Sunday, August 3, 2014

Books - Monster Hunter Nemesis by Larry Correia

I hate Larry Correia. He makes it look so easy. There is no one out there like him. I just finished Correia’s latest novel in his Monster Hunter International series; Nemesis. I have one big problem with it ... it wasn’t 10,000 pages long.

Monster Hunter International is about groups (some private, some government sponsored) who fight monsters. And they take on some biggies. Master vampires, werewolves, demons, Godzilla-types and even some Cthulu-inspired, god-level threats. Up until now, the stories have mostly dealt with the specific private United States group Monster Hunter International, run by Earl Harbinger and “Chosen One” Owen Pitt. Nemesis puts the spotlight on government agent Franks, a popular MHI supporting character.

Franks is a famous monster from pop culture history--it's not too hard to figure out. He is the toughest, strongest, meanest, indestructible almost-human missile in the government’s arsenal to take down monster things. Correia establishes Franks’ character in a perfect scene near the beginning of the book. Franks is dropped into a group of powerful demons. Vastly outgunned and outnumbered (well, maybe not outgunned), Franks just stands there and looks at them. The head demon shouts “It’s Franks! Everybody run!” Bloody chaos ensues.

Franks holds his own novel well. This is a “man (er, monster) on the run” novel, as Franks is framed for the murders of several government agents and has a bounty put on his head by evil government agents (are there any other kind?). As a result, every government and private monster hunter organization in the world is tripping over themselves to kill Franks and bring in the millions in bounty. Turns out Franks has been fighting for the United States since 1776 (he’s much older), and part of his contract with the Revolutionary government states that the U.S. will not try to replicate creatures such as he. A top secret government agency is trying to do just that, but knows Franks will destroy them if he gets wind of it. Thus the frame-up and resulting explosions.

When Franks discovers the plot, he goes on a massive killing spree of bad guys. In one scene, on the run and beaten down to a nub, Franks is enjoying a brief moment of respite with his few allies. “What do we do?” one commando asks. “Kill ****ing everything” is Franks’ reply. He tends to be a monster of few words, letting his Glocks and massive fists do the talking. As Correia himself put it, this novel is “Franks against the world.” I put my money on Franks.

Monster Hunter Nemesis also develops Franks as a character, delves into his creation and expands the back-story of who he is. It seems we don’t know the whole story about where Franks really came from. When we find out, it’s a game changer. And it explains why he doesn’t want any more around like him.

There are incredible battles in Nemesis, with firearms, bombs, and a fantastic no-holds-barred fight between Franks and MHI’s favorite, nearly omnipotent werewolf character. The book is also full of humor, great one-liners and it definitely moves the story of the MHI universe forward. I couldn’t put it down. I can’t wait for the next one!

Rating: ***** out of 5 stars

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