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Monster Hunter International

The Monster Hunter Files

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ALL NEW STORIES SET IN THE BEST-SELLING MONSTER HUNTER INTERNATIONAL SERIES. New stories from Larry Correia, Jim Butcher, John Ringo, Jody Lynn Nye, Sarah A. Hoyt, Brad R. Torgersen, and many more!

For well over a century, Monster Hunter International has kept the world safe from supernatural threats small and large—and in some cases very, very large. Now, join us as MHI opens their archives for the first time. From experienced Hunters on their toughest cases, to total newbies' initial encounters with the supernatural, The Monster Hunter Files reveals the secret history of the world's most elite monster fighting force.

Discover what happened when Agent Franks took on the Nazis in World War Two. Uncover how the Vatican’s Combat Exorcists deal with Old Ones in Mexico. And find out exactly what takes place in a turf war between trailer park elves and gnomes. From the most powerful of mystical beings to MHI’s humble janitor, see the world of professional monster hunting like never before.

Featuring seventeen all new tales based on Larry Correia’s bestselling series, from New York Times best-selling authors Jim Butcher, John Ringo, Jessica Day George, Jonathan Maberry, Faith Hunter, and many more.

Contributors:

Larry Correia
Jim Butcher
Mike Kupari
Jessica Day George
John C. Wright
Maurice Broaddus
Brad R. Torgersen
Faith Hunter
Jody Lynn Nye
Quincy J. Allen
Alex Shvartsman
Kim May
Steve Diamond
John Ringo
Bryan Thomas Schmidt & Julie C. Frost
Sarah A. Hoyt
Jonathan Maberry

About Larry Correia and the Monster Hunter International series:

“[E]verything I like in fantasy: intense action scenes, evil in horrifying array, good struggling against the darkness, and most of all people—gorgeously flawed human beings faced with horrible moral choices that force them to question and change and grow.”—Jim Butcher

“[A] no-holds-barred all-out page turner that is part science fiction, part horror, and an absolute blast to read.”—Bookreporter.com

“If you love monsters and action, you’ll love this book. If you love guns, you’ll love this book. If you love fantasy, and especially horror fantasy, you’ll love this book.”—Knotclan.com

“A gun person who likes science fiction—or, heck, anyone who likes science fiction—will enjoy [these books] . . . The plotting is excellent, and Correia makes you care about the characters . . . I read both books without putting them down except for work . . . so whaddaya waitin’ for? Go and buy some . . . for yourself and for stocking stuffers.”—Massad Ayoob

“This lighthearted, testosterone-soaked sequel to 2009's Monster Hunter International will delight fans of action horror with elaborate weaponry, hand-to-hand combat, disgusting monsters, and an endless stream of blood and body parts.”—Publishers Weekly on Monster Hunter Vendetta

About Mission: Tomorrow, edited by Bryan Thomas Schmidt:
“This themed anthology . . . will appeal to a wide range of readers, who will appreciate the diversity of stories . . . a solid introduction to a classic genre.”—Kirkus

“Editor Schmidt adds grandmasters to a mix of newer established names and balances the tragic with the humorous.”—Publishers Weekly

About Shattered Shields, edited by Jennifer Brozek and Bryan Thomas Schmidt:
“In this well-built anthology, seventeen original stories cut to the heart of military fantasy, diving directly into the most exciting moments of dramatic bravery, grand battles, and life-changing heroism. . . . Readers who prefer to cut straight to the action, but want more depth than pure hack-and-slash, will find these offerings appealing.”—Publishers Weekly

“An inventive and thought-provoking set of tales that capture the bravery and terrors of battle. Carries the banner of military fantasy proudly.”—John Marco, author of The Bronze Knight Series

About The Raygun Chronicles, edited by Bryan Thomas Schmidt:
“Fans of sf should enjoy this stylistically varied homage to a genre as old as the fiction . . . ”—Library Journal

The Monster Hunter Memoirs series by Larry Correia and John Ringo:
Monster Hunter Memoirs: Grunge
Monster Hunter Memoirs: Sinners

The Monster Hunter series by Larry Correia:
Monster Hunter International
Monster Hunter Vendetta
Monster Hunter Alpha
Monster Hunter Legion
Monster Hunter Nemesis

336 pages, Hardcover

First published October 3, 2017

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About the author

Larry Correia

97 books3,890 followers
Larry Correia (born 1977) is the New York Times bestselling author of the Monster Hunter International series, the Grimnoir Chronicles, and the thriller Dead Six.

