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Literature / Monster Hunter International

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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

Monster Hunter International is a contemporary Urban Fantasy/Action 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? Fully-automatic shotgun? Claymore mines? Yes, yes, and yes.

The first book 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 series:

  • In Monster Hunter International an ordinary accountant, Owen Pitt, finds that the world is far more extraordinary than he first thought, when his boss turns into a werewolf and tries to kill Owen. He finds himself in a race against time to stop an evil Conquistador using the Kamaresh Yar to destroy the world.
  • 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...
  • 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 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.
  • Monster Hunter Memoirs: Grunge is the first of three MHI novels written by John Ringo with help from Correia, in the form of the memoirs of a hunter from The '80s operating in Washington state, and later in New Orleans. Grunge was released in August 2016, Monster Hunter Memoirs: Sinners in December 2016, and Monster Hunter Memoirs: Saints in July 2018.
  • Monster Hunter Siege MHI decided to rescue member left behind in the Nightmare Realm in Legion by staging an invasion on a city populated by various faction of monsters.
  • The Monster Hunter Files is a short-story anthology by various authors in the MHI-verse, including Jim Butcher, John Ringo, John C. Wright, Sarah Hoyt, and Jody Lynn Nye.
  • Monster Hunter Guardian takes place at the same time as Siege, it focuses on Julie Shackleford attempting to protect her son from dangerous enemies, while safeguarding the Kamaresh Yar.
  • Monster Hunter Bloodlines is the direct sequel to both Siege and Guardian, taking place after a slight Time Skip and starting In Medias Res with an attempt to acquire a Wardstone that goes south due to several previously-established factions clashing, and it's up to Owen to resolve the mess.

The first novel is now available for free in the Baen Free Library.

It has also spawned a Role-Playing Game using the Hero System and Savage Worlds.

