Discount Armageddon (InCryptids #1) by Seanan McGuire
Publisher: DAW/March 6th, 2012
Kind thanks to DAW for providing a review copy
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…
Verity Price is enjoying her relative freedom working as a strip club waitress in Manhattan, while conducting her survey on the cryptids of the area for the family biz, when she meets up with a member of a very old family enemy, the Covenant, who believe that all non-human entities should be summarily wiped off the face of the planet, no questions asked. This infuriates the Price family, who has created a tenuous trust with a large part of the cryptid population by offering support and assistance as well as keeping things safe for humans. The Price family certainly asks questions first, then only kills when necessary, so when Dominic DeLuca appears on Very’s rooftops, setting traps and killing indiscriminately, Very knows there’s going to be a real problem on her hands. Question is, how to handle it? Then there’s that pesky rumor of the dragon underneath Manhattan.
Discount Armageddon is one of the coolest books I’ve ever read. Hands down. I am a huge fan of the author’s October Daye series, so of course I was eager to see what she had in store for us in the new one. Turns out, quite a lot! Her Manhattan setting is mined for all it’s worth, with numerous trips into the underground tunnel systems (not to mention some kick ass fight scenes). Verity’s family is fascinating, as are her co-workers and friends. Speaking of co-workers: to supplement her first love (which is ballroom dancing), and to keep from relying completely on her family, Very works at a strip club owned by a bogeyman named Dave. Very’s a waitress, not a stripper, but you’ll find yourself charmed in various ways by her dancer (and cryptid) coworkers, and Dave is just…ugh. She has a cousin that’s a Cuckoo (so cool), and does her best to protect the city’s cryptids. Too bad Dominic DeLuca’s arrival puts a huge dent in her agenda. During the first half of the book, you’ll want to smack Dominic, hard (so does Very). He’s old fashioned, and has been indoctrinated with just the sort of agenda that the Price family has been trying so hard to destroy. Too bad he’s so darn cute. Unfortunately, they’ll have to work together to investigate the cryptid disappearances and find out just want is lurking in the sewers. You can’t go wrong with anything by Seanan McGuire. Her worldbuilding, characters, everything is superb, and if you’re already a fan of her books, you’ll love this one! If you haven’t discovered her books yet, Discount Armageddon is a great place to start!