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5 stars
878 (39%)
4 stars
871 (38%)
3 stars
403 (18%)
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74 (3%)
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 194 reviews
Profile Image for Montzalee Wittmann.
4,450 reviews2,319 followers
December 6, 2018
The Monster Hunter Files
(Monster Hunter International)
by Larry Correia (Author, Editor)
I love the Monster Files and this has different author's stories. I like these authors but I felt some of these stories were only about 3 stars and some 4 stars. Most 3 stars! I liked them just not what I am used to with Monster Files.
The narration varied also with each story.
Profile Image for Eric.
179 reviews49 followers
January 31, 2019
3.5 Stars

As someone who loves all things MHI, I was very excited to read this. Anthologies aren’t my favorite, but the whole idea sounded very interesting to me. Overall I would say that, like most anthologies, it was a mixed bag. Some were excellent, some were fine, and there was only one that I distinctly disliked. Below is a quick summary of each entry.

Larry Correia “Thistle” – Usual Correia, it was a nice, fun little story that had an interesting twist at the end that I’m curious to see whether it makes an appearance in the main series.

Jim Butcher “Small Problems” – This one was a bit different. I love Jim Butcher, so while this was good, it didn’t quite live up to my high expectations.

Mike Kuparii “Darkness Under The Mountain” – Another solid entry, this one took a lesser known MHI member to a very different locale than normal, showing off a new monster.

Jessica Day George “A Knight Of the Enchanted Forest” – A bit of a departure in tone from the first few, this story was very fun and entertaining. Can't beat a story wabout a turf war between elves and gnomes.

John C. Wright “The Manticore Sanction” – I’ve never read anything by this author before, and sadly this was the one story I just didn’t like at all. The tone felt melodramatic, it felt like there was all kinds of backstory that I needed and was missing, and the events themselves were hard to follow. This was one a miss for me.

Maurice Broaddus “The Dead Yard” – I was interested in a story focusing on Trip, but was a little let down. Nothing terribly wrong here, but overall just a but meh.

Brad Torgersen “The Bride” – Well written, the actual events were a bit bland but raised a very intriguing possibility that might have implications for the main storyline. I’m not sure if all these stories are “canon,” but if so I hope to see one of the characters from this story show up again.

Faith Hunter “She Bitch, Killer of Kits” - Jane Yellowrock seems like an interesting character, but I wasn’t a massive fan of the writing style.

Jody Lynn Nye "Mr. Natural" – Decent story, nothing particularly memorable.

Quincy J Allen “Sons Of The Father” – Maybe my favorite of the bunch, this was one was a lot of fun. To me, this author probably got closest to recreating Correia’s tone. Great action, cool new monsters, and a pair of brothers I’d love to see more of.

Alex Shvartsman “The Troll Factory” – Good story, bonus points for expanding on Correia’s literal take on computer trolls

Kim May “Keep Kaiju Weird” – Another one of my favorites, with a very interesting an unique monster (I had to look up what a kitsune is) and some fun action. Like Allen, May also did a really good job of writing something that seemed to “fit” with the overall tone of most MHI stories.

Steve Diamond “The Gift” – I would have liked to learn a bit more about the Secret Order, but this was a fun story.

John Ringo “The Case of the Ghastly Specter” – This one is lifted straight from one of the Memoirs. It was well written and enjoyable, though if someone hadn’t read the Memoirs I doubt it would make a lot of sense.

Bryan Thomas Schmidt & Julie Frost “Huffman Strikes Back” – A little over the top, this one was a lot of fun, bringing back good old Cecil Huffman from the first MHI book.

Sarah A. Hoyt “Hunter Born” – Good story, it made me look forward even more to Monster Hunter Guardian.

Jonathan Maberry “Hitler’s Dog” – Interesting setup and well written, my only gripe was that the voice for Franks seemed a bit off.
Profile Image for Yodamom.
1,975 reviews194 followers
November 20, 2017
Fabulous audiobook, filled with excellent short stories perfect for travel, walking, sitting or just ignoring the people around you. The narration was very well done. I think this is the first anthology where I enjoyed all the stories and authors.
Two of my favorite authors were included in this monster hunter collection of short stories, Jim Butcher, and Faith Hunter. Both write fabulous characters and truly wicked monsters, so I was thrilled when I won a copy of this. Yes, both knocked it out of the park with their tales. Really I had no doubts they wouldn't. What surprised me was how much I enjoyed each of the other authors previously unknown to me. I think the last story was my favorite new to me author story, it was about a Golem, I love Golems.
I plan on reading each of the other authors from this collection.
Profile Image for Beanbag Love.
565 reviews246 followers
October 10, 2017
I was given an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

4.5 stars, rounded up.

