Thursday, October 17, 2013

Sweothi City - Larry Correia

I've been wanting to read some of Larry Correia's work (he writes a couple of fantasy series, Monster Hunter International and Grimnoir). I stop by his blog from time to time and usually enjoy it. But his books are just too big. With the limited time I have for reading, I can't tackle books that are 600 pages long. Someday, when I have more time . . .

So I was glad when a story of his was posted on-line. At almost 10,000 words, "Sweothi City" is more of a novelette than a short story, and it gave me a chance to sample Correia's writing, which I found very entertaining.

In addition to his fantasy series, Correia also writes contemporary military adventure novels in collaboration with Mike Kupari. Two of these books have been published so far, DEAD SIX and SWORDS OF EXODUS. "Sweothi City" is a prequel to those novels and fills in some of the background of one of the main characters from the books. It's the story of how the survivors of a mercenary company escape from a city under attack by bloodthirsty rebels in an African nation in the mid-Nineties. That's really the extent of the plot, but what makes this story worth reading is Correia's excellent writing. There's a tremendous amount of action packed into the relatively short length, but it's all compelling and easy to follow.

Correia also provides some welcome touches of dark humor among the carnage, along with a pragmatic and ruthless but still likable protagonist and narrator whose intriguing back-story is fleshed out in a couple of skillful flashbacks. I raced through this one and was left wanting to read more. I may have to rethink my policy on long novels after all . . . 

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Just finished Dead Six. Will purchase Swords of Exodus soon. Like you, I tend to avoid doorstops, since I have a lot of non-fiction reading to do. But I really enjoyed D6. It doesn't read as long as it is, if you know what I mean. Correia writes clear, punchy prose and I found it easy enough to pick back up when I had to put it down. The alternating first-person narration between two protagonists/antagonists works surprisingly well.

Give it a go.

Jim Cornelius

www.frontierpartisans.com

James Reasoner said...

Thanks, Jim. I know exactly what you mean about a book not reading as long as it is. I've seen some that read a lot longer than they really are, too. (What's the old line about Henry James? Something like "He chews more than he bites off.") Anyway, I will try DEAD SIX. I'm normally not fond of alternating first-person narration, either, but all that really matters is whether or not the author makes it work, and I try to keep an open mind about such things.

Bill Crider said...

I read the first book in the Monster Hunter International series a while back, but I don't think I ever wrote about it on my blog. I found it fun for a while, but after four or five hundred pages of monster fighting, reading fatigue began to set in. It's probably just me, because this happens to me in movies all too often. Nobody can just end something with one fight. There has to be another that's even bigger and then another one after that. I guess I'm too much of a Gold Medal kind of a guy. Warm up the geezer bus.