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Monster Hunter Guardian (8) Mass Market Paperback – November 24, 2020
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"The Devil Wears Black" by L.J. Shen
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About the Author
Sarah A. Hoyt, under various names, is the author of over 30 books—she gets tangled up when she tries to count them and always misses a couple—in science fiction, fantasy, mystery, romance, and historical fiction. Her first published novel, Ill Met by Moonlight, was a finalist for the Mythopoeic Award. Darkship Thieves, the first novel of her popular Darkship Thieves series is a Prometheus Award Winner. She’s published over 100 short stories in magazines such as Analog, Asimov’s, and Weird Tales (and others, some no longer in existence), as well as an array of science fiction, fantasy, and mystery anthologies. Sarah was born and raised in Portugal and now lives in Colorado, near her two grown sons, with her husband and a varying clowder of cats. English is her third language, but she can swear fluently in seven. When not laying down words on the latest manuscript, she can be found refinishing furniture, walking, or studying history.
- Publisher : Baen (November 24, 2020)
- Language : English
- Mass Market Paperback : 448 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1982125047
- ISBN-13 : 978-1982125042
- Item Weight : 6.2 ounces
- Dimensions : 4.13 x 1 x 6.75 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #62,791 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from the United States
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Quite obvious where Correia left off and Hoyt took it up:
Main character, Julie, started off as the hyper-competent Monster Hunter / CEO-in-all-but-name, a character with many facets and shades, that we all know.
40% into the book, her internal monologue shifted into nothing but
#omgmybaby #mustgetbabyback #whateverittakes. This was disappointing given the richness and depth in the characters that I've come to expect from this series, and cripples the book given its first-person narrative.
Side characters were also unfortunately stereotypical; anal-retentive Germans, insanely touchy yet incompetent Portuguese, obese Americans in Hawaiian shirts, behind-the-scenes sugar daddy dragon providing everything from jets to suave lawyers to sports glasses.
Verbiage could use tightening up; i.e. "the bullet came 'out of nowhere' and obliterated his skull..."
Guardian is not a train wreck. There is the usual action and plot twists we've all come to love, just not at the level we're used to.
However if your looking for a deeper look into Julie Shackleford or even the Shackleford family you don't get much of that. Some bits and pieces but it feels really thin on background. Even The Guardian and the background of the curse are unfulfilling.
Having reread all the MHI books over this summer one of the things I have noticed is that the later MHI books spend A LOT of time reviewing backstory that happened in the earlier books. That by itself isn't a bad thing but its rarely comes with new information. For example in this book Julies bad Prom Date from the Files book comes up but nothing is added to that event. Same is true of talking about Christmas party, its talked about but nothing is added. Julie talks about how much she loves her Grandpa but gives few examples of why. Its weak. More details are given about one event in Julies life but that ties directly to the plot and leaves me cold since its the old George Lucas thing where everything ties together and there are no independent events. ("its like poetry its rhymes" if you know what I mean)
This book really doesn't move timeline forward past Siege much, only about 2 weeks. I fully expect you could likely skip this book once the next Owen book comes out and not miss much. Or you will get a summary in the next book...
That said if you like MHI books read this one, the action is good, it kept me going nonstop for 3 days(I read slow) and I was happy with the ending. When I read the end of Siege I told myself I was going to be really mad at Larry if he wrote a book about a baby being kidnapped but after having gotten to the end of Guardian I'm ok with a book about about a baby being kidnapped.
I'm ok with where MHI is at and look forward to the next book but I greatly hope it moves the timeline forward more than Guardian.
Edit: Since reading the hard cover I had a chance to listen to the Audio book and its as bad as the other review say. Oliver we miss you.
The authors did a great job of capturing Julie Shackleford, a fifth generation Monster Hunter. Sarah Hoyt did an incredible job of capturing the people, culture, and monster hunting of Portugal.
It was a fun read that I often laughed out loud at, to the bafflement of my family, that I finished in under a day. Must Read for the MHI Fan.
Epilogue is a classic!
Top reviews from other countries
I've loved all of them thus far and very much look forward to another few titles at least!
... but as this is the title with the least reviews, I'll add mine here.
Great as a standalone story but also as long awaited next edition of the MHI saga it excels. Action packed and suspenseful, Larry and Sarah's offering is on key with previous MHI novels and sets a level of it's own.