The Monster Hunter International series is one of my absolute favorites. At this point, I'd say that Larry Correia is at the top of my must-buy list. Numero Uno. I just love all his universes, but this one was my first so it's very dear to my heart.

Not long ago, rabidly successful author, John Ringo, read MHI and went nuts writing what was basically a professional fan fic. It ended up being three installments and published by Baen in collaboration with Correia. Now the first book of the trilogy has won a Dragon Award as well. While I don't love Ringo's MHI work as much as I do LC's, it's fun and exciting that a top author would want to play in my favorite author's sandbox.

Right after that trilogy was announced, this antho was also announced. Authors like Jim Butcher, Faith Hunter, Jonathan Maberry, Kevin J. Anderson, Jody Lynn Nye, Sarah Hoyt, and on and on and on signed up to be a part of it. I have been waiting for this thing with bated breath since I heard it was going to happen. "What a cool thing!" I thought. Then, "I hope it doesn't suck!"

It doesn't. I particularly liked the stories by Jim Butcher, Sarah Hoyt, Maurice Broaddus, Faith Hunter, Mike Kupari, and Quincy J. Allen. But all of the stories are decently entertaining. Some are about completely original characters and some are told from the POV of favorite regulars. Broaddus does a story from Trip's POV and I think he nailed it. Hoyt is co-writing MH Guardian with LC (it's from Julie's POV) so her story was about Julie. It made me feel confident she'll do a good job with that important installment.

Could this be read without reading the core series? Probably not. There are just too many characters and references that won't make sense. But people who like action, fantasy, suspense, and fun, should be reading MHI anyway. And, as with most anthologies, I doubt anyone will be lost in the main series if they don't read this. Although I do believe there will be some crossover, it's just that anthologies -- especially by guest writers in that universe -- don't tend to become an integral part of an actual series.

There really was only one story I didn't like and that's the loss of half a star. But that's a pretty great batting average for an anthology so that's why I rounded up.
492 reviews1 follower
March 6, 2018
This was a tough read. There's nothing on the cover to indicate this, but this is not only an urban fantasy anthology (as opposed to a novel), but it's based on an entire series of books that evidently read as a regular urban fantasy but written by a self professed gun nut.

Long story short, the only really, unequivocally good story was the one written by Jim Butcher. It was self contained, fun to read, and was super cool.

Short story long:

The rest of them were pretty rough, even the ones that were written by more well known authors. I guess that's why these things are around though... it gives these guys some practice, while at the same time letting me see their names so I can avoid them later.

I think some of the rough stories were doing okay before they went off the rails. Evidently, the main thrust of the books is a lot like other urban fantasy series: Monsters and magic (at least magical monsters, magic artifacts, and ritual magic) are real, but secret. But, unlike other series, it's not secret from the government, and there are secretive government organizations and 'in the know' hunter groups that deal with the monsters. Plus, they use modern equipment.

So, there were some stories where a monster attack happens, then everyone gets machine guns and stuff, and they go to town.

That's okay, but more than one of the stories ended in an air strike on US soil! Might that make sense to do? Only if things weren't secret. I don't know, it just seemed like a cop out.

The other thing that some of these rough stories did was bring in a main character from the series and treat them like royalty with no lead up. That's not helpful for the story, especially since I haven't read the series. But even so, Terry Pratchet did this a few times in his great Discworld series, and I didn't like it then either (specifically, how an oddly poorly portrayed Vimes showed up as a deus ex machina in Monstrous Regiment).

My advice is to just read it for the Jim Butcher story.
Profile Image for David.
Author 17 books333 followers
June 13, 2018
Larry Correia's Monster Hunter books are pleasant brain candy if you feel like reading half-baked urban fantasy with lots of guns and action. "Half-baked" because, like Jim Butcher's Harry Dresden series, Correia throws the entire supernatural kitchen sink into his world, but doesn't craft it in as much depth as Butcher does. On the other hand, Butcher's protagonist is a whiny secret bad-ass wish-fulfillment character, while Correia's protagonist is a loud-mouthed, blustering bad-ass wish-fulfillment character. I kind of like the less wimpy version.

