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review 2017-07-19 22:59
Pocket Apocalypse (InCryptid #4) by Seanan McGuire
Pocket Apocalypse - Seanan McGuire

Alex, the God of Scales and Silence, has been asked by his girlfriend Shelby to help with a problem in Australia - her home where her family still fights to protect Cryptids



They’re having an outbreak of werewolves.


The Lycanthropy-W disease is one of Alex’s worst fears and one of the most devastating things that can afflict a country; especially Australia that has never had an outbreak before.


Of course, while the 36 society has no experience of Lycanthropy, Alex has no experience of Australia - and he has a very healthy respect for how dangerous the continent can be. And that’s aside from Shelby’s family

 

This book takes Alex and Shelby to Australia. I was struck with their being one major, vital point about Australia. There are no Aislinn mice in Australia.


I mourned, I sulked, I pouted, an Incryptid novel without Aisline Mice is clearly sadness. Until:


“One foot bumped my rolling suitcase, which gave out a faint cheer.”


Hail! Hail the God of Scales and Silence! Hail the Airline Smuggled Mice! Hail!


Yes, the glee returns!


Obviously, with the InCryptid series, there are a lot of things I’m going to praise every book, repeating over and over again. I will always praise the world building, the concept of cryptids and how they fit into the world and how they fit into the natural ecosystem. I will alway praise how incredibly creative they are but also how they fit so excellently with the cycles of the world - like how hunting therianthopes caused lycanthrope-W disease to spread because of the clumsy hunting of the Covenant, or how hunting unicorns caused the spread of cholera.


I will always praise the writing with its excellent pacing, the excitement of the action, the awesomeness of the personal relationships, the excellently presented world buildings, and the perfect inclusion of humour among the science and fun. I am always torn between both not being repetive in my reviews while still having to mention this every book because it would be remiss of me not to remind everyone of the awesomeness


And the Aislinn mice. Who are awesome


But aside from the standard awesomeness of all of the above, I also like the exploration of a, well, a morality spectrum, how the 36-ers differ from the Price family in power and resources and in attitude, and an examination of Alex’s own morality and how he has reacted to the 36-ers own attitude

 

 

Read More

 

 

Source: www.fangsforthefantasy.com/2017/07/pocket-apocalypse-incryptid-4-by-seanan.html
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review 2017-07-17 01:08
Half-Off Ragnarok (InCryptid #3) by Seanan McGuire
Half-Off Ragnarok - Seanan McGuire
Alex Price is following his family tradition of Cryptizoology. He is living with his non-human grandparents (he has a complicated family tree), working as a zoo keeper in the reptile house and continuing his research

Of course, the zoo authorities don’t know that his research is into the breeding habits of basilisk and tracking whether the local fricken population is changing. All the while trying to juggle a relationship with the big cat keeper, Shelby while keeping all his secrets
 
Then people start dying - turned to stone. With his basilisks, a local gorgon population and a cockatrice running around, there are several possible culprits.
 
 
Hail! Hail the God of Scales and Silence!
 
Yes, every book review in this series is going to start with a homage to the Aislinn Mice who are made of utter awesome. And my main complaint about this book is there wasn’t nearly enough Aislinn mice. More of the mice!
 
I have to admit I went into this book with an immense amount of hostility - because the protagonist was changed from Verity to her brother Alex. And it is Change and I liked Verity so I opened this fully prepared to say how wrong and unjust and awful this is and, in the name of the mice, we must bring Verity back.
 
Thankfully I was wrong - or, rather I was overreacting. I liked Alex as much as I liked Verity - even though they are very different people - and I like that, that they were clearly different people with very different approaches to their family legacy (while Verity is conflicted, Alex embraces it despite the frustrations). His focus on science, breeding and studying crytpids in the wild with a focus on reptiles and amphibians is very different from Verity and her urban focus. But he was still so interesting, utterly invested, scholarly (same as Verity with a different focus) and a whole lot of fun. I am happy with Verity and Alex
 
I also really like how we explore their unconventional childhood and how that has affected their relations with others and the constant
 
But even better is Shelby the Designated Love Interest who is so many more times more interesting than Dominic. It would have been easy to make her less scholarly or educated or science based than Alex, especially since he’s the geek and she is blonde and attractive - but I love how that is definitely challenged and she is more than happy to stand toe-to-toe with him intellectually or action-wise. They work really well together, are great fun and she has a nice developed history and a clear personality. I liked her a lot.
 

