The Monster Hunter Files, an anthology of stories set in Larry Correia’s Monster Hunter International world, prompted me to read other books by Larry Correia or set in his world. John Ringo has written three Monster Hunter novels, that star Chad Gardenier, also called Iron Hand, set about 30 years prior to the rest of the series. I reviewed the first novel, Monster Hunter Memoirs: Grunge here. Ringo tells a pretty good story although he does go off on tangents.
Ringo’s second novel is Monster Hunter Memoirs: Sinners, tells more about Chad, this time fighting waves of monster invasions in New Orleans.
I didn’t enjoy this second book quite as much. Sinners has plenty of action – New Orleans attracts plenty of people that believe in and practice witchcraft or sorcery – and this activity fuels the ongoing problems. Sinners does not have quite the character depth. We already know a lot about Chad from Grunge; we know he’s fatalistic, unwilling to say no to carnal desires, a lounge lizard, brave, smart, a natural leader, and has a good sense of humor. Sinners builds on this Chad foundation but now we see him more as a hardened fighter, less funny, less introspective, less humble and more obnoxious.
Sinners has some very good points. Although Chad is a girl aficionado Ringo avoids smut. Chad talks a lot but thankfully avoids giving us the details up close and in person.
I really appreciated the Catholic, religious angle. Remember, Chad died in Grunge and came back because St. Peter asked him to. He converted to Catholicism in Grunge and although he’s surely not the most faithful worshiper, he believes and takes advantage of the sacraments to strengthen himself and cleanse his soul. Ringo covers this with a light touch, just a few sentences. If you don’t believe you can still enjoy the book.
Maybe I liked Sinners less because I read Monster Hunter International at the same time, and simply had a surfeit of monster, guns and violence. I don’t know. I will read further books in Ringo’s series because he is so good at telling a story, but I think I will wait a while for those.
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