Posts tagged ‘Book Reviews’
So Saturday night I was checking the Baen website for new reading material and got a wonderful surprise:
The eARC (electronic Advanced Reader Copy) was available for the newest addition to Larry Correia’s Monster Hunter International series. It was a bit pricey ($15) and an eARC means that it hasn’t had an editor go over it yet, so I was on the fence. The publish date isn’t until September though Baen usually has the ebook available a week or two before the official date. Maybe I should wait…
What’s this? The first 7 chapters are available online for free!
So I begin.
And finish chapter 7 about 1:00 am.
And order the eARC at 1:01 am. Download and install on my Kindle.
I did manage to wait until Sunday morning to start chapter 8, but it was a close call.
Now on to the review:
Monster Hunter Legion takes place after the events of the first 3 MHI novels. Owen, Julie, Earl and the rest have just arrived in Las Vegas for the first annual monster hunters convention. Hunters from all over the world have arrived, including the Monster Control Board (feds), to exchange information and get to know each other. There’s quite a bit of personal friction between many of the hunters, the SHOT show is across the street, and a top secret government agency (introduced in Monster Hunter Alpha) issues a $10 million challenge to the assembled hunters and the race is on.
MH-Legion is a fast-paced, exciting adventure. I give it 5 out of 5.
Now I just have to wait for Oliver Wyman to record the audio book.
Georgia Evans’ trilogy is about a group of “Others” living in the English countryside in 1940 and their secret contribution to protecting the British Empire during WW2. Pixies, witches, were-animals and humans work together to defend their small village of Brytewood with its secret munitions plant safe from Nazi vampire saboteurs while keeping their own existence safely hidden.
A quartet of Nazi bloodsuckers slip into England during the Blitz, then split up to cause maximum mischief and mayhem. The premise sounds great and offers lots of potential. While the story we get is very enjoyable, there are never any details on the vampires’ success and failures outside of Brytewood. The story across all three books focus solely on each successive vampire as he enters the village and meets his eventual demise.
This oversight could be explained away by the necessity of focusing on the village’s supernatural residents, but there is a secondary plotline in Germany that follows a captive fairy with a telepathic link to the vampires. This second narrative flows through all three books, doesn’t reach a very satisfying conclusion, and replaces the story of those other vampires scampering about England.
I did enjoy reading the books. Ms Evans has a charming style and is quite good at providing details of the war’s impact on the average citizen: evacuees, rationing, blackouts, and a palpable fear that invasion was imminent. Her editor, however needs new glasses. Numerous typos caused me to stop and decipher what the correct word should be.
If you enjoy light adventure with a supernatural twist, these might be the books for you. Warning: like a lot of supernatural thrillers, each of these books contains a fairly explicit sex scene.
What can I say that hasn’t already been said?
As far as zombie books go, this is the gold standard.
The thought of Hollywood, considering their track record, trying to turn this into a movie fills me with trepidation. I would like to see it on the big screen, but sincerely doubt that it will be done well.
Just finished reading Plague of the Dead (The Morningstar Strain) by Z A Recht. The book received good reviews on Amazon and is book 1 of a new series which could provide continuing reading pleasure. So did it?
Well, first the good news: the description of the virus, how it’s spread and the logical presence of both fast and slow zombies.
The novel starts with emails between the US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Disease and the Pentagon requesting extreme travel restrictions into the US to prevent a possible pandemic, and the refusal of the request. Then the narrative jumps to Africa where we see the first zombie appearance and the start of the epidemic. Unfortunately, the novel moves quickly to the quarintine of the entire continent. There is no buildup, just a jump to the US and allies blockading Africa by sea and air, with a massive (?) troop buildup along the Suez canal.
The fast zombies are infected, but still alive and similar in behavior to 28 Days Later. Once killed, they eventually return as the traditional Romero zombie that can only be killed by destroying the brain. The speed of infection depends on the location of the point and its proximity to the brain. The speed of resurrection depends on the severity of the infection at time of death.
Here’s the first hint of the major problem with the book. A 3 star general is in personal command of the troops along the Suez. He knows about the undead aspect of the virus, but is unable to share it with his troops which provide the last line of defense for the entire world. He doesn’t even order them to focus on head shots. The first group to encounter the zombies is nearly eradicated learning about the undead. The general arrives with reinforcements after the fact and admits the truth, plus the following bad news.
A group of 10,000 infected people has been spotted by satellite, following a speeding truck from Cairo to the Suez, yet the zombies arrive at the canal about the same time as the truck. Other than one Huey and one Apache, the great general uses only troops with personal weapons to prevent the mass of infected from crossing the canal. Needless to say, they don’t succeed.
That account for about 1/4 of the book and the remainder is similar. Some interesting parts with okay characters, but stupid actions resulting in massive losses.
Final Opinion: Check it out from the library, but save your money. Or read World War Z again.
I just finished reading Monster Hunter International by Larry Correia (http://larrycorreia.wordpress.com/) and I enjoyed it a lot. The plot was exciting and fast pace. The monsters were extremely formidable, but the hero plausibly triumphed. My biggest concern is: what can he do for the sequel?