Book Review: He Who Fights with Monsters

He who fights with monster is a book that is marketed as a LITRPG, which basically means that it pulls things from video games and uses them as a way to explain powers and skills the characters are able to use. They even have a progression system where if the main character does such and such thing it allows him to gain experience to gain greater power.

When I reviewed Hail Mary, I said that stories where characters are fish out of water, meaning they either have lost their memories or are plopped into a whole new world, come out one of two ways. One, it is used either as a way to explaining the world and the things of the world to the reader, or, it is actually integral to the story and has meaning besides explaining what is going on around the main character. While Hail Mary was a great example of what it is to do a fish out of water story, He who fights with monsters, was not exactly bad but not great.

For the most part the world is pretty intriguing, but the character is written as a morally grey figure who gets away with saying and doing mean things to others because he justifies it to be better or right. Theres no greater scheme behind him waking up in a new world besides him having been summoned there by a spell. The story goes on for the most part as a video game but never really challenging his assumptions of whether what he does is right or wrong or what the meaning of his being there is. It assumes that because he is clever that what he does is the right answer. He also doesn’t seem to have a greater goal. All we know from his past is that he was an Australian whose mother was Japanese, though that doesn’t influence him at all, and his life was so boring back in his world he doesn’t really feel the rush to go back. It all seems a bit aimless.

He is a somewhat likable character, and the characters around him are pretty interesting as well but for all asides from him and another character we don’t really get any real motivations. That being said the scenarios written out and happening within the story are a fun romp to get through. There are different missions, settings to explore and creatures to fight. It almost feels like a monster hunter story. Which is probably its inspiration considering the title and everything. The book does leave us with a few threads to follow into the next book but I don’t know if I’ll continue the series.

This is the first book, this year that I followed all the way throw and did not really feel excited for unfortunately. I was hoping it would be different but that’s okay. I picked up a few new books on audible because they had a sale and I had the credits. Which I’m actually excited to get started. On of them is about running which is clearly something I’m interested in, and the second is a story about the fate and whether knowing your fate changes your future. Very ominous I know. It was recommended to me by my brother in law, and which is displayed on their coffee table whenever I visit. with all the running I’m doing its the perfect time to get into these audiobooks. Anyways thanks for reading!G God bless!

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