You know what the difference between me and you really is? You look out there and see a horde of evil, brain eating zombies. I look out there and see a target rich environment.
—Dillis D. Freeman Jr., as quoted in foreword
Five days after Owen Zastava Pitt pushed his insufferable boss out of a fourteenth story window, he woke up in the hospital with a scarred face, an unbelievable memory, and a job offer.It turns out that monsters are real. All the things from myth, legend, and B-movies are out there, waiting in the shadows. Officially secret, some of them are evil, and some are just hungry. On the other side are the people who kill monsters for a living. Monster Hunter International is the premier eradication company in the business.And now Owen is their newest recruit. It’s actually a pretty sweet gig, except for one little problem. An ancient entity known as the Cursed One has returned to settle a centuries old vendetta. Should the Cursed One succeed, it means the end of the world, and MHI is the only thing standing in his way. With the clock ticking towards Armageddon, Owen finds himself trapped between legions of undead minions, belligerent federal agents, a cryptic ghost who has taken up residence inside his head, and the cursed family of the woman he loves.Business is good…Welcome to Monster Hunter International.MHI is a contemporary fantasy/horror/Gun Porn novel written by Larry Correia about a group of professional monster hunters. Correia's stated goal was to combine B-Movie monster tropes, but have the characters not be complete idiots. Consequently, in order to still present a threat, the monsters are much more powerful than in most B-movies, and the Hunters respond in kind. Grenade launchers? Check. Fully-automatic shotgun? Check. Claymore mines? Check.MHI was originally self-published in 2008, but high sales through word-of-mouth advertising, especially on gun-related forums, attracted the attention of Baen Books, which picked up the series.The sequel, Monster Hunter Vendetta, focuses on the aftermath of the climax of the first book. Owen is now at the top of the Old Ones' Most Wanted list, and they have promised great power to whoever can bring him to them. Now the Sanctified Church of the Temporary Mortal Condition, a necromantic cult with a mysterious leader, is hell-bent on catching him. The Monster Control Bureau has been tracking them for years, and thinks that using Owen as bait is just the break they need. But the Hunters have otherideas...The third book in the series, Monster Hunter Alpha, picks up some time after Vendetta, with a change of protagonist. Earl Harbinger heads to a remote town in Michigan, to settle some old scores with one of his oldest foes, a vicious werewolf who served the KGB, and take him down for good. But there's another force waiting in the darkness, working to bring about a new breed of werewolves, and the only thing in their way are a handful of locals and a Determinator Earl Harbinger who won't die.Monster Hunter Legion, the most recent book, brings MHI to Las Vegas, where they and other hunter teams from around the world, invited by a mysterious host for a hunter convention, run into a buried supernatural super weapon from the tail end of World War II.Larry Correia has some other series in the works: The Grimnoir Chronicles, an Urban Fantasy set in an Alternate History1930s; Dead Six, a military thriller; and an untitled project co-written with John Ringo. Sample chapters of his work can be found here.If you're looking for a completely different Monster Hunter, which is a video game, click here.
All of Them: Milo's answer when asked how many gun laws Abomination breaks.
Always Save the Girl: Played with. At the big climactic showdown, Koriniha cuts Julie's throat to encourage Owen to use the artifact's power. Owen realizes this would fubar the whole world by letting in the Old Ones, so he doesn't. As he's carrying Julie past what's left of Captain Thrall, Thrall uses the last of his appropriated artifact juice to heal her.
Anyone Can Die: Oddly subverted. All the major characters except for Harbinger experience a violent on-screen death at the trap in Mississippi (and Harbinger is slowly succumbing to his wounds), when Owen uses the Artifact's power to revise the timeline. They all remember dying, it just doesn't stick.
Author Appeal. From the "About the Author" page: "Larry Correia is hopelessly addicted to two things: guns and B-horror movies."
BFG: Abomination is a fully automatic shotgun with attached grenade launcher, which gets a more detailed description than most of the human (or otherwise) characters.
Covers Always Lie: Owen is shown on the cover wearing black armor. In the book, his armor is brown, and he derides Grant's black suit.
Crazy-Prepared: Most Hunters become this in the course of their work. The combat suit Hunters use is designed to be prepared for as many situations as possible.
Dark Is Not Evil: The orcs wear mostly black, have warty green-grey skin, yellow eyes and tusks but are definitely good guys
Darkest Hour: The trap in Mississippi. The entire team dies violently. By comparison, only 15 hunters die in the final battle, none of them major characters.
Depleted Phlebotinum Shells: Holy symbols in general and warding stones which specifically work against anything that's actually unnatural/eldritch in nature to the point of being an effective Fantastic Nuke.