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.
  • Added Alliterative Appeal: John Jermaine Jones, aka Trip to friends.
  • All Trolls Are Different: Have some resemblance to D&D trolls with a Healing Factor and vulnerability to fire. However they prefer to spend their time in dark rooms trolling internet forums and sending out 419 scams. MHI ends up hiring one to run their IT department.
  • All of Them: Milo's answer when asked how many gun laws Abomination breaks.
    • Also appears in Monster Hunter Nemesis, in reference to the military training Franks has received. Given that he's a nigh-unstoppable killing machine who was a Hessian soldier before going to work for George Washington, he's been trained in everything the military can offer.
  • 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.
  • Arc Words: "Flexible Minds"
  • 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?
  • Author Tract: While not as hamhanded as it could be, don't expect any character who is both sympathetic and competent have anything nice to say about the government, ever. On the flip side, government characters tend to be inept, deceptive bullies. The last is part of the MCB agent operating procedure, however, to prevent widespread belief in the supernatural strengthening the forces of Evil.
    • This gets more nuanced as the series goes on, particularly in Nemesis. Franks's perspective gives the reader more insight into the motivations of the government characters. After the events of Nemesis, Grant Jefferson looks a lot more competent and Myers and Franks look a lot more sympathetic, although this comes in part from Myers getting a heroic death.
  • 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 Bystander: The random civilian who opens fire on a gargoyle with a .458 Winchester Magnum rifle, distracting it and saving Owen's life.
  • 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. He's initially on one of the teams, but after an injury incurred during a mission he's transferred out of the team, and made the primary researcher for monster lore.
    • In Legion, Owen mentions that he qualified for Mensa (he also graduated at the top of his class and passed the CPA exam on his first try), but couldn't follow at all what some of the other Hunters were doing in trying to figure out what the Nachtmar is.
    • Ray Shackleford IV claims an IQ of 160 in International.
  • Banging for Help: A French Hunter team trapped on the Antoine-Henri communicates this way with the MHI teams, using Morse Code.
  • Beethoven Was an Alien Spy:
    • J. R. R. Tolkien wasn't a Hunter himself, but he kept their company, and some races and even languages in his books have some basis in reality.
    • H. P. Lovecraft also kept Hunters' company, and his books are partially based on truth.
  • Black Dude Dies First: Intentionally subverted, as the black guy, the Asian, and the stripper all survive to the end.
  • Blood Knight: Julie and Holly. Alpha adds Heather to the roster. They may all be attractive, but their primary purpose is to kick unearthly ass, which they do with relish.
  • 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 one responsible for his state and the destruction of the rest of his team.
  • Chosen One:
    • Lord Machado, the Big Bad, 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. We even get to meet a retired one in Alpha, courtesy of Earl's diary.
  • 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. (Actually, that IS Grant on the cover. Owen is taller, wider, and has a huge scar in the middle of his face.)
  • 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.
    • Also up there is the Mardi Gras attack in Sinners. A horde of giant crustaceans kill every member of the New Orleans MHI team except for Chad, and many members of MCB's Special Response Team.
  • 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.
  • Destination Defenestration: Owen's first kill, prior to him joining MHI, was by using a desk to knock a werewolf out the broken window in a 14th floor office, onto a double-parked Lincoln Navigator.
  • Dragon with an Agenda: Koriniha, priestess to the Old Ones.
  • Due to the Dead: Hunters are given a ceremony when having fallen in battle that concludes with cutting off their head, when their death was due to an undead creature that reanimates the dead. Cutting off the head is the one absolutely guaranteed method of preventing reanimation or revival of the fallen.
  • 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 Bubba's son, kept young by the werewolf curse.
  • Fantastic Ghetto: Enchanted Forest Trailer Park, filled with trailer trash elves.
  • Fantastic Nuke: The warding stones function this way when 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 Gangbangers (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, such as 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 blackmail.
  • 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. Owen makes sure to give him a business card before passing out.
  • Heroism Won't Pay the Bills: Played With. Killing Monsters on your own is technically allowed...but you can't collect on the PUFF money unless you have a contract with the government, which is where organizations like MHI come in. MCB agents are paid government salaries and can't collect PUFF either.
  • I Call It "Vera": Abomination, a heavily customized, automatic Saiga-12 shotgun that Milo gives Owen.
  • Implacable Man: Captain Thrall is very durable. Owen can also take quite a beating and still keep going. And then there's Agent Franks...
  • Laser-Guided Karma: In the first book, Owen Pitt's introduction to the world beneath The Masquerade is facing off against a werewolf, who happens to be his asshole of a boss that intended to eat him and had already eaten at least one other person. Ultimately he kills the werewolf by knocking it out the broken window on the 14th floor of an office building, after which it and the desk used for the shove crashes down on a double-parked Lincoln Navigator.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Pitt describes himself as "unbelievably fast" for his size (300+lbs of height and muscle), yet is still beaten soundly by Franks, without ever landing a blow in response.
  • Lovecraft Lite: There are some things that can boil one's mind and fry your sanity, but if you meet one, just pump it with dakka.
  • 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.
  • 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: When a monster doesn't die right away, the Hunters' standard response is to shoot it some more. The stronger the monster, the more bullets it takes to kill it. So Hunters routinely carry automatic weapons and lots and lots of ammo. When going up against major monsters, they've even been known to use machine guns, flamethrowers, grenades, and light antitank rockets.
  • 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, Owen's fully automatic shotgun. See BFG and I Call It "Vera".
  • 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. When we finally get to see one in Alpha, it turns out the reputation is justified.
    • Despite repeated requests, Earl refuses to talk about the disaster in 1995 that killed over ninety hunters. Owen finally gets the story from Julie.
  • Nuke 'em: The MCB's backup plan for taking care of Lord Machado. It misses him and instead annoys an Old One.
  • Off with His Head!: One of the more sure-fire way of killing monsters, especially undead.
  • 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 actually are.
  • Our Elves Are Different: 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; Edward = Awesome Sword-Master; 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 gods, but all are good for a fight against evil to some degree.
  • 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.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: 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.
    • We later find out that they are in fact good guys.
  • 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.
  • Screw the Rules, They're Not Real!: In Vendetta, Earl counters a necromancer with darkness-linked powers by shooting the sky full of magnesium flares, leading to:
    Hood: That's cheating, Earl.
    Earl: My daddy always said that if you ain't cheating, you ain't trying hard enough.
    • Three chapters later Earl's father's ghost shows up and tells Owen exactly this.
  • Selective Obliviousness: 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... that they get from the government, though Harbinger mentions in later books that he thinks it would be much easier if the government didn't have any pull in the monster-hunting business and companies like MHI could just sell out their services to the public and be paid that way.
  • Set Right What Once Went Wrong: Owen pulls off a variant of this when he resets time by five minutes during the ambush at Natchy Bottom. Since the entire world was affected, this caused no small amount of chaos, and is brought up several times in later books.
  • Shotguns Are Just Better: Zig-zagged; Owen loves his personal shotguns, but most Hunters prefer rifles or carbines, with an occasional submachinegun.
  • Shout-Out:
  • 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, but is available exclusively to the government.
  • Stealth Pun: The book starts off with Owen fighting for his life against his asshole supervisor, who had turned into a werewolf. It was literally a Boss Monster.
  • Take That!: It's rather apparent that the author isn't fond of liberals.