Anyway, I have read a couple of Correia's Monster Hunter books, so I decided to see what other authors did with it. The Monster Hunter Files is basically Baen cashing in on the popularity of Correia's monster-killing gun-porn and inviting their entire staple of writers to contribute to this anthology. Some of the stories introduce new characters, but most are about the minor characters that have shown up in Correia's books, like Owen Pitt's hot wife as a teenage monster killer, or the ever-popular grim, immortal killing machine Agent Franks, in Jonathan Maberry's tale of golems and Nazis. Yeah, Jews creating a golem to fight Nazis... there are not a lot of original concepts here, so you read it mostly because you really like the world, or you just want some action-packed high-explosive fluff.

Most of the stories were mediocre. Faith Hunter's Jane Yellowrock character makes an appearance just because, I guess, but John C. Wright writes a story in his own inimitable style — which meant it didn't quite fit with the other stories, which I guess is why he made his about a monster-hunting MI6 agents during the Cold War. I also liked John Ringo's story, and the one with the turf war in a trailer park between gnomes and elves was probably the funniest.

Entertaining but, I'm afraid, mostly forgettable, as this anthology really contributes little to the Monster Hunter universe or its canon.
Profile Image for Jonathan Wilson .
300 reviews44 followers
October 12, 2017
4.5 Stars

Great anthology, love the MHI world and this collection introduced me to a bunch of authors I look forward to reading
Profile Image for William.
Author 11 books72 followers
October 26, 2019
I’m always up for some monster hunting. I like the idea of stories from an organization hunting creatures of the night. I know not all the stories were modern, but I did enjoy the reoccurring theme of the flamethrower. Like with any anthology some of the stories were great and others were alright. It was full of some authors I enjoy reading. If you enjoy a good monster story check it out. There were one or two I would like to see expanded upon or perhaps another tale with that character.
Profile Image for Stephanie.
312 reviews58 followers
October 7, 2017
Loved it! Any chance of more? Sep. the colony of rats and the new elves knight.
Profile Image for Barb.
648 reviews35 followers
December 26, 2017
It was fun to re-visit some of the characters from the Monster Hunter books. Not all the stories were great but most of them were good.
Profile Image for Ian .
479 reviews5 followers
August 21, 2017
(ARC)
A really excellent anthology set in the Monster Hunter universe from various authors allowed to play in Larry Correia's sandpit. I always find that short stories read faster than an equivalent length novel and that's definitely the case with this collection.
Frankly you know what you're getting with MHI - but it's none the worse for that, and this collection has some real standout tales - Jim Butcher away from Harry Dresden with MHI meets the Rats of NIMH is terrific, and presumably for fans the official word that Jane Yellowrock is part of the MHI world ought to be big news. Most of these authors are hugely competent and professional, and they really deliver, reading their take on somone else's world is very entertaining.
Profile Image for Darren.
731 reviews5 followers
October 6, 2017
I'm not a huge fan of anthologies, because often there's only a handful of stories I like. This one, though, was very enjoyable, with only a couple weak ones.

Really liked: 8
Liked ok: 8
Didn't really like: 1

My favorites were Correia's "Thistle," which had a great perspective, and Jim Butcher's "Small Problems," which I thought was the best story in the book. Jessica Day George's "A Knight of the Enchanted Forest" starred a homeschooler - how could I not love that one? :) Kim May's "Keep Kaiju Weird" was really fun, due to the appearance of a MHI/MCB "love to hate" character.

Unusually, I didn't love Faith Hunter's "Killer of Kits." I like her books a lot, but I didn't think this one was great. And although I usually don't like Jonathan Maberry, "Hitler's Dog" was a great finish to the anthology.
Profile Image for BJ Haun.
235 reviews3 followers
October 10, 2017
Picked this up at Salt Lake Comic Con, where the author had some copies of the book available before the offical launch. It became the book I read while riding the train to and from the Con.

Monster Hunter Files is a very solid anthology. I can think of only story I didn't really like, but given that I didn't like John Ringo's take on the MHI in Grunge I'm not terribly surprised I still didn't like it here. The rest of the stories I would rate 3 to 5-stars, with Jim Butcher's Small Problems probably being my favorite of the lot. A nice addition to the MHI universe.
Profile Image for Richard.
560 reviews36 followers
December 28, 2017
A really enjoyable anthology. The stories build on what has been published so far. Continuity maintained! lol

The stories are presented as case files by Albert Lee, the MHI archivist. Most stories involved characters from the series. A few went their own way with their own characters. A least two stories take place after some up coming books. One story is a sneak peek at a new book.

Good monster killing fun! Recommended!
Profile Image for Kash Hatton.
17 reviews5 followers
August 20, 2017
A very sound addition to the Monster Hunter universe. Characters you have come to know and love (or hate) in tales told by a group of master storytellers.

