Monster Hunter International is the first book in a series (of the same name) written by Larry Correia. It’s about an “accountant” who also happens to be a violent thug. He gets hired by a Blackwater-like organization dedicated to killing monsters (thus the name: Monster Hunter International, or MHI). But don’t worry; just because the main character is a rightwing NRA extremist thug who works as a mercenary for a private militia, don’t go assuming this book is about a bad guy. No, here, the private militia, the bounty hunters, the tax evaders, and the lobbyists are the good guys…
Compared to that, the vampires, werewolves, demi-gods, and holy Mormon hand grenades come off as pretty routine. In fact, if it weren’t for the rightwing garbage that pops up a lot in this book, it’d probably be among the best urban-fantasy books I’ve listened to. This book is very engaging, and despite the unnecessary forced romance, I enjoyed the plot from beginning to end.
But I’m afraid I just need to vent a little more about the rightwing logic (or lack) in this book. I’m used to reading books with characters that don’t live in the same world I do. This might be the first time I’ve read a book where I question whether the author lives in the same world I do. Let me give an example: One of the characters, after bragging about her tax evasion tactics, says she’s not a racist; that the real racists are the politicians who “pimp poverty”. That statement is never explained, and it took me some time to figure out what she was talking about. Welfare. If you’re giving money to people who are in poverty, you’re paying people for being in poverty, so that’s their job: being in poverty. Thus, politicians who are in favor of welfare promote poverty (or “pimp poverty”). And, since black people are disproportionately impoverished, people who “pimp poverty” are racist. In extremely conservative circles, that logic makes perfect sense. The problem is that the book assumes that logic makes perfect sense to everyone else too, and that when the character talks about politicians who “pimp poverty”, we will all understand what that means. Sorry, but most of us don’t see it that way. The welfare system in America sucks for a lot of reasons, but the fundamental idea of giving charity to the needy is a rather moral and Christian one, regardless of the the races involved.
Let me also go back to the point about tax evasion: As much as characters bitch about the government in this book, not once is it presented as ironic that the organization these people work for (MHI) is almost entirely funded by the government. These mercenaries admit to having private contracts once in a while, but it’s clear most of their money comes from government bounties and contracts. Even within a universe he created, the author couldn’t find a better way to fund this organization than through tax dollars. And thus the irony comes to bite us again, as the characters brag about their tax evasion, when taxes are the main reason these people get paid in the first place.
And one more thing: Buying congressmen and senators is not libertarian, as it’s presented in this book.
But don’t let all that scare you off. Despite the occasional cringe-worthy political comment, this really is a good urban-fantasy book. In fact, I’m probably going to listen to the next book in the series too. I just hope the author turns the political talk down a notch.