this is part of as days pass by, by Stuart Langridge

Books I own by Seanan McGuire

Discount Armageddon goodreads

Seanan McGuire (InCryptid #1)

Interesting book, with a weird title -- not a bad title per se, but it doesn't really belong on this book. I can't decide whether I like it. I certainly don't like the cover art, but I assume that that was pressed upon the author by someone at the publisher who was terribly excited about getting to put a woman on the cover. Anyway, Verity Price's family used to be part of an ancient secret organisation (aren't they all) of monster hunters -- monsters, you see, by which here we mean "non-humans" and which the 'verse names "cryptids", are all over the place and the Covenant of St. George hunt them down and kill them. But the Price family, all of whom still seem to be around in various states of life or death or undeath or something, broke away and decided that straight-up murder of species wasn't the right thing and instead they'd do cryptozoology; study the cryptids, be friends with them, and occasionally kill one who'd decided that the all-you-can-eat human buffet was just too much. So far, so back story.

Some of the cryptids are human in appearance and sentient and intelligent, and Verity spends some time arguing (convincingly) with a Covenant member that such beings are not to be shot on sight because we should respect life, all of which is true. There are non-intelligent cryptids too, though -- an ahool, a bat-like thingy, is mentioned -- which the Covenant also kill and Verity sorta-kinda wants to protect as well. It's not wholly clear to me what makes such a thing different from, say, a tiger; surely "doesn't have an Encyclopedia Britannica entry" doesn't qualify you as a cryptid to be killed. I mean, what makes them cryptids rather than animals? I don't get it. Anyway, all that aside, Verity manages to juggle cryptozoology and ballroom dancing quite well, although she's pretty sneery about things like not going in the New York subway out of, as far as I can tell, sheer snobbery. She's got a pretty snarky tone of voice, which is fairly normal for modern urban fantasy. The Masquerade is absurdly strong in this 'verse, though; how on earth there aren't a zillion government labs experimenting on cryptids to find out how they can have snakes for hair or generate mass from nothing escapes me completely. There's a sorta handwavy attempt to point at the various species being naturally evolved from animals, but this is really just something where you have to suspend disbelief and enjoy Price kicking some monster arse from time to time. I'll give the next one a shot.

Midnight Blue-Light Special goodreads

Seanan McGuire (InCryptid #2)

More of the same with Verity Price. There's quite a lot more Sarah in this one, including a whole section from her point of view, although we don't learn anything much about telepathy or how the world is from a cuckoo's point of view.

Definition of "cryptid" from the front matter: "any creature whose existence has been suggested but not proved scientifically". This seems weird, especially given the Covenant's hatred; in particular, it's hard to imagine that if the Loch Ness Monster were found to actually exist that the Covenant would just turn up and kill it. Again the book sorta glosses over non-intelligent cryptids and what they mean for the rules.

Fun diversion for an evening, though. I was not surprised by the decision that a character makes (avoiding spoilers), because these books are a bit too light and fluffy for that decision to have gone the other way.

Books I acquired (and have reviewed) in time 2022 2020 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009

Back to the list of all books