Series Review: InCryptid, Books 1-3 by Seanan McGuire

Series Review: InCryptid, Books 1-3 by Seanan McGuireDiscount Armageddon by Seanan McGuire
Series: InCryptid #1
Published by DAW on March 6, 2012
Genres: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal, Fantasy, Mystery, Romance, Humor
Pages: 352
Format: Paperback
Source: Library
AmazonThe Book DepositoryAudible
Goodreads
four-half-stars

Ghoulies. Ghosties. Long-legged beasties. Things that go bump in the night... The Price family has spent generations studying the monsters of the world, working to protect them from humanity—and humanity from them. Enter Verity Price. Despite being trained from birth as a cryptozoologist, she'd rather dance a tango than tangle with a demon, and is spending a year in Manhattan while she pursues her career in professional ballroom dance. Sounds pretty simple, right? It would be, if it weren't for the talking mice, the telepathic mathematicians, the asbestos supermodels, and the trained monster-hunter sent by the Price family's old enemies, the Covenant of St. George. When a Price girl meets a Covenant boy, high stakes, high heels, and a lot of collateral damage are almost guaranteed. To complicate matters further, local cryptids are disappearing, strange lizard-men are appearing in the sewers, and someone's spreading rumors about a dragon sleeping underneath the city...

I’ve been working on McGuire’s backlist (because Newsflesh and October Daye are the best things ever). She has a large backlist, so it’s taking me some time to work on this project. I mean, seriously, I don’t know how she churns out so many books while they’re almost all freaking amazing, but she manages it somehow. InCryptid gets off to a delightful start with Midnight Armageddon.

Where October Daye started slow, InCryptid starts off with a bang. This series is much easier to dive into. While, thus far, it doesn’t have the emotional resonance of October Daye, I’m only two books in (as of writing this into the blog post), it does deliver consistent action and humor. Of what I’ve read, InCryptid’s by far Seanan’s funniest, which I really enjoy, since she has brilliant comedy skills that don’t always get as utilized. (Seanan’s brilliant skills at everything basically. Yes, I’m pretending we’re buddies and on a first name basis, don’t judge me.)

Verity’s a vibrant and likable character. She also encapsulates the weirdness of InCryptid, in that she’s a ballroom dancer, free runner, and from a family of cryptozoologists (aka monster hunters/friends, depending on if the beasties have been eating humans). McGuire could have made a bit more out of the ballroom dancing element, but it’s a nice quirky detail, and I do think it’s awesome that she highlights the sheer fitness and difficulty of dancing.

The world’s super awesome, and I love the sheer variety of creatures. It’s amazing that it doesn’t end up feeling like October Daye, since the basic premise of monsters/fantasy creatures living in modern cities unnoticed is found in both, but the tone is so different that they feel entirely disparate. McGuire plays with these creatures of myth so well, and both of these series are on point. Pick up October Daye to have your heart ripped out, and InCryptid for some laughs.

In Discount Armageddon, Verity’s in New York City, trying out a year alone and seeing if she wants to take on the family trade or be a ballroom dancer full time. Enter Dominic, the cute boy from the evil monster-hunting organization, The Covenant of St. George. Shenanigans ensue. The ship is adorable and total Christina bait, and I’m anticipating Sarah’s side ship eagerly.

I’m going to be spending another 50+ bucks on McGuire books, aren’t I? Oh well, I REGRET NOTHING.

Tl;dr – Review in a GIFfy:

 

I received this book for free from Library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Series Review: InCryptid, Books 1-3 by Seanan McGuireMidnight Blue-Light Special by Seanan McGuire
Series: InCryptid #2
Published by DAW on March 5, 2013
Genres: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal, Fantasy, Mystery, Romance, Humor
Pages: 338
Format: Paperback
Source: Library
AmazonThe Book DepositoryAudible
Goodreads
three-half-stars

Cryptid, noun:
1. Any creature whose existence has been suggested but not proven scientifically. Term officially coined by cryptozoologist John E. Wall in 1983.
2. That thing that's getting ready to eat your head.
3. See also: "monster."

