Baen, fantasy, inspirational

Passing in Review

Abstract FlagI will be doing a brief book review today, but first, I wanted to take a few moments of your time to think about America the Beautiful.

I’m proud to be an American, I have been since I was a little girl still not entirely certain what that sentiment really meant. While I have never lived outside this country, I have traveled, and read, and talked to people who immigrated (legally!)… it all makes me even prouder to be a part of this country. I’m going to quote Jonathan LaForce, the gentleman who gave us the cupcake poem, and a wonderful Memorial Day poem.

“Be proud of what you are. Americans. And for all that our country screws up and makes mistakes from time to time, you would still be hard pressed to find a place where personal liberty is so prized. Where a man doesn’t have to worry about caste or social class to move ahead- the world is his to for the taking. This great American experiment began with men willing to sign away their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor for the sake of liberty. It continued, borne upon the backs of common men who stood and fought neither for a King, nor for glory but for the man to their right and left. Places like Saratoga, New Orleans, Lake Champlain, Tripoli. It survived Shiloh and Antietam and Gettysburg, to be gassed at Belleau. In our darkest hour, it stormed the beaches at Normandy and told the Reich where they could take their dreams of racial purity. It is seen in the defense of others, on the Korean Peninsula where we proved our devotion to allies in the face of hardship. It has taken us to the moon. We have proved the heavens not beyond our reach! And so long as we have such citizenry, this nation, this republic endures. It is flawed, it is strange, it stumbles and makes bad decisions from time to time. But it is still our country and nowhere else would I rather be. ” — Jonathan LaForce

And while the beginning of the Declaration of Independence is well known and oft-quoted, today I give you the stirring finale: In every stage of these Oppressions we have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble Terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated Injury. A Prince, whose Character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the Ruler of a free People.

Nor have we been wanting in Attentions to our British Brethren. We have warned them from Time to Time of Attempts by their Legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the Circumstances of our Emigration and Settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and Magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the Ties of our common Kindred to disavow these Usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our Connections and Correspondence. They too have been deaf to the Voice of Justice and of Consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the Necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of Mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace, Friends.”

We are One Nation, United, and despite the trials and tribulations we face, as a people, we who are Americans, we stand. We will continue to vote, to plead with our corrupt and deaf politicians to take heed, and I do believe that in time they shall pass from us, and a restoration to full Liberty shall come. I know that I can say “And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm Reliance on the Protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our fortunes, and our sacred Honor.” I know that I am not alone.

Passing beyond the serious notes into the lightness, I will muse that we must have the levity, to season the times where life is grinding and dull, when stress threatens our physical and mental health. We need to laugh, and escape, in order to heal and continue with the day to day toil.

So I give you Larry Correia’s Monster Hunter Nemesis.

Yes, this book is one of a series, and while I have read all of them (and enjoyed immensely, and I highly recommend them to anyone) I think this one can stand alone. While there are references to what came before, the story that unfolds is constructed well enough to keep an observant reader up to speed. It is the story of Franks, the government agent extraordinaire, who is not human. I don’t think it’s a major spoiler to reveal that Franks is in reality Frankenstein’s Monster; I had deduced this almost from his first appearance. Who Franks really is, however, is not so simple.

The unfolding of the layers of Franks, exactly like an onion, with the accompanying pungency you would expect, is masterfully done by Correia. I believe that of the authors I enjoy who are writing currently, his work will stand the test of time and be seen as classics in a generation. Especially the Grimnoir series, but this book is on a level with that when it comes to exporing the existentiality of a monster. Where Correia takes the backstory of Franks is not something I anticipated in an Urban Fantasy, and when it dawned on me what he was doing, I think I may have crowed a little gleeful laugh.

You know I hate to spoiler, or do plot summaries. I’m not going to do it to this book, either. Read it. It’s fun, it’s a darkly humorous romp that may make you tear up a bit, but it will certainly have you laughing out loud at least once. And the reveal at the end of the book? Yeah, that will get you… I’m still chewing on that.

You want to know what a Correia Monster Hunter book is like? Well, if you have read and enjoyed Jim Butcher, you will enjoy this. If you have read my Noir books, but not Correia, then you will definitely enjoy this. I don’t think there is anyone else who does what he does.

Oh and before I go! My novella Plant Life is free on Amazon today through Monday. Grab a copy and let me know what you think. It’s a strange little space opera, with an homage to L. Frank Baum, and Casablanca. I know, odd combination.