by Heath Stallcup
This is the fourth chapter of the Monster Squad series, in this Heath Stallcup brings us to the finale of the Big Battle with the Sicarri.
The buildup was great as all the MS personal are slowing bringing different “good” monsters into the fold, the strategy in planning the big battle is pretty awesome, even for a none military lay person like myself, HS does well to explain the technicalities without boring me stupid, but has enough guns, ammo and “shop” talk to give please most hardcore nuts.
The mixture of monsters was good and I really loved the introduction of some critters like the Gargoyles, I do hope that Grimlock makes another appearance soon.
The odd storyline such as Laura Youngblood did not feel true or well thought out to me, would she be able to leave so suddenly? And I saw no evidence of the burn out she claimed to have. I can understand that the Tufo character needed to have a place in the chain of command but surely a squad of this size and nature could have had a hands on CO and a more background caretaker role which is all she seemed to have for me anyway.
That said all the humour comes from Tufo and his facial hair, the dead squirrel piece had me giggling for ages.
There was an immense love story wrapped up in the middle of all this but to end it so suddenly also felt rushed, and I felt cheated out of a good showdown between two amazing characters.
The final battle, hmmmm…what happened? If just sort of went pop with now bang. I would have loved this section of the book to be so much bigger, all that build up to such a damp squib.
The Sicarri was supposed to be some major player bad guy, surely he had his own Generals, if so where were they? Why were the vamps allowed to just basically charge into (excuse the pun) bloodbath annihilation. There was no sense of drama for me, so suspense element.
The only surprise was from the (rolls eyes) “Jolly Hockey Sticks British Bloke” trying to kill someone on the good side.
Poor Dominic who spends 99% of this book trying to remember something finally does only for it to a) not be fully explained why it’s so important b) be destroyed as an afterthought c) not appear to be that important to start with.
Lots of little threads of future stories were strung out but I felt this main one that started in book 2 just went nowhere.
The writing is, as always, flawless in my opinion and I really enjoyed reading it, I just felt that it was rushed out to quick with not enough beta reading feedback (for those of you unsure of what this is – basically a group of people that give their opinion on the book before it gets published, to iron out any inconsistencies, timeline or story errors).
So, am I still a Monster Squad fan… yes of course I am, 100%. The monsters are still there, the squad is basically hubba hubba, the humour is brilliant and the scope for great stories and spin offs is immense. Heath Stallcup is a phenomenal author and has some amazing ideas, just in my opinion he needs to slow down a little, make use of his skills and not disappoint his fan base, maybe even utilize them more. Even the great SK has had his duds, and yes I would put HS up there with him.
Just a few more books by Heath Stallcup :
Click image for more details:
Visit Heath Stallcup’s Amazon Author’s Page for a complete list of his work.