Monster Hunter Legion by Larry Correia (Monster Hunters, Bk. 4)
Read by Oliver Wyman
Length: 16 Hrs 35 Min
Genre: Paranormal Urban Fantasy
Quick Thoughts: I had a hell of a lot of fun with Monster Hunter Legion. Correia brings all our favorite characters together, throws in a few new ones, and puts them up against one kickass Monster that really is all monsters. Its nonstop actiony goodness at its most pleasurable. So, if you like Monsters, killing monsters, guns, explosions, and smart assed dudes with smart wives, well, I’m pretty sure you’ll like Monster Hunter Legion, because, well, I did.
I have been thing a lot about the term "guilty pleasure." As a reader who reads mostly what is called "genre" fiction, I have often heard this term applied to books that I enjoy. I will hear someone talk about one of my favorite space operas or military science fiction tales and they will say it is one of their guilty pleasures. I have seen this tag put on authors from Grisham to Danielle Steele. Well, I have decided that I hate the term. When it comes to reading, really, why should one feel guilty? If reading John Ringo gives you just as much pleasure as reading Kerouac, then shout it from the heavens. The weird thing is that the term itself is so pointless. Placing the term "guilty" in front of the word "pleasure" is just a useless value judgment. If there is someone in your life who will actually judge you based on what you read, well, that person is a pretentious jackhole. Do you really want to impress a pretentious jackhole? I had someone like that in my life. He used to ask, since I read so much, why don’t I focus on things of value, like nonfiction. Now, I wanted to impress this guy. He’s always been the aloof type that for some reason made me think his aloofness meant he was more an arbitrary of cool than I was. Then, I realized the only book I could remember him admitting to reading was the autobiography of former Phillies catcher Chris Coste. One book, versus the close to two hundred I read in a year and he gets to influence me as an arbiter of cool. No way, jackhole. So, from now on, when I read books about zombies and ghouls, murder and mayhem, I am going to simply call them pleasures. Screw this guilty shit.
Monster Hunter Legion, the latest novel in Larry Correia’s Monster Hunter series, is simply that, a pleasure. It is a gun shooting, explody, monster killing, testosterone filled slaughter fest with twisted mythologies, kick ass heroes and heroines, and an awkward but likable main character. Sometimes I wonder if Correia is a misunderstood marketing genius. He comes up with this idea for a great character, gives him a mysterious background, puts a complex mythology in place, but tops it all off with the awesomesauce of having him part of a highly specialized business that handles the hunting of Monsters. And what does he call this book series, Monster Hunters. I mean, really, if anyone comes up to you with and asks you, "ummm…. what is this book Monster Hunters Legion about?" All you need to say is "Well… Monster Hunting." Pure genius. In this latest entry, Owen Zastava Pitt and his fellow members of Monster Hunter’s International are ready to blow off steam in Las Vegas as they attend the first annual convention of Monster Hunting groups at the Last Dragon Casino. Yet, as all the groups come together and share info, they begin to realize that something strange is happening all around the world. As they begin to pool information, there is a strange attack, a dark force that can tap into people’s very nightmares is unleashed, and it’s up to the Monster Hunters to stop it. First off, holy crap. Imagine a creature that can tap into your nightmares, and manifest them. Then imagine it comes upon a group that hunts monsters for a living. Think about what may keep those men and women up at night. Yeah, pretty badass. One of my favorite things about this series is that Correia manages to mix classic monsters, with strange exotic ones, yet spins them in a way that makes them all seem new and frightening. Every time I think Correia has topped himself with a twisted new monster, or a new manifestation of an old one, he then gets all cocky and tops himself again. It’s like exponential badassery. If you can’t tell, I had a hell of a lot of fun with Monster Hunter Legion. Correia brings all our favorite characters together, throws in a few new ones, and puts them up against one kickass Monster that really is all monsters. Its nonstop actiony goodness at its most pleasurable. So, if you like Monsters, killing monsters, guns, explosions, and smart assed dudes with smart wives, well, I’m pretty sure you’ll like Monster Hunter Legion, because, well, I did.
I have this vision of Larry Correia, all large and awkward, in some dark basement, in robes and candles performing some ritual enchantment to the gods of audiobooks. Or maybe he just sacrifices a chicken everyday to some nymph or goddess who rules over the sounds of the spoken word. Whatever he does, it works. Larry Correia’s Monster Hunter International, and its performance by Oliver Wyman, was beat out in last years Audies by Larry Correia’s Hard Magic, which was performed by Bronson Pinchot. If I were to make a list of my five favorite male narrators, Oliver Wyman and Pinchot would be there, pretty close to the top. Wyman continues his trend of kicking ass in this series with another great performance. Honestly, I can think of few better matches in audiobooks today then Wyman and a series like Monster Hunters, with all its Lovecraftian, Tolkenesque and basically just straight out of your head, crazy ass Monsters to voice. Wyman doesn’t hold back at all. What makes things even more fun for Legion is the slew of new international Monster Hunters we get to meet, including Aussie boys, a sly Korean Huntress, and some strict professional, but still ass kicking German Hunters. Monster Hunter Legion is like a narrator smorgasbord, and Wyman laps it all up. Despite Monster Hunter Legions 16 1/2 Hour running time, Correia and Wyman somehow manage to fit 20 hours of non-stop, well paced, highly visual action into this book, and it still felt too short.