Of course, the star of all this is the world building. The way cryptids work alongside natural world - both the non-sentient and the fully intelligent. I love the little nuggets like why cockatrice and basilisk petrify. I love the careful world building - like how a gorgon community cannot have livestock because they’ll petrify the animals. It’s little details like that that really make the world
 
As well as bigger elements that point to a really well detailed and carefully designed world: like the fact the Covenant, which hates all things Cryptid, basically declared war on all Australian wildlife- because Australian wildlife. Which again is an insight on Cryptozoology in different parts of the world (like the Australian concern for invasive species). It’s these details and development that make this world truly special
 
On top of that I love how the cryptozoology meets standard zoology and Alex’s concern that the Fricken - a feathery frog - is going to be discovered. I like that there are concerns around cryptids that doesn’t just concern how dangerous they are or people they’re killing - it adds an extra level of Cryptic management to the Price family’s mission
 
 
 
 
 
Source: www.fangsforthefantasy.com/2017/06/half-off-ragnarok-incryptid-3-by-seanan.html
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review 2017-07-05 20:57
Awesome (brief) addition to the series giving some much appreciated context to two of the featured characters in Every Heart a Doorway
Down Among the Sticks and Bones - Seanan McGuire


"SOME ADVENTURES BEGIN EASILY. It is not hard, after all, to be sucked up by a tornado or pushed through a particularly porous mirror; there is no skill involved in being swept away by a great wave or pulled down a rabbit hole. Some adventures require nothing more than a willing heart and the ability to trip over the cracks in the world."


This tale is not such an adventure...

 

This was one quick read that happened to be richly written, starring robust characters within world(s) that were expertly crafted!! It fits snuggly into Every Heart a Doorway... so neatly and effortlessly that I quite frankly was in a constant state of awe. This story is phenomenally molded and magically delicious."

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review 2017-07-04 22:06
Down Among the Sticks and Bones / Seanan McGuire
Down Among the Sticks and Bones - Seanan McGuire

Twin sisters Jack and Jill were seventeen when they found their way home and were packed off to Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children.

This is the story of what happened first…

Jacqueline was her mother’s perfect daughter—polite and quiet, always dressed as a princess. If her mother was sometimes a little strict, it’s because crafting the perfect daughter takes discipline.

Jillian was her father’s perfect daughter—adventurous, thrill-seeking, and a bit of a tom-boy. He really would have preferred a son, but you work with what you've got.

They were five when they learned that grown-ups can’t be trusted.

They were twelve when they walked down the impossible staircase and discovered that the pretense of love can never be enough to prepare you a life filled with magic in a land filled with mad scientists and death and choices.

 

A dark fairy tale, told in Seanan McGuire style.

This is a prequel to Every Heart a Doorway and although I think I liked that book just a titch more than this one, this is still an excellent book. It follows Jack (Jacqueline) and Jill (Jillian) through their childhood and the experience of finding “their door,” the portal to The Moors, another world where fictional people and beasts roam. Up to this point, Jack has been sculpted by her mother into a perfect, clean, nearly-immobile little princess and Jill has been encouraged by her father to be the tomboy, almost-son that he desires. On the Moors, the tables are turned—Jack gets to be active & competent, Jill gets to try out her ultra-feminine side. Each of them explores both extremes of femininity.

Even with the role reversal, they still struggle to understand one another and care for one another. Just as family members do. There are many ways to be a girl (and a boy) and there are many ways to deal with family. This is an interesting exploration of both of those issues.

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review 2017-07-04 20:50
Review: Rosemary and Rue
Rosemary and Rue - Seanan McGuire

Well, at least I don't have to write a long review here, since so many of my complaints have already been covered in bookaneer's eloquent review.

 

The first quarter was so promising, y'all. I almost bought the rest of the series just because of it. Engaging setting, a sense of humor and dismay! Alas, the last half was not at all good. In addition to always being saved by a man, McGuire also managed to fridge a female character in the last act, which was immensely disappointing.

 

Let's talk plot, or plotting at the very least. It's like this was written by someone who knows what kind of things happen in noir detective novels, but doesn't actually know how to build a plot with those pieces. I know this was a first novel and published forever ago, but I can name a number of first novels in this genre from the same year or a few years earlier that are loads better. I like gore and action, but give a girl something to string the scenes together with (something besides "then I woke up in a new location, a man yet again having saved my life, and stepped out just long enough for someone to take a swing at me, necessitating a rescue by a different man").

 

As for our heroine, I want to like the gender-swap aspect, but that gender-swap just doesn't work for me when my hardboiled detective still manages to be damsel-in-distress over and over. And while I'm super into unreliable narrators, I am super not into fucking abusive men. And wow does she do unnecessary and stupid stuff under the banner of investigation. The idea that she was any kind of detective, let alone one so good she was knighted, is just too much for my suspension of disbelief to bear.

 

So, yeah, in spite of a decent first impression, I'm not going to continue these.

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