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I had recently read and enjoyed "Wanderers: Ragnarök" by the same author so was interested to see if I was more a fan of that series or of the author and while I enjoyed that other book more than this one, I think overall I can say that I am a fan of the author as this was another strong novel from him.
The focus of this book very much fits with the title, the male lead named Jesse is introduced to and taught about the supernatural world along with the role of hunters within that world by his ex-girlfriend Gail.
Besides the werewolves and the rules concerning them in this world that make up most of the book, we also encounter some other entities such as ghouls and spirits and presumably the author will continue to expand on these and other baddies in subsequent books.
The author strikes a good balance between giving us enough back story for the main characters while avoiding bogging this book with too many details that can be filled in later, for now we have learned that Gail comes from a family of monster hunters and that Jesse served in the military.
I did have a slight issue with this book in that a few too many coincidental or overly convenient things seem to fall into place e.g. meeting up with some other hunters and one of them had a prior connection to Jesse, but this didn't hurt my overall opinion of the book too much.
The performance of the narrator was fairly good, not the most exciting of performances, but it was read with a clear and pleasant tone that made the book an easy listen.
Overall, an enjoyable bit of werewolf-focused urban fantasy with likable lead characters.
[Note - This audiobook was given to me for free at my request and I provided this voluntary review.]
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
A solid urban fantasy audiobook with full with action in an interesting world of monsters and hunters add a dash of sex and well-written character interactions and you have a good book. The interactions between the two main characters are well written and the plot turned out to be more complex than I originally thought it would be. I am looking forward to when the next one comes out so I can find out what happens next.
It is interesting to see Jesse's introduction into the world of hunting, the different bits of lore on the creatures and how they are hunted. In my opinion, Jesse has his mind overly on sex even in situations where it is not the most sensible thing to be doing. Gail is a much stronger character with more depth to her and she is a bad-ass hunter that been there and do that.
As with most stories of this type one thing is sort of ignored and that is how more people in the world do not know what is going on or about the things that go bump in the night.
The narration is good with good characterisation and no errors I noticed in the recording. Each character has a unique voice that suits them and the narration handles combat and other fast paced scenes well adding to the immersion and pulling you into the scene.
If you like the idea of mortal hunters going after the supernatural in an urban fantasy world with added romance then this book is well worth a listen.
I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.
Would you consider the audio edition of Monster Hunting 101 to be better than the print version?
I don't often listen to a book that I've already read.
What three words best describe Ryan Jeanmaire’s voice?
Ryan has a nice voice but he would do better with a different type of story and different type of leading man.
Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?
Any additional comments?
I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
This unintentionally turned into a bit of a feminist critique of the book. I guess I can't help but see things through that lens.
Listening to this was an interesting experience. Paranormal Romance is generally considered a genre geared toward women. It does after all have the word romance in it. But Monster Hunting 101 is most definitely a PNR for men. As such, I suspect many would avoid calling it PNR at all, insisting instead on Urban Fantasy or Military Fantasy (the hero is a veteran). But let's not quibble, it has werewolves and a strong romantic subplot. It is Paranormal Romance, plain and simple. It's just written such that the male character is the focus, instead of the female one, as would normally be the case.
That's not to say that, as a woman, I didn't enjoy it. I did. But books written by and for different audiences have a different focus, different centre of attention, different tone sometimes. And MH101 has the male gaze of its protagonist, not to mention his brand of humor, and he is the moving force of the plot, while the female fades into the background. This makes it stand apart from a lot of PNR books. I enjoyed it, but it was a different experience than many will be used to and it has different strengths and weaknesses.
I liked Jesse very much. He was an admirable hero and he was funny in the face of danger, as was Gail. But I very much felt she was just there to give him someone to bounce banter off of. The world of Hunters looks to be an interesting one and I can see this series going on for a while. It has lots of potential.
On the other hand, I thought the ridiculous amount of time dedicated to the choosing and applying of bondage gear was there for little more than titillation, especially since Gail so often had to be near naked in these scenes.
Plus, I got seriously sick of him subtly propositioning her for sex. I totally understand this was how the two of them flirted and she was not feeling offended or pressured at all. The (male) author made sure to write it that way. But as a female reader, I was annoyed by it. It was ceaseless and slapped of coercion. This joking, lighthearted, nothing wrong with any individual comment (most compliments), when taken together is constant pressure. In real life, it's one of the ways "nice guys" coerce reluctant women to sleep with them. For the target of such a man's attention, it's sometimes easier to just give in and get it over with, even if you don't really want it, than put up with the continued onslaught, especially if it's a situation in which you are stuck. So, seeing Jesse do this eventually became nails on a chalkboard for me and I suspect it's one of the many real world ways some men's view of their own behavior and some women's view of the same actions differ. Maybe others won't read it this way, certainly the author didn't intend it to be, but that's where I was at the end of it.
I was also slightly annoyed that the strong, capable Gail called Jesse with a problem and then handed all control and decision-making power over to him. I mean, the D/s bondage gear as a solution was a fairly literal example of this. But ideally, who leaves the least knowledgable and experienced member of a crew in charge? But then, it too often seems natural for it to be the man, regardless of how skilled the women involved are. Don't we see that everyday? Don't get me wrong, Gail was never a push over and I loved that about her and Jesse respected and appreciated her strong personality. I very much liked that about him. But the book still made Jesse the most frequent decision-maker. He was the leader. In fact, I suspect the ending left him able to physically control certain aspects of Gail's werewolf nature. Making him literally in control of her body.
Lastly, while the writing is pretty good, outside of a few examples of the same word being used several times in close succession and sounding repetitive, the plotting has far too many coincidences in it to be believed. I could not suspend my disbelief far enough to roll with some of the happenstance in this book. Ryan Jeanmaire also did an admirable job with the narration, but I did find it a bit flat.
All in all, I had some issues with the book, but I mostly enjoyed it and would be willing to read a second one.
Note: I won an Audible copy of this book through LibraryThing. I chose to read and review it.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful