If you HAVEN’T watched Firefly… go do it. Now. It’s on Netflix. Go. You won’t regret it. Ahhh, cult classic Firefly. 14 episodes, 1 movie, and an undying fandom (clearly illustrated by the record-breaking success of Con-Man), the space western tv show directed by the King of Television, Joss Whedon only gets more amazing with every re-watch. But… you’re a fan of Firefly. And you want to read books with a similar feel. Here are my top ten list. They’re not all Space Westerns, but they’re all good.
I realize I was a *bit* creative with this topic, but I decided to go with it anyway!
Hover mouse over cover image for quick summary/explanation!
You may have noticed that more than anything else, I love characters. So, maybe these ALL aren’t space westerns like Firefly, though Liberty DEFINITELY is, but they’re all great books.
Summary: Monsters are real. All the things from myth, legend and B-movies are out there, waiting in the shadows. Officially secret, some of them are evil, some are just hungry. On the other side are the people who kill monsters for a living. Monster Hunter International is the premier eradication company and now Owen Pitt is their newest recruit.
Genre/Pages: Adult Urban Fantasy / 457
Rating: ★★★★★ (5.5 of 5)
My Review: This is not a YA novel. It’s modern adult. The first one I’ve actually ever read. (I say modern, because the Anne Mccaffrey non-YA books of the past are quite different than the adult books of the present). My brother, J.A. Dalley, a YA Mil-Sci-Fi author, and soon to be Urban Fantasy author (his first UF book will be published within a year), continually told me that I HAD to read this book. That it was super amazing and basically the best book ever. I have a long TBR list. I said I’d get to it eventually. Finally, he took my iPod, and downloaded the audiobook onto it himself. So, I gave in. I pressed play.
Hero/Heroine:I am absolutely overjoyed to be able to talk about a MALE protagonist for the first time in a LONG time. I’ve gotten really sick of being stuck in the head of teenage girls every time I read a book, so the fact that Owen Pitt was the hero of this series made me super excited. The only problem I had character-wise was that, and maybe this was because I was listening to it, not reading, but I could not for the life of me, keep all the character’s straight. I dearly loved all of them, the character development was great, how we gradually learned more about them was wonderful, the diversity was refreshing, but for the grand majority of the book, if you’d asked me whether Milo or Trip was the preacher-turned-monster-hunter, I wouldn’t have the slightest clue how to answer.
Owen: I loved Owen. Actually, the characters were all really great. But I really loved Owen. Larry Correia is an absolute master of story telling. That fact was most prevalent when it came to how Owen’s character, backstory, and destiny slowly unfolded. Not so slowly that I was bored out of my mind, but not so fast that I felt like I already knew everything. Information was never dumped. I got to know Owen at a normal pace, like I would get to know a friend. So he became a friend. I began to understand him, as he began to understand himself. I was never given useless information to throw me off a trail. And let me tell you, he is an EPIC character. Accountant by day, expert marksman by night. I knew the second he pulled out a gun for the first time, that I was gonna love him. And love him I did. Because he’s just so dang loveable!
Julie: Okay, remember what I said about being so glad to get out of a girl’s POV in books? Well, there were definitely no shortage of freakin’ INCREDIBLE women in this book. Julie, of course, being the most prevalent (though stripper-turned-monster-hunter Holly is pretty freaking amazing, as well). But I loved Julie. I loved that she wasn’t a “strong female character” she was a “strong character who is also a female” (but the difference is a rant for another time), she wasn’t just written as amazing as she is to be “politically correct” (a problem I often see in literature), she’s just that amazing. A deadly fighter with a mysterious family, Julie is one character you can’t help but admire (and love!).
Plot: Did I mention that Larry Correia is a freaking master of storytelling and suspense? I did? Well, I’ll say it again! This plot was PERFECTLY paced. I didn’t even know that that was possible. The fight scenes were intense, emotional, and engaging. I would be walking in the hallway at school, earbuds in, and I’d just have to stop dead and sit down, give my full concentration to the mass of action going on. Beware Chapter 22. You’ll need some tissues, and private room. The mysterious and cryptic dreams, the humorous and engaging character dialogue, the edge-of-your-seat fight scenes, the horrifying monsters, the romance, the realism and the excruciating pain — this book is to die for. Not literally, though, cuz then you wouldn’t be able to read the second book! Also, I loved that MHI wasn’t just a bunch of heroes — They’re also mercs. They’re bounty hunters. New twist! Lovin’ it.
Content Advisory: A fair amount of cussing. Not like you hear in the hallways at high school, but a lot of S- words, D- words, H- words, and B- words, and maybe 10 o so F-bombs. One scene of sexual nature (went to second base, non graphic.), One implied scene of sexual nature (off screen), a few sexual inneundos. A lot of violence. Not terribly graphic, but PG-13. Blood, gore, and death (both of monsters and humans) abound.
To Sum it Up: I’d never read Adult, let alone Urban Fantasy. I was skeptical. It felt like Percy Jackson all grown up. Even if the action, the guns, and pure enjoyment didn’t make me desperate to read the next book in the series, the motley band of characters, and the freaking amazing monster lore have sealed the deal. Like monsters? Like characters? Like enjoyment? READ. THIS. BOOK. That is all. Recommended for ages 17+.
Have you heard of this book before? Have you read it? Did you like it?