Monster Hunter Nemesis – Review

This review won’t be a regurgitation of the plot. And I won’t throw out any spoilers (in case you haven’t read it yet). What I’ll try to convey is what I thought of this story in the context of the earlier books and in relation to other similar works in the genre.
For those unfamiliar with the Monster Hunter books by Larry Correia (  http://monsterhunternation.com/ ), they involve a reality where the world exists more or less as we know it except that all kinds of traditional supernatural creatures (vampires, werewolves, ghouls, ghosts, etc.) exist. In addition, although the US (and other) governments know they exist, this knowledge is actively suppressed by means of an agency called the Monster Control Bureau (MCB). This department kills the monsters and covers up any evidence that gets into the public eye. Also the MCB oversees a program that pays private contractors to kill monsters on their own.
The four earlier books in the series concentrated on a particular private company called Monster Hunters International (MHI) that contains much of the back story for the ongoing epidemic of monster attacks. The MHI owning/operating family (the Shacklefords) and one of their new employees (Owen Pitt) are the focus of some wild and very diverting monster fighting adventures that reveal some of the details of the characters and their history and involvement in the world of monster fighting. And as the series progresses more of the details of how the universe we are exploring works are revealed in the context of the Shacklefords. But for the most part the details are on a need to know basis. In other words we only learn what we need to in order to understand the context of the immediate actions taking place. There’s very little high end “mythology” communicated. From the point of view of a reader this was not noticeable in the first or second books of the series. But in the third and fourth installments it was starting to feel like we needed more information. Even the main characters were dissatisfied with the official narrative. Clearly something had to give.
In Nemesis this back story mythology has a very prominent place. The fact that the main character in this book isn’t an MHI member is very interesting. Frankly (no joke intended), it’s quite interesting that the protagonist sort of represents a very different perspective on the monster hunting mission and a very important historical angle that opens up the whole Monster Hunter universe to much more complexity and even, believe it or not, a religious dimension. Of course this may be a positive or negative idea depending on your feeling about escapist fiction. But I’ve found the back story additions interesting. And the story has been very lively and well written. I believe that Larry Correia has done an in depth inspection of his creation and decided to formalize the underpinning of this universe to make the stories consistent and give coherence to the story arc he is working on.
I think he’s correct in providing more background to his world. The self consistency will make his readers’ experience more enjoyable and will increase the longevity of the series. I await all the upcoming installments and the already multiplying spin off works.

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