Literature: Monster Hunter International
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.
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
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 other ideas
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 next 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
.Monster Hunter Nemesis
takes the story inside the Monster Control Bureau, leaving most of the regular cast in the background. It covers Agent Franks's backstory and perspective, and fills in some of the cosmology.
Larry Correia has some other series in the works: The Grimnoir Chronicles
, an Urban Fantasy
set in an Alternate History 1930s
; 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
The first novel uses the following tropes:
- Ace Pilot: Skippy, who can make helicopters do things beyond what they'd normally be capable of doing, physics be damned.
- Action Girl: Julie and Holly.
- Added Alliterative Appeal: John Jermaine Jones, aka Trip to friends.
- 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 of the first book, 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." Specifically, he likes .45 automatics (Especially 1911s) and .308s. Guess what weapons the main characters use?
- 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.
- Badass Normal: The bulk of the Hunters are normal humans who undergo Training from Hell.
- Badass Bookworm: Albert Lee, former librarian, and former demolitions expert for the United States Marine Corps.
- Badass Grandpa: Raymond Shackleford III, Julie's grandfather. Being Ray III's dad, Earl's one too, though he doesn't look it.
- Banging for Help: A French Hunter team trapped on the Antoine-Henri communicates this way with the MHI teams, using Morse Code.
- Black Dude Dies First: Intentionally subverted, as the black guy, the Asian, and the stripper all survive to the end.
- Cool Guns: Abounds with plenty of them, many with Gun Accessories. Subverted by Earl, who uses a basic M1928 Thompson submachinegun.
- Chekhov's Gunman: In the Appleton Asylum there is a patient who is locked in a solitary in a catatonic state. He and his backstory of how he was found in this way after his whole team disappeared are briefly mentioned in the first book, but he will become a major plot point important hole in the next book. The Big Bad of Monster Hunter Vendetta was the responsible for his state and the perishment of his team.
- Chosen One: Lord Machado, the villain, and Owen, the hero, are both described in an ancient prophecy as being able to control an artifact that can grant power over time itself.
- Legion reveals that there are all sorts of potential "Chosen Ones" all around the world, but lots of them never amount to much for one reason or another.
- Church Militant: A reference is made to the Vatican's own team of Hunters.
- Clap Your Hands If You Believe: Holy symbols have power over undead monsters by virtue of the belief placed in them. However, the biggest act of faith-based ass kicking comes from Milo, who shares the author's Mormon beliefs.
- 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.
- Defector from Decadence: Grant Jefferson is a rare unsympathetic example. Already coming from a rich family, Grant fights monsters not for the money, but because he feels that someone needs to stand up to them. In the second book, he even serves as The Mole for the Feds because he believes that MHI has become too fixated on money and the Monster Control Bureau are doing the real good work.
- 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.
- Dragon with an Agenda: Koriniha, priestess to the Old Ones.
- Family Business: MHI was founded in 1895 by Raymond "Bubba" Shackleford I, and has been run by the Shackleford family ever since. Julie is his great-great-granddaughter. Earl Harbinger is his son, kept young by the werewolf curse.
- Fantastic Nuke: The warding stones function this way activated in a reality with differing physics.
- Fantasy Counterpart Culture: A few fantastic races appear with real-world subcultures attached to them, often unflattering. The first book features the Enchanted Forest Trailer Park, home to a colony of trailer trash elves, and the second book has a group of gnomes that act like Gang Bangers (complete with a rival group of gnomes who wear blue hats.).
- Fantasy Kitchen Sink: Pretty much every monster myth known is true. Most can be killed with sufficient application of dakka, explosives, fire, or combinations of the above.
- Friendly Sniper: Julie is the team sharpshooter, and an all-around nice girl.
- Gadgeteer Genius: Milo, who constructs many of MHI gadgets and weapons, including Owen's Abomination.
- Ghostapo: Mordechai Byreika's journals express a belief that the Nazis were working with Lord Machado. One of the Master Vampires, Jaeger, was in the SS before his death.
- Gorn: Few people/things just die in Monster Hunter International, mortal or otherwise.
- Government Agency of Fiction: The Monster Control Bureau.
- 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.
