Sunday, October 10, 2010

Monster Hunter Vendetta Book Review

book cover of 
Monster Hunter Vendetta 
 (Monster Hunter , book 2)
Larry Correia
Title: Monster Hunter Vendetta
Author: Larry Correia
Publisher: Baen Publishing
Pages: 612
ISBN: 9781439133910

Monster Hunter Vendetta is the second book in Larry Correia's New York Times Bestselling series (Currently #27 in Mass-Market), which started with Monster Hunter International.

Like I've mentioned before, there's always the expectation for a sequel to be at best, on parr with the first book in a series. With this being the first sequel that Larry's written, I was looking forward to finding out just how well Monster Hunter Vendetta would turn out. Too often authors will hit the big one with their first novel, then turn around, write the second book in the series without really caring, and being unfare to the reader. This is not true for Larry. He's a damn good story teller who knows how to weave every essential elemnt of storytelling together, without sacrificing one thing for another. As I cracked open my copy, I was blown away. Needless to say, there's no dissapointment on my face.

Picking up several months after the events in Monster Hunter International, Monster Hunter Vendetta continues the story of Owen Z. Pitt and his life as an accountant-turned-monster-hunter. After having made The Dread Overlord mad for something Owen didn't due (thanks largely in part to the Feds and a big nuke), Owen is then faced with a bounty on his head, put there by the The Dread Overlord (seriously, how could you ever be happy with a title like that?). Enter the the Church of the Temporary Mortal Condition, I cult spearheaded by a British necromancer who simply goes by the name of the Shadow Man, and wants nothing more than to gain the favor of The Dread Overlord.

Like with most things, the government always has to have it's hands in everything, that's why the MCB (Monster Control Bureau) sends Agent Franks to fill in as Owen's personal bodygaurd. And that's were the story begins.

I love learning about the history of things, and in general, world building, and Correia definitely doesn't dissapoint in that regard.Throughout the book Larry delves further into the backhistory of the rich, vast, complicated and bone numbingly scary world that he's created within the pages of Monster Hunter Vendetta. Along the way we're introduced to gansta gnomes, Owen's rockstar brother, giant Japanese demons, giant zombie elephants, and MHI's newest toy, Leviathan, as well as the answer to one of the biggest mysteries shrouding MHI's history. Needless to say, there isn't single dull moment within the pages of this book. And, finally, one of the biggest jaw dropping surprises that I would have never seen coming in a million years.

Monster Hunter Vendetta was by far more than I could have ever expected, and then some. That's why I'm giving it 9 TARDIS's out of 10. So, if you like zombies, vampires, werewolves, necromancers and scary death cults, and are tired of the same run of the mill cliched tropes that seem to mercilessly litter the shelves of Urban Fantasy section these days, then pick up Monster Hunter Vendetta, and while your at it, why not start from the beginning, and double the fun? Go ahead and grab Monster Hunter International and start from there.


Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The Fall Book Review

book cover of The Fall  (Strain Trilogy, book 2)byChuck Hogan and Guillermo del Toro
Title: The Fall
Author(s): Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan
Publisher: HarperCollins
Pages: 308
ISBN: 9780061558221

The Fall is the much anticipated sequel to Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan's new vampire trilogy which began with The Strain.

The Fall begins only hours after the events of The Strain: with the fall of New York City. Now it's up for grabs, and fighting for it's control are the Old and New World Vampires. As war breaks out across New York, two small band of survivors, one including Eph Goodweather and Holocaust survivor-turned-vampire-hunter Abraham Setrakian, and the other, a group of gangbangers-turned-vampire-hunters are caught in the middle of the war. And with newly acquired knowledge of how the parasite works, Abraham must race to stop them. All the while as Eph fights to save the world, he also has to contend with his dead ex-wife, who's only purpose is to find and feed on their son, Zach.

As with most sequels, there's always the expectation for it to be better than the first; to surpass the first book in the series if only by a small margin. Unfortunately these hopes were dashed for me as I settled in to read The Fall. The first issue I had with it was the size. Unlike The Strain which was considerably larger in volume, The Fall is a sleek little novel. Granted, size doesn't matter, but I was expecting more. I loved the direction that del Toro and Hogan took the story in, but felt that it dragged out and bogged down with parts that didn't really seem necessary to the plot at hand, including several new point-of-views that served no purpose to the story.
However, I loved the fact that the story delved further into the back history of Abraham Setrakian's life. I also enjoyed and the concept of the two sides: Old and New World Vampires, fighting to stop The Master's deadly plot to essentially erradicate the human race. del Toro and Hogan up the thrills with several new game-changing introductions to the story that most readers won't see coming. Including a few jaw-dropping moments for myself.

Overall, The Fall was an alright read. Although it left much to be admired, it was an interesting read that left me at times on the edge of my seat, while also dropping surprises I'd never see coming. That's why I'm rating The Fall 7.5 TARDIS's out of 10. As negative as I've been, I can't wait to see what det Toro and Hogan due with book three, The Night Eternal which releases one year from now.

If you've already invested your time in The Strain and just haven't picked up The Fall yet, I'd recommend picking it up the next chance you get.