Hey, wow, who'd have thunk it -- a positive review of a Seanan McGuire novel from The Irresponsible Reader?!? Next thing, I'll be telling you that the sky is blue, water is wet and J. J. Abrams likes lens flares. But what do you want from me? Seanan McGuire is a great author who consistently puts out fun reads. The only reason that she hasn't taken over the world yet is that she doesn't want to.
Oh, spoiler alert: I'm probably going to be giving very positive reviews to two other McGuire works in the next week or two.
So what can I say about this one? It's probably the most enjoyable, most entertaining, most emotionally resonant, best all-around entry in the InCryptid series to date.
Verity and Dominic are living with her parents, which is going about as well as you could expect, and trying to get used to life outside of NYC when Verity gets a call from the reality show she came thiiiiiis close to winning before we met her in Discount Armageddon (well, her cover identity got a call, technically). They're doing a best-of season, and need her to round out the cast.
Next thing they know, they're working up a new cover for Dominic and heading for L. A. Where we meet Verity's long-lost besties, a would-be frenemy (if anyone took her seriously), and a few cryptids.
We get the return of the lady Dragons -- both the group we met in Discount as well as L.A.'s very own, plus a few others. The cryptid cultures of L. A. (and the West in general) developed in very interesting ways. Sadly, one of the things that seems to be pretty popular are snake cults -- there's one that seems to be pretty serious about things and are using human sacrifices to power a spell.
Which means that Verity has to do a little more than just dance, she has to find the cultists before it's too late. She calls upon friends new and old, Dominic, even the Aeslin mice and a Price that we've heard of, just never met. Leading to a final confrontation that's one for the ages -- and nothing will be the same again for the Prices family. I'm not so sure that it'll be the same again for anyone.
I'd happily read about any and all of the new cryptids we meed here again, and most of the humans, too (not the evil ones, just for the record). McGuire's assembled a great bunch of characters for this one.
I love the fact that not only do we get to see the Aeslin mice developing new religious celebrations, but we see them in action -- putting their tiny little lives on the line to save the day. I also like to see Verity coming to grips with the choices she's been making the last few years, what that means for her, and what place dancing and the rest have in her life.
Major kudos to McGuire for getting me to give a rip -- not much of one, but still -- about dance competitions. I don't get dance -- I mean dancing, I get. I'm no good at it, but I get. But watching dance -- any form - I just don't see the appeal. But for a few pages here and there I was almost interested in Verity's other career. That's a pretty major accomplishment.
Now I've just got to settle in and wait a year for lil' sister Antimony's first novel. Is it 2017 yet?