Yesterday when I was talking about distractions, I left out one very important thing which had been distracting me: Finishing Monster Hunter Vendetta, which I had been given as a Christmas gift by my amazing wife.
Well, I finally finished it about 10 minutes ago, and it took me that long to catch my breath enough to jump on the computer and talk about it. Yes, it was that good.
I am embarrassed to admit that I am somewhat late to the Monster Hunter International phenomenon. While I can't say I know the author, one Larry Correia, I was at least AWARE of his existence prior to his success, through interactions The Firing Line, and Oleg Volk's The High Road forum. He seemed like a cool guy, and I was aware that he was attempting to self-publish a novel about some kind of monster hunters. That was about the extant of it...I may even have saw the smiley faced monster patch he described in the book, but for some reason, I never read his first book until recently.
While I feel lame for being typically late to latch on to a pop culture phenomenon, one of the positives for not reading Monster Hunters Inc. until November is that the 2nd book was already out, and I only had to wait until Christmas to get it. Hooray for my desire for instant gratification.
Lucky for me, based on more than a few not so subtle hints to SWMBO, Monster Hunter Vendetta showed up under the Christmas Tree(it probably helped that she also REALLY enjoyed his first book). I read the first 250 pages in less than 24 hours, a pretty good pace for me, especially when you consider that I was still trying to be involved in family activities as the Holiday weekend drew to a close. When I made it half-way through the book, I actively tried to put it down frequently in an effort to savor the experience. It was tough pretty tough. The first 100 pages fly by, then the next 100-150 pages kind of lull action wise, but have a lot of good character stuff, and then the last 60% of the book...it was tough not to devour it all at once...but...
I like reading. While I am the type of person who can re-read a favorite book several times, I also admit that there is something special about reading a good book for the FIRST time, that will never be repeated. I was seriously down after finishing the end of the Harry Potter and Stephen King's The Dark Tower Series'sss. Both of them where read as quickly as possible. While Mr. Correia's writing style and pacing make you want to tear through his book, I tried to show at least a little bit of restraint to appreciate the gift I had been given. Today, I reached the point where I had about 110 pages left. For a bit I thought about trying to make it last for 2 days...but there was no way that was going to happen.
If I seem like I'm frothing at the mouth with praise...I'm sorry. It is simply that I have found both of his books so far highly enjoyable. It's not just that he is quite obviously a gun guy who GETS IT...his books are very enjoyable reads. Oh...I'm certain he is never going to win a Noble Prize for Literature, because his writing is not stuffy or 'the most outstanding work in an ideal direction'. But...more importantly, as someone who once thought I might be able to turn a pretty turn of phrase, I hope he is able to earn a comfortable living doing something he enjoys.
Really...is there any reward greater than that?
I guess at some point, I should try to describe what the book is about....but...let me just say that it is Monster
Hunter International to the Nth power. Larry does a great job of building on all the original characters, fleshing them out to make them, if not more believable, at least more the type of folks you might want to have a beer with. He also does an outstanding job of presenting traditional 'monsters' or mythical creatures in a different light, whether it be a Lovecraftian creation like the Shoggoth, or something as sweet as garden gnomes.
Ummm....that is all. Why aren't you reading it yet?!?!?!?!?