Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Monster Hunter Legion by Larry Correia

I really have enjoyed this series by Correia. Just rollicking, slam-bang action and adventure, with a wry twist at times. In this installment, Owen Z. Pitt and his friends are off to a convention in Vegas, the first ever meeting of all of the monster hunters worldwide and some of the shadowy government agencies that are tasked with controlling or killing the monsters and keeping the knowledge that monsters exist out of the public eye. What a mess of monster hunters do to the buffet at the Last Dragon casino doesn't bear repeating.

I'm wondering if there's any way for an author to foreshadow a main character's unsuspected pregnancy without making it blindingly obvious. On page 7, Correia writes, "...my lovely wife Julie had said she was tired...had been feeling a little under the weather during the trip." Boom! She's pregnant, though Owen doesn't suspect it and finds out much later in the tale. Maybe I just have "pregdar".

You'd think a monster hunter convention would defy convention, but as Owen observes, "Regardless of what business you're in, these sorts of things were always the same. Introduce yourself. Applause. Introduce everybody else. Applause. Tell a lame joke. Applause. Thank everyone and their dog...I mean, come on, the people in this room kill supernatural beings for a living...How could you possibly make that tedious? Yet somehow, they did."

One of the things that makes Correia's writing so fun is when he comes up with sarcastic bits, or unexpected twists on genre conventions. I especially liked the super-sekret government agency called Special Task Force Unicorn (STFU). Midway through the book, Owen is summoned to meet with the mysterious owner of the casino, whom I'm thinking is something like Robin from Magnum, P.I. or Charlie of Angel's fame. But it turns out to be a dragon, and when Owen walks into his lair he is talking to his stockbroker on a bluetooth headset. Dragon with a hands-free phone? Great stuff.

So, as all of these things go, Owen and the other monster hunters at the convention get caught up in trying to defeat a vast, existential threat to the human race once more. The monster can pull nightmares out of people's heads and make them corporeal, and any monster hunter who has been around for long has plenty of nightmares to mine. It turns out that this monster was created by the U.S. Government during WWII, as a misbegotten result of a Manhattan Project style research facility that is now buried in the Nevada desert. The ending is a little lame, and the whole purpose of the book seems to be to unite all the feuding companies hunting monsters into a force that can deal with the big battle when the Old Ones return.

It's fun, nearly non-stop action, and will definitely entertain and amuse you.

1 comment:

Bob Milne said...

I really need to catch up with this series. I just picked up the hardcover omnibus of the first 3 books, and since my eReader appears to have died, this just may leap to the top of my TBR list. :/