Earl Harbinger, head of Monster Hunter International and secret werewolf, must save a small town from a werewolf invasion. Earl Harbinger is a werewolf who's lived a long time. He's also head of the world's biggest monster hunting agency and one of the few creatures exempted from the bounty on monsters. When he finds out that an old enemy is hunting in the United States, he takes it upon himself to go and hunt down his Soviet counterpart.
He arrives at a small town in northern Michigan and finds that he has bigger problems than his old enemy. The town is being overrun by werewolves in addition to the arrival of some servant's of the Old Ones. These servant's are the remainder of the Sanctified Church of the Temporary Human Condition, a cult that Harbinger helped dismantle. They create a freak snowstorm that cuts all communication with the outside world. To make matters worse, these new werewolves aren't following the rules set forth by Harbinger. Being the alpha werewolf in the United States, he has set rules against werewolves attacking humans.
Harbinger immediately feels responsible to bring the situation under control. This is where he runs into Heather, a newly cursed werewolf who exhibits an impressive level of control over her new abilities. She joins Harbinger on his quest to free the town. As they pursue the cultists, it is revealed that one of them has an amulet that will make them a more powerful version werewolf known as The Alpha. Harbinger is tracking them when he is attacked by Nikolai, the Soviet werewolf from his past.
The two battle it out, but both are evenly matched. They're both incredibly old werewolves, and the level of experience they bring to the fight prevent them from producing a clear winner. Eventually their fight is interrupted by the cultists. One of the cultists uses the amulet to steal Harbinger's werewolf spirit to in turn power the ritual that will turn him into the Alpha wolf. Meanwhile, the citizens of the town have joined with the remainder of a novice group of monster hunters at the local high school. They are holding not only werewolves off, but a horde of zombies raised by the cultists.
Eventually it is decided that Nikolai and Harbinger will have to work together to stop this new werewolf from taking over the world. Combining their strength with Heather's and some volunteers from the school, the group make their way to a mine shaft where the cultists are performing the ritual. Harbinger has been turned human, but he still has Nikolai and Heather on his side. They fight their way through the cultist's forces and enter the mine shaft.
They are too late to stop the ritual, but the two werewolves leap into a fight with the gargantuan Alpha. The battle takes place through the mine shaft, with the participants eventually falling down the shaft. Harbinger is scratched by the Alpha and regains his werewolf abilities. Eventually, Harbinger defeats the Alpha and reminds him that he is the only alpha wolf around.
Harbinger leaves the town for a secluded cabin and brings Heather with him. The two form a strong relationship as Harbinger teaches her how to control her new powers. A government agent eventually comes knocking and tells Harbinger that Heather must serve in the military before she can be exempted from the bounty on monsters. Harbinger can do nothing as Heather is taken away to fight for the government. He realizes that for the next two years he will do nothing but worry about her.
Best part of story, including ending:
This is the third book in the Monter Hunter series, and I liked that the author chose to follow a new protagonist. The character of Earl Harbinger is interesting because he has so much more history than any human character can. The action scenes were fun, but learning more about Harbinger's past is where the real enjoyment lies.
Best scene in story:
My favorite scene was when Earl woke up and realized that the spirit of his wolf had been stolen from him. He has spent decades of his life researching a cure for lycanthropy, with no considerable progress. He had given up on ever returning to a normal life. Then he wakes up as a human once again. He is incredibly excited to live a normal life, to grow old and die with his friends instead of outliving them. This scene makes the end where he is cursed again that much more powerful.
Opinion about the main character:
Earl is a great character because of his confidence. He never comes across as arrogant, because he has experienced so much that his confidence feels well earned. Finding out the reasons he is so confident by exploring his past makes him a more interesting character.