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(David Hooper #1)

3.67  ·  Rating details ·  1,809 ratings  ·  247 reviews
Dave Hooper has the hangover from hell, a demonic ex-wife and the claws of the tax office sinking into him. So the last thing he needs is an explosion at the off-shore oil rig where he works.

But this is no ordinary industrial accident, and despite the news reports, Dave knows that terrorists aren't to blame for the disaster. He knows because he has killed one of the things
Paperback, 324 pages
Published January 1st 2015 by Macmillan Australia (first published December 23rd 2014)
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Average rating 3.67  · 
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 ·  1,809 ratings  ·  247 reviews

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Carole (Carole's Random Life)
Mar 23, 2015 marked it as books-i-gave-up-on  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015, net-galley
DNF @ 19%

I just can't force myself to read anymore of this book. This has to be the most vulgar book that I have ever attempted to read. I absolutely hate the main character and cannot think of any possible way that he can be redeemed. He is a vile and disgusting man. I don't want to spend another moment in his head.

I requested this book because it was recommended for fans of Jim Butcher. Let me warn you - Dave is nothing like Harry Dresden.

ARC provided by Random House Publishing Group - Del Ra
Mar 29, 2015 rated it liked it
This is one of those books that can actually be summarized by its title.

In retrospect, I can see that it's not the book that was the problem, but my expectations. I assumed that a book with the title "Dave vs the Monsters" had to be at least a little tongue-in-cheek. I was expecting something funny, fluffy, genre-savvy, and a bit clever.

In actuality, this has to be one of the purest cases of "what it says on the tin" that I've ever encountered. Basic plot: Dave works on an oil rig. Said oil
For fans of Jim Butcher and Kevin Hearne

Nope, not even close. Dave is nothing like Harry or Atticus, nothing. He is an disgusting asshole.
I'll pass, thanks.
Nov 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
What do you get when you cross Jim Butcher with Kevin Hearne, and add a dash of good ole Australian dark humour, and loads of violence, sarcasm and wit… why John Birmingham’s Emergence of course!

Dave is your average joe. He works hard, and plays even harder. A legend in his own lunchtime, Dave is facing divorce and mounting tax debt when things turn upside down. Monsters from another realm invade Dave’s oil-rig, and his encounter with them changes him into something else entirely. A superhero… a
Mike (the Paladin)
Well....humm. I've seen this compared to Harry Dresden. I can see that, however Dave is nothing like Harry. But then I suppose that's not what the "comparers" meant. I'd say the book may be a little like Harry Dresden meets Monster Hunter International...sort of.

Dave is a Jerk, he's also an idiot and worse he is often the kind of idiot who doesn't realize he's an idiot until he's already done or said too much. Maybe the first quarter to half of the book Dave is a whiny ne'er-do-well who's screwe
Emergence: Dave vs. the Monsters by John Birmingham
Published 2015, Del Rey
Stars: ☆☆☆☆☆ (DNF)
Review also posted at: Slapdash & Sundry

I'm just not going to be able to finish this book. I've read around 20%, and I can't find a single thing redeemable or potentially redeemable about the main character, and the gratuitous abuse of crude humor and curse words, which isn't a problem for me in general, is so beyond excessive that it's disgusting... and borderline "trying too hard."

It's a shame really, b
I see why this series is marketed towards people who love Kevin Hearne and Jim Butcher -- it's paranormal, it's fast-paced, in some ways it's a guys book.

However, _I_ love Kevin Hearne and Jim Butcher because they write smart-ass, funny, dialogue, and their heros, while flawed, are also inherently lovable. They are always trying to right the wrongs, whether they caused them or not. I find Dave to be sardonic and self-hating, and I can't really fault him for that, because he's quite unappealing.
Apr 26, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Sometimes you can just tell early on when this straight, conservative author does not belong on your reading list. Putting down Green Peace? Primal fear of an erect penis? Please.
Aug 01, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Dave is a self-centered racist sexist homophobic jerk who just spent his holiday bonus on top-flight hookers instead of paying his wife the child support money that she needs to feed and clothe his two sons. He's also the chief safety engineer on a deep-drilling BP oil platform in the Gulf of Mexico that somehow manages to open a portal to the "Underworld", freeing a troupe of demons to slaughter and eat Dave's co-workers. When Dave stumbles upon a "Hunn" chowing down on one of his friends, Dave ...more
Stephen Collins
Silly. Overblown. Ridiculous beyond even what Matthew Reilly would write. But, that's entirely the point. Birmingham knows what he's doing, and why.

