Hereville: How Mirka Met A Meteorite by Barry Deutsch. This is the second Hereville book. It’s a quick, fun adventure. It felt more unified but “less deep” than the first, but that may have been due to familiarity with the characters. Well, and Mirka’s relationship with her step mom is much less fraught.
If you liked Hereville, this is a nice continuation. I’d read the original first.
Monster Hunter International by Larry Correia. The end notes mention that this book was originally self published–it has a very professional feel and few obvious errors.
The book is mostly what it says on the spine; it’s about a group that hunts supernatural creatures. The book starts off strong, with a mild mannered accountant who has a very unusual and terrifying day.
The second phase of the book is also solid; here Owen goes through training and learns how to hunt monsters. The romantic interest seemed strained at this point… and it kind of wobbles at the same level of not quite right throughout. The basic training is handled well; we get to know the whole incoming class, which ups the stakes when they risk being monster food.
During basic training, the major flaw that develops is that Owen loves guns. He is an expert (important to the book), but also rattles off extensive details about every gun he touches or witnesses. Over the course of the book, it’s a lot of pages of enthusiasm that I don’t really share. It felt very like creating characters for Shadowrun, and listening to the people who love guns discuss sights, gas vents, trigger modifications and the like. In some ways, it’s a little like Harry Dresden explaining magic… and, like Harry and his magic, Owen’s gun obsession defines him.
Once they hit the field, it becomes an action movie–and, actually, I could see this being more to my taste as a movie. The critters are bad to super bad, Owen is destined, and you know how Dresden gets mangled near the end of each of the first few books? Owen gets mangled a lot too… but magical healing lets him get mangled in many different ways. When he recounts the wounds he suffers four days straight, I signposts just how often “hurt the main character” is used in the toolkit.
In the end, it wasn’t a bad book. If the sequels were on hand and I didn’t have more desired books ahead of it in my queue, I’d be interested in seeing how the author develops. Given a stack of great books, though… this series is unlikely to get checked out of the library.