Pick this one up!
492 reviews1 follower
March 6, 2018
This was a tough read. There's nothing on the cover to indicate this, but this is not only an urban fantasy anthology (as opposed to a novel), but it's based on an entire series of books that evidently read as a regular urban fantasy but written by a self professed gun nut.

Long story short, the only really, unequivocally good story was the one written by Jim Butcher. It was self contained, fun to read, and was super cool.

Short story long:

The rest of them were pretty rough, even the ones that were written by more well known authors. I guess that's why these things are around though... it gives these guys some practice, while at the same time letting me see their names so I can avoid them later.

I think some of the rough stories were doing okay before they went off the rails. Evidently, the main thrust of the books is a lot like other urban fantasy series: Monsters and magic (at least magical monsters, magic artifacts, and ritual magic) are real, but secret. But, unlike other series, it's not secret from the government, and there are secretive government organizations and 'in the know' hunter groups that deal with the monsters. Plus, they use modern equipment.

So, there were some stories where a monster attack happens, then everyone gets machine guns and stuff, and they go to town.

That's okay, but more than one of the stories ended in an air strike on US soil! Might that make sense to do? Only if things weren't secret. I don't know, it just seemed like a cop out.

The other thing that some of these rough stories did was bring in a main character from the series and treat them like royalty with no lead up. That's not helpful for the story, especially since I haven't read the series. But even so, Terry Pratchet did this a few times in his great Discworld series, and I didn't like it then either (specifically, how an oddly poorly portrayed Vimes showed up as a deus ex machina in Monstrous Regiment).

My advice is to just read it for the Jim Butcher story.
Profile Image for All Things Urban Fantasy.
1,921 reviews611 followers
October 28, 2017
Review courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy

The MONSTER HUNTER FILES anthology is a brilliant view into the Monster Hunter International series through the lens of some of my favorite authors and some new authors I should explore in the future. While some of the stories relate directly to characters from the Monster Hunter International series some authors insert their own characters into the universe. I liked that even if you've never read the series you can still enjoy some of the stories in this anthology and get a sense of the world that connects them.

Regardless of the author, I'd categorize the stories in this anthology as gritty urban fantasies. There's monster-hunting going on, so there's lots of bloody action scenes, suspense, and of course scary dangerous monsters. One of my favorites was Faith Hunter's SHE BITCH, KILLER OF KITS. It was fun to see Jane Yellowrock pop up in a different book universe and be her awesome monster hunting self. Kim May's KEEP KAIJU WEIRD was a little on the weird side which was great and refreshing after so many grim stories. I loved seeing a story featuring a kitsune using her powers for good and would love to read more about this character. Larry Correia's THISTLE is in the Monster Hunter International was a fun peek into the world from the author who created it. While I am not to familiar with the series, I found myself enjoying the mythology and getting caught up in the central mystery.

THE MONSTER HUNTER FILES is a fun, gritty, compilation of monster-hunting urban fantasy stories that give you a great peek at what the Monster Hunter International series could look like in the hands of other urban fantasy authors.
Profile Image for Jeff Miller.
1,088 reviews166 followers
October 17, 2017
One of the strongest short story collections I have read. Lots of stories, and found all worthwhile. The Jim Butcher contribution was excellent. So was John C. Wright's contribution which had a different flavor than the other stories.

I listened to the audiobook version which had several narrators and added to the enjoyment.
Profile Image for GEOrocks.
167 reviews
May 16, 2022
Series of short(ish) stories. Some quite enjoyable. Entertaining listen and was perfect for road trips because we could listen to a complete story or two per drive.
Profile Image for Kiril Panchev.
70 reviews2 followers
October 14, 2017
Great anthology. Really love the MHI series/universe. Enjoed most of the stories.
Profile Image for Ralph.
482 reviews3 followers
July 25, 2018
3.5 out of 5 - Mixed bag of short stories from the Monster Hunter International universe.

This was my first foray into the Monster Hunter International world and the genre isn't my usual fare. However, I so enjoyed The Adventures of Tom Stranger, Interdimensional Insurance Agent, an utterly fun listen, that I wanted to read more from Mr. Correla.

I have one of his Monster Hunter books in my "to-read" list, but I saw this title on sale and grabbed it up. Ironically, this is a story collection primarily written by other authors with Larry Correla making his contribution as well.

As with most collections, the stories are a mixed bag: Many are too violent for my tastes while others are light and fun, reminiscent of X-Files and Grimm.
29 reviews
September 27, 2017
All the stories are excellent. Most of them could be expanded into full novels. More MHI? Sounds good to me.
Profile Image for Amanda.
160 reviews18 followers
September 4, 2017
This showed up on my kindle without any notice during one morning commute and I was grateful -- new book! -- but confused -- why had I ordered it? Then I saw Jim Butcher's name on the author list. Oh, I must have pre-ordered it based on that.