  • Training from Hell:
    • The vast majority of MHI recruits wash out of training, which ranges from grueling calisthenics and combat training to decapitating 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.
    • Also, Milo and his wife, who is much prettier than he is.
  • Vampires Vs Werewolves: Earl fights vampires.
  • [Verb] This!: Owen Pitt uses this twice.
    • When Agent Franks is holding him at gunpoint, he hopes that if he is shot his brain at least leaves a stain on the agent's cloth.
      Owen: Dry-clean this!
    • When fighting a french vampire:
      Owen: Parley-vous this, motherfucker!
  • 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.
  • Bait-and-Switch Comparison: After Owen is rescued from a vampire attack on a Mexican Prison by the U.S. Monster Control Bureau, he has the following thought:
    I wasn't sure if the government man or Susan had been more intimidating, but for totally different reasons. One because it represented a soulless entity with the power to suck the very blood from the innocent, the other because it was a vampire.
  • 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".
  • 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 Owen unleashes a mystical 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 befriended and named as a child.
  • Frankenstein's Monster: Many of the zombie creatures that attack MHI headquarters are amalgams of various animals. Also Agent Franks, the original inspiration for Frankenstein's Monster.
  • 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 being bitten by a zombie, Owen 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. It turns out there are three moles when all is said and done.
  • 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 for money and practice mastering his abilities.
  • 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. They watched too much Gangsta Rap...probably just for the reason the author could come up with the mother of all PunnyNames: G-Nome.
  • 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 steps ahead of 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. Granted, one is actually purple and not blue, but it's the thought that counts.
  • 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.
  • Sdrawkcab Name: "Arbmunep". The heroes never get it, but it wouldn't have enlightened them much about the Evil Master Plan[tm] anyway since "penumbra" could allude to almost anything.
  • 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 / Brought Down to Badass: Earl Harbinger is temporarily turned human by the MacGuffin. He retains decades' worth of combat skills and is still more than capable of killing 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. As she says, she's trying to focus on the positives.
  • Depleted Phlebotinum Shells: The special Baba 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.
  • Dirty Harriet: Heather went undercover as this to bust a drug ring before coming back to her Michigan town.
    "The one with all her teeth? That's the undercover cop."
  • Enemy Mine: Earl, Stark, and Nikolai, all of whom have reason to hate one another, team up to take out the Alpha, albeit very reluctantly in Stark's case.
  • False Roulette: Occurs to Nikolai, courtesy of Earl Harbinger. Since Nikolai's a werewolf the bullet was real, with the bluff being that it wasn't actually silver.
  • Fish out of Water: Earl, born and raised in Alabama, in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, in the middle of a truly epic blizzard.
  • Fun with Acronyms: Special Task Force Unicorn, aka STFU.
  • Gorn: 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's ever seen.
  • The Hedonist: According to Earl, becoming a werewolf tends to cause this if you're not careful because even in human form you just feel so much stronger and superior to what you were before, which lowers your inhibitions and makes you "want" more of whatever strikes your fancy.
  • 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, Lacoco 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.
  • Insistent Terminology: Travis, who was part of Special Task Force Unicorn with Earl during Vietnam, was not a minotaur. He was a bullman.
  • 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. The reason it was able to bite him in the face was because the person who would otherwise have helped Horst escape turned out to be Jason Lacoco, whom Horst had tried to murder earlier.
  • 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.
    • On the MCB side, Franks is definitely this.
  • 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 .
  • Post-Stress Overeating: Downplayed, but when Heather is in the early stages of lycanthropism but not actually transformed yet, she starts getting sudden and strong food cravings when stressed (and considering how much things are going to shit in the town with the werewolves, one can hardly blame her for feeling stressed). Crosses over into Horror Hunger when she gets shot and in her pain "flips out" harder and eats her dog before coming to her senses.
  • 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.
  • Russian Roulette: Used by Earl to determine if Nikolai is really willing to work together to beat the Alpha. Nikolai (a Russian) notes that it seems "appropriate".
  • Self-Made Orphan: Alpha.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The luska is finally revealed, and it's a Sharktopus.
    • After Earl interrupts Lucinda's incantation with a bullet to the hand, Conover compliments his shooting. Earl responds, "I was aiming for her head."
  • Situational Hand Switch: Earl is right-handed, but shoots a sniper rifle left-handed so he can maintain his sight picture and work the bolt faster.
  • Snowed-In: A supernaturally charged blizzard, cold enough to make a werewolf chilly, locks down the town, even to the extent of disabling satphones.
  • 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, but chewier.
  • The Triple: According to Earl Harbinger, badass Russians only have three emotions: revenge, depression and vodka.
  • Your Mind Makes It Real: Revealed to be the reason that the MCB acts the way they do: official policy is that the more people who believe in monsters, the greater the power of the Old Ones to influence the mortal world. Thus, it's worth killing a few mortals in order to keep their power in this world to a minimum. Whether this is actually true or if it's simply what the MCB believes has not been revealed.