Guilt Free Extermination War: The vast majority of the undead fall into this as they fall under the "humans are tasty" clause. Many other creatures do as well, like fishmen which like to lay eggs in live human beings. While the government takes this stand in general against most non-humans, they're aware that not every supernatural being are inherently incapable of getting along with people, they just use it for black mail.
A Man Is Not a Virgin: Subversion with Trip. He is twenty-seven. Holly likes to playfully needle him about this.
Mayincatec: The unnamed South American civilization which Lord Machado conquered five hundred years ago fits the mold. Mordecai says it is for the best they have been forgotten; considering their patrons are Eldritch Abominations, there is something to that.
Meganekko: Julie, specifically lampshaded early on as our hero has a hard time resisting a woman in corrective eyeware.
Muggles Do It Better: Five of the seven master vampires (super-powerful vampires that are more dangerous than even normal ones) aiding Lord Machado are contemptuously dismissive of the titular team they face in spite of warnings from the other two more recent conversions to master vampire, one of them a former MHI member who's very familiar with the ability of human devices thanks to regularly using them when part of the company, and the other a Nazi soldier from WW 2. The five pay for their arrogance and ignorance with their (undead) lives.
Noodle Incident One team is unavailable when Earl calls all Hunter Teams to Alabama to deal with the threat, due to hunting a luska in the Bahamas. Owen is told he's better off not knowing what it is; the very name of the thing makes Sam Haven shudder.
Nuke 'em: The MCB's backup plan for taking care of Lord Machado. It misses him and instead annoys an Old One.
Our Orcs Are Different: They work for MHI as healers and as the pilot for their Mi-24 Hind; each has a special skill that makes them the best at what they do (Gretchen = Ultimate Healer; Skippy = Ultimate Hind Pilot). In Vendetta, Owen's brother speculates that this is the true origin of The Stig.
Proud Warrior Race: The Orcs, most of whom have unique talents afforded to them by their god(s).
Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: MHI is not allowed to recruit openly, so most of their new hunters are the survivors of monster attacks. They come from all sorts of backgrounds; the Amazing Newbie Squad, for example, has a stripper, a teacher, a librarian, and an accountant.
Rocks Fall, Everyone Dies: Subverted. Most of the important characters end up being killed in a battle with demons in chapter 22, but Owen finds a way to rewind time by five minutes and bring them all back. They all remember dying, and are grateful for the second chance at life.
Silver Bullet: Julie explains them to Owen in their first meeting. Silver is too light and hard to engage barrel rifling properly, resulting is a fast, light bullet with low damage and poor accuracy. Instead MHI uses a modified Corbon Pow'r Ball design: a hollowpoint round with a silver ball inside the cavity. As it's also expensive, it's only available in .45 ACP and .308 Winchester. The MCB uses a different design that relies on powdered silver in a polymer matrix, available in 9mm Parabellum, 5.56mm NATO and 7.62mm NATO.
Shotguns Are Just Better: Zig-zagged; Owen's personal shotgun is better, but most Hunters prefer rifles or carbines, with an occasional submachinegun.
Shout Out: From Earl Harbinger: "You can know that of a surety, and I swear upon all that I hold holy, I will track you down to the ends of the world, reach down your throat, and pull your spine out your mouth."
Continuity Nod: Milo built Leviathan as a dedicated anti-luska weapon, a callback to book 1.
Do Not Taunt Cthulhu: Owen earned the ire of the Old Ones because they blame him for the thermonuclear warhead that was launched through the inter-dimensional portal (and slightly injured one of them) at the end of the first book.
Groupie Brigade: When Owen Pitt's brother Mosh, a Heavy Metal guitarist of some renown, is brought to MHI headquarters, he's followed by a gaggle of adoring Orcs, who refer to him as "Great War Chief."
Frankenstein's Monster: Many of the zombie creatures that attack MHI headquarters are amalgams of various animals. Also Agent Franks.
Knuckle Tattoos: A truck driver that's an innocent victim of a monster rampage has "LOVE" and "HATE" tattooed on his knuckles. Later, Agent Franks is seen with "HATE" on the knuckles of his left hand. The arm and its attached hand was taken from the dead trucker, Franks replacing a limb lost earlier in the chapter.
Living on Borrowed Time/The Last Dance: After Owen is bitten by a zombie, he uses his last couple of hours to trade himself for his brother, and lead a one-man assault on the Condition's inner sanctum.
The Mole: Much of the first two-thirds of the book is spent trying to root out a mole at MHI headquarters.
Monster Protection Racket: It's revealed that Hood used to work for MHI, and was secretly using necromancy to cause zombie outbreaks for his team to put down during slow periods.
