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Confessions of a Bibliophile

An aspiring writer and bookstore employee with an incredibly bad book-buying habit... I'll read just about anything (so long as it will appeal to my interests in some way), but my main loves are YA and sci-fi/fantasy. I also like quirky history and science books and will book nerd. A lot. Currently in the process of weeding out my personal library. Find me on Twitter @princess_starr or check out my YA book, Snowfall, on Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/240027

Discount Armageddon (InCryptid Series #1)

Discount Armageddon - Seanan McGuire After I finished the brilliance that was the Newsflesh trilogy and realized that “Oh, Mira Grant’s a pseudonym, okay,” I had to fight the urge to go out and buy EVERY ONE OF SEANAN MCGUIRE’S BOOKS. (As I do when I first start getting into an author with a massively backlog. Oh, and also helping was her appearance on the Anglofilles Podcast; basically after listening I went “I like you. I want to throw money at you, is that okay?”) But I also realize that just because I liked the social commentary zombies doesn’t necessarily mean that I’m going to love every single one of her books. So I settled with buying the first books in her two series and starting from there.That said—I started with the InCryptid books as they sounded far more interesting and more fun-filled brain candy. And this delivered. I devoured this whole book with the biggest grin on my face the whole time, and if it wasn’t for the fact that I don’t have the next one in the series, I would have automatically tore into Book 2 after getting the last page of Discount Armageddon. And not only is this happy fun brain-candy, but it’s extremely intelligent and a lot smarter than looking at the cover would give it credit for. (I read it on vacation; my mom took one look at the cover and started the “Why are you reading a trashy book?” thing, and I just looked at her.)It’s really a mystery to me why I don’t read tons and tons of urban fantasy, since one of the ideas I absolutely love is that our world is constantly brushing up against the supernatural. In the world of InCryptid, not only is this true, but the supernatural creatures have evolved to the point where taking human forms is not only the safe thing to do, but their means of survival. I loved the rich variety of creatures who all appear in this book—the Madhura, Ryan the tanuki (MORE RYAN CAN WE GET MORE RYAN), Carol the lesser gorgon with a hair problem. But what I also liked is how much McGuire loving pokes fun at the various tropes associated with these creatures. The running gag of Carol having issues with her snakes—it’s been done before, but how it’s handled does feel like a new take on gorgons and how one would function in the modern world. I honestly love the fact that all of the dragon princesses are drop dead gorgeous women who could be super models and all of their non-money accruing time is spent lounging on gold. It feels like it should be a take that of trophy wives, but it never gets that far. I really liked that Candy has a reason to dislike Verity, and it’s not petty at all. (It also goes without saying the Aeslin mice are the best. Look, I got sold on this series based on the mice and I’m very happy that they lived up to the hype.) VERITY! After finishing this book, I texted my best friend and said she had to read this based on the fact that Verity is a wannabe professional ballroom dancer who makes her own soundtracks to fight with. (Said soundtrack includes Aqua, Pink, and this song.) It sounds so ridiculous, but it works so well. And I love Verity. It’s easy to write her off as yet another snarky main character (let’s be honest, writing good snark is really hard), but I liked that her caring side does come out a lot. Even when she’s dealing with Candy and trying to tell the dragon princesses that there could be a dragon under the city, she’s willing to take the risk of being thrown out and having Candy hate her for the rest of her life. And I just love Verity. She’s so much fun to read and I love her dealing with the various creatures that inhabit New York City’s literal underground. (OH AND THE DANCING. THAT WAS AWESOME. Again, see the aforementioned fight soundtrack.) And the love story. Verity’s dislike of Dominic isn’t boiled down to “Oh, we must dislike each other because ~sexual tension~!” but there’s an actual reason for it. Associating with Dominic de Luca is a major risk for Verity and her family. And Dominic’s reaction to Verity isn’t just “Oh, who is this insufferable woman who sets my loins on fire, I must see her more.” He actually does have a change of heart while he’s investigating things with Verity and seeing that Cryptids aren’t all evil and out to eat every human who stumbles across their lairs. (I really loved the exchange about bugbears. “Your precious bugbears are probably eating the homeless population!” “…THEY EAT GARBAGE. GOD what do they teach you covenant kids.”) I actually really liked their relationship, and I’m curious to see where it’s going in the second book.Also, randomly, SARAH. Who is the best character. Telepathic cuckoos for the win, and also her and Verity are the best together. (Really, the thing I’m looking forward to the most with the InCryptid series is all of the different stories we’re going to get about the Price family. I can’t wait to read Sarah’s story.)I do really like the actual plotline of the book. I liked how things progress from thinking that cryptid women are disappearing, okay it’s the Covenant of St. George guy oh wait it’s not and why are there Sleestaks crawling around in the sewers. It’s not a completely random reveal and everything does fit in context. And I liked that there’s so much left open for future adventures, but the main story is largely wrapped up with some room to affect future volumes. The world-building is dense enough without being hugely complicated and there’s so much still unexplained and unknown and really I just want more. (Hooray for online extras.)Honestly, all I can say is that GUYS YOU HAVE TO READ THIS SERIES. Or at least book 1, I get that this won’t necessarily be for everyone, but still YOU HAVE TO READ THIS. For those picking up Seanan McGuire’s books after reading the Newsflesh trilogy, I will say that this is a very different tone from her Mira Grant stuff. But it’s not to say if you liked the social commentary zombies you’re not going to like this, I’m just letting people know upfront. That said THIS WAS AWESOME and I just want more. Now. (Luckily, there’s a backlog.)