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."
  • Badass Bystander: One of the "party girls" that Holly invites to join Grimm Berlin's victory celebration turns out to be a fast learner when it comes to making explosives.
  • 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."
  • Never Found the Body: Readers probably guessed that Edward's Heroic Sacrifice would turn out to be an Offscreen Moment of Awesome instead.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: For some of the Hunters, the Nachtmar forcing them to face their greatest fears actually turns out to be therapeutic. They're able to relive the first moments they faced the supernatural, realize that they have taken a level in badass since then, and proceed to dispatch those fears without a second thought. An especially notable case happens with Lacoco whose greatest fear is Owen. Before either of them became Hunters, Owen beat Lacoco almost to death in an illegal fight. By creating a monstrous illusion of Owen as Lacoco saw him back then, the Nachtmar allowed Lacoco to work out his anger at Owen, accept that Owen is no longer the same person he was back then, and move on so he and Owen could work together.
  • Not Actually the Ultimate Question: When Owen finishes getting the above mentioned Info Dump, he asks what's supposed to happen next. Sam Haven just points upwards. Owen asks if that means God is going to smite the monster. Sam Haven says no, it means Owen needs to get to the roof.
  • 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. When he asks Owen to keep his secret, Owen is sure the "or else" will be a threat to eat him. Instead, Management asks Owen to sign a NDA with stiff financial penalties. Owen deems that very fair.
  • Shoot Out the Lock: Owen uses Abomination to shoot out the lock on a fire exit that is 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 Now for Someone Completely Different: After going back to Owen's 1st person perspective for Legion, Nemesis follows Alpha's example with 3rd person perspectives from primarily Frank's POV (though Grant, Myers, Strayhorn, Kurst, and others get POVs of varying importance). Frank's narrations on his past are depicted from 1st person.
  • 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:
    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 for 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.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: A very downplayed example. Franks has a ... relationship with the succubus Lana. She's a self-centred, soul-sucking succubus. Franks is a stone-cold Man in Black and killer, a Fallen angel seeking redemption inhabiting the body of the corpse, and utterly terrible at anything resembling interpersonal relationships. Despite this, Franks does have a little affection for her (at least as much as he can).
  • 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.
    Franks: "Whoops."
  • 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.
  • Fallen Angel: They exist, but due to the fact they need compatible soulless bodies to inhabit, they usually don't have much stake in worldly events. They can influence living people, and try to possess them, but living humans almost always start to fight off the possession like a healthy body fighting a disease. Noticeably, Franks treats them with far more seriousness than nearly any other monster because he knows exactly what they're capable of; he IS one, after all.
  • Gag Penis: If you trust Owen who sees Franks nude and wonders if there were some horses among the spares.
  • 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 seen as one. Justifiably so.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Franks, the main character.
    Mook: Oh shit! It's Franks! Run!
  • Never Speak Ill of the Dead: Owen and Earl are willing to shoot the piss at Franks as per usual, but when they ask where's Myers and Franks bluntly tells them he's dead, both of them immediately drop the jokes and are pretty sincere about their condolences.
  • 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!
    "Why does everyone underestimate me? I'm a total badass..." (thud)
  • The 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.

