Have you ever started reading something without knowing why you chose it, not been crazy about the beginning, but kept going anyway? I can honestly say this week’s topic is the first time I’ve legitimately had that happen, ie choosing a book to read without even seeing a blurb, coming close to giving up after the first chapter, but after a few more, finding myself far more interested than I expected to be.
I’m talking about Monster Hunter International, by Larry Correia. It’s the story of Owen Z Pitt (who his friends call Z), a man from a military family, who decides to go into accounting in an attempt to live a quiet and ordinary life. One night after working late and getting ready to go home, his boss comes in and reveals having been turned into a werewolf. Of course, a dire battle ensues, and Owen eventually pushes his opponent out the window to smash onto the pavement many floors below. Owen himself sustained major injuries as well, landing himself in the hospital for a few days, followed by a large paycheck courtesy of a government fund set aside for the hunting and killing of supernatural creatures, and recruitment from the Monster Hunter organization.
As I mentioned above, being thrown into heavy battle from page one like that really turned me off. I found myself not really caring about the main character, probably more for his gun policy than anything that was happening to him, but the early onset of blood and guts certainly didn’t help. To be honest, as I’ve found with watching Super Sentai and Kamen Rider, the other characters in the story make the plot much more appealing. For instance, the driving force on Owen’s path happened to be the ghost of a Jewish toy maker from the World War II era – and he was probably the most interesting character of all.
Despite how important love and romance were to the eventual resolution of the conflict, the way it was handled in this book was extremely forced: man likes woman; woman is already in a relationship with someone else; the other man is kind of a jerk, but has something happen to him; woman falls for main character. While it would have made the book longer to draw out the development of the new couple, it would have also certainly made it more believable.
I can pretty much guarantee your mileage will vary with this one. It was kinda neat seeing mystical creatures in slightly more realistic circumstances, but I’d probably suggest you be predisposed to this genre before giving it a try. This is book one of a series, and I’m not sure I’ll bother looking into the rest of them.
Rating: 3rd Gear
[If you have a topic you’d like me to cover in a future article, please don’t hesitate to email me at Sara at otdt.net.]