In recent years, it began with the urban fantasy romance novel. Young girl meets vampire/werewolf/zombie/ghost, and they fall in love.
Then it moved on to the more masculine response. Young everyman’s ordinary life is disrupted by sudden appearance of vampire/werewolf/zombie/ghosts and he is the only one who can stop them. Finally, we reached the next stage in this genre: self-parody. Young everyperson’s ordinary life is disrupted by sudden appearance of vampire/werewolf/zombie/ghosts and they are the only one who can stop them, but at the same time they basically wink at the 4th wall the whole time about how ridiculous the situation is. Frankly, by this stage I’m sickened of the whole thing.
Our plot begins with Dave Hooper, an ordinary slobbish oil rig worker, who finds his life disrupted by the sudden appearance of monsters of various shapes and sizes. He must fight them. Dave vs. The Monsters a very good example of the front of the book describing perfectly what is inside the book. The first problem comes in that Dave Hooper is a thoroughly unlikeable character, and there is no real balance in place to create a character that we kind of despise but also find endearing or at the least, watchable, in some ways. He just is kind of a jackass. And being inside his head for the majority of the book gets very tiresome. The best part of the novel is when the POV switches to one of the monsters for a while, and we get a fresh look at their invasion. If the whole novel had been from that perspective, I would have liked it a lot more.
Furthermore, the whole invasion feels very much like the same thought process behind products like Cowboys vs Aliens, Monsters vs Aliens and Pacific Rim. That if you put cool things together, cool things will happen. But to succeed in that you need to either be fresh enough in your approach, or over the top enough, and this book succeeds at neither. There is basically the undercurrent of self-parody going throughout, but it succeeds at neither being that funny really, nor that awesome to witness.
Apparently Dave vs. The Monsters has two sequels already in production or about to be released, where I’m sure things will get even more randomly “exciting.” But without first establishing why this is being written, why Dave’s story is worth spending time on for the reader and the author, I will probably have the same problem with them as I do with this one.