“Take a Peek” book reviews are short and (possibly) sweet, keeping the commentary brief and providing a little peek at what the book’s about and what I thought.
1. Any creature whose existence has been suggested but not proven scientifically. Term officially coined by cryptozoologist John E. Wall in 1983.
2. That thing that’s getting ready to eat your head.
3. See also: “monster.”
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 when her work with the cryptid community took her to Manhattan, she thought she would finally be free to pursue competition-level dance in earnest. It didn’t quite work out that way…
But now, with the snake cult that was killing virgins all over Manhattan finally taken care of, Verity is ready to settle down for some serious ballroom dancing—until her on-again, off-again, semi-boyfriend Dominic De Luca, a member of the monster-hunting Covenant of St. George, informs her that the Covenant is on their way to assess the city’s readiness for a cryptid purge. With everything and everyone she loves on the line, there’s no way Verity can take that lying down.
Alliances will be tested, allies will be questioned, lives will be lost, and the talking mice in Verity’s apartment will immortalize everything as holy writ–assuming there’s anyone left standing when all is said and done. It’s a midnight blue-light special, and the sale of the day is on betrayal, deceit…and carnage.
Book #2 in the InCryptid series lives up to the mayhem and shenanigans (and yes, carnage) of the first book, but with a touch more dire peril and mortal danger thrown in. Verity’s world in New York is threatened by the arrival of Covenant agents, who would love nothing more than to (in no particular order) kill each and every cryptid they encounter, capture and torture Verity until she tells them all her secrets, and then track down her family and slaughter every last one of them until the entire family line is obliterated. Nice people, the Covenant.
Verity, however, is not defenseless, and between her killer dance moves, her collection of throwing knives, and the weird and wonderful allies she’s made, she’s not going to make things easy for her enemies.
Midnight Blue-Light Special is full of the crazy cryptids, high-octane action, and ridiculously funny dialogue of the first book, but the stakes seem much higher, and the scenes of Verity and certain others in serious awful danger and pain lend a heavier tone to parts of this book. As always, I adore Seanan McGuire’s writing.
They say nobody’s perfect, but there’s having a few flaws, and then there’s selling your employees as human sacrifices. That sort of thing is just uncool.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the reappearance of my favorite bunch of sidekicks, the highly religiously and strangely devout colony of talking mice who live with Verity:
“Cool. Thanks.” I straighted, picking up my backpack in the process. “I’ll be back later. Don’t burn down the apartment.”
The small audience of previously unnoticed mice that had come to watch with rapt attention as I spoke to the acolyte suddently cheered. Loudly. “HAIL THE COMMITMENT TO NOT IGNITE THE DOMICILE!”
“Uh, yeah,” I agreed. “No fire.”
“HAIL THE ABSENCE OF FIRE!”
Holing up and laying low might be the smart thing to do, but doing the smart thing has never been a Price family tradition. We’re more interested in running straight into the jaws of danger and daring it to bite down.
I’m really getting a kick out of this series, and so despite my deciding to swear off series for a few months and read more stand-alones, my resolution is weak and I know I’ll cave. Book #3 shifts the focus from Verity to other Price family members, which doesn’t sound all that appealing to me right now, but I’m sure it’ll be just as awesome as the first two books. Okay, I’ll admit it: I’m hooked. No point pretending I’m not going to read the next five books as fast as I can!
Title: Midnight Blue-Light Special (InCryptid series, book #2)
Author: Seanan McGuire
Publication date: March 5, 2013
Length: 338 pages
Genre: Urban fantasy