I read Butcher's story without any background knowledge of Monster Hunters, Inc. and I honestly don't know if I would have finished if I'd had enough wi-fi to download another book that day. It wasn't BAD but it wasn't good, either. And I felt like I needed to take a bath to wash off the irritating amounts of testosterone. It was like a 15 year old geek dude had written it, based on his (not very insightful) outsider's observations how jocks interact. I was baffled -- I expect better of Butcher.

I then looked at the anthology as a whole. Again, I knew nothing at all about it but the editor's name dinged a faint bell. Googling his name I realized he's the founder of the Sad Puppies and all became clear. This was a book from *that* corner of the genre.

I didn't bother reading the other stories.
1,159 reviews5 followers
August 26, 2018
Overall ... I really enjoyed this Anthology. There were several stories I really liked, but there a few that were just ok. It was a fun peek into other author's take on the MHI world.

7/30-7/31: Larry Correia “Thistle” -Owen and the MHI team take on a new monster in Arizona.: Owen, Holly & Trip are on the case. *****

8/1-8/2: Jim Butcher “Small Problems” - MHI's janitorial staff has to handle some "small problems": Sid the janitor ends up having to solve a local Cazador theft problem ... which turns up a dead trainee he went a round with a few days before. ALL of the hunters are flying out on a mission ... and Owen tasks Sid with finding the thing that killed Don ... before MCB shows up. GREAT story! *****

8/3: Mike Kuparii “Darkness Under The Mountain” - Cooper quits and takes a freelance hunting gig in Afghanistan for a Chinese mining company. -- Listened to this on the trip ... Cooper requested a transfer to Vegas (new bride didn't want to leave town) and was denied. He quits MHI ... this was a pretty good short story. It'll be interesting if his buddy decides to join MHI. They stumble onto a hidden city deep beneath the earth. He has to call Earl in for help after they were escorted off the property. He's got a spot in Vegas if he wants it :) ***1/2

8/3: Jessica Day George “A Knight Of the Enchanted Forest” - Trailer park elves vs. Gnomes TURF WAR: Travel listening (I was driving) ... this was a fun one. I loved Glad ... she kind has Owen's spunk ... and she took on a werewolf! Now, she's befriended the Queen of Elves in the trailer park and is helping with a slight Gnome problem. Glad's hippy dad is clueless ... ****

08/03-8/13: John C. Wright “The Manticore Sanction” - Cold War Era betrayal and espionage with Britain's equivalent to STFU: Travel listening -- Started this one on the trip, but didn't finish it until this morning. I wasn't all that thrilled with this one. A British STFU agent goes rogue to save the woman he loves from his agency trying to kill her ... and from Imhotep (she's his love reincarnated) ... Weird story. ***

8/14: Maurice Broaddus “The Dead Yard” - Trip attends to to some family business in Jamaica, voodoo ensues: This one was pretty good. I love Trip, and he's lead on this job. Owen & Holly are with him. This seems to take place before Owen's scars are healed ... It was a great voodoo case. Good story ****

8/14-8/15: Brad Torgersen “The Bride” - Benjamin Franklin cut deals with other things besides Franks. ... This is definitely an interesting story. Albert prefaces that he's not sure if it's fiction or fact, but he's including it just in case it's fact. ****

8/15: Faith Hunter “She Bitch, Killer of Kits” - Jane Yellowrock teams up with MHI to take care of some werewolves in the Appalachians ... This one sounds like it takes place farther into Jane's story than I've gotten to. !! ... oh well. It sounds like she's established a company in NO ... and she's on the hunt for a werewolf biting kids to replace her pack. Jane, with the help of a former mate (and now with MHI) and his crew tracked down the female werewolf & her pack to a biker bar. I like the loose connection to MHI. Great story ... Love Jane ****

8/15: Jody Lynn Nye "Mr. Natural" - an STFU unit has to deal with hippies and plant monsters in the 1970s: This was a very trippy story. An army unit survivors of a supernatural attack in Vietnam (now working for MCB) has them fighting in Minnesota. A giant tree-like creature has a commune under a trance. The MCB agents have to break the trance to rescue the hippies. Pretty great story that features an 8' tall Bunny/Demon with a puff exemption :) ****