- Gun Porn: The novel is filled with accurate but gratuitous description of numerous firearms and their operation. The author's background as a gun store owner and competitive shooter is apparent, as many brands and items would only be familiar to enthusiasts and competitive shooters.
- Healing Factor: The reason some monsters, such as vampires and werewolves, are extremely difficult to kill.
- Heroic Bystander: The team is saved from attacking gargoyles by a neighbor who sees the commotion and snipes out the gargoyles.
- I Call It "Vera": Abomination, a heavily customized, automatic Saiga-12 shotgun that Milo gives Owen.
- Implacable Man: Captain Thrall is very durable.
- Lovecraft Lite: There are some things that can boil one's mind and end his sanity, but if you meet one, just pump it with dakka.
- 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.
- The Men in Black: The Monster Control Bureau, whose agents are usually wearing suits, use intimidation and other underhanded tactics to maintain the Masquerade by silencing witnesses to supernatural creatures. They often act as if they're from other federal agencies to hide the existence of the MCB from the general public.
- More Dakka: Much, much more Dakka.
- Muggles Do It Better: Five of the seven master vampires (super-powerful vampires that are more dangerous than even normal ones) aiding Lord Machado at the De Sota Caverns 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 SS soldier from WW2. The five pay for their arrogance and ignorance with their (undead) lives.
- Multi Tasked Conversation: Courtesy of Mordecai, Owen is given a view of the Big Bad's memories of his meeting, centuries ago, with the priestess that tells Machado of the prophecy. She was speaking for Owen's benefit, knowing that in the future Owen would be listening in on the exchange with Machado, who believed the prophecy was about himself.
- Named Weapons: Abomination. See BFG and ICallItVera.
- Names to Run Away From Really Fast: "Machado" means "Axe."
- Our main character even has two: "Owen", named after the submachine gun and "Zastava". The latter the mentioned to be a car company in the book, though they make guns, too. Considering that the name is a criterion for being the Chosen One and "Owen" is quite inconspicuous while "Zastava" is not, it may be a deliberate attempt at obfuscation by the author.
- 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.
- Despite repeated requests, Earl refuses to talk about the disaster in 1995 that killed over ninety hunters.
- Nuke 'em: The MCB's backup plan for taking care of Lord Machado. It misses him and instead annoys an Old One.
- Older Than They Look:
- Undead vampires maintain their human appearance despite their immortal lifespans.
- Werewolves in human form in general can, if they avoid being killed, maintain a normal appearance for a long time.
- As with other portrayals, elves look far younger than they appear.
- Our Elves Are Better: Subverted. The elves live in the Enchanted Forest, a trailer park in rural Mississippi, and Queen Ilrondelia fits every White Trash stereotype in the book to a sickening degree. It's implied that their European ancestors fit the High Elf archetype better.
- 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.
- Real Men Love Jesus: Milo Anderson, who shares the author's Mormon beliefs, and Trip, who is a devout Baptist.
- 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.
- Selective Obliviousness: On the part of characters and the author. The characters frequently make comments along the lines that government can't do anything right, that things would be better without the government, that taxes are basically the government stealing their hard-earned money (all comments very much in line with the author's personal beliefs). They all seem to overlook that their income is nearly totally dependent on government funding.
- Shotguns Are Just Better: Zig-zagged; Owen loves his personal shotguns, but most Hunters prefer rifles or carbines, with an occasional submachinegun.
- Silver Bullet: Used in most MHI ammunition because some monsters can't be killed otherwise. Silver bullets are too light and don't engage barrel rifling properly, resulting in poor penetration and accuracy. Instead MHI uses a modified Corbon Pow'r Ball design: a hollowpoint round with a silver ball inside the cavity. As it's 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.
- Take That: It's rather apparent that the author isn't fond of liberals.
- Those Two Bad Guys: Agents Myers & Franks. Myers is the polite, educated one, and Franks is the quiet, brutal one who's quite capable of curb-stomping the hero, Owen Pitt.
- Training from Hell: The vast majority of MHI recruits wash out of training, which ranges from grueling calisthenics and combat training to butchering cadavers and crawling through pipes of sewage and entrails.
- In addition to the standard MHI training, the borderline-abusive training Owen got as a child was the only reason he survived his initial werewolf encounter.