Monster Hunter Siege adds the following tropes:

  • Big Bad: Asag, the mysterious being who has been watching over and manipulating the events of the previous books ever since the death of the Dread Overlord in Vendetta.
  • Big Red Devil: Asag's Dragon fits the bill, described as a huge, red-skinned demon with wings and three eyes. He also killed Bubba Shackleford in the past.
  • Dead All Along: Lococo shows up in the Nightmare Realm to help Owen save the other Hunters, even getting a few philosophical talks and bonding moments with Owen, but vanishes once they finally attack the Fey fortress where they're being held. VanZant then confusedly tells Owen Lococo died fighting The Wild Hunt after he tells them this and they buried him themselves. As it turns out, "Lococo" was actually Asag using his corpse, all for the purpose of getting to know Owen better.
  • Demonic Possession: Asag uses Lococo's body to trick Owen into trusting him. In a twist though, Lococo was already dead when Asag got to him; he just put on the corpse.
  • Eldritch Location: The Nightmare Realm gets a lot more focus after what little was seen in Legion, described by Owen as looking like a patchwork of different environments connected together. It also responds to the thoughts and emotions of its victims, shifting itself to meet their worst fears and in the case of extremely powerful beings like Asag and Owen, it will even conform to their desires.
  • Historical Badass Upgrade: Asag in Sumerian mythology is an extremely powerful demon whose mere presence can cause rivers to boil. Siege turns him into a Manipulative Bastard who's been planning the downfall of the human race for 40,000 years and scheming against the various other god-like entities of the series (including the G-Man himself) to make it happen. He's also the first Big Bad to actually come out pretty well off against the heroes.
  • I Have Your Wife: Asag threatens Owen that he will kidnap his newly-born son if he doesn't kill himself.
  • Insult to Rocks: "I'd call him a rat bastard, but that would be an insult to rats! And bastards!" (Rigby, concerning Krasnov)
  • Mad God: Asag describes himself as a being of pure Chaos and Disorder who wants nothing short of the complete annihilation of Earth and all life on it at least, with the whole universe on the table. His words to Owen indicate this isn't the first dimension he's wanted to destroy either.
    "Your world is based on rules. For actions. there are consequences. For a stimulus, a response. For each sin, a punishment. How very stifling. It is because you obey that I loathe you. [...] There are hundreds of supernatural creatures and millions of your fellow humans with schemes to destroy everything. Occasionally, one of them finds their way to me, and for one glorious moment, they become truly free. Only the rest of you blind cowards rush to stifle them. I would free all from their bonds. I let them spread their wings and fly. I am the randomness in your system. I am Disorder. [...] Life is a symptom, nothing more. The universe desires entropy. Rules disgust me, down to the molecular level. I would undo them all. Even the gods must die. In time I would disband all cohesion. What has been created can be undone."
  • Manipulative Bastard: Asag, all the way. He even went so far as to take on Lococo's dead body and impersonate him just to get Owen to trust him, and it worked like a charm.
    We had been expecting Fenrir and had gotten Loki instead.
  • Pyrrhic Victory: Sure, Owen saves the lost Hunters in the Nightmare Realm, sets Asag back, and the Hunters even drop a nuke on the City of Monsters, but Asag is still at large and barely concerned about the losses, Jason Lococo is still dead, and Asag makes it clear he will take Owen's son, if he hasn't already.
  • Satanic Archetype: Asag would be Satan outright if Old Scratch wasn't already confirmed to exist and against him.
  • Storyboarding the Apocalypse: Asag wearing Lococo's form gives Owen a very long speech about what he desires most while showing him mental images of it happening, culminating in the world disintegrating.
    "Isn't it beautiful?"
  • Villainous Rescue: Asag rescues Owen from The Wild Hunt, but not out of mercy. It's more because he wants to be the one to do it and Owen interests him too much to let anyone do it before he decides too.
  • The Wild Hunt: One such patrol is trapped in the Nightmare Realm, where they hunt the other prisoners for sport, such as Monster Hunters. But even they're scared shitless of Asag once they realize who he is, and he slaughters them all without batting an eye upon deciding he's done letting them play around.

