Tuesday, June 12, 2012

REVIEW: Seanan McGuire's Discount Armageddon

Book: Discount Armageddon

Author: Seanan McGuire

Series: InCryptid

Publishing stats: March 6th 2012 by DAW (USA)

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Cover Blurb: 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...

A lifetime of training isn't enough to prepare Verity for what's ahead - especially not for Dominic De Luca, the Covenant's newest operative. When a Price girl meets a Covenant boy, high stakes, high heel, and a lot of collateral damage are almost guaranteed.

First line: Verity danced circles around the living room, her amateurish pirouettes and unsteady leaps accompanied by cheers and exultations from the horde of Aeslin mice perched on the back of the couch.

What I liked: The tone of this book had an inherent humour that proved to be not only engaging but damn amusing. The writing of this book definitely had a lighter, funner tone than Ms. McGuire's October Daye series that, in my opinion, really let stand out. Heck, if not for her name on the cover, I never would have guessed the same author wrote both series; a true accomplishment, I think, for any author writing multiple series. Additionally, I also love the little genre-savvy family sayings that subtitle each chapter (e.g. “Never tell anyone to be careful, never ask what that noise was, and for the love of God, never, ever say that you'll be right back." —Evelyn Baker”). 

What I didn’t like: It ended much too soon. I loved this book and waiting for the next book - in particular to see how the relationship between Dominic and Verity develops (if this turns into a love triangle in coming books, I'll scream) - is going to be rough. With Ms. McGuire working on something like four series at the moment - two of them published - it's understandable, but that doesn't make the wait itself any easier to deal with!

Overall: I love how balance played a running theme throughout the book, particularly in characters. You have Verity Price, the descendent of rogue monster hunters turned cryptyozoologists, trying to balance familial duty with her dancing ambitions. You have Dominic De Luca, devout follower of the monster hunting Covenant, trying to balance what he's been taught to believe his whole life with what he's learning first hand in the field with Verity. You have the entire Price family trying to studying the cryptids of the world and maintain a balance between the dangerous and the necessary. It was delightful.

Would I read this author again: HELL YES! The second book in this series, Midnight Blue-Light Special, comes out next spring and cannot come too soon.

My rating: ♥♥♥♥♥/5

To purchase the book for yourself, you can find it at Chapters.Indigo.ca, Amazon.ca, Amazon.com, or Barnes & Noble. Enjoy!

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