I have multiple confessions for this review. Not only am I in the same online writing group as Eric Guindon, but he also reviewed my book “The Bite on the End of the Line” over on The Siege Perilous Podcast. If you listen to the podcast, you’ll hear that he didn’t pull any punches. I’ll attempt to be as fair as possible here too, but I thought I should let you know going into the review.
Confessions of a Monster Hunter is the story of Hunter Black, a corporate accountant, who is taking the bus to work one day and sees a massive half-snake half-woman get on. Hunter finds out that there are monsters like her all around us, that he’s just starting to be able to see.
This book is novella length at about 116 pages and took me approximately 2-3 hours to read. It’s urban-fantasy and is told from Hunter’s perspective in a noir-ish conversational style. There is a lot of swearing in the book, so if that puts you off, this book isn’t for you.
The novella is very fast paced and fun with a lot of original ideas. Hunter is an engaging character to follow. Who hasn’t wanted to find out that they’re not really an accountant, they’re actually the avenging hand of an imprisoned god? Hunter is completely clueless at the start, as is to be expected, but he quickly starts picking up a few things.
I liked Hunter’s relationship with Nikki, who is a witch disguising herself as a fortune teller. There are quite a few one liners that made me smile.
The plot is fairly straight-forward at the start, with Hunter just learning to deal with his new powers. There are a few twists and turns in the story, however, that I enjoyed. The biggest twist is visible a country mile away, but there are other little surprises along the way.
The main flaw in the book is the overuse of narrative summary, in my opinion. For anyone that doesn’t know what that is, that’s the part in a book where a lot things are summarised up into a few sentences. For example:
I checked into a hotel. The next morning, I walked around the old neighbourhood, questioning the usual suspects. No-one was telling me anything, so I decided to visit Elsa at the local wateringhole. After pressing her for a few hours, she finally caved and told me where Ricky was.
There’s obviously no problem with this kind of thing in short doses. It would be boring to read the small details of someone’s life. However, a few times in this book, there were things I would have liked to have seen that were glossed over. In particular, I think we could have seen all of Hunter’s talk with Bibilio.
Which brings me on to Bibilio. He’s a fantastic creation. It actually made me regret the fact that the rest of the supernatural beings in the book were more standard. Bibilio is totally unique, as far as I know. I won’t spoil just what he is, but I loved him as a supernatural creature and thought Eric should have had more of his own creations like this.
The only other downside I had with the book was a bit of a saggy middle. The start has all of the excitement of learning about the supernatural world and Hunter’s power. The end has a lot of things happening. The middle, however, just slows down a little. If you persist past that slight drop in speed, however, the ending really picks up.
This book has a cliff-hanger at the end that’s a killer. Since the first book just came out on 20th December 2013, I’m guessing we’re going to have to wait a while for the next one. To that, I say, “Curse you, Eric Guindon!” I’m very much looking forward to the next installment and will be checking out Eric’s other books on Amazon.
I give “Confessions of a Monster Hunter 1″ four stars on my blog and five stars on Amazon, which translates to “Loved it”.
You can grab a copy of Confessions of a Monster Hunter on Amazon here.
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