Monthly Archives: October 2015
Posted by Amos M. Carpenter
Happy Halloween, everyone!
I’ve been playing way too much Guild Wars 2 lately, mainly because I finally have some time off (yes, I know, I should continue to edit my manuscript instead… *duck*) and because, shortly after making the basic game free-to-play, they just brought out the first expansion, called Heart of Thorns, as well as the usual fun Halloween content for this time of year.
But instead of raving on about GW2, I actually wanted to give a shout-out to a very young fellow blogger who has only recently started a new blog in which he posts chapters of a story set the world of another video game called Monster Hunter. I’d like to introduce this blog’s author, Monster Hunter Josh.
I have to admit I often lose interest with some stories, and I’m not usually a “fan of fanfiction” (yeah, that sounded weird), but this one has managed to keep me laughing with its unique, quirky style and its way of not taking itself too seriously. Another thing that usually tends to put me off reading is when authors are a bit too liberal with their use of italics, bold text, ALL CAPS, and many exclamation marks, but in this case, I think it really fits the story, where each chapter is an entry in the journal of a character living in the world of a video game in which the heroes hunt outrageously exotic monsters with outrageously oversized weapons.
Several years ago, I played an earlier version of this relatively unknown game franchise (at least in the western world; I believe it’s quite big in Japan and China) on the Wii, and remember it as being quite a bit of fun. You play as a monster hunter who becomes the protector of a small fishing village that occasionally suffers from the attacks of a “Lagiacrus” (they had some great monster names in that game), but you’re gently introduced into the game by hunting smaller monsters and gathering all sorts of things like mushrooms and herbs to make potions. Later, rewards you get, things you “carve” from slain monsters, and things you gathered from the environment can all become ingredients in various items, weapons, and pieces of armour that you need to constantly upgrade to be able to face bigger and bigger monsters.
Josh’s chapters do a great job of gradually giving you background information without that getting in the way of the story. The reader gets a good idea of what the world is like, from “ships” that can sail across the sands of a desert to a race of (usually) helpful felines (“palicoes”) that are a mix between a pet and a side-kick and have a funny way of speaking. In typical style, some things are explained so that they make sense, while others that don’t (and just are) are glossed over with some tongue-in-cheek comments. Even for those not familiar with the world of this game, the characters in it are (I think) relatable and believable. Don’t let the informal style fool you – there is some really good storytelling behind the over-excitement of the character telling it and the laugh-out-loud moments. Of course, there are also nail-biting action sequences that are surprisingly well written for a new teenage blogger.
From what I’ve read so far, the first-person storyteller is a wonderful and colourful character who manages to begin making a name for himself by a combination of heart, guts, skill, and often pure luck as he rises up the ranks of monster hunters. At the time of this writing, nine chapters have been posted; I’m hoping there will be many more to come.
Seeing such imaginative writing from a teenager makes me believe that there is hope yet for the twitter generation.
I’d encourage anyone who wants to read something fun and fresh to check out Josh’s blog. Here are the details:
- Josh’s blog: https://monsterhunterjosh.wordpress.com
- To begin with the first chapter of his story: https://monsterhunterjosh.wordpress.com/2015/09/22/a-hunters-journal-chapter-1-why-im-here/ (or use the menu at the top to navigate there)
- About Josh and his book: https://monsterhunterjosh.wordpress.com/about
Keep on writing, Josh! Can’t wait to see where the story goes next… 🙂