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Monster Hunt NYC

The Monster Hunt NYC, Book 1
Written by: Harmon Cooper
Narrated by: Jeff Hays, Annie Ellicott
Length: 7 hrs and 53 mins
4 out of 5 stars (1 rating)

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Publisher's Summary

Shifters, giants, hungry beasts, the undead, creatures of legend, flying terrors - you name it, New York City has it!

Through the Monster Hunt app, Chase Knowles becomes the Alpha of two powerful Huntresses: one a half-dragon female fond of combat and banter, the other a cute warrior fond of reading spell books and wielding two killer blades.

Their goal? Hunt these mythological creatures in the parks, rooftops, and back alleys of New York City; build a fighting party to compete in brawls and tournaments in the city and beyond; earn money; and try their damnedest not to get arrested. 

Warning: Monster Hunt NYC contains a light harem with monster girls, augmented reality, fantasy violence, a ton of action, and GameLit/LitRPG concepts. It was inspired by the Persona games, Pokemon Go!, and Scott Pilgrim vs. the World.

©2018 Harmon Cooper (P)2019 Boycott Books and Soundbooth Theater Distribution

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • LitRPG Re-Roll
  • 2019-08-14

Spectacular Fun, Best Audio production ever!

This audiobook has been a year in the making and has received a lot of hype. Does it live up to the hype? Hell yes, it does. This isn’t really an audiobook…it is an audio experience. It is nothing like I have ever heard before. The amount of time and effort put into this is insane. Let’s talk about the story a bit, then I will continue to gush all over Soundbooth.
Harmon Cooper is a really really good writer. The characters he creates are so memorable and fun to follow. Also I want to say, if you are an anti-harem person that just can’t deal with any harem. You need to throw that mindset out the window. You are going to miss out on something special avoiding this novel. This isn’t a very sex-laced harem at all, Chase’s two huntresses are digitized buddies/helpers.

The game in the novel is not a Virtual Reality game it is an augmented reality game similar to Pokemon Go. However this is pokemon go on the level of Thanos with galactic steroids and a infinity gauntlet. With it being an augmented reality game – there isn’t real-life then game life. Real life and game are blended together, both are happening at the same time. I found this very interesting to follow. The interaction between all of the characters and the monster’s he catches is vivid and a joy to listen to. There is also a lot of good monster combat. It’s very Pokemonish of course, but that isn’t a bad thing at all. I wondered if a monster battle game would translate well to a book and I can say this one did. Pokemon is so visual and you get to see that monsters in all their glory. Here you rely on Cooper’s descriptions and writing to bring them to life, and he does a great job.

The story is great. Soundbooth takes it to another level. Like I mentioned before this is an experience not just an audiobook. It is overflowing with sound effects, original instrumental music and a lot of original songs written by harmon cooper and performed by Hays and Ellicot. I used a clip from a song in the little pokemon vid before my review started. Jeff Hays is always amazing in everything that he does. However, I am going to talk about Annie Ellicot a bit more. She is damn amazing here. She brings all of the female characters to life and sounds like an angel in all of her song vocals. The music in the audio book is so interesting and executed. There were several times I had to rewind the book because I was so enthralled by the music going on in the background that I was ignoring the actual story. Soundbooth has really outdone themselves in their work here.

I give this audio experience a 9.25 out of 10. It is near perfection. The story is great and Soundbooth elevates it to an extremely high level. This should be listened to by everyone.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • AG
  • 2019-07-09

Amazing audio experience!

These guys have done an amazing job at bringing Monster Hunt NYC to life. The way they have used background music to ease the listeners into the mood, the sound effects to bring the scenes to life is just magnificent. It makes the story seem to go by faster than it really is. The music is great I particularly like the jazzy intro to the book. After listening to this it was a shame when it ended. I hope that they can continue to do such an amazing job with the rest of the series.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Ray Johnson
  • 2019-07-11

Not just enjoyable, but an experience

Full disclosure, I got an advance copy of this book when I was in the hospital dying, no joke, and it really helped me get through the suffering I was going through. This is not like an audiobook you've ever encountered before, and it is a testimony as to the greatness of Harmon Cooper's brilliant writing and SBT's incredible talent. SBT completely reinterprets what you think an audible experience should be.

So, I am now and have always been a huge fan of Cooper's writing style. I just get him. His humor, his wit, his intense action scenes, he proclivity towards snark, and well just about everything he does on his computer's WORD program. No other author, with the exception of Terry Pratchett, has made me laugh so loud, so hard, and so frequently as Cooper. He can weave a story like he was using one of the Fate's looms. Monster Hunter is once again a part of his shared universe, and I love that fact, too. He goes out of his way to tell separate and complete stories but keeps them in a sandbox in which you are already familiar. Monster Hunter NYC is a top-notch tale that is classic Cooper, expertly crafted, and will keep you on the edge of your seat.

