Alexis’s #CBR4 Review #19: Monster Hunter Vendetta, Larry Correia
It was like that time where I accidentally purchased a really horrible possibly self-published book on Amazon and read the whole thing just because I was convinced that it would have to get better at some point, but it didn’t.
I’m always looking for a hidden gem and have stumbled across more than a few by relying on Amazons “customer’s also bought…” list. Especially when they’re available in the 4 for 3 deal. Admittedly the cover art of this book gave me pause (I am not a 13 year old boy so….) but 55+ reviewers giving it 5-star reviews made it seem promising.
Owen Zastava Pitt was once a lowly accountant until he realized he could fight monsters, which live among us, joined an elite underground monster fighting operation and became a master monster hunter. The story starts promisingly with a monster hunt gone south, an unexpected zombie infestation, and a visit from a powerful creature who wants to bring Pitt to a different dimension where the Dread Overlord is seeking vengeance for the events of the first book (this is book #2). Pitt escapes this creature but now the chase is on, the book full of various action sequences involving vampires, werewolves, ogres, crazy cultists, real live garden gnomes, etc.
Through these adventures we learn that Pitt is bald and not super attractive, but he’s incredibly strong, capable, loyal, and good. He’s exceptionally good with guns, his fiance is utterly gorgeous and devoted to him, and all of the other monster hunters hold him in high regard. Which all feels very Mary Sue/wish fulfillment so I went to the author’s website to read his bio and yep – he basically modeled Pitt entirely on himself. There are no complex characters in this book. The band of monster hunters have names but don’t need them, Hunter #1-#7 would have sufficed. Pitt’s finance has no story arc, relevance, or job to do other than make a brief appearance to occasionally reaffirm her love of Pitt.
The dialogue is stiff and riddled with cliche. “Need me as bait? I’m not down with that. Get yourself a different worm for that hook, Meyers. I don’t trust your people at all. And it’ll be a cold day in hell before I put my life in the hands of that jackbooted thug.” There is lots of action but without a cogent plot or interesting characters it’s just literary noise.
Which leads me back to the rave reviews (Amazon, GoodReads, etc.). My theory is that Baen publishing has an online book community (called Baen’s Bar) and that their authors and general members help each other out with positive reviews for each other. Because I can’t come up with any other possible explanation for Monster Hunter Vendetta to receive any 4-5 star reviews.
Don’t believe the hype. This is not worth your time.