John Birmingham is the master of alternate history adventure - and now he's mastered a new genre with the volcanically fast-paced and wildly inventive Dave Hooper urban fantasy series. The series is anchored by a thrilling high concept: An oil rig opens a rift deep in the ocean that unleashes terrifying monsters into the world. But perhaps its coolest asset is its hero, Dave Hooper, a tough, bleakly funny, down-on-his luck oil rig worker with an unlikely destiny as a monster-slayer and world savior. With a memorable concept and an unforgettable new hero, the Dave Hooper series will satisfy Birmingham's large fanbase and convert a new legion of devoted fans.
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I wasn't sure what to make of this one when I first got it, but it was great! I like John Birmingham's alternative history books, but Urban Fantasy is a whole other ball of wax. Well, this is a home run! The story centers around Dave Hooper, the Safety Manager of an offshore oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico. After a booze, drug and hooker filled week off on vacation, he goes back to the rig on the company helicopter hungover and just wishing the day was already over. On the way out to the rig, the call comes in that theres a fire on the rig, a safety guys worst nightmare. When they get to the rig, the workers are scrambling around trying to get off the rig. The reason for this is that the fire isn't really big, but the Demons who are slaughtering people on the rig are. Dave goes looking for the source of the trouble and he finds it: a big demon 7 foot tall demon that kind of looks like an Orc. He grabs one of his coworkers splitting maul, and in a fit of rage, kills the demon, who was drunk on the blood of one of his fellow workers. Dave wakes up in the hospital, on an IV drip. Dave rips out the IV, and long story short, ends up showing he now has super strength, super senses, and an increased healing factor.The Navy Spec ops team that has been tasked with discovering whats going on recruits him on the spot to help them check out the rig. In addition to everything else, Dave has all the knowledge of the Demon he killed, kind of a monsterpedia. They discover that the rig drilled through a dimensional breach, and the demons are escaping to our world, which they were banished from when humans were still wearing animal skins and living in caves. Dave has to help stop the Demon invasion with his trusty splitting maul, which is now charmed sort of like Thor's hammer (can't be picked up by anyone else, unbreakable, has a sort of sentience and energy) Dave faces off with the Demons in New Orleans, and after a heavy duty battle in which Dave finds his limitations, the Demons are stopped, at least for the moment. What happens next? Read book 2, Resistance: Dave vs. The Monsters to find out. Mark Zeisler did a fantastic job of narration. He got all the different voices and accents right, and I felt like I was right there in the middle of the action. I definitely recommend this for fans of Simon R. Green, Jim Butcher and Kevin Hearne.
There was a point where I almost stopped reading, but I am glad I didn't. Midway thru the book, once it starts focusing on the invasion instead of Dave's past debauchery and Red State angst, The book gets a lot better.