- In Monster Hunter Alpha, it's revealed that Harbinger spent his days throwing himself off cliffs to control his werewolf side, so that it wouldn't trigger no matter how badly he was injured.
- Ugly Guy, Hot Wife:
- Until Vendetta they weren't actually married, but Julie is described as much more attractive than Owen. Correia claims this is autobiographical, but hasn't provided any sexy pictures of his wife to confirm.
- Also, Milo and his wife, who is much prettier than he is.
- Vampires Vs Werewolves: Earl fights vampires.
- Was Once a Man: Lord Machado used to be a Portuguese conquistador. By the time the book starts, he's a walking mass of evil and hate.
- The Worf Effect: When Owen isn't reiterating how skilled Julie is, it's because he's busy saving her life. Lampshaded after the final battle by Julie herself.
- Ye Olde Butchered English: This is how Thrall speaks.
Monster Hunter Vendetta adds the following tropes:
- Achievements in Ignorance: Crossing over with Children Are Innocent, a young Julie Shackleford befriends a shoggoth.
- Altar the Speed: Owen and Julie are married after he's been bitten by a zombie, just before he goes off on a suicide mission.
- All Trolls Are Different: The trolls here seem to conform to the classic Dungeons & Dragons template, with the addition of being internet-savvy, and having several million dollars that they need your help to get out of Nigeria.
- Amazingly Embarrassing Parents: When his mother refers to his shotgun, Abomination, as "Abominator," Owen briefly muses that parents can make anything uncool.
- Bears Are Bad News: Armored zombie bears, to be precise. Grant briefly freaks out and complains that it's "unfair" to armor zombies.
- Berserk Button: Gnomes get very pissed off if you call them a "lawn gnome".
- Bigger Bad: the Dreaded Overlord of the Old Ones, to whom the leader of the Condition is working to.
- Bond One-Liner: Franks spouts a number of them during the assault on the MHI compound, most notably:
"Bad werewolf. Sit." [bang] "Sit. Good werewolf." [bang] "Stay."
- Defeat Means Friendship: Owen earns the respect of the gnomes after fending off a swarm of them.
- Dead Guy Junior: Milo's newborn daughter, named after Sam Haven.
- Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: One of the Old Ones is killed when the protagonists use a doomsday weapon against it.
- Ditch the Bodyguards: Owen is instructed by the Monster Control Bureau to stay at MHI's compound as bait for the Church of the Temporary Mortal Condition. However he's a pro-active kind of guy, and prefers to take the fight to them.
- Chekhov's Gunman: The aforementioned shoggoth, who pulls a Heel-Face Turn when ordered to kill the only person who has ever loved it.
- Continuity Nod: Milo built Leviathan as a dedicated anti-luska weapon, a callback to book 1.
- Dare to Be Badass: The ghost of Raymond "Bubba" Shackleford I, the founder of MHI, delivers one of these to Owen while he is dying of a zombie bite, telling him to cheat death:
"If you ain't cheating, you ain't trying hard enough. That's what I always say. So pull your head out of your rear, get righteous mad, and get to killing...Them monsters ain't gonna kill themselves! You a Monster Hunter, or not?"
- 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.
- Eldritch Abomination: The Old Ones.
- Fluffy the Terrible: Mr Trashbags. A baby shoggoth that Julie named as a child.
- Frankenstein's Monster: Many of the zombie creatures that attack MHI headquarters are amalgams of various animals. Also Agent Franks.
- 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."
- 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.
- Literal Metaphor: Internet trolls are actual trolls with internet connections.
- 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 Greatest Failure: For Earl Harbinger it was accidentally killing fellow hunter Martin Hood. Or so he thought. See The Chessmaster.
- 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.
- Our Zombies Are Different: Type F.
- A Pupil of Mine Until He Turned to Evil: The Condition's leader used to be a Hunter on Harbinger's team. But it turns out that he was really a Deceptive Disciple, as he only joined MHI as part of a long plan to continue his father's work with necromancy.
- The Chessmaster: The Big Bad Martin Hood, leader of the Condition. He is always thinking a few steeps ahead the heroes, for example when the heroes found out that he had an spy on MHI he had an entire large scale attack to the compound planned. Also in the past he avoided being caught by faking his own death by swapping bodies with someone else. He was also the one that indirectly caused the temporary shutdown of MHI on 1995 by tricking Ray Shackleford into opening the rift to the Old Ones' dimension.
