on 12 March 2012
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
on 2 April 2012
I nearly didn't buy this, but I'm glad I did. I haven't read any of McGuire's other novels, and the cover makes this look like another stereotypical "kick-ass supernatural heroine with attitude" novel. And while that was great in "Buffy", by now we're up to our necks in them, and most are really rather boring.
Verity Price was an exception for me. She seemed to be genuinely committed to her line of work (or rather, both of them, which produces interesting problems), and she is surrounded by fascinating supporting characters. Even the love interest worked, although it was rather obvious in an "Elizabeth Bennet meets Mr Darcy" kind of way. And McGuire's has managed to create loads of new supernatural species that come to life (as opposed to being the dull chaotic muddle that so often happens when fantasy writers attempt to fabricate a new creature). I think I like the happy religious mice best - but maybe the cuckoo deserves the top spot. Or the princesses.....
My only reservation, curiously enough, is that this is the first of a series. "Discount Armageddon" works very well in its own right; my fear is that it will spawn a host of sequels where the sparkling imagination displayed here becomes tarnished through overuse. I really hope I'm wrong, but it is a common fate with succesful fantasy these days.
on 4 May 2012
Believe it or not, this was my first foray into Urban Fantasy. If other UF titles are like this, I'm eager to read more! I went into this unsure of what to expect, but I came away smiling and satisfied. This was definitely a fun book. The tone of the book is very jokey and light, and there isn't too much depth or emotion except for one scene that got me a little emotional, but this was so enjoyable to read I didn't care. As I said, I haven't read any other UF so correct me if I'm wrong, but the story felt very original to me. Some of the cryptids (monsters) are household names, but a lot seemed to have been made up by McGuire and I loved learning about them all. There's even a little encyclopedia section at the back with a list of the different cryptids which was awesome. McGuire did a great job at World Building here. Sure, it's not a totally fantasy world being set in Manhattan and all, but every cryptid has a really fleshed out history and biology. You could almost believe they're real.
Verity is a pretty great heroine. She rubbed me the wrong way a little at the start. I found her a little cocky, and her way of speaking could get a little grating. Some of her lines bordered on the cheesy side too. I was speaking to someone the other day about how I get annoyed when people in tv shows/movies etc are in life or death situations but they still make all these witty puns which is ridiculous. Yeah, this book had quite a lot of those moments. But whatever, it's fiction. After a while I stopped finding it annoying and got sucked into the action. Verity definitely warmed her way into my heart by the end of the book. She kind of deserves to be cocky because she is bad ass. But I liked that she doesn't always come up top in a situation. She's not perfect and she makes mistakes, like we all do. She also shows a caring side throughout the book with her need to protect the cryptids in the city and her blossoming relationship with the covenant agent, Dominic De Luca. Speaking of Dominic, swoon. Okay, he's a little cliche. He's Italian, for Pete's sake! But hey, I can't help finding a man speaking Italian hot, and I can see a lot of readers falling head over heels for Dominic. He was the perect mix of mischievous and reserved. Seeing him open up and change his views on Cryptids as he worked with Verity was one of my favourite aspects of the book.
I will most definitely be reading the other books in this series and checking out Seanan McGuire's other books. Looks like I've found another genre to empty my wallet on! I give this 4/5.
on 28 May 2012
My thoughts: I was introduced to Seanan McGuire's writing shortly after her first book, Rosemary and Rue, was published, and I've looked forward to each new book ever since. I've yet to be let down by one of her books, so I was really excited for her new series, which starts with Discount Armageddon.
Verity's family has a long history working as cryptozoologists, mainly trying to protect supernatural creatures from humans, and from the Covenant of St George, who think the only good cryptid is a dead one. Verity is taking a gap year of sorts, to live in a city (*gasps from her family*) and pursue a career ballroom dancing. Previously, she entered a So-You-Think-You-Can-Dance type show and did very well, but because her family are hiding from the Covenant, she had to do so under a false name, which she now uses for dance auditions in New York. To make ends meet, she works in a bar owned by a cryptid, Dave, and lives in a tiny apartment with creatures called 'Aeslin Mice'. The mice are rather adorable - just like normal mice, but they talk, and have festivals and religious celebrations for everything. Verity first meets Dominic De Luca as she's free-running home from work over the rooftops of New York and ends up hanging upside down from a trap he'd set. From there, it starts getting harder for Verity to keep her two lives of dancing and cryptozoology separate, getting pulled into problems about dragons that she would rather stay away from. While she and Dominic try to keep from killing each other, they must hunt around and under the city to find the truth of the rumours and find out what's happening to the disappearing locals.
Discount Armageddon is a really fun read. I was very quickly pulled into Verity's world, and I loved each new cryptid she met. I can't wait to see more of the world in the following books. I like how Dominic and Verity both have a lot of prejudices about each other which they gradually manage to overcome, and I hope later books will show a little more of their fledgling friendship.
The second book, Midnight Blue Light, is scheduled for March 2013, and if you can't wait that long, there are some short stories about Verity's predecessors available on Seanan McGuire's website, here, as well as field guide to some of the cryptids.
I'm giving this 9 out of 10, and I'm really looking forward to book two in the InCryptid series.
[Originally posted by me at The Book Bundle.]
on 2 July 2012
I find this book really difficult to explain which is probably unhelpful if you're reading this trying to decide if you should buy the book or not...
