Looking for a good read? Here is a recommendation. I have an unusual approach to reviewing books. I review books I feel merit a review. Each review is an opportunity to recommend a book. If I do not think a book is worth reading, I find another book to review. You do not have to agree with everything every author has written (I do not), but the fiction I review is entertaining (and often thought-provoking) and the non-fiction contain ideas worth reading.
Reviewed by Mark Lardas
October 8, 2023
“Monster Hunter Memoirs: Fever,” by Larry Correia and Jason Cordova, Baen Books, October, 2023, 324 pages, $28.00 (Hardback) $9.99 (Ebook)
Chloe Mendoza hunts monsters for a living. She is one, too, a nagualli – a creature of pre-Columbian Central American myth. When she lets her inner monster loose, on direct orders from her superior, the results force her to leave Israel and the monster-hunting team she was a member of.
“Monster Hunter Memoirs: Fever,” by Larry Correia and Jason Cordova opens a new branch of Correia’s Monster Hunter series. It is a retrospective novel, set in the 1970s using characters mostly gone from MHI by the time Owen Pitt appears in the mainstream MHI novels. Chloe Mendoza is the story’s narrator and central character.
She appears to be in her early 20s, but is a World War II veteran of the OSS. Nagualli age slowly. Having liberated Nazi death camps, when it ended she moved to Israel afterwards. An incident in the Egyptian desert leads to exile. Her World War II heroics gained her a PUFF exemption, which keeps her from being hunted down as a monster.
She chooses to return to her first employer, Monster Hunter International. No one really trusts her when she returns. The Federal Monster Control Bureau regrets giving her a PUFF exemption. MHI tests her to make sure she has not gone rogue before hiring her back.
Once accepted, it is old home week. Sort of. You never can really go back to the past. After a stint as a trainer at headquarters she gets sent as part of a newbie team to open an MHI office in Los Angeles. Half the team are veterans, but the other have are straight out of training.
They arrive just in time. While their first assignments are straightforward (if occasionally embarrassing), it turns out something truly evil is brewing in Los Angeles. Chloe’s ancestral Court of Feathers and her father, from whom she is estranged, both send warnings. The local MCB officers prove both sketchy and obstructive. Things get hot really quickly.
For fans of the MHI franchise “Fever” is a winner. It has strong characters, a worthy villain, a fast-paced plot, and the trademark screwball Correia humor. The retro feel of it adds to its charm. Correia and Cordova give the series’ fans what they want. At the same time, this is a book that someone new to the series can read without feeling they are missing something. It is enjoyable reading for anyone who likes urban fantasy.
Mark Lardas, an engineer, freelance writer, historian, and model-maker, lives in League City. His website is marklardas.com.