- The Quisling: The leader of the Condition reveals (or at least claims) that he's only working with the Old Ones so that they won't be as angry when they inevitably take over.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Invoked literally. The heroes have to defeat a pair of rampaging oni, one stronger and the other more devious, who attack a heavy metal concert.
- Religion of Evil: The Sanctified Church of the Temporary Mortal Condition serve the Old Ones, and want to deliver Owen to them to curry favor. Oh, and they're necromancers.
- Shapeshifter Guilt Trip: Invoked repeatedly while the team tries to beat some information out of a Doppelgänger.
- Ship Tease: A couple for Trip and Holly
Monster Hunter Alpha adds the following tropes:
- And Now for Someone Completely Different: After following Owen's 1st person perspective for 2 books, Alpha shifts primarily to Earl (though Nikolai, Heather, the Alpha, Stark, and Horst also get regular PO Vs, and other minor characters get the odd one), with a 3rd person perspective for events in the present, and 1st person for Earl's diary.
- Badass Boast: Stark foolishly picks a fight with Earl, demanding "who you do think you are?" This earns him a Neck Lift and the following response:
Earl: "Who do I think I am? I've been kicking monster ass longer than you've been alive. I've eaten men that would make you look like a pussy on your best day. I'm Earl Harbinger, motherfucker. And you damn well better not forget it."
- 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.
- Berserk Button: Earl can deal with someone trying to kill him, but a government official ignoring his PUFF exemption is absolutely unacceptable.
- Bling-Bling-BANG!: Horst's sidearm is a gold-plated Desert Eagle, a pistol notorious for being ridiculously heavy in its unmodified form. This disgusts Earl, so he tosses it on a snow-covered roof to make it harder to find again.
- Brought Down to Normal: Earl Harbinger is temporarily turned human by the MacGuffin, though He still kills werewolves without too much trouble.
- 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.
- Callback: Earl recounts in his diary that as a young werewolf, he once fought and killed a luska. And then ate it.
- 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.
- Create Your Own Villain: During his time in Vietnam, Harbinger accidentally bites one of his special squad's members in a frenzied attack on their base, whose child goes on to cause problems for him during the book.
- 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 normal 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.
- Enemy Mine: Earl, Stark, and Nikolai team up to take out the Alpha.
- Fish out of Water: Earl, born and raised in Alabama, in Michigan, where it is snowing.
- Fun with Acronyms: Special Task Force Unicorn, aka STFU.
- 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, who's no stranger to carnage himself, 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.
- Hidden Depths: At first, Lococo seems like nothing but Dumb Muscle. As the book goes on, however, he turns out to be not only a competent, courageous fighter but also the only thoroughly decent Briarwood team member. Small wonder Earl recruits him at the end.
- 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.
- Laser-Guided Karma: Ryan Horst leaves a woman (his girlfriend Jo Ann Schneider) to die while he escapes undead werewolves chasing him. The decision winds up biting him in the face a little later. Literally. The undead werewolves were ordered to just kill humans, not devour them completely.
- Most Common Superpower: Several characters note that Heather is quite well endowed. Including Heather herself:
Heather: "You got assets, you use them. 36D, baby."
- 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.
- My God, What Have I Done?:
- Heather's reaction to learning that the first thing she did as a werewolf was eat her dog. Heroic BSOD ensures.
- And Earl's reaction to finding out that he bit Sharon.
- One-Man Army:
- 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.
- Oh, Crap: After a desperate, cross-town escape from a hoard of zombie-werewolves, Horst manages to snag a rope to safety by the skin of his teeth. Turns out the man pulling him up is Lococo, whom Horst had attempted to murder earlier in the book .
- Real Men Love Jesus: Earl isn't especially religious, but he does pray multiple times throughout the novel, and part of the process of learning to control his werewolf side involved reading the Bible seven times all the way through and meditating over it.
- Self-Made Orphan: Alpha.
- Shout-Out: The luska is finally revealed, and it's a Sharktopus.
- The Southpaw: Earl is right-handed, but shoots a sniper rifle left-handed so he can maintain his sight picture and work the bolt faster.
