I Recently Finished Reading: Monster Hunter Vendetta

The second installment of the Monster Hunter series was a big step up from the first book. I felt like Monster Hunter International was an entertaining book, but Correia was such an inexperienced author that it was riddled with mistakes. So many of those mistakes were corrected here. Given that the first book was self-published while all subsequent books have been published by Baen, I’m guessing that Correia has had better access to developmental editors which really helped polish the story.

Vendetta picks up not long after the events of the first book, and the transition from that story to this one is smooth. The plot moves along quickly and is engaging the entire time. The pace is quick, and there aren’t many dialog heavy scenes. For the most part, it works well, but having a few more lulls in the action would have helped with some of the character development. The action scenes are well written, and Correia’s love for firearms is on full display. The amount of detail given for each weapon lends some credibility to the action, but it isn’t as dominating as it was in the first book.

The characters in the book are more subdues than in the first one, but that’s a really good thing. One of my main complaints with Monster Hunter International was that the characters were all too perfect. They were also so tightly confined to their roles that they didn’t feel real. In this book, Pitt, Franks, and Julie are the focus and almost everyone else falls to the side. It worked really well as side characters were able to stay in the background, where their limited nature wasn’t distracting. The main characters then had more time for development. Pitt gains some depth through his conversations with his family, and starts to move out of the Mary Sue category. Franks has his background revealed and even cracks some jokes, and Julie didn’t feel as perfect as she once did (she’s still far too perfect of a character for my taste, but she’s trending in the right direction).

The ending to the book is satisfying. It neatly wraps up the story while leaving the right things open for sequels. Some characters die, but the right ones and in good ways. Nothing felt forced, which is always good. I’m looking forward to continuing the series.

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