Reading level: Adult
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Size: 368 pages
Release Date: March 6, 2012
Stand Alone or Series: 1st book in the InCryptid series
Source: Borrowed from Library
Rating: 5/5 stars
I love all the books I have read from Seanan McGuire so when I saw she was coming out with this lighthearted yet kick-butt InCryptid series I was excited. I have loved her October Daye series and also really enjoyed the Newsflesh series that she writes under the name Mira Grant. This was an excellent book; creative and so much fun, it exceeded my expectations. The second book in this series will be titled, Midnight Blue-Light Special and is due to release in March of 2013.
Verity Price is a Price; she is also a cryptozoologist. The Price’s went traitor against the Covenant some time ago and decided to turn from eliminating InCryptids to trying to help InCryptids live peacefully among humans. As such they’ve been hunted by the Covenant for a long, long time. Verity is a bit different than her family; she loves protecting InCryptids but she also loves ballroom dancing. She has moved to Manhattan to further her career as a ballroom dancer while keeping tabs on Manhattan’s resident InCryptids. That is until Dominic, of Covenant origin, shows up to rain on Verity’s parade…oh and then there’s the whole thing about a dragon being asleep under the island.
This book was an absolute riot from cover to cover; I loved it. It was hilarious, action packed, smart, creative, and just so much fun. This is urban fantasy with a lot of fantasy in it and a lot of sass. Verity is just the most awesome heroine. Sure she has to work in a sleazy bar to support herself, but in between that she helps out those who can’t help themselves, protects humanity from things that go bump in the night, and still manages to pull off a killer tango. She’s not perfect, she makes mistakes, sometimes she is even a little bit vulnerable. This makes her into a wonderfully engaging heroine that you are constantly cheering for.
I also loved that despite her strange upbringing she still has a loving and caring relationship with her family. Granted most family doesn’t lend help in the form of grenades and pit-traps…but you know each to their own. I love the religious talking mice that plague her apartment and turn the smallest random event into a strange religious holiday. I love the crazy creatures we meet throughout, you seriously never know what new type of creature is going to be lurking around the corner.
As for the male lead, Dominic is incredibly well done. Him and Verity don’t hit it off at all in the beginning, but it was interesting to watch them both learn and grow by listening to each other’s perspective. I loved how their relationship grew into one of mutual respect and how they had to compromise to make things work. I also loved that even though there is a little romance, it’s not what drives the world and storyline. It is subtle and wonderfully woven into a complex world and plot.
The plot is part investigation (as Verity tries to figure out why single female InCryptids are going missing), part dungeon delver (Verity exploring sewers in hopes of figuring out the dragon mystery) and part ninja (think wall-hoping, roof-jumping, and other crazy forms of locomotion). It is unpredictable, but never confusing. This book was so darn hard to put down. I just had to know if they found the dragon and what was going to happen if they did find the dragon.
The book ends at a good spot, but I am dying to see more adventures with Verity and crew. I also loved the one-liner quotes that opened up each chapter, they were hilarious.
Overall I just love, love, loved this book. It reminds a little of the Nightside series by Simon Green; it’s got that same type of dark, campy humor and similarly you never know what you will run into in the course of the story. Verity is one of those characters that constantly takes a licking and keeps on ticking; she is tough, smart, funny and is still easy to engage with. Pretty much all the characteres are awesome, the world is super creative, and the plot is full of fun surprises. I loved this book and cannot wait to read Midnight Blue-Light Special when it comes out. Very highly recommended for all those urban fantasy fans out there; in fact if you are a swords and sorcery type of fantasy fan you may want to give this a try…it has more fantasy than a lot of other urban fantasies out there.