I was looking forward to reading this book since I enjoyed the Grimnoir Chronicles so much. What I found was a good book with some big flaws.
Monster Hunter International was Correia’s first novel, and was originally self-published. It wasn’t hard to see that the author was inexperienced, as this book used a lot of negative tropes. One of the biggest flaws was that the characters were all too perfect in their roles. The protagonist, Owen, is too good at everything. He’s large, fast, strong, smart, and has good intuition about how to handle situations. The narrative didn’t necessarily bend around him, but it wasn’t far off. If he had been the only perfect character, then it probably could have been overlooked, but every other character fell into the same category. Julie, Owen’s crush, is his perfect woman, beautiful, smart, and with the same hobbies and interests. Milo is the perfect weapons designer, creating Owen’s ideal guns. Grant is the perfect rival, competent, but not quite as good as Owen in just about every skill, but also better looking. I could go on. Every character was tailored to fit exactly into the role designed for them, and none of them had any flaws.
The other problem in the book was predictability. Correia broadcasted his intentions for the story, but when those parts of the story were fulfilled, they were treated like twists. That predictability lessened the tension in the climactic scenes, because I knew what was going to happen.
Even though those issues lessened my enjoyment of the book, I still feel like they were due to inexperience rather than ineptitude. Correia’s a good writer, and you can see flashes of that in this book. He does his research, especially when it come to firearms. His story is also really solid. It’s engaging and well paced. There are good, natural feeling breaks in tension, with just the right amount of humor. Overall, it’s a fun book to read, and I’m looking forward to reading the second volume of the series.