Archive for action fantasy

MONSTER HUNTER INTERNATIONAL By Larry Correia – Reviewed

Posted in Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 10, 2017 by stanleyriiks

I came across Correia’s name on social media in regard to the Puppies and the Nova awards. I didn’t particularly take much interest in the goings on, Correia may have had a point, but George RR Martin also wrote very eloquently about it. In the end I wasn’t bothered one way or another; that awards can be manipulated, or unfairly given to cronies isn’t a surprise to a former member of the British Fantasy Society.

Whatever politics were involved didn’t particularly interest me. I like to read lots of different types of books, different types of SF and fantasy, and I was looking for something action-packed and I remembered something I’d read about Correia’s novels and thought I’d give him a try.

This is the first book in the Monster Hunter International series, and here we meet Owen Zastava Pitt, a former bare-knuckle fighter and now accountant, whose life is turned upside down when his ass of a boss turns into a werewolf and tries to eat him.

As Owen recovers from his injuries, having managed to fight off and kill the werewolf, he’s offered a job as a mercenary monster hunter and that’s when the real fun begins. What follows is a quick boot-camp and then a race to save the world from a group of master vampires and a mysterious figure known only as the Old One…

If you like guns and action and urban fantasy set in a B-movie then you’ll love this. It’s straight-up action, no holds barred, but with decent characters, enough attention to detail to make it realistic, and a few twists and turns to keep things extra interesting. I liked this book. Is it likely to be award winning? In the same way that if it were a film it wouldn’t get an Oscar, no it’s not likely to win awards, but does it fulfil the role of entertainment, will it appeal to a mass market audience (like Fast and the Furious or Star Wars), damn it, yes it will!

Correia may be as well known for the wrong reasons, but try his books. Monster Hunter International is a powerhouse of a novel, it’s exciting, it’s intelligent, it’s fun.

Great stuff and I’ve already bought the second book in the series.

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THE GRIM COMPANY By Luke Scull – Reviewed

Posted in Reviews, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 19, 2015 by stanleyriiks

Having recently enjoyed the delights of Mark Lawrence and Andy Remic’s action fantasies, I was looking forward to this. But this is not Mark Lawrence or Andy Remic. Upon starting to read this I was most disappointed.

It starts slowly….

Mages rule the city states, tussling for power. They killed the gods, dooming themselves to limited magical material. But the brutal ruler Salazar, having lost his navy to one of his rivals, ups the stakes, destroying the city of Shadowport in a massive tidal wave that wipes out everyone and everything.

Two warriors, hunted by their former tribesmen, find themselves part of a rebel band.

A young man, desperate to be the hero he knows he is destined to be, has a rude awakening when he is almost killed, and runs away from his friends and family to try to prove himself.

Mmmm… The slow start isn’t particularly helped by the lack of a good hero, I don’t think the author knows who he wants us to root for: the annoying twerp who thinks he’s a hero, or the grizzled old warrior who groans with every move. The characters in the book just aren’t compelling, or likeable.

The story does start to get going in the second half, the characters actually start to come into their own and grow, and the long awaited action begins to take place.

What could have been a really good action fantasy, feels mostly flat and unrewarding. Sure, the second half of the book really does pick up, and here you get to see Scull at his full potential. But I very nearly didn’t make it that far.

If you’re looking for action fantasy, and have read all the books of Lawrence and Remic then go for Polansky. When you have exhausted all of those and if you’re still desperate for some fantasy action give Scull a try.

Really not sure if I will bother with the second book in this series or not. Disappointed.