Hi! This is Dragon Fairy and this will be my first review. And being a dragon fairy, my first review will be about monsters.
Earl Harbinger may be the leader of Monster Hunter International, but he's also got a secret. Nearly a century ago, Earl was cursed to be a werewolf. When Earl receives word that one of his oldest foes, a legendarily vicious werewolf that worked for the KGB, has mysteriously appeared in the remote woods of Michigan, he decides to take care of some unfinished business. But another force is working to bring about the creation of a whole new species of werewolf. When darkness falls, the final hunt begins, and the only thing standing in their way is a handful of locals, a lot of firepower, and Earl Harbinger's stubborn refusal to roll over and play dead.
Ω REVIEW Ω
After the events in book 2 which affected Earl’s memories, Julie encouraged Earl to record his personal history, no matter how much he’d rather have it forgotten.
"A wise man once told me that we’re no smarter than the Hunters that came before us. The only reason we’ve got a clue is because those guys bothered to write stuff down. So here goes.
I am a werewolf."
Each chapter opened with a glimpse of Earl’s past; from the time he was turned to a werewolf to the time he served the US government to earn his PUFF exemption (this is important!).
The present brings Earl to Michigan to face an old enemy. And being one heck of an alpha werewolf, you know that Earl will win this fight, right? Right? Unfortunately, that is not the only play at hand as another monster is manipulating events and bringing havoc to an otherwise sleepy town.
Earl certainly have his hands full with an old enemy, a new epic monster, a rival hunter team, the government, and a love interest ☺. Add to that, an unexpected event gave Earl a new lease on life, however, in the end sacrifices have to be made for the greater good.
Ω The Writing:
I was pleasantly surprised with the different tone in the storytelling. With the first 2 books, sarcasm and humor plays prominently while Alpha, though still funny, is more mature and darker, matching Earl’s character.
Another change from the previous books is the frequent switching of narrator, from Earl to several new characters in the book (there’s no Owen, Milo, Trip, Holly and others in here, sad ☹). I think it would be fun if Mr. Correia tries this in his next book(s) with the whole gang changing POVs (the more I think about it, the more I’m hoping Mr. Correia does it!).
After reading books 1 and 2 of Monster Hunter International, I know that I will be in for another terrific ride with Alpha, and I was definitely not disappointed.
Right from the start (book 1) I was intrigued with Earl, how he was cursed and how he dealt with this curse. There’s no doubt he feels the burden and the aloneness of being cursed and by behaving in contrast with what is expected of him as a superior being. Luckily, Earl was raised right and met people along the way that kept him in the right path. I wish other monsters (well those that used to be good *cough*Susan*cough*) could be like Earl.
To say the least, Monster Hunter Alpha is gruesome, funny, and at times poignant. And though I miss the MHI gang, having a book solely focus on Earl, gives the series more depth and flavor.
Ω Rating: Dragon fairy is giving this a solid 5 (can i say dragon tail instead? nope? okay) fairy wings.