by Seanan McGuire
Series: InCryptid, Book 1
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Published by Daw, 2012
Synopsis: 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….
Cries of exultation greeted my key turning in the lock. I opened the front door to find the entire Aeslin congregation gathered on and around the tiny table where I kept the mail….
“Hail!” shouted the head priest, waving his banner with extra enthusiasm.
“HAIL!” agreed the congregation.
“Hail,” I said tiredly, and shut the door. “What’s the occasion?”
“Today is the Holy Feast of I Swear, Daddy, I’ll Kiss the Next Man That Walks Through That Door,” said the priest, sparking a second, more solemn declaration of “Hail” from the rest of the mice.
Growing up in my family meant ambushes on your birthday, crossbows for Christmas, and games of dodge ball where the balls were occasionally rigged to explode. It also meant learning how to work your way out of a wide variety of death traps. Failure to get loose on your own could lead to missing dinner, or worse, being forced to admit that you missed dinner because your baby sister had tied you to the couch. Again.
- I like the idea of the various groups of cryptids–bogeymen, dragon princesses, cuckoos and the many others Ms. McGuire writes about.
- The cryptid are the monsters of the world and the Price family has a very different view of them than the Covenant does. The Covenant feels all the cryptids should be killed; the Price family feels some of the cryptid are able to live with humans just fine.
- The Aeslin mice are priceless. I love all their religious rituals. They’re so much fun to read about.
- Verity Price is a ballroom dancer. That’s different for an urban fantasy book and is fun to read about–especially when a Covenant boy sabotages her competition and she’s disqualified!
What doesn’t work
- I don’t really get a sense of New York City from this book. It could have been any big city.
- I don’t feel I knew the characters by the end of the book. That I really had a sense of them as people.
- I don’t understand the Covenant very well. I guess I’ll find out more from future books.
- I think I may have compared this book too much to the Toby Daye series also by Seanan McGuire (one of my favorite series). Also I may need to read more than one book in this series to get a feel for the characters and books. I’ve already bought the second book and will read it soon.
Have you read this book? How do you like it?
I’m putting this book into a Book Bingo Challenge square.