8/16: Quincy J Allen “Sons Of The Father” - Two brothers find out about what their dad used to do for a living, and kill a whole lot of monsters in the process: This has a bigtime "Supernatural" feel to it. Only their Dad is dead and they're raised by their Mom and their dad's best friend. They're taught to kick ass and protect the weak. The boys disobey their mom's orders to stay away from "Goblin Hill" ... and discover a crime scene ... with friends of theirs cars at the site. Loved this one. Great story ... I hope they make an appearance in future books :) *****

8/17: Alex Shvartsman “The Troll Factory” - Heather Kerkonen needs a favor from an MHI recruit when a mission in Russia goes sideways: This was a fun one that takes place AFTER Siege ... Heather brings a newbie (who isn't mentally there to be a hunter) to get data from a computer data center that's been taken over by the trolls that work there (they ate everyone!). ****

8/17-8/20: Kim May “Keep Kaiju Weird” - Just because a Kitsune has earned her PUFF exemption doesn't mean she is going to let some monster wreck Portland. While on a jog, she stumbles on cultists carving symbols in rocks. A quick call to Franks (and Grant in tow) ... they can't quite shut down the ritual in time. Major action scene ensues ... ***1/2

8/20: Steve Diamond “The Gift” - The Vatican's Hunters from the Blessed Order of St. Hubert the Protector deal with Old Ones in Mexico: This one starts out very interesting. The same Vatican Hunter that helped Franks with the Nemesis project is in this one, along with an enhanced (bone grafts from a saint ... he's over a 1/2 millennia old) Hunter. This was a pretty good story that had an interesting ending for the enhanced Hunter. I really enjoyed this one. ***1/2

8/20-8/21: John Ringo “The Case of the Ghastly Specter” - Chad Gardnier recounts one of his missions from the 1980s. STRAIGHT OUT OF SAINTS ... it's the case he has to solve while getting his PhD at Oxford. If you've read Saints ... you could skip this one. Still a great story though ****

8/21: Bryan Thomas Schmidt & Julie Frost “Huffman Strikes Back” - Cecil Huffman had a brother, and he's got a grudge to settle against Owen Pitt: Turns out Owen's boss has a brother ... who got infected the same night while camping. He's managed to assemble a team who has a grudge against MHI to go after Owen. Owen's at a cabin in TN by himself (Julie's on her way back from an op) when he gets ambushed. Great action scene follows! Favorite one so far. *****

8/21-8/22: Sarah A. Hoyt “Hunter Born” - Remember when we mentioned that monster hunting screwed up Julie Shackleford's junior prom?: I think I'm going to like Hoyt's take on Julie. Julie just wants one normal experience in her young life. A date to prom with a terrific senior. It starts out promising ... but Julie's not normal ... and this isn't a great date. Julie kicks butt ... and it turns out, she's ok with not being normal ... it definitely pays well :) ****

8/22-8/23: Jonathan Maberry “Hitler’s Dog” - In WW2, Agent Franks really hated Nazis, dealing with Golem of Prague doesn't improve his disposition either.: Scientists at a Nazis camp build a Golem to try to stop one of the creatures the Nazis made them create. A really interesting twist on the Golem story. ****
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January 19, 2021
This partial review was originally posted on my blog, The Riders of Skaith. Read it there: https://theridersofskaith.wordpress.c...

“Thistle” by Larry Correia – 3/5. Owen and company rescue a little girl from monsters. The little girl has a rather different opinion…
This gets a low score because a) I dislike Owen as a narrator, and b) it, as unbelievably as this sounds, it stretches disbelief too much. Edward the tracker-orc can smell a little girl’s doll, but not that Seriously, now.

Correia is at his weakest when he’s writing Owen–there’s just too much smugness in his voice. He might deny that Owen is a self-insert, but it’s a weak and unconvincing denial given how OP and insufferable Owen is. Still, even the worst of the Correia’s popcorn stories is readable, even if it does make you absolutely swear off popcorn forever and ever or at least until the next book comes out.

“Small Problems” by Jim Butcher – 5/5. MHI meets NIMH.

In order for fanfic story to be good, it must match the original author’s tone. To be outstanding, it should also put an new (but fitting) perspective into play, adding shading and original colors to the picture while still staying inside the lines. Most fanfic authors are amateurs. JB is a pro. This is a really good story that is well written, matches the tone of the original, portrays known characters without disfigurement, and adds a cool new element to the world to boot.

NIMH rats will forever fight in Roman shieldwalls in my imagination. It’s excellent.