What SBT does is something altogether different and new. They have managed to escalate the medium of audiobooks into something more than just a theater of the mind. They have molded an entire EXPERIENCE that I doubt you will have touched upon in your lifetime. SBT blends the spoken word with catchy tunes and songs throughout the book, and I do not mean that you get some music at the start of a chapter. No, this is fully fleshed and functional original music that has the heart of the book, but also a complete and utter life of its own. I can completely hear some acid jazz influence in Jeff's work, and Annie carries a haunting noirish vibe at times that resonates tones of the hipsters of the forties and fifties with modern sensibilities of today. My only regret is that they didn't include Justin Thomas James in to jam as well, because the man is a master musician himself.

I heard one reviewer say that this was all Annie, and I have to admit that Annie's singing and personification of the ladies is both intense and involving, but I have to give Jeff his due. He holds his own and gives his heart to this production. You can tell he went over and above, gave three pints of blood, and performed at one hundred and fifty percent capacity on this project. There are labors of love and passion projects and then there is Monster Hunter NYC. I mean there is dedication to a project and then there is the gusto displayed by Annie Wilkes of Stephen King's Misery. I'm not sure where Jeff lies on that spectrum, but wherever the needle falls it is going to be indicative of his heart and soul being contained in this body of work. Annie, is as I say, killer in her parts and she will have you bopping along to whatever Da,da,da, da, da dadda she lays down.

The story, the voice work, and the music make a strange magic that will only be imitated by other companies from this point forth, if anyone else ever has the cajones to attempt something like this. All I can say is that this is not just an audiobook. It is not Theater of the mind. This is a freaking Rock Opera Concert on Broadway; and you do not want to miss it.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Josh R
  • 2019-08-05

It’s like Pokemon for Grown ups

This book was an amazing listen. I really enjoyed the story, which seemed to combine Pokemon in an Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality settings, and geared it towards adults. The characters were all great, and the story just flew by without any lulls or slow periods. The narration was top notch as well. I really appreciate having two narrators for the different characters, and the addition of music and sounds effects was top notch. I know this book said it was almost 8 hours long, but it certainly didn’t feel like it, I flew through this book. I’ll definitely be on the lookout for book two.

This audiobook was provided by the narrator at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Erik
  • 2019-08-01

Now I can't get that song out of my head

Soundbooth theater and Harmon Cooper have really outdone themselves with this one. It feels more like a performance than just a narration. There are musical themes that play in the background during certain events, and some custom-written songs just for the story. Some of them are quite catchy.

I appreciate that the story takes place in augmented reality, rather than VR. It's cool to see the writer's vision of the future take shape.

I can highly recommend this audiobook and I'm looking forward to the next one.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Nighteyes
  • 2019-07-21

I honestly don't have much to say about this thing

And yeah I mean thing, because it sure as heck isn't a Book, nor an Audiobook because this is outright an Experience... Jeff and Annie as well of the entire crew at SBT have elevated their art into something no other company offers yet we have come to simply expect them to deliver... which they do every single time... and this is the culmination of especially Jeffs journey...
I cannot imagine this ever being topped... It will be what other people, hell probably even themselves, strive to match in years to come...

As to the story, it's a fairly straight forward GameLIT with underlying tones it might turn into a Harem in a later book. There are a few references to Coopers other books in the same universe though if this is your first book, you will still be able to enjoy it equally well

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Matt
  • 2019-07-21

start to a fun series

once Austin Mr. Cooper gives another spectacular start to what is sure to be a fun ride.
the narrator's give more life to the characters than most and the entire feel to the performance was entrancing. can't wait to get book 2 and continue the journey.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Hal Cavanaugh
  • 2019-07-21

something special.

I am not usually a huge fan of audiobooks as I am a little hard of hearing, but I am glad I picked this one up!
I grabbed it because I like the story and wanted something to listen to on a long drive I had. It blew me away. actually putting the music and singing in made it a different experience and I can't wait for books two and three to come out!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Tory Wilson
  • 2019-07-21

Movie quality production and performance.

The narrator of this book Jeff Hays called this his first real passion project since becoming a narrator and I can see why as the cast really brings it to life. It was so easy to visualize everything happening that it was more like watching a show on television. The story is both standard litrpg and unique at the same time. Overall it's a realistic interpretation of what an augmented reality game inspired by Pokemon-esque or ZanZarah: The Hidden Portal could become in the future. The technology used in the book is more believable than some used in many others of the same genre. The characters are semi-relatable and It feels like the roles were designed with these specific narrators in mind. I liked Chase the main character and his two hunters but I found myself both liking and hating Iris as a character probably because of how realistic she is written. The world building is minor but not really necessary since it mostly takes place in the real world for now. As i listened to the audiobook but haven't read it I can say I don't think I would have enjoyed reading it as much as it is heavily influenced and written with music in mind which the audiobook handled fantastically. I highly recommend this book especially in audio format unless you're one of those people who only enjoy a story read to you in the format of a newspaper without effects, music, or multiple voice actors. I can definitely see myself listening to this again.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Sartín
  • 2019-07-19

Different but good :)

The music and other sounds are a new change to audio books. At first it was a little off putting but it comes into play a lot more as the book goes on, I thought they did a great job with this one. 10 of 10 to the narrator and sound team. Another great read from Harmon Cooper. As i have listen to almost all of his books i can say i am never disappointed by his work. Great job. cant wait for the next one. :)

1 of 1 people found this review helpful