Full of Birmo's typical nods to politics, journalism, nerd culture and such, Emergence is a chuckle-filled weekend of nonsense. You should read it.
Feb 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015, urban-fantasy
I really enjoyed the hell out of this book. Lots of action, a good main character and an unusual setting for even urban fantasy.

Dave Hooper is a guy who enjoys drinking, hookers and avoiding his soon to be ex-wife. Then he becomes the next thing to a super-hero. A quick fun read.
Sep 30, 2015 rated it liked it
rip roaring great first instalment. Not meant to be taken too seriously, and the main character is definitely unlikeable - which is nice and different
Sachin Dev
Dave vs the Monsters, Emergence is the first book in the Dave Hooper trilogy featuring a middle-aged oil-rig safety officer who gets dragged into a fight between humans and monsters who live in the ‘under-realm’ – the first book details the war that starts off when the monsters ‘emerge’ onto Earth, when some accidental portals are opened between the two realms.

Now Dave Hooper is the ultimate cad, a worthless jerk who loves nothing more than holidaying off the rig with exotic women, bowlful of c
Bookwyrm Speaks
Jun 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I received a copy of this book from the Publisher through Netgalley free in return for an honest review, as well as buying a copy of my own on Audible. I wasn't sure what to make of this one when I first got it, but it was great! I like John Birmingham's alternative history books, but Urban Fantasy is a whole other ball of wax. Well, this is a home run! The story centers around Dave Hooper, the Safety Manager of an offshore oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico. After a booze, drug and hooker filled wee ...more
Apr 05, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This reminds me a lot of Monster Hunter International, but I like it better. Dave Hooper is a mess, but a fun hero. He's almost 40 & still acting like a horny teenager, although he's managed to climb high in his profession & is the head safety officer of an oil rig. He's partying too hard & not happy with himself or his life when everything changes. He just stumbles in & winds up becoming the go-to guy for dealing with an invasion of monsters.

What I like best is the realism of most of the story.
Andrew Carr
Jan 25, 2015 rated it it was ok
I wanted to like this book, I really did. Unfortunately despite admiring much of what Birmingham puts out, and the underlying ideas behind his action books I struggle to devour them as I should.

The basic premise is cool: Functioning alcoholic loser coming back to his job as saftey advisor on a rig in the Florida Gulf that is at never-before-reached depths. After they break through a new layer, something demonic comes crawling up the drill. Our protagonist Dave manages to defeat one of them, and
May 08, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: urban-fantasy
This was the "May" Urban Fantasy pick from my local independent bookstore: Mysterious Galaxy. It sounded interesting - as I enjoy Urban Fantasy so I picked it up this week. I read the first chapter before going to bed, figuring I'd see how it was. I ended up staying up all night and basically devouring the book.

The main character is snarky, funny and just a normal guy - with doubts, problems and attitude problems, and then *WHAM* he's got to step up and basically deal with things that make most
Nov 30, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comic-con-2015
This could've been epic. Instead, it focuses on racist and sexist drivel with gaping plot holes and far too much deus ex machina. I held out reading this one from my Comic Con 2015 stash, thinking it would be a perfect end to the pile. Turns out I should've read it first just to get it off my shelf as fast as possible.

It's a bummer, really. I expected it to be like Hounded but instead of gallivanting with mythical monsters, Dave would fight Godzilla-type monsters. Not even that was delivered.
Jul 01, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gave-up-on
This is another one of the free books I picked up at the Del Rey table at Phoenix Comicon '15. New author, cool. Oh, monster book, those are fun. Right? Right?


This sentence off the back cover should have clued me in, but I didn't realize just HOW UNLIKABLE the character would be: "A foul-mouthed, beer-loving, monster-slayer, and humanity's least worthy champion." All true. And not in a fun way. In an incredibly unlikable way.

