As the 5th in the Monster Hunter series, one might obviously, and correctly, assume I am a fan of Larry Correia’s Monster Hunting world. I stumbled upon this series and the Grimnoir (which was fantastic, in the actual sense of the word), and haven’t turned back since.
A brief synopsis of the series as a whole: Monsters exist in nearly every stripe: vampires, werewolves, succubi, zombies, golems, etc. You think of some tale you’ve heard sitting around the campfire, and they exist. Luckily there are many highly-trained and dedicated folks keeping the monster legions at bay. The previous 4 Monster Hunter books have focused on the civilian contracting companies and their plucky, eccentric, irreverent, and quite deadly agents. For the fifth in the series, we turn our eyes to Franks, the flesh-golem who works for the government agency protecting democracy and the general public from the things that go bump in the night: the US Monster Control Bureau.
Agent Franks is a 6′ 5″ walking can of kickass. He’s an amalgam of human parts, and nearly indestructible. The original creation of Dr. Dipple (known in popular culture as Dr. Frankenstein), he has been walking the earth for centuries kicking the crap out of other worldly creatures and protecting the human race. After making a contract with Benjamin Franklin during the Revolutionary War, he’s been an American agent of death and destruction.
The previous books in the series centered on the true humans in the series, with Franks arriving and being one bad mother effer in all the big battle scenes. He was humorless, deadly, and would drop in, kick ass, and leave a death wake behind him. In this book we get a chance to actually delve into Franks, his back story, and his motivations, which was a nice bit of character and world building for me.
The main plot centers around a highly corrupt and ambitious politician/bureaucrat/general a-hole, who happens to head up the clandestine (and illegal) STFU (nope, not that one, the Special Task Force Unicorn). These obvious bad guys set Franks up so they can negate the contract made with Benjamin Franklin which stated the US would never, under any circumstances attempt to replicate the creation of a Franks-esque creature ever. The bad guys craft some Frankensteinian monsters, and of course, bloody hijinx ensues. Ah, the tangled webs we weave.
I won’t say much more, except this is one heck of a fun romp. There is quite a bit of violence, and none of it is glossed over in any way. This book isn’t as funny as the others in the series, and truly, I felt it was too long. It did seem to go on a bit toward the end. I would say it was one of the weaker books in the series, though I thoroughly enjoyed the backstory of Franks, the tangle with MHI alums, and the expansion of a Machiavellian antagonist.
All that being said, if you are interested in gallows-humor, and the action-packed, fun, an occasionally terrifying, this is a series to pick up. I have listened to most of these on audiobook, and the narrator, Mr. Oliver Wyman, really elevates the story. I think my devotion to the series can be attributed to his vocal talent and enthusiasm.
3.5 stars. Recommended once you’ve read the others.