The Price family has spent generations studying the monsters of the world, working to protect them from humanity--and humanity from them. Enter Verity Price. Despite being trained from birth as a cryptozoologist, she'd rather dance a tango than tangle with a demon, and when her work with the cryptid community took her to Manhattan, she thought she would finally be free to pursue competition-level dance in earnest. It didn't quite work out that way...

But now, with the snake cult that was killing virgins all over Manhattan finally taken care of, Verity is ready to settle down for some serious ballroom dancing—until her on-again, off-again, semi-boyfriend Dominic De Luca, a member of the monster-hunting Covenant of St. George, informs her that the Covenant is on their way to assess the city's readiness for a cryptid purge. With everything and everyone she loves on the line, there's no way Verity can take that lying down.

Alliances will be tested, allies will be questioned, lives will be lost, and the talking mice in Verity's apartment will immortalize everything as holy writ--assuming there's anyone left standing when all is said and done. It's a midnight blue-light special, and the sale of the day is on betrayal, deceit...and carnage.

Midnight Blue-Light Special didn’t have me quite as enraptured as book one, but it’s another strong installment.

The thing I liked most about Midnight Blue-Light Special is that McGuire’s really building up the secondary characters now. Book one was mostly Verity, Dominic, and Sarah, but I’m coming to love some of the others in this one too. Sarah has a major character arc beginning, and I’m really looking forward to seeing how that plays out. Oh, and I forgot to mention this in book one, but the mice are the absolute best. Comedy gold, and oh so cute.

For all that there’s constant action and high stakes, I didn’t really feel the stakes on this one. It did feel a bit like a placeholder book. More could have been made of Dominic’s emotional journey here too. I think it’s because View Spoiler ».

This one didn’t feel quite as cohesive within the larger narrative, though I may change my mind when I read book three obviously. I still recommend this series with all thumbs up.

Tl;dr – Review in a GIFfy:


Series Review: InCryptid, Books 1-3 by Seanan McGuireHalf-Off Ragnarok by Seanan McGuire
Series: InCryptid #3
Published by DAW on March 4, 2014
Genres: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal, Fantasy, Mystery, Romance, Humor
Pages: 356
Format: Paperback
Source: Library
AmazonThe Book DepositoryAudible
Goodreads
three-half-stars

When Alex Price agreed to go to Ohio to oversee a basilisk breeding program and assist in the recovery of his psychic cousin, he didn't expect people to start dropping dead. But bodies are cropping up at the zoo where he works, and his girlfriend—Shelby Tanner, an Australian zoologist with a fondness for big cats—is starting to get suspicious.

Worse yet, the bodies have all been turned partially to stone...

The third book in the InCryptid series takes us to a new location and a new member of the family, as Alex tries to balance life, work, and the strong desire not to become a piece of garden statuary. Old friends and new are on the scene, and danger lurks around every corner.

Of course, so do the talking mice.

In Half-Off Ragnarok, the POV changes from Verity to her brother, Alex. He’s not as vibrant and funny as Verity, so this wasn’t my favorite installment. Still, it’s McGuire, and the shenanigans are on point.

I like Alex, and I’d probably have a crush on him if he were a real guy (though we would not work out because his work would terrify the shit out of me), but he’s just not as good of a narrator as Verity. She’s incredibly funny and snappy, where Alex is a bit more plodding. Where Verity’s into partying and free running and fighting, Alex is into research and reptiles. The pace is slower, and the laughs are thinner on the ground.

Alex does have a romance, and it’s okay, but I’m not as big of a fan as I was of Verity and Dominic. I do love that Shelby’s Australian, because she has a hilarious outlook on cryptids. Most of the humor comes from this aspect. God, I hope they go to Australia at some point in the series. (Yes, I do know I could look it up but I don’t want to spoil myself on something in the process.)

The primary feels in Half-Off Ragnarok came from Sarah’s plotline. She and Alex are both staying with his maternal grandparents; her to recover from the events of Midnight Blue-Light Special and Alex to help out with Sarah. Unlike the other characters, I was already very attached to Sarah, and it’s so sad to watch her struggling.

It’s still a great book for sure, but I’ll be pretty happy to move on from Alex’s narration to one of the other Prices, whenever that happens. I’m pretty sure Alex is also at least the next book.

Tl;dr – Review in a GIFfy:

 

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