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review 2017-05-01 00:38
Discount Armageddon (InCryptid #1) by Seanan McGuire
Discount Armageddon - Seanan McGuire

Verity Price’s family is not like many others. She grew up dodging her sister’s habit of booby-traps and ambushes and dealing with her grandmother’s regular visits into hell to find her grandfather. Oh and her cousin isn’t human.

 

Her family has worked with monsters, protected humanity from them – protected them from humanity – and generally tried to keep things in balance. Unlike the Covenant of St George which is determined to kill anything they don’t consider human or right.

 

So when one arrives in town, completely derailing her dancing dreams, Verity is not happy.

 

 

Some books just make me smile. I just read them with a big silly grin on my faced because they’re so much fun and I’m enjoying them throughout and I get all kind of sad when it ends.

 

But this is the first book of an entire series so I have so many more fun books to charge through which I’m really looking forward to: book one has definitely got me hooked in here.

 

The world is fascinating – not because it’s supernatural beings in a modern world (there are no shortages of those these days), but the way they’re integrated is fascinating. Not by being open and revealed and being part of the human political world (which they’re not), but by having them part of the greater global ecosystem. After all, we have these worlds where the supernatural is part of the world, then why wouldn’t they be part of the food chain, part of the environmental structure, part of the general mess of myriad interactions that all creatures in nature go through?

 

This is a world where Cryptozoology is still, basically zoology. The studying of supernatural creatures – Cryptids – is, at the beginning, the study of creatures and beings. Intelligent cryptids have histories and societies and cultures. The non-intelligent cryptids have instincts and territories and are basically animals like any other

 

I love how this is explored. And I love how it is examined in far more detail than simply “are these evil”. A creature that hunts humanity is not just inherently condemned by Verity and her family – after all in a world where the supernatural exists “endangered big predator” or “giant lethal monster” are pretty much synonymous.

 

There’s also real ecological considerations – which affects humanity as well. If you wipe out a species that normally changes an ecosystem drastically. I really love how the whole concept of supernatural beings is addressed by in a very scientific, naturalist way which is truly excellent.

 

 

I like this because it adds complexity to the equally presented argument that some cryptids - especially intelligent cryptids – are utterly harmless even beneficial to their neighbourhoods but which are hunted by the Covenant. It would have easy, simple and simplistic to have Verity and the Price family be noble beings killing bad monsters while the Covenant are just genocidal judgemental arseholes slaughtering anything they consider ungodly. And sure, there’s a part of that but there’s a nice expanded complexity as well – not everything Verity and her family saves are harmless or not aggressive, but that doesn’t mean it should be removed

 

Throw into that some really genuinely hilarious touches – the battle of the gorgon and her hair, the Waheela’s amazing goth outfit and, my utter favourite, the very religious Aislinn Mice who I love beyond all reason and should be included in every book. Forever. You’ve got a deadly serious thriller? Needs Aislinn mice. Agatha Christie remake? Poirot needs Aislinn mice. Dystopian sci-fi on an alien world? Aislinn mice. They’ll improve everything.

 

 

Read More

 

Source: www.fangsforthefantasy.com/2017/04/discount-armageddon-incryptid-1-by.html
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review 2017-02-17 00:00
Discount Armageddon
Discount Armageddon - Seanan McGuire Discount Armageddon by Seanan McGuire

I loved Rosemary and Rue (October Daye, Book 1) and the entire October Daye series. Nonetheless, when I started this book today I initially had reservations that it might have been written for the younger adult crowd and would eventually leave me out in the cold. However, even at my advanced age of somewhere older than 30, I loved this book tremendously! It had everything a great book should have going for it. Comedy, mystery (wow and what a mystery!) beasties; both good and bad, reputations to be righted and possibly love to be found.

This book also had some interesting and glaring editing errors that made me chuckle, but that does not detract at all from the story.

What can I say about the plot that you haven't read in either the synopsis or others reviews? It's a pretty simple one. Really!

Verity Price has always wanted to dance ballet, tap ballroom...it didn't matter. The problem is is that her parents trained her from nearly birth to be a cryptozoologist (I had to look that word up! (It is the study of unknown or hidden animals like the Yeti) Meanwhile her entire family for generations have worked for the Covenant a group that makes it their reason for living to kill all of the `hidden animals; although the Prices tired of the mass destruction of the cryptid's and ran and went into hiding. Now they are considered traitors and should be taken down. Meanwhile Verity's family truly does study them--and work with them and are related to some of them (Verity even dances in competitions with some of them!) and are friends with a lot of them.

Enter Dominic De Luca a young good looking member of the Covenant, come to New York to see if the cryptid's need purging to keep their numbers down. Do you smell romance in the air? Of course you do!

Things go from wacky to worse and back to wacky as more and more young unmarried cryptid females go missing and Verity and Dominic step in to investigate.
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review 2016-12-28 03:03
Discount Armageddon
Discount Armageddon - Seanan McGuire

Seanan McGuire/Mira Grant is scheduled to be the Principal Speaker at Philcon 2017.  So enjoying Urban Fantasy from time to time and never having read Ms. McGuire in either of her guises, I decided to give her a try.

 

Discount Armageddon, first published in 2012, is the first volume in the InCryptid series.  I liked the unusual variety of non-human critters living in the shadows and subterranean depths of New York city.  Rather than the typical vampires, werewolves and fae - McGuire gives you bogeymen, bugbears, dragon princesses, ghouls, lesser gorgon, and a horde of other supernatural beings, including the Aeslin Mice.  The comic relief provided by the talking, protagonist-worshiping mice is in many ways the highlight of the book.

 

Protagonist Verity Price hails from a family that spends time studying the Cryptids (as the non-humans are called) and alternately exterminating those Cryptids who indiscriminately prey on humans and protecting the remaining Cryptids from humans who prey on them.  The Covenant of St. George believes that the only good Cryptid is a dead Cryptid.  Early in Discount Armageddon, Verity meets the Covenant’s newest operative, Dominic De Luca, who has been dispatched to New York to see if the Cryptid population is significant enough to warrant a purge.  Not surprisingly, Verity and Dominic become allies as the book progresses.

 

While the romp through the sewers of New York to figure out why unmated female Cryptids are disappearing is entertaining enough and the actual bedding occurs off-screen, the predictable romance aspects detracted from the overall story.  There were other intangibles that I can’t quite articulate that made this an enjoyable 4-star read rather than a mind-blowing 5-star masterpiece.

 

I liked Discount Armageddon enough that I intend to read at least a few more of Ms. McGuire’s books before her appearance at Philcon next year. 

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review 2016-11-20 20:00
Discount Armageddon
Discount Armageddon - Seanan McGuire

After finishing St Mary's I was looking for a new series to read, and InCryptid had been suggested earlier to me. Since I already had the books (and there are a lot of free stories, which you can find free at the author's website), I decided to give it a try despite the very ugly cover.

I was initially taken aback by the large amounts of info-dumping that occur during any of Verity's free running adventures in New York. At the same time she is pursuing a career as a ballroom dancer, but this moves to the background really quickly.

However, I was sold after meeting the Aeslin mice. They are the true heroes of this series. Very religious mice that see signs in literally everything, they are much more than just the comic relief of the series. I would continue just for them. But Verity is also in contact with lots of other cryptids, which made it an interesting read. Verity's own story doesn't seem to be the most original one, and she makes some very stupid decisions, but I'm curious to find out where it goes from here.

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