Friday, September 8, 2017

Dragon Award Winner MH Memoirs: Grunge by Correia & Ringo (plus a Review of Sinners)

Dragon Award Best Fantasy Novel

Congratualtions to Monster Hunter Memoirs: Grunge by Larry Correia and John RIngo for winning Dragon Awards Best Fantasy Novel! With around 8000 ballots of the final vote, the Dragon Awards have become a true Readers' Choice Award. (The complete list of winners is at the DragonCon site.)

Here's the blurb:
When Marine Private Oliver Chadwick Gardenier is killed in the Marine barrack bombing in Beirut, somebody who might be Saint Peter gives him a choice: Go to Heaven, which while nice might be a little boring, or return to Earth. The Boss has a mission for him and he's to look for a sign. He's a Marine: He'll choose the mission.

Unfortunately, the sign he's to look for is "57." Which, given the food services contract in Bethesda Hospital, creates some difficulty. Eventually, it appears that God's will is for Chad to join a group called "Monster Hunters International" and protect people from things that go bump in the night. From there, things trend downhill.

Monster Hunter Memoirs is the (mostly) true story of the life and times of one of MHI's most effective—and flamboyant—hunters. Pro-tips for up and coming hunters range from how to dress appropriately for jogging (low-profile body armor and multiple weapons) to how to develop contacts among the Japanese yakuza, to why it's not a good idea to make billy goat jokes to trolls.

Grunge harkens back to the Golden Days of Monster Hunting when Reagan was in office, Ray and Susan Shackleford were top hunters and Seattle sushi was authentic.

Monster Hunter Memoirs: Sinners Mini-Review

Coincidentally, I just finished the sequel to Grunge, Monster Hunter Memoirs: Sinners. This picks up soon after Grunge, with Chad "Iron Hand" Gardenier having to transfer locations pronto because of misjudging a trailer elf's age. He gets assigned to New Orleans. Which sucks, because New Orleans is hot, humid, and getting overrun with monsters. Needless to say, Chad fits right in.

What follows is non-stop mayhem, narrated by the quintessential Ringo hero - confident, testosterone-filled, and self-assured. It's all good bloody fun, no angst. I suspect that the "buddy-cop" scenes and banter of Chad and Milo hunting together were inspired by Ringo and Correia working together. At any rate I like to imagine that.

New Orleans comes alive in a memorable way in Sinners. I also enjoyed the 80s setting, having been there. The book ends on a very open note (but not a cliffhanger) so I am guessing there will be a third book.

Again, congratulations to the authors!

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