The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

If You Want Blood…

Posted on | July 2, 2014 | 15 Comments


You got it.

This week, we have a plethora of novels filled with (more than) a bit of the old ultra-violence, ranging from the retail death and destruction dealt by Agent Franks of the Monster Control Bureau in Larry Correia’s Monster Hunter Nemesis through the horrific carnage in Tom Kratman’s The Rods and the Axe to the world-wrecking war depicted in Christopher Nuttall’s The Trafalgar Gambit, which wraps up the trilogy begun in Ark Royal.

Before all that, though, I want to put in a good word for Andy Weir’s The Martian, a good old-fashioned hard-SF epic about an astronaut marooned on Mars after his crewmates leave him for dead during a sandstorm. Not only is our hero not dead, he manages to kludge together the tools he needs to survive and communicate with NASA back on Earth. It’s a gripping tale of survival, bureaucratic and technical struggle, and humorous touches. Hard to believe the legacy publishers turned this down – no, actually, these days it’s not surprising at all. Currently marked down to about $5 and very much worth it.

Now let us praise famous monsters, particularly Agent Franks of the Federal Monster Control Bureau. Longtime readers of Larry Correia’s Monster Hunter International series (first three books helpfully collected in The Monster Hunters) will be familiar with the Frankenstein Monster of few words who serves as the nigh-unstoppable strong right fist of the MCB, and probably have mixed emotions about the construct sworn to defend America by Ben Franklin himself. Franks has long had just one condition on his contract: that the United States never attempt to build another construct like him. When the manipulative head of Special Task Force Unicorn breaks the contract and frames Franks for a rampage in MCB headquarters, that contract is broken, and Franks sets out on what may be his last mission: destroy the “improved” constructs created by Project Nemesis. It turns out there’s a lot more to Agent Franks than anyone (except possibly that sly rogue Franklin) ever suspected, and it all makes for a gripping tale that you should definitely make time for. Five stars and a strong recommendation; I have no idea how the International Lord of Hate is going to top this, but in the meantime, if you want to get yourself an autographed copy, he’s currently on tour doing signings, starting tomorrow at Uncle Hugo’s in Minneapolis.

The Rods and the Axe is the most recent novel in the series that began with A Desert Called Peace, which on one level is about the seemingly suicidal war between Balboa (Panama) and the Tauran (European) Union, a war which Balboa has inexplicably widened to include Zhong Guo (China). Patricio Carrera is playing more than one game, though; while Balboa’s nation in arms digs in to defend itself and bleed the TU and the Zhong white, Carrera is playing a longer game against the United Nations Peace Fleet, whose Admiral Wallenstein has clawed herself up from little better than a sex toy to last defender of the corrupt oligarchy that rules Earth. A good read; if you enjoyed the first five books in the series, this will be right up your alley, and if you’re not sure this is your cup of tea, well, you can always try A Desert Called Peace for free and see if it is. As usual, Kratman pulls no punches in his descriptions of modern combat and the people who fight it. Recommended.

When we last left the British space carrier Ark Royal at the end of The Nelson Touch, the battered old carrier and her crew had returned to an Earth heavily damaged by an alien attack after losing a prince of the royal family who’d become a fighter pilot under an assumed name. Humanity is on the edge of losing the war, and survival may depend on whether our diplomats can help the aliens’ peace faction to prevail – or whether a doomsday bioweapon will have to be unleashed. Meanwhile, the Ark Royal’s CAG is being blackmailed – but by who? There’s a lot going on in The Trafalgar Gambit, and while I’m not sure I like the ending, it’s still a rather good space opera, well worth your time and money.

There’s a new Laundry novel out (The Rhesus Chart) but I think I can wait until that shows up in the library.


15 Responses to “If You Want Blood…”

  1. Dianna Deeley
    July 2nd, 2014 @ 12:22 pm

    Good morning, Wombat! Thanks for the book recommendations, as always.

    I’m about halfway through The Rhesus Chart, and I’m having a lot of fun. It’s odd, that’s about the only series by Stross I can really stand. And what was that “Poof!” ending to Rule 34?

  2. Phil_McG
    July 2nd, 2014 @ 1:18 pm

    Monster Hunter Nemesis is awesome, as are all the Monster Hunter books.

  3. JeffWeimer
    July 2nd, 2014 @ 1:31 pm

    I have a feeling the next Monster Hunters novel is going to feature Julie and be subtitled Guardian.

  4. Wombat_socho
    July 2nd, 2014 @ 4:04 pm

    I’d be okay with that.

  5. Wombat_socho
    July 2nd, 2014 @ 4:06 pm

    By coincidence, I just finished re-reading Rule 34 and am confused as to whether you’re referring to the sexual habits of several of the book’s characters or to the overly quick wrapup of the plot in the last chapter.

  6. JeffWeimer
    July 2nd, 2014 @ 4:08 pm

    It was just a line in this book, that Franks knows more about her condition than anyone else, but won’t say what it is that perked my ears up. He does foreshadowing like that.

  7. JeffWeimer
    July 2nd, 2014 @ 4:17 pm

    I initially resisted Correia’s stuff, ’cause fantasy, monsters, bleh; not my cuppa tea. Then Hugo noms came out. I figured a guy that took that much flak couldn’t be all bad. What was that, a month and a half, two months ago? Now here I am, all 4 FIVE MH books read and now I’m reading the first Grimnoir book. The SJW brigade earned him an easy $40 from me, with more to spend.

  8. Wombat_socho
    July 2nd, 2014 @ 4:25 pm

    I know, right?

  9. Dianna Deeley
    July 2nd, 2014 @ 5:18 pm

    The ridiculous overly-quick wrap-up. Honestly, I’ve no problem with an AI declaring itself arbiter of right and wrong as a plot element; but finish the story!

  10. Dianna Deeley
    July 2nd, 2014 @ 5:20 pm

    I know! Isn’t it great?

    I think he could use someone with a blue pencil, but, these days? That’s too much to ask, and at least he keeps the action coming.

  11. JeffWeimer
    July 2nd, 2014 @ 5:23 pm

    If I’m right, you heard it here first, folks.

  12. Wombat has some book suggestions for this summer… | Batshit Crazy News
    July 2nd, 2014 @ 10:00 pm

    […] Wombat has the links to these books […]

  13. RecklessProcess
    July 2nd, 2014 @ 10:49 pm

    OMG! She is huge! Ginormous! She could just not eat every odd numbered day and what she didn’t eat could feed a family of four!

  14. Phil_McG
    July 3rd, 2014 @ 7:38 am

    I was hoping for Monster Hunter : Gnome Thugs n Harmony

  15. Wombat_socho
    July 3rd, 2014 @ 8:48 am

    Sir. Sir. This is the literary violence section of the blog. Obesity is in the next post or three.