Resistance: Dave vs. The Monsters by John Birmingham
Publisher’s Description: When you drop a monster-killer on the Strip, all bets are off.
Holed up in Las Vegas after the tumultuous Battle of New Orleans, Dave is enjoying the VIP perks afforded a champion monster-slayer. He may be a superhero of swag and the toast of the town, but if some fire-breathing dragons have their way, odds are everyone will soon be toast. As the hordes from the UnderRealms regroup for their next attack, Dave parties with celebrities, lunches with A-listers, and gets his ass lawyered up—because his hellacious ex is looking for a piece of that sweet, sweet action.
It’s all good, until new monsters roll in, looking to parley with “the Dave.”
WTF, monsters. Do you think the Dave can’t spot a trap before he falls into it? And when things go to hell at warp 10, a suit from a shadow operation swoops in to offer Dave a deal he can’t refuse. Now Dave’s about to face off against an opponent who makes battling bloodthirsty behemoths look like child’s play—a ravishing Russian spy with a few superpowers of her own.
Nervous Nellie’s nervousness necessitates knowledge of the novel (in other words, SPOILERS!).
Ya know, I have a pretty good picture of Dave in my head by now, and as much as I like the covers to these books, Dave in my head does not look like the guy on the cover. My Dave has more of a Duck Dynasty/Hell’s Angels look about him. How do you picture Dave?
I see the image you are going for, and I think you are right, I can’t help but feel the character too. I get the Hell’s Angels vibe from Dave, but he’s more ill-mannered and insolent than the Duck Dynasty boys. Dave is course, disrespectful, self-important and vulgar, and I’m leaning heavily on the self-important. I think he might have “grown up” a tiny bit since the last book, what do you think?
I’m kind of excited about Karin. Here’s Dave, thinking he’s the big cheese and all, and in comes someone like him, but who was hot shit before she got super powers. It has to challenge him. And there’s that prophecy that says there will be twelve champions, so Dave really won’t be the big cheese after that. Might whip him into shape.
“Nothing is as secret as a secret secured within the chamber of secrets that is attorney-client privilege” –Professor X Boylan
Main characters: ♥ ♥ ♥ I still don’t like Dave. He’s an arse and not because of his vulgarity. Vulgarity does not measure intelligence or compassion for others. Dave has a master’s degree so he has intelligence, just no compassion. It’s all about him.
Other characters: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ Igor, Heath, Ashbury and Allen are all very deep characters. They all have a background and I can relate to them all. I’m only going to give a slight nod to Compton, because he’s an arse too. Professor X Boylan, attorney at law, is an interesting character. He’s obviously brilliant, but he’s also an attorney, which makes him a wordsmith. He is very funny without meaning to be funny. Lastly, we have the poor little Thresh. He takes the personality of the person whose brains he ….. um….*gag* sucks. He is a funny little character though.
Story: ♥ ♥ ♥ I liked the story. It was action packed and interesting most of the time. There was a lot of goriness that occurred in the UnderRealms that I had to skip. Sorry, Mr. Birmingham, I couldn’t help it. I can handle monsters being ripped apart, but people are harder. The whole sucking of brains was really hard to watch. I measure books by feeling and I was totally helpless in the battle scene. Dave is so arrogant as to make decisions that endanger more lives than he can imagine. Like I said, Dave is self-important and thinks only of himself. Grow up more, Dave.
Overall: ♥ ♥ ♥ It was a good read. I liked it and I’ll have to read book three just to see what happened.
Main characters: ♥ ♥ ♥ Our not-so-bright hero finally gets a little character development in this second installment. At the beginning of the story, Dave is stuck in Las Vegas and living out his very male fantasy—horny hot chicks begging for his attention; all the food, booze, and drugs he wants; and seemingly worldwide adoration. I wanted to slap him with his own Lucille. He gets knocked down a few pegs, though, when he gets called out for his behavior and decisions over and over by people he respects. I’m hoping there is some significant character development in Book Three so we feel good about calling Dave a hero by the end.
Other characters: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ Again, I think the Thresh is my favorite secondary character, particularly this time around as the little empath daemon eats the brains of, and thus absorbs the knowledge and personality of, a few humans. When the Thresh starts talking like a stoned surfer-dude, it really is hilarious. Professor Boylan, the tenacious but cowardly attorney who attaches himself to Dave, turned out to be a favorite, too. Both the Thresh and Prof. Boylan make great comic relief.
World: ♥ ♥ ♥ After the first battle at New Orleans, dragons and daemon armies are erupting from the Earth all over the world. We learn that Dave’s oil rigger cracked the capstone that kept the UnderRealms contained, and now fissures are opening up everywhere. We also learn a lot more about the daemon world and its politics. I think I enjoy the parts of the story from the daemon’s perspectives almost more than from Dave’s.
Story: ♥ ♥ ♥ Dragons are attacking airplanes, a huge daemon army turns up near Omaha and in many other places around the world, and the world is in love with Dave Hooper, Monster Hunter. Well, most of the world, anyway. Dave, being the endearing but dick-headed man that he is, ends up leaving Heath and crew in a snit and gets snapped up by a not-so-altruistic branch of the government. And all the while, the daemons are learning more and more about how to fight their former food source.
Overall: ♥ ♥ ♥ I have to wonder if Dave vs. the Monsters was originally one book; the first two books don’t feel like complete stories in their own right. Not that they weren’t enjoyable; they were! But I’m really glad there isn’t a long wait between episodes because each book ends with a “to be continued” feel. Perhaps it’s just the “leave ‘em wanting more” theory at work. I do want to read more, so I guess it’s working. 🙂
If you like this book…
If you like Dave, you might look up James R. Tuck’s Deacon Chalk series. Chalk is another diamond-in-the-rough, kick-ass hero. Nell tells me that the Monster Hunter International series by Larry Corriea would be good for Dave’s fans as well.
Review copy provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.