SELECT * FROM uv_BookReviewRollup WHERE recordnum = 1602 Discount Armageddon, by Seanan McGuire Book Review |

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Discount Armageddon, by Seanan McGuire
Genre: Dark Fantasy
Publisher: Daw
Published: 2011
Review Posted: 10/12/2013
Reviewer Rating:
Reader Rating: Not Rated

Discount Armageddon, by Seanan McGuire

Book Review by Joshua Palmatier

Have you read this book?

This is the first book in a new series from Seanan McGuire, best known for her October Daye urban fantasy novels featuring Toby Daye and the fae living among us. Those novels are rather dark in tone and nature, with nearly all of the fae creatures tending toward their more wicked and tricksy original roots.

Not so with the new Incriptid series. The premise is that Verity Price, a member of a family intent on saving the crytids of the world from destruction by the fanatical group called the Covenant, is in New York City to decide whether she wants to continue with the family business she's been trained for since birth . . . or to become a professional dancer. Between dance competitions and her job at a stripper bar, she hunts down cryptids who are preying on humans, while helping to keep the rest of the less deadly cryptids hidden. Everything's fine until a new member of the Covenant shows up to determine if NYC needs a purge . . . and cryptids begin disappearing. It doesn't help that Verity is attracted to the enemy. Only far too many cryptids are disappearing--too many to lay at the Covenant's doorstep anyway. Something else is going on, and it might just take both Verity, the cryptids she's protecting, and the Covenant member to find out who and what is going on.

As you can guess from the description, the tone of this series is much lighter than that of the October Daye books. Oh, there are dark moments--people die, there's fighting, etc--but overall the atmosphere is much less dreary and a lot more fun. And that's how I'd describe this book: fun. There are a slew of new cryptids, including talking mice that celebrate . . . well, everything, and a bunch of creatures from other lands and folklore. It runs across cultures, which is appropriate for a melting pot like NYC. Verity is a strong character and is totally believable as a cryptid hunter (when necessary) and protector. And she's supported by a whole crew of individual and interesting characters, both human and non-human. There's also a much stronger streak of romance in this series.

I did have a few complaints, mostly dealing with the Covenant agent. It's emphasized over and over again that the Covenant is huge and powerful and deadly . . . and yet the agent sent to NYC to determine if the cryptid population there has grown so large that it needs to be purged comes across constantly as weak, uninformed, and honestly, not all that intelligent. After the buildup of the Covenant's reputation, I expect their agent to be just as powerful and deadly as Verity can be, but he doesn't come across that way. Sure, he kills some cryptids, but he doesn't seem to know much about anything regarding the cryptids overall. I wanted him to be a more competent and stronger individual, so that what happens between him and Verity is that much more powerful. You can still have a strong character with certain beliefs waver over the course of a book.

My other issue was with Verity herself: perhaps she's too strong. She has weak moments, gets hurt, and can be vulnerable, but overall her conviction is so strong that moments of doubt are just that--moments. She doubts herself for perhaps a breath or two, and then she's back storming away. I didn't get the sense that Verity changed herself during the course of the book. In fact, I felt that the story was really the Covenant agent's story, since he's the one that changed the most. Which is probably why I wanted him to be a stronger character.

In any case, that doesn't matter. The book is thoroughly enjoyable regardless and, as I said, a ton of fun. If you liked the October Daye books, I'd say you'll also love Verity Price and this new Incryptid series.
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