Larry Correia is obviously a first-time writer. He uses way too much passive voice — during action scenes, even — and some of the dialogue comes across as awkward and weak. The story follows some of the biggest cliches in the business of storytelling (the physical rival of the main character happens to be the boyfriend of the girl that the main character has a crush on, with predictable results).
However, it was actually kind of good despite that. I can’t help but compare it to the Dresden books by Jim Butcher — not because it’s really anything like that but because it’s in the same genre. There are some striking similarities. Owen Pitt of Monster Hunter International is basically a more heroic version of the author, down to his physical description. (Dresden doesn’t look like Butcher but he has many of the same interests and hobbies.) This is also a world with mythical monsters where the secret is supposed to be kept form the general populace.
The difference is that Owen and his friends at MHI are not out to use magic or talk their way out of trouble, they use guns. The bigger the better.
As you might imagine there is a fair bit of violence in this book. The B-movie horror plots are piled nearly as thickly as the spent shell casings. The monsters come in ever increasing waves of scary.
The biggest difference I see, though, is that I actually like this book. Owen Pitt is an imminently likable person and he is surrounded by a team of really fun people. Things get bad, in fact they get downright terrifying at times, but through it all Owen and his friends build a relationship with each other that somehow includes the reader so that at the end I felt like I was part of the team, ready to go kill some monsters.
I think this as close to understanding the phrase ‘guilty pleasure’ that I’ve come. I know that this book will not change me in any way, it will not make me a better person — though it won’t make me a worse one either — it’s just fun and explody, with lots of guns. There’s even one that hums ominously telling me that Larry Correia is a Schlock Mercenary fan which may have been enough to win me over all by itself.
I don’t know what else to say. If you’re in the mood for the literary version of a summer blockbuster action movie, then this is it (without devolving into the stupid that much of summer action movies fall victim to).