Monster Hunter Guardian adds the following tropes:

  • And Now for Someone Completely Different: Similar to Monster Hunter Alpha, this book shifts perspective to Julie Shackleford.
  • Auction of Evil: Ray is put up for auction as the sole item in an auction that uses powerful artifacts as payment. Julie plans on infiltrating it with help from Management. Susan ends up winning the auction.
  • Dying Clue: Raymond Shackleford III writes some letters before succumbing to his wounds. It's actually the first few letters of Brother Death's true name.
  • Booby Trap: Susan leaves an explosive in Ray's crib in the mansion raid in the climax. Fortunately, Ray was located elsewhere in the mansion.
  • I Know Your True Name: Brother Death gets briefly depowered when told his true name.
  • If I Can't Have You…: Susan says this shortly before attempting to kill Ray in the climax. Fortunately, it doesn't work.
  • Mama Bear: Julie Shackleford will stop at nothing to protect her son Ray.

Monster Hunter Bloodlines adds the following tropes:

  • Big Good: The PUFF Adjustor is manipulating events to prevent an upcoming calamity from causing greater casualties including saving Stricken's life and encouraging Owen to go along with Stricken's plan.
  • Death-Activated Superpower: The Drekavac gets stronger after each death. However, he only has 13 lives.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: Sonya is half Yokai
  • I Know Your True Name: A variation: Stricken invokes this on himself, having manipulated a Fey Queen into granting power to enter her realm based on it.
  • Kill One, Others Get Stronger: The final form of the Drekavac operates on this logic, albeit with thousands of smaller Drekavac bodies.
  • Mexican Standoff: One happens between Owen, the Drekavac, Sonya, Lana, Agent Franks, and Stricken.
  • MacGuffin: The Ward Stone. Becomes a Clingy MacGuffin when activated by Sonya.
  • Surveillance Drone: Milo and Skippy use one to spy on the deal in the beginning and on Sonya during the chase afterwards.