Saturday, March 31, 2012

Review: Discount Armageddon (InCryptid #1