Mugging the Monster: The Condition sends a trio of human Mooks to kidnap Owen's father. Said father is an ex-Green Beret who earned the Medal of Honor in Vietnam and earned the nickname "The Destroyer". Cue offscreen Curb-Stomp Battle.
My Suit Is Also Super: Earl Harbinger reveals that he survived an assassination attempt because his leather jacket is made of "100% Minotaur hide" and is therefore bulletproof; also counts as a Chekhov's Gun as it'd been mentioned earlier.
Named Weapons: What do you use to take down an armored zombie elephant? Leviathan, a Kraken-sized harpoon gun!
Necromancer: That's what serving the Old Ones will get you.
Necronomicon: A book written by a "mad Arab" in which Shoggoths are described, what else could it be?
Our Gnomes Are Weirder: They live in the Projects, and will bust a cap in yo' ass if you call them lawn ornaments.
And Now For Someone Different: After following Owen's 1st person perspective for 2 books, Alpha shifts to Earl, with a 3rd person perspective for events in the present, and 1st person for Earl's diary.
Be Careful What You Wish For: Earl's diary reveals that he's been trying to return human after being turned into a werewolf. Unfortunately, after it happens... things get worse, and being a werewolf would really have been useful. Being a Badass, he just grits his teeth and keeps on fighting... though hypocritically mentioning things he misses about being a werewolf.
But for Me, It Was Tuesday: Earl doesn't recall having killed Nikolai's wife Lila, asking that Nikolai be a little more specific, Earl having killed "a mess of folks". It turns out that Earl hadn't killed her. Another had, and planted evidence to pin the blame on him.
Cerebus Retcon: Earl's bulletproof minatour hide jacket, which was assumed by readers to be the spoils of a hunt. It turns out that the minotaur - or bullman, as he preferred to be called - was a New Meat in the black ops team Earl served with in Nam. When he was killed, his last request was that his hide be turned into a coat for Earl.
Cursed with Awesome: Heather doesn't like many of the implications of becoming a werewolf, but is delighted to learn that the accelerated metabolism means that she will never have to diet ever again.
Depleted Phlebotinum Shells: The special Babba Yaga magic rounds for a Mosin-Nagant that Earl finds. One round causes werewolves to explode.
Dirty Coward: MCB Agent Stark was The Neidermeyer in the One-Man Army entry for Sam Haven and, in the not-flashback sections, he tries to use his MCB authority to get a nice hiding spot after things get bad.
Finns With Fearsome Forests: Heather's grandfather, and much of the town, are from Finland. The grandfather was a werewolf-hunting sniper who passed the MacGuffin on the Heather. Another Finnish resident of Cooper Lake, Aino, comes along to the final battle despite being well into his seventies.
Gorn: Taken Up to Eleven when Earl and a local drive a snow cutter (think a combine-sized snowblower) through a mass of undead werewolves. Earl pronounces the resulting slurry of werewolf as the most disgusting thing he ever seen.
Heroes Want Redheads: Heather, who ends up retaining most of her humanity despite being a new werewolf, and Earl's new love interest.
Kill It with Fire: Earl uses a hospital's oxygen tank to set a fire to kill a newly turned werewolf who is immune to the effects of silver, quoting the trope name when setting it up.
Mundane Utility: Heather, a junk-food addict whose mother had diabetes, is thrilled to learn that werewolves burn enough calories that she can eat anything she wants without gaining weight.
Several werewolves were employed by their national governments as this. Sam Haven is also shown to have been this, single-handedly clearing a cruise liner of monsters after his SEAL team got killed and his Neidermeyer CO hid.
It's also subverted: Earl quickly realizes that the situation is too big for him to handle and tries to call in his team, but the phones are down. He ends up rallying the locals and gaining a few allies along the way.
Info Dump: When Owen gets a whole mess of memories dumped on him by Sam Haven in the other world the hotel was moved to, the narrative describes it as "quite literally an infodump".
Odd Couple: Edward (Orc ninja) and Tanya (Elven wizard). Notable due to the fact that Orc and Elves hate each other normally. The two of them teamed up in a sidestory, explaining how they manage to get along.
Shoot Out the Lock: Owen uses Abomination to shoot out the lock on a fire exit that blocking his path into a building. The ricochet issue is addressed by the narrative, as is the fact that there would normally be a special breacher round to be used for the task, but it's unfortunately unavailable at that moment.
Owen: We think there's a dangerous supernatural entity loose in your casino. Owen: Yeah. Sorry to break it to you. It killed several people in northern Nevada yesterday and murdered one of your guests this morning in room 1613. Mitch: That's nuts. Owen: You know what? Go ahead and roll with that. We're crazy, so just humor us until we're done.