Saturday, October 16, 2010

Monster Hunter International

Monster Hunter International
by Larry Correia

9 out of 10
Definitely not YA.  12-year-olds, turn around now.

Incredibly enjoyable.  Owen Zastava Pitt is attacked by his were-wolf boss at work and is introduced to the world of B-movie monsters that are secretly alive and well, unbeknownst to the general population.

There are werewolves, gargoyles, vampires, wights, and various other undead.  There are hot chicks with glasses, hot chicks with no souls, and everything in between.  And Owen?  Kicks butt.  I think that might be the actual translation of "Zastava".  Owen Butt-kicking Pitt.  Oh, and let's not forget the elves.

There's a little something for everyone.  On everyone's mind: does Owen get the girl?  You'll have to read it to find out.

This is a roaring action read, and you won't want to put it down.  The side characters are awesome and have their own well-developed personalities, too.  The reveal of Holly's story gave me nightmares, in a very cool and yet bone-chilling way.

Monster Hunter Vendetta is out now!

Catching Fire

Part Two of the promised series.

Catching Fire
by Suzanne Collins

7 out of 10
YA post-apocalyptic fiction.

This book is a clear example of giving your fans more of what they like, but not as successfully as the first time.


You've been warned.  Okay, if you liked the Games in HG, there's more of that here, and it's good.  The games are different, but I'm not convinced they had to happen at all in this book.  It seems somewhat contrived that Katniss and Peeta end up in the games...again.  I mean, didn't I read that already?  I do like the secondary character development, though.  In fact, that's what made this a positive read.

All in all, I think this book is worthwhile to read, though not memorable on its own.

I Am Not a Serial Killer

No, seriously, I'm not.

I Am Not a Serial Killer
by Dan Wells

9 out of 10
YA horror-fantasy.

In the interest of full disclosure, I really like Dan Wells, not just his books.  You see, Dan is part of a group of three authors, including Brandon Sanderson and Howard Tayler, who make a podcast that I really love.  As an aspiring writer myself, I listen to Writing Excuses regularly (I hesitate to say religiously because I make it a point to only do religious things religiously), and I think you should, too.  Even if you don't want to be a's just that awesome.

The book is about a pre-sociopathic teenager who is struggling to keep his demons in check.  He's fascinated by death and serial killers in particular.  When a body is found in his hometown, he sees some red flags and knows immediately a serial killer has come to town.

John Cleaver struggles with using his particular knowledge set to help catch this killer without becoming something worse in the process.  It's amazingly well-told, and I'm sure countless fans wonder how Wells could write such a chilling main character with such insight.

We discover something that turns the story upside-down halfway through the book, and I'm not going to give that away.  You'll just have to read it and find out for yourself.

Beware: Once you pick it up, you won't want to put it down.  And don't read it late at night, alone in a dark, empty house.

I recommend for fans of horror, fantasy, or really great writing anywhere. Not for young teens, in my opinion.