Performances were well done. Most stories were a big intro and a battle and ended, not much more to them than that. They were entertaining, some more than others, but not enough to merit a full 5 stars for story.
33 of 34 people found this review helpful
I love the MHI series, so giving fewer than five stars was hard. This is a short story collection, and it is expected for some stories to be stronger than others. There were two that stuck out as poor, or at least jarring and distinctly not feeling like part of the monster hunter universe.
one was a story that read like Japanese light fiction featuring a kitsune as the point of view character. despite featuring Franks, it felt very out of place in the MHI universe.
another was a story featuring a skinwalker bounty hunter that read like a horror romance story and had the most threadbare connection to the MHI universe of the entire collection. it was beyond sub par.
However there were many gems in the collection. Those that stick out are a story of a young girl that moves into the enchanted forest trailer park and befriends the queen of the elves. It felt perfectly in world, and despite having almost no action it was a wonderful story that gave me chuckles and happily used and expanded on the MHI world I have come to know and love.
My final gripe is more on the composition of the collection in general than on the stories themselves. When I was young I enjoyed the Dragonlance 'Tales' series and so that is the format I am used to. In each of those books the first 4/5 or so were short stories, and the back 1/5 of the book to 1/4 of the book was a novella, usually written by the key authors of the universe. I very much missed this in the construction of this collection. If a couple of the weaker stories were cut and replaced by a longer side Story entry by Larry Correia, then it would have been a five star shoe in.
there is a whole lot of meat on the bone here and the keynote stories are probably worth the price of entry, however the collection is far from perfect. Jim Butcher's story will probably draw in some new readers to the world, but it is far from a proper entry point to the MHI universe.
I gave it three stars based off of the strong stories, and removed one star for the pair of really jarring stories. In a collection like this, each story should feel like it is in the universe that they are in. I removed the second star because of a lack of a strong novella to anchor the collection and lend it weight.
If you love the MHI universe and want more and everything in the series, then snag it, but if you are a newcomer to the series, do yourself a favor and start with the core Monster Hunter International books. You will be glad you did.
56 of 61 people found this review helpful
I bought this book for several reasons:
1) I happened to watch a panel discussion off YouTube that was recorded at a recent convention. I have read most of the Monster Hunter series and have a fondness for those characters.
2) But I am an avid follower of Faith Hunter’s Jane Yellowrock series, so I had to have it for Jane alone.
3) I am also a fan of Jim Butcher’s writing style, so I was also looking forward to his story as sort of a bonus prize.
However, I just expanded my list of authors who’s work I need to research because I enjoyed so many of these stories.
The Monster Hunter International Files is a grand anthology. Every story is interesting and entertaining. One of my most beloved elements in the MHI series are the dashes of humor even when the monsters are enormous and doom seems inevitable. Many of these stories continue that tradition brilliantly. But if you prefer the dark side of fantasy horror, you have content to enjoy as well.
The authors have done a good job of providing enough back ground that I think that someone unfamiliar with the series would still enjoy it.
In terms of my personal enjoyment, the outstanding stories in the collection were:
• Small Problems by Jim Butcher
• She Bitch, Killer of Kits by Faith Hunter
• Hunter Born by Sarah Hoyt
• Keep Kaiju Weird by Kim May
• Sons of the Father by Quincy Allen
• The Case of the Ghastly Specter by John Ringo
• Huffman Strikes Back -by Bryan Thomas Schmidt & Julie Frost
• Thistle by Larry Correia
• A Knight of the Enchanted Forest by Jessica Day George
I had planned to read this book on my Kindle, but somehow, I got the Audible version going and finished out listening rather than reading. Most of the performers were new to me. While all the narrators did an excellent job, I believe the women did especially well at playing their characters.
25 of 27 people found this review helpful
It's rare that anthology books, a collection of short stories, are as good as a full novel, but this nails it. Each piece is its own work of art, and they mesh together and provide additional substance to the greater world in which they belong.
Excellent narration, entertaining stories, and a great expansion to the series.
AUDIBLE 20 REVIEW SWEEPSTAKES ENTRY
6 of 6 people found this review helpful
And Hoyt and Torgersen, too!
This is some of the best hours of audio your audible credit can buy!
You get solo stories of Owen, Julie, Tripp and Agent Franks!
You get a story with Ben Franklin!
Three different narrators do a great job.
A highly enjoyable expansion of the MHI universe.
This will go into frequently revisited pile.
18 of 20 people found this review helpful
For my first monster hunter book, this isn't too bad. I enjoyed most of the stories but there's a few I didn't really care for.
For not having read any of the other books, I wasn't that lost. You can catch up on things pretty easily.
Should've been more of a pause or break in between stories. You kind of finish one and immediately start reading the next.
Overall, pretty good. I'll be reading some of the first books to get more of the main story next
3 of 3 people found this review helpful