The Imaginary Realms of
Gilbert M. Stack


Urban Fantasy

Larry Correia's Urban Fantasies

Tokyo Raider by Larry Correia

As Larry Correia prepares to release his next Grimnoir novel he’s written a couple of short stories to help bridge the gap between the two series. Jake Sullivan’s son, Joe, is recruited to help the Japanese defeat a Godzilla-like creature by operating a giant robot for them. His particular magical talents make this theoretically possible, but weaker talents have already died in the attempt. There is no real depth here, but it’s a lot of rock-em sock-em fun that had me cheering for more. Can’t wait to see the Grimnoir Chronicles return in full novels.

Target Rich Environment by Larry Correia

This is a fun collection of Correia stories ranging from his Monster Hunters International series, the Grimnoir Chronicles, Dead Six, Tom Stranger, and more. They’re flat out good short stories, but the thing I really enjoy the most out of the collection were the little notes about why a story got written or some experience that inspired it. If you’ve been thinking about reading Correia, this is a nice way of getting a feel for the breadth of his work.

Detroit Christmas by Larry Correia

I enjoyed Correia’s Grimnoir Chronicles quite a bit. It’s the sort of trilogy I plan to reread someday. So it was a pleasant surprise to discover this short story set in the same universe and the fact that it was fully dramatized just added to the treat. Unfortunately, unlike the original trilogy, this short story felt almost like a satire of the noir atmosphere of the first three books. The dialogue was often corny, and there are no real surprises in the tale. If you’ve read a few hardboiled detective novels that you won’t be the slightest bit surprised about who the ultimate villain really is.

The saving grace of the story was the dramatization. I really like it when an audiobook is brought to life more fully than a narrator simply reading the tale. This was good enough that I may listen to it again next Christmas.

Monster Hunter Memoirs: Saints by John Ringo and Larry Correia

After looking forward to this novel for a year, I almost didn’t read it because it quickly became apparent that this great subseries of Correia’s Monster Hunter books was the last about Chad Gardenier. You can’t help but love Chad and the thought that this was his last adventure was heartbreaking (not surprising, but it’s set in the past and we all knew when Chad is going to die from the beginning, but heartbreaking none the less). So I read it with a heavy heart and loved every page. I loved it so much I had to resist the urge to put it down and pick up the first two books in the trilogy to reread them and make certain I was totally up on what was happening. Not one page was disappointing. It’s a fabulous combination of hard action and genuine world building that (thanks to Correia) fits seamlessly with the main series. And then, as a reward for my loyal reading, the novel ends with a ray of hope—not for Chad—that I’m praying means Ringo will be teaming up with Correia to give us a new little sub series like this one. I hope they are both reading this and remember that it’s okay to tease as long as they come through with the new stories.

Monster Hunter International by Larry Correia

If you like your urban fantasy with lots of gunfire and brutal combats between heroes and monsters, you’re definitely going to want to read Monster Hunter International. Owen Pitt is trying to settle into life as a simple accountant when his supervisor turns into a werewolf and tries to eat him. Pitt fights back and surprisingly, without silver weapons, not only survives but kills the creature. This brings him to the attention of not only our unfriendly government which considers keeping the secret that monsters exist more important than its citizens lives, but to a private outfit called Monster Hunter International which recruits Pitt to join their ranks.

What follows is a rollicking ride through the twisted mind of Larry Correia. There are vampires, gargoyles, insectoid monsters, wights, ghostly figures, and crazy cursed beings galore all set in a fabulously thought-out alternate earth. The characters are beautifully drawn and the tension grows from chapter to chapter toward an absolutely fantastic ending.

If you’ve been wishing for a few more guns in your urban fantasy, Monster Hunter International is the book for you.

Monster Hunter Siege by Larry Correia

I am somewhat surprised to learn that this is the first novel I’ve reviewed by Larry Correia. I’ve read and thoroughly enjoyed all the books in the Monster Hunter Series plus his Grimnoir Chronicle and I’d be happy to try anything else he’s written. Aside from interesting characters and hard-biting action, Correia has that gift of presenting something you think you know all about in a different, fascinating, and often hilarious way. So he has nasty old-world trolls who love the internet and surf it better than anyone. He’s got a geek cyclops. His gnomes are all gangsta and well you get the picture. Correia’s books are just fun!

The Monster Hunter Series is a refreshing take on the rather well-worn idea that creatures of myth and legend really do exist in our world. The Monster Hunters are private contractors who risk their lives (for a good payday) to eliminate the monsters when they appear. The governments of the world often seem more interested in covering up the existence of the monsters than in actually winning the war against them.

This latest volume chronicles the effort to take the fight to a near-godly-powered entity instead of waiting for him to make his next bid to bring about the apocalypse. While it’s the weakest of the Monster Hunter books so far, most of the time I was reading it I greatly resented any interruption that made me put it down. The stakes are huge and getting even larger, and the cliff-hanger at the end which sets up the next novel is terribly painful. This is a series you really ought to give a try.