“Darkness Under The Mountain” by Mike Kupari – DNF. This story started off with more than five Kindle pages of driving in a jeep down an Afghanistan road, talking about zombies, and that’s where I left it. Kupari is just not a particularly good writer. Also, I despise zombies.

“A Knight Of The Enchanted Forest” by Jessica Day George – 5/5. Building a better mousetrap is a worthwhile career skill. This story didn’t have much action at all, as it stars a teenage girl and is set in the Enchanted Forest trailer park, but it is well-done and quite funny.

“The Manticore Sanction” by John C. Wright – 4/5. A James Bond-type spy is ordered to kill his nonhuman lover. Also featuring The Mummy, Grendel, The Creature From The Black Lagoon, and the underwater oxygen-burning gadget from Gojira. Wright is perhaps the best writer in this book; however, he has a couple of characteristic tropes that tend to negate this.

1) His characters will stop, mid-action, and moralize to each other. Generally, this is in-character, because he writes self-important, pompous twerps…but…I like action and don’t like to have it interrupted, especially by more freaking dialogue. It’s frustrating and annoying.

2) His action scenes are frustrating and annoying (and that’s after you wade through acres of quasi-Shakespearian dialogue to get to them), because he undercuts his protagonists at every turn. Sure, it’s thematic in this story (To make Ardath Bey look better), but this is a pattern I’ve noticed ever since Orphans of Chaos. (Trying to escape? Your powers get shut off and you get spanked.) Last Guardian of Everness: use the magic weapon you are destined to wield to defeat the villain? It breaks your arms and then he walks over you. Somewhither: Heroes charging a line of cowering spearmen? Heroes get stabbed from a distance with pointy sticks. It makes sense in Somewhither….not so much the others.

3) Would James Bond really be that dumb? He did get married once and he’s had enough experience with women to know that some of them can be really psycho bitches if you get them mad…

On the pro side: this is story written by a master of lyrical prose who knows well how to invoke a sense of wonder, seamlessly blends classic monsters and modern fantasy, and features a damsel who has more on her mind than being distressed.

“The Bride” by Brad R. Torgersen – 2/5. Dippel actually also created a female body, and Ben Franklin also cuts a deal with her. Also von Steuben is in on it. Eh, meh.

“She Bitch, Killer of Kits” (a Skinwalker Crossover Tale) by Faith Hunter – 2/5. This a crossover story starring Jane Yellowrock, a part-Native American panther-type shapeshifter biker babe bounty hunter with waist-length black hair who is tough and strong and has relationship troubles, and uses TWO machetes, how cool is that? Did we mention her hair is waist-length and shiny? The story does, twice. She and the story get two stars for managing to rescue the kids before the werewolves eat them. People mock the Dresden Files–but those women at least have personalities and their personalities are different from each other.

“Mr. Natural” by Jody Lynn Nye – 3/5. A STFU team rescues hippies from a nature god who has taken over their commune. This story wasn’t nearly as funny as it could have or wanted to be.

���The Troll Factory” by Alex Shvartsman – 2/5. A computer geek hunter ends up in the Russian IT farm known as the troll factory…guess why. This one tries to do too much with too many concepts and ends up underusing each one of them. Trolls/spiders/demons: if your page time is limited, pick one and stick to it. I mean, internet trolls who are literal trolls is a hilarious concept and you could have even made something out of the new competition from the insidious Russian Bots threat…

“Keep Kaiju Weird” by Kim May – 3/5. A Japanese schoolgirl runs into some strange events…fortunately, she’s not an ordinary girl, and she knows some extraordinary people.
This story was almost really good. However, I have questions, like:
– Why does kitsune girl have Franks on speed-dial?
– I know people don’t like Grant, but even so, why did he lose so many IQ points?
– How come just Franks and Grant are responding with no team to back them up?
– How come Franks was on a mission with no team and yet is able to call in an airstrike within seconds?
– If kitsune girl had a special katana the whole time, why not just go ahead and take care of it herself?
– If the artist who drew the monsters was already so well-known, how come MCB hadn’t already shut him down with extreme prejudice?
– Am I going to finish the rest of this book?

The really annoying thing about the Monster Hunter International series is that, when you’re forced to read it, you’re forced to admit it’s pretty good.

Rated: Ain’t nobody forcing me.
Profile Image for Kenny Bellew.
422 reviews13 followers
June 2, 2018
Just a lot of fun, non-connected short stories. No politics, like in the Memoirs series.
Profile Image for Othman Alfudiry.
67 reviews
July 12, 2019
Not bad for passing time and taking a break from a heavy book. Though not all the stories in this book are intertaining, there are definitely a few fun ones.
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