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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.
14 of 14 people found this review helpful
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.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
A great selection of monster hunting stories from some of the best urban fantasy writers around today.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
have a great book from a selection of great authors keep up the good work guys