By page three, when the author was describing the use of the word "
Nancy D   Miz-Firefly aka Sparky
This is my first John Birmingham. I don't know what his other work is like, But I had one helova good time reading Emergence. It is gritty and exciting. I couldn't put it down.

The Safety officer on an Oil Rig Dave Hooper is an aging hellraiser on the downward spiral to even warmer climes. Dave's world shifts on it's axis when he shows up to work (hungover of course) and steps into pandemonium. Except it isn't a blow out or an oil fire. "It"........ he's not sure exactly WHAT it is, but it sure a
Joe Jones
Pulp fiction at its best updated for today. Dave is the most unlikely hero and yet you can't help but root for him. He has his faults. Probably more than his share, but when the Monsters break through he doesn't hesitate to step in. Even when he has no idea what he is doing. Book two is out already and book three comes out later this month. Count me in for reading them! ...more
Sep 18, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Unlikeable but engaging protagonist makes for a fun-filled romp through monster central.
Very cool stuff.
Jan 30, 2018 rated it liked it
Upon reread, I'm changing the review score to 3 from 4. There are hints that the author might be racist-ish and definitely a rightwinger. I just can't get behind that shit. ...more
May 22, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: australian
A straight white male power fantasy with no redeeming qualities.

Might as well throw a MAGA sticker on the cover and market it towards self-proclaimed "nice guys" who see no problem with being giant sexist douchebags.

This novel has NOTHING in common with Jim Butcher's Dresden Files series besides a male protagonist and supernatural elements. Butcher is able to write well, for one thing.

Imperfect protagonists are great, unfortunately, Hooper is just a bottom-feeder with no redeeming qualities at
Apr 13, 2015 rated it it was ok
Free review copy. I guess John Birmingham felt that his previous work was insufficiently on the nose for the white male power fantasy market? If this book has a thesis, here it is: “Dave Hooper flew, and the city passed beneath him. Failed husband, absent father, wastrel, and asshole, he flew through the night air …. Beneath his boots slipped the rusted roofs of the shotgun shacks and cinder block apartments, some of them slumped and all but tumbled down, others maintained with the best of inten ...more
Feb 09, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
[Review originally appeared on SFRevu at:]

John Birmingham has written a couple of complex, sprawling trilogies--books that feature sites around the globe and require character lists to help readers keep track of who's who. The books are detailed and technical, getting into politics, technology, and asking far reaching questions.

His latest saga, Dave vs. the Monsters, falls into a much different category. It has little of the above, instead focusing primar
Shelleyrae at Book'd Out

Emergence is a darkly funny, action packed fantasy adventure from Australian author John Birmingham.

An oil rig off of the coast of New Orleans is under attack, not from terrorists, but from a group of terrifying monsters who have clawed their way up from the deep. Dave Hooper, the rig's safety engineer, is hungover and pissed when he finds a hairless, scabrous ape like creature that calls itself a Hunn snacking on the ribcage of his best mate and in a fit of rage crushes its skull with a splitt
Toni Adwell
Oct 12, 2018 rated it liked it
They say the only two things guaranteed in life are death and taxes. Dave Hooper has managed to avoid both, though the IRS and recent events in Dave’s life are doing their best to cash in on his debts. Dave is a father in a self-destructive, downward spiral currently fonder of hookers, blow, and booze than of taking care of or seeing his kids—or paying taxes. Though, who can really blame him about the taxes?

He was heading back a day early for his shift on an off-shore oil rig, hungover and hatin
Jul 30, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition

I bought this book before a long airplane flight. I like to read mindless crap when I'm on a plane. This over-delivered. Other than the Casca series of novels, it's been several decades since I read anything this bad.

I'm honestly not sure how this book managed to land an actual publisher contract, much less a sequel.

Save your money. Our just send it to a friend instead.
Donna Spencer
Mar 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
Fantastic action story, with a far-too-human main character. Hilarious in spots, which you wouldn't expect when the world is about to be overrun by demons :) A great, absorbing read. ...more
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John Birmingham grew up in Ipswich, Queensland and was educated at St Edmunds Christian Brother's College in Ipswich and the University of Queensland in Brisbane. His only stint of full time employment was as a researcher at the Defence Department. After this he returned to Queensland to study law but he did not complete his legal studies, choosing instead to pursue a career as a writer. He curren ...more

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