- Strange Minds Think Alike: At one point during her deterioration, Heather thinks "I'd mate that" about Earl, then catches herself, wondering who the hell thinks that way? Later, Nikolai's werewolf personality makes the exact same comment about her.
- Tastes Like Chicken: Averted with the luska. Earl doesn't care for the taste, but he was ravenously hungry on a full moon. He specifically states that it tasted like ahi tuna.
- The Triple: According to Earl Harbinger, badass Russians only have three emotions: revenge, depression and vodka.
Monster Hunter Legion adds the following tropes:
- Badass Bureaucrat: One of the Paranormal Tactical guys is both the company attorney and a UFC veteran. Owen dubs him "Ultimate Lawyer."
- BFG: One of Milo's free samples shows up at the end of the book. It's an Anzio Ironworks 20mm rifle (20mm is considered to be the smallest cannon round), so massive that it's transported in a couple of giant cases.
- Boisterous Bruiser: The huge Polish hunter, who Pitt says has a laugh like a pirate.
"I got out of bed with many beautiful women for this?"'
- Bruiser with a Soft Center: Badass orc pilot Skippy is delighted to learn that Julie's pregnant.
- Chekhov's Gun: Literally; the aforementioned BFG.
- Also, the chicken that Ed steals near the beginning.
- Chekhov's Gunman: The guy who Owen beat up in the backstory. The hunter Earl teamed up with in Alpha. Turns out they're the same person.
- Cowboy Bebop at His Computer: In universe: after Trip spends most of the night playing an RPG Owen jokingly asks whether he leveled up his paladin. Trip starts to explain that he was playing War Machine, which doesn't have paladins, but quickly gives up.
- Dirty Coward-/-The Neidermeyer-/-Obstructive Bureaucrat: Incredibly, Stark actually gets worse in this book. In Nemesis it's said that the only reason he got the job in the first place was to be Stricken's puppet.
- Family Business: More cases of this for monster hunting. Pierre Darné, the son of Jean Darné ( who was turned into a vampire, then killed, in International), is at the monster hunting conference, representing his late father's company. Owen wonders if Tadeusz Byreika, a Polish hunter, is related to Mordechai Byreika. Mordechai's thoughts suggest that he is.
- Fun with Acronyms: Special Task Force Unicorn, whose initialism is also a statement to its members on how they are supposed to act.
- 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".
- I Call It "Vera": "Ultimate Lawyer," one of the Paranormal Tactical guys, is very attached to his gun, Mindy:
"If you so much as scratched her, I will beat you to death."
- 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.
- Pregnant Badass: Julie doesn't let being pregnant stop her from kicking monster ass.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Management, who is extremely materialistic, but good-natured and eager to help with the crisis in any way he can despite the fact that he's a dragon.
- 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.
- Stuff Blowing Up: What happens when a former Explosive Ordnance Disposal Tech, a former Marine Demolitions Specialist and Milo team up? A hotel room full of monsters ceases to exist.
- Supernatural Gold Eyes: Earl Harbinger, the effective head of MHI, normally has blue eyes, but the emergence of his werewolf form changes them to gold.
- Sure, Let's Go with That:
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.
- That Came Out Wrong: Mosh thinks about how heroic he feels while preparing to ambush a bunch of hunters to kidnap a senior citizen...wait.
- Took a Level in Badass: Heather was tough before, but here her chief complaint about fighting a literal army of the scariest monsters in existence is that she's really hungry and can't eat any of them. Then at the end she joins Franks and Owen in tackling a dragon head-on.
Monster Hunter Nemesis adds the following tropes:
- And Show It to You: A security guard's heart is ripped out of his chest by Kurst, and briefly stares in disbelief at the still-beating organ before he dies.
- Attack! Attack... Retreat! Retreat!: "An intruder! Seize him!...Oh, shit! It's Franks! Run!"
- Audience Surrogate: Rookie agent Strayhorn in the first few chapters, where he is introduced to MCB and how it works.
