the first few times. Owen is very big and very heavily armed. Exactly what he was heavily armed with didn’t matter much to me after the first couple of descriptions. YMMV.
Some readers have compared Owen to Harry Dresden from Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files. That comparison doesn’t fly for me. Harry is way snarkier, doesn’t fight with this type of armed force, and is much fonder of his own brilliance. Owen is a soldier. He reminds me a lot more of Deacon Chalk from James R. Tuck’s terrific series (first book is Blood and Bullets if you want a taste), who is also terribly fond of his armaments. Also, Owen has much better luck with girls than Harry Dresden. For that matter, in spite of the tragedy in his past, so does Deacon.
Also, Owen and Deacon are both southerners, while Harry’s brand of snark is pure Chicago.
If you like monster battles, Monster Hunter International is tons of fun. Lots of monsters, lots of guns, lots of shooting. And the orcs are on the side of the righteous this time!