Discount Armageddon by Seanan McGuire
InCryptid # 1
DAW, 352 pages
Ghoulies. Ghosties. Long-legged beasties. Things that go bump in the night… 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 is spending a year in Manhattan while she pursues her career in professional ballroom dance. Sounds pretty simple, right? It would be, if it weren’t for the talking mice, the telepathic mathematicians, the asbestos supermodels, and the trained monster-hunter sent by the Price family’s old enemies, the Covenant of St. George. When a Price girl meets a Covenant boy, high stakes, high heels, and a lot of collateral damage are almost guaranteed. To complicate matters further, local cryptids are disappearing, strange lizard-men are appearing in the sewers, and someone’s spreading rumors about a dragon sleeping underneath the city…
I’m a fan of Mira Grant, but I have never read any of her other novels that she wrote as Seanan McGuire. Or, rather, I liked Seanan McGuire’s books that she wrote as Mira Grant. But anyway, I haven’t read the October Daye series only because there are already a lot of books in the series and I kind of felt that if I started it and I liked it, I would have that compulsion to complete it, too. So when I heard that she had a new series coming out, I set my sights on it and eventually ordered it from Book Depository.
Verity Price comes from a long line of cryptozoologists, someone who studies and protects various kinds of ghouls, monsters and beasts (aka cryptids) from humanity and protect humanity from them. But all Verity wanted to do was dance. Given her interesting family history, however, she had to make a compromise — she stays in Manhattan to do her job as a Price, and she gets to dance under a completely different persona. It was a good enough deal, until she runs into one of her family’s enemies, a member of the Covenant of St. George. What’s more, local cryptids are starting to disappear, and there’s news of a dragon sleeping somewhere…how will Verity ever dance, now?
From the first page of Discount Armageddon, I knew I was going to have fun. There’s a lot of wit in the books reminiscent of what I read in the Newsflesh universe, but also a bit leveled-up because Verity seems to drip sarcasm all the time. I loved the banter between her and her family, her and her work mates, her and the cryptids in Manhattan and especially with the Covenant boy. I loved the quotes that start off each chapter, because it gives the story more depth and it makes me want to get to know their entire family history, too. Verity is the kind of heroine you’d definitely want to be on your side, and I like how loyal she is to her family and to her causes. She doesn’t have much issues, save for her need to dance, and that makes me like her just as much as I liked Kate Daniels.
The universe is also well-written. I loved all the cryptids that appeared in the book, and how each has their own personalities. It was a little confusing keeping track of them, but since this is the start of a series, it is pretty forgivable. There was just a time when I felt that the story was dragging too long, like the action should have been here but it happened a few pages later. The climax was action-packed and fun. I kind of predicted how things will unfold, but even so, I liked how things were wrapped up.
Discount Armageddon is a fun book, and urban fantasy lovers will get a kick out of this new universe. I’m not quite entirely sure if I want to read the rest of the series just yet, because that means I would have to wait a while to read the next ones. So maybe I should wait. Except that I heard that there’s a manananggal in the second book. Eee.
Oh, and I want my own Aeslin mice. HAIL!
My copy: mass market paperback, ordered from Book Depository