Larry Correia (make that New York Times Bestselling Author, Larry F. Correia) may be the best writer of action sequences I've ever encountered; but that's only where he starts. Not everyone can do it and of the authors who can, not all of them can make the action advance the plot on multiple levels. You won't find a lot of fight scenes in Asimov or Clarke; Heinlein did them well but they didn't dominate. F. Paul Wilson -- possibly the closest genre match to Correia -- does 'em but it's usually Repairman Jack solo. And some (by no means all) of the .mil SF writers can come close. Still, about the only other writer I've found who would happily take a cast of characters, throw them into a huge fight and manage to push the narrative forward in leaps and bounds would be pulp writer Lester Dent. And Dent rarely bothered with a second pass through the typewriter.
Me, I am generally not so fond of the melee-in-fiction. At least I thought I wasn't; turns out what bugged me is they're often tossed in 'cos Captain Hero needs to trounce somebody and the kids love blood, period. Barrels of gore later, the dead are buried (or pushed over the edge of the world, or sold for scrap or whatever) and the story picks up, almost with a "before I was so rudely interrupted..." feel.
Well, forget that. Correia grabs the reader fast, hangs your disbelief up out of the way and writes in such a way that you never miss it. By page two of Monster Hunter Vendetta, the team is hunting chupacabra about like my Dad hunted ducks. By the time you're nine pages in, Owen Z. Pitt and his peers are fighting for their lives and it's all meat: every line of it furthers the story. These are characters with depth, people you know, like and want to see prevail. (I'm reminded, a little, of Terry Pratchett's gift for making unusual persons and personalities engage the reader).
My only complaint is that 612 pages spent alongside MHI (and allies) is over too soon. It's like a roller-coaster: once that train leaves the station, it just doesn't stop. And it is one helluva trip!
Buy this book. Read it with your favorite shotgun by your side, just in case. --And learn the terrifying truth about trolls. (Use Tam's Amazon link and help two struggling artists at the same time!)
Please write more soon, Larry.
YANKEE RADIO TOOL KIT, #106
4 weeks ago