After finishing Monster Hunter Legion so quickly, I thought I would take a break from the series and read other things. For some reason, however, I decided to read the Kindle sample from Monster Hunter Nemesis, just to see what will come next. I should have known that I wouldn’t be able to stop after finishing the sample. I finished the book a couple of days later. That alone should tell you how I feel about the fifth book in the Monster Hunter series.
Monster Hunter Nemesis is awesome for pretty much one reason, Agent Franks. The fifth outing in the MHI universe stars MCB’s very own Agent Franks. The novel begins right after the events of the previous book. Shadowy government figures are using said events as an excuse to kick start an ultra secret and ultra dangerous weapons program called Project Nemesis. For good reason, Franks is opposed to this and resolves to throw a giant, bloody monkey wrench into those plans.
Now Correia’s action is topnotch. That much isn’t surprising. What really impressed me, however, were the characters. You’d think that a novel starring a character with practically no emotions and whose only real motivation in life is to kill monsters would skimp on characterization. In the hands of lesser writers, than may be true. Yet Correia manages to inject Franks with huge amounts of depth this time around (though you did see hints of it as the series progressed). Despite the psychopathic exterior, Franks actually has motivations beyond simply killing everything. Well kind of. I don’t want to say more as there are many interesting revelations about Franks that are best experienced on your own.
That said, there are many other characters in the novel. Grant Jefferson and Agent Archer return and they too are interesting. Grant Jefferson, in particular, speaks volumes of Correia’s skill atwriting characters. In the first novel, Grant Jefferson was the typical, good-looking, arrogant jock who messes with the main character. And while he is still all those things, Grant Jefferson has motivations beyond simply being an asshole and we see a lot of that in this novel.
In fact, that’s what makes this fifth novel so awesome; it’s one huge perspective shift. Not only for certain characters but for the MCB as a whole. After spending the last couple novels in the shoes of characters who practically loathe the MCB. Now you get to see things from the perspective of MCB agents. You get to find out what makes Franks tick. Even Agent Myers gets the seeing-things-in-a-new-perspective treatment. Don’t get me wrong, they are all still the same characters and organizations, but they just feel a lot more three-dimensional after finishing this novel.
I know I’ve spent a lot of time talking about the characters; that doesn’t mean this book is skimps on the action. Hell, the protagonist is a perfectly honed, monster-killing machine, so you will get a lot of monster killing in this novel. What really makes the action awesome (besides the writing) is Correia’s grasp on pacing. None of the scenes overstay their welcome. Correia knows just when to inject an action scene to keep things moving and when to end an action scene and let everyone gather their bearings.
The villains are colorful, evil and just absolutely fantastic. The ending was great though not what I was expecting. And I don’t mean that in a negative way. The ending, especially the last scene, manages to set things up for the next book in an intriguing way without feeling cliffhanger-y.
If I had to sum up this review in four words, it’d be “buy the damn book”. Balls-to-the-wall, monster killing action with likable characters. It really doesn’t get any better.
5 out of 5 stars.