I'll start by saying that I love Seanan McGuire, and I'm a huge fan of her October Daye series (starts with Rosemary and Rue, if you're interested!), but I've never read her Mira Grant series and for some reason I was a bit anxious about starting a new on especially as this one seems so odd!
What I've come to love about Seanan McGuire is that she's so unique, and I read alot of urban fantasy so I hope that I'm a good judge of that! I can tell that she's having a huge amount of fun with this book, yet it's just as meticulously researched and well written as her other series.
Verity Price is from a long line of cryptozoologists who make it their business to help keep the cryptids (monsters to you and me) safe and harm free. They will hunt them down and kill them if they go bad, but generally it's all about looking after them. There's a new guy in town and he's hunting the monsters too...
Verity wants to be a ballroom dancer and she has a family of talking mice living in her apartment. This should tell you a bit about the story; it's fun, original, quick paced, interesting and has a little romance too. It's part of a new series and I'll definitely be getting the next book.
on 26 January 2013
I wanted to like this book because I love the authors October Daye series. I put it down and restarted it several times trying to ignore my expectations and read it for its own merits alone but the fact is that I was frequently bored. The plot took a long time to get going and for the long slow build up the denouement was dull and disappointing. The fights with the lizard men where good but there weren't enough of them and when the ending came I was glad that I could put the book down and read something I might enjoy more.
The Romance was mostly boring and quite cheep at a couple of points where it seemed like the heroine acted romantic toward him simply to prove a point. Not all romances have to be a slow build but I like to read some kind of connection beyond 'I'm tired of arguing so lets make out'. It improved toward the end of the book when the man stopped being so argumentative and began to care.
I can't really recommend this book because although there where glimmers of interest the story itself fell rather flat.
on 12 May 2012
This is a book that shows signs of having started out as Buffy fanfic; I bought it after following the interesting zoology-building on the author's blog, but everything except the world-building is not well executed. There's the normal urban-fantasy issue of the complete absence of the police; the book starts with our heroine tracking down a prolific serial killer then asking it politely to consider hunting elsewhere. The characters are from the premium end of the cardboard cliche line. There is surprisingly little sense of genuine menace for a world full of murders; the writing is such that it's clear everything will come out in the wash.
I gave the book to a twelve-year-old acquaintance who I suspect will love it.
Verity Price comes from a long line of cryptozoologists and has spent her entire life learning about the numerous types of cryptids (supernatural creatures) who live hidden amongst us. Her family used to belong to the Covenant of St. George but once they realised that not all cryptids are monsters and that they deserve the chance to live peacefully amongst us they parted ways with the organisation and set out on their own. Now the Price family focus on helping the cryptids stay hidden and making sure they aren't a threat to humans. Verity is more than capable of dealing with any troublemakers but she also has a lot of cryptid friends and allies. Unfortunately the Covenant would prefer to see all the cryptids exterminated and since the Prices decided to break ties with the organisation they've been considered enemies.
Verity would much rather pursue a dance career than spend her days dealing with monsters and she is spending a year in Manhattan to see if she can make it as a ballroom dancer. Unfortunately for her she runs into a member of the Covenant while doing her usual rounds checking up on the local cryptid population. Now she must try to convince Dominic that the Price family aren't really traitors and that not all cryptids deserve to be killed just for existing. If she can't persuade him in time then he could bring down the entire Covenant on her head and she'll be in a whole heap of trouble along with her friends.
I had so much fun reading Discount Armageddon, Seanan Mcguire has created a world full of weird and wonderful supernatural creatures from a colony of talking, highly religious mice (who reminded me of a cross between the clockwork mice from Bagpuss and the singing cockroaches from Joe's Apartment!), to telepaths, gorgons, ghouls and dragon princess with many more in between. Verity has an incredible amount of knowledge when it comes to the hidden supernatural creatures that most of us think only exist in myths and legends and she's very good at making sure they aren't a danger to the human population and helping them exist peacefully alongside us. She didn't choose the life she has but she takes her responsibilities seriously even when she's trying to make time to follow her own dreams too.
When cryptids start being attacked Verity is worried for her friend's safety and her first instinct is to blame the Dominic and the Covenant. When he assures her that he isn't behind the murders they agree to work together to figure out what is really going on in the city. I have to admit it took me a long time to warm up to Dominic, has his own reasons for working with Verity and I wasn't at all sure he could be trusted. His attitude is terrible in the beginning but he has been trained for most of his life that all cryptids are evil and can't be trusted so he gets a real shake up when Verity starts introducing him to some of the less frightening and more friendly ones she considers her friends. I'm still not 100% sold on him or the romance that has started to develop between him and Verity but I love the world enough that it didn't cause me a major issue and I'm hoping I'll like him more as we get to know him better. This is a series that I'm excited to continue and I'm looking forward to seeing what new creatures Seanan McGuire will throw at us next, I'm pretty sure she's not done surprising us yet.
I bought this - and, regrettably, its sequal at the same time - on the strength of the good reviews it got from other readers. I managed to stick it out to the half way point and had yet to find anything remotely amusing or interesting. The mice were ridiculous, the other creatures totally unattractive to imagine and the heroine was flat and boring.
Urban and Paranormal Fantasy are my two favourite genre but this one just wasn't worth a moment of my attention.
Avoid it like the plague.
on 3 February 2015
Amazing book , interesting plot , superb characters and think the track list at end of book was great idea , bit of comedy and romance on the go , characters are amazing and stand out from each other , love the aeslin mice very unique twist