By some happy accident Larry Correia’s Monster Hunter Nemesis was released on Kindle and Nook weeks before the book’s scheduled print release date.
Happy, happy accident.
This was a fascinating book to read. Correia (the self-styled International Lord of Hate after he got caught up in writer’s politics when he refused to toe the line and defied the liberal strangle-hold on sci-fi and fantasy awards) is one of the current kings of pulp fiction for good reason.
Nemesis is the fifth installment in the Monster Hunter series (think Buffy the Vampire Slayer interpreted by The Expendables) and it is chock-full of rip-roaring action. Correia is a self-taught author who did all the right research. He read a ton of science fiction and fantasy and paid attention to what worked. Then he went and did it. In terms of writing craft Correia’s characterization is solid, bold, and memorable. His dialogue drips with snark in delightfully irreverent ways. P.C. has nothing to do with things that flow from this man’s keyboard.
The story revolves around a prior supporting character, Agent Franks from the Monster Control Bureau. Bow now we know (spoiler) that Franks is short for Frankenstein… and he’s been working for the Government on condition that the government never try to make any more like him.
But (coincidence?) a corrupt bureaucrat takes an end-run around the law and sets Franks up for the fall and breaks Franks’ contract with America (and gosh, stated like that a libertarian’s take on the Republican Revolution of 1996 doesn’t seem to be completely unintentional either).
A former government contractor, Correia drips contempt for bureaucratic corruption in the federal government. He’s a devout Mormon, Libertarian, and Gun Nut, and that’s probably stated in reverse order. Correia’s earliest books were sometimes to technically spec-heavy for non-shooters to enjoy as much as his targeted fan base, but this mistake is long in the past. There is very little but sheer fun in this romp.
This book deals largely with cosmology, and Correia has never been one to beat around the bush. He does an amazing job integrating Mormonism and Cthulu-esque noir urban fantasy. I am not a Mormon, though I grew up with them (only non-Mormon in my Boy Scout troop so it was all right to beat me up, for example) and while I prefer Christianity I did not have a hard time reading this book, since the differences are as clear and unapologetic as anything else Correia does (Cliff’s Notes version: orthodox Christianity has Grace and Mormonism has Works). Also, I did some double-checking and Correia is absolutely correct that the Tomte are extortionist thug-punks. This book was well-written by a guy with sincere beliefs whose beliefs inform his writing very well. I can and do respect that and enjoy it more than people mealy-mouthing around.
That being said, this is an action adventure. It can never be a movie because Hollywood cannot afford the sort of property damage involved in this story, but it would be delightful to see them try. Correia continues to cameo-in almost all of the established MHI people, including a fun bit where Preternatural Tarantulas goes after Franks. The story is fast-paced, eventful, and relevant to contemporary issues in a time when a new corruption or scandal comes up every day. Cultural relevance is a big part of a successful story.
Of course, it’s a conservative-libertarian non-politically-correct, alpha-male, anti-government escapist romp, so Hollywood will never make the effort.
That’s fine. Pick up a copy today and check out the difference with your own imagination to supply the special effects.
Highly Recommended. Start with the first book in the series. Read all five. Repeat as needed.