- Badass Boast: Kurst to Stricken:
You do not yet comprehend what you have unleashed upon your world. I am Kurst. That is the title placed upon me by the World Maker when I led the Son of the Morning's armies into battle in the war before time began. I am Kurst, who stood at the left hand of Lucifer. I am Kurst, who was cast into Hell for my rebellion, where I dwelled until you provided me with this body. I am Kurst, who will grind your bones into dust and reign with fire and blood over your pathetic mortal world. I am Kurst, and my war has never ended.
- Be Careful What You Wish For: In the previous book, Owen expressed an eager desire to see Earl and Agent Franks fight. He gets his wish here: they have a brutally destructive showdown in Owen's house.
- Bring It:
Kurst: "WE WILL MAKE HELL FAR WORSE FOR YOU THIS TIME, FRANKS!"
Franks: "Bring it."
- But for Me, It Was Tuesday:
Earl: "YOU KILLED HER!"
Franks: "Who? Narrow it down for me."
- As with the first example of this above, subverted because Franks didn't really do it. The presumed victim was the only person Franks spared.
- The Chessmaster: Stricken.
- Clear Their Name: Franks is framed by Stricken for the murderous rampage in the MCB headquarters, then it is up to Grant, Archer and Strayhorn to prove his innocence.
- Dead All Along: Agent Franks in the first two parts of the book. At first you, the reader, might think that the interrogatory where Franks is being held is because he somehow was caught by the government. But it actually is the afterlife where Franks is being judged by his sins.
- Demonic Possession: The Nemesis bodies get taken over by devils.
- Do Not Taunt Cthulhu: A gnome taunts Agent Franks. He gets punted over a fence.
- Draco in Leather Pants: In universe, Franks speculates that this was Mary Shelly's motivation for writing Frankenstein. He's vaguely disgusted by the idea.
- Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Averted with Stricken, whose manipulativeness is primarily based on understanding and using peoples' moral inclinations.
- Exactly What I Aimed At: During the climactic battle aboard a transport plane, Franks gets into a gun fight with one of the Nemesis soldiers. The Nemesis soldier shoots Franks fifteen times without getting hit. Instead, Franks shoots the pilot.
- Face Death with Dignity: Myer's peaceful death is contrasted with the Nemesis-soldiers, who keep clinging to their ruined bodies until they're literally burned loose.
- Grievous Harm with a Body: When veteran MCB agents are informing a newbie agent about Special Agent Franks, one of the stories they relate about Franks is that he once ripped the arm off a werewolf, and beat the were to death with it.
- If I Wanted You Dead...: One of the reasons Grant and Archer decide that Franks was framed for the attack on MCB Headquarters: there were too many survivors, including the man who was supposedly his primary target.
- Luke, You Are My Father: Agent Strayhorn is the biological son of Agent Franks, and the adopted son of Agent Myers.
- Memetic Badass: In-universe, Franks is seem as one.
- Names to Run Away From Really Fast: Franks, the main character.
Mook: Oh shit! It's Franks! Run!
- Oh, Crap: Stricken's reaction to the above Badass Boast
Stricken: "Well...shit." Except it wasn't really Stricken, which takes away some of the impact in retrospect.
- Our Angels Are Different: They turned into humans.
- Out of Focus: Monster Hunter International appears in only two scenes, with Earl showing up for a third.
- Pragmatic Hero: Franks. In his experience, the best way to keep somebody from accomplishing something is just to kill them.
- Right Behind Me: Archer is describing Franks to the team newbie, and has just gotten to the bit about "soulless, sociopathic killing machine," when he notices they're not looking at him.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Agent Myers for his MCB agents.
- Resurrected for a Job: Franks in the third act of the book, in order to defeat Kurst.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Franks' reaction to Myers' death
Archer: "What do we do now?"
Franks: "Fucking kill everyone."
- Skyward Scream: When Myers dies.
- Those Two Guys: Grant and Archer.
- Took a Level in Badass: Grant goes from being Owen's loser, pretty boy rival to killing a demon single-handedly and cutting its head off for a trophy!
- Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny:
- Harbinger vs Franks: the King of the Werewolves against an unstoppable abomination upon whom Frankenstein was loosely based.
- And in a flashback, George Washington vs. Frankenstein's Monster: America's "Father of our country", and reputed to be unkillable by his enemies when fighting the various Native American tribes working for the British, against the same unstoppable abomination mentioned above.