I write a weekly book review for the Daily News of Galveston County. (It is not the biggest daily newspaper in Texas, but it is the oldest.) My review normally appears Wednesdays. When it appears, I post the review here on the following Sunday.
‘Monster Hunter’ trilogy comes to entertaining conclusion
By MARK LARDAS
Aug 15, 2018
“Monster Hunter Memoirs: Saints,” by Larry Correia and John Ringo, Baen Books, 2018, 288 pages, $25
Fanfic gets written when a fan of a writer writes their own story in that author’s world. It is especially popular in fantasy and science fiction. What happens when an established science fiction author gets so enthusiastic they create fanfic?
“Monster Hunter Memoirs: Saints,” by Larry Correia and John Ringo happens.
Ringo, well-established when Correia’s first novel, “Monster Hunter International,” appeared liked the series so much he wrote three novels set in Correia’s urban fantasy universe. He showed the novels to Correia. The two decided they were worth publishing. They rewrote the books together to make the plots fit better into Correia’s canon. The result was the “Monster Hunter Memoirs” trilogy. “Saints” is the final book. It was preceded by “Grunge” and “Sinners.”
The story involves Monster Hunter International, but is set in the 1980s and 1990s with a monster hunter who died before the events of “Monster Hunter International.”
The central character, Chad Gardenier, is literally on mission from God. A Marine, in the Beirut barracks when a suicide bomber attacked it in 1983, Chad was given a choice in the anteroom to heaven: go to heaven or return to earth to save the world. Chad was a Marine. Of course he accepted the mission to save the world.
He hooked up with Monster Hunter International shortly after his medical discharge from the Marines. Stumbling into an outbreak of zombies, he killed a bunch, saved folks and got a job offer from MHI. By the start of “Saints,” Chad is an experienced monster hunter leading the team in New Orleans. New Orleans is filled with all sorts of nasty monsters needing killing. After all, it is a voodoo kind of place.
It turns out there is a reason New Orleans attracts such creatures buried way under the city; and it threatens to destroy the world. Chad Gardinier finally confronts the mission for which he has been sent.
“Monster Hunter Memoirs: Saints” ends up a fusion of Correia’s and Ringo’s writing styles, blending both their humor and their fascination with firearms. Fans of either writer will find this entertaining.
Mark Lardas, an engineer, freelance writer, amateur historian, and model-maker, lives in League City. His website is marklardas.com.