Owen Zastava Pitt has everything he wants in life – a lovely fiancée, solid friends and the best damned job in the world. So why can’t he seem to catch a break, especially when his future in-law’s are involved?
Monster Hunter Vendetta is the sequel to Larry Correia’s highly acclaimed breakout novel, Monster Hunter International. Owen Pitt, having survived a werewolf attack in the preceding novel, goes on to work for a company called Monster Hunter International. He ends up defeating the Cursed One and saves the world from unending darkness. He gets the girl as well. Naturally, he was named employee of the month.
But the times, they are a-changin’. Pitt and the rest of the crew are down in Mexico, dealing with a chupacabra problem when he is suddenly ambushed by a mysterious man who seems to be nothing more than shadows. The Shadow Man mentions that the Old Ones that Pitt defeated the previous summer put out a “hit” on the mere mortal who dared poke them in the eye.
Apparently, this is a bad thing to do.
Pitt barely manages to survive the attack, only to find himself in the middle of a massive zombie outbreak, courtesy of the Shadow Man. Pitt helps beat back the zombie attack, though massive civilian life was lost at the Mexican resort, and Pitt finds himself in the worst Mexican hellhole prison in existence. There, with no place ot escape to and nowhere to run, his previously mentioned future in-laws come calling.
Susan and Ray Shackleford had been, once upon a more pleasant time, a happily married couple who were Monster Hunters as well. But Susam had mysteriously turned up missing and Ray, heartbroken, had accidentally opened a rift between our dimension and that of the Old Ones. Needless to say, things went to hell in a hand basket quickly and MHI was only beginning to pick up the pieces when Owen was hired. And now Susan wanted Owen to do a job for her: beat the Shadow Man who had so thoroughly kicked Owen’s butt hours before. Oh, and did we mention that the Shackleford’s are both now extremely powerful vampires?
Life in the MHI is weird, to say the least.
The plot is solid, with the action coming in steady bursts which simply reek of ozone and gunpowder. The author’s pacing of the book is fantastic, and you’re ready to forgive him for the length of the novel. The depth of the characters is astounding, considering that the majority of urban fantasy authors fall into two genres: sparkly vampires or sexy vampires. Correia pulls no punches with his style and breaks all the stereotypes, which is absolutely refreshing to find in a subgenre littered with the same old boring tales of a sexually frustrated vampire and the masculine yet oddly wimpy werewolf.
The humor at times is nowhere near subtle, but this works with the first person point of view which Correia uses. He makes the story so easy to read that you don’t need to have any knowledge of cryptozoology to understand just what sort of terrifying creature Pitt and Co. are fighting.
Coming in at 650 pages, Monster Hunter Vendetta is not a light book, but the trip through is enjoyable and highly entertaining. And since it’s a paperback release only, the price is a downright steal. A must buy book. I personally have purchased three copies already, to be given out as Christmas gifts to friends who absolutely loved Monster Hunter International. Go out and buy this book, because Baen Books has already signed Correia to write a third book in the series, titled Monster Hunter Alpha, which tells the story of Earl Harbinger. This is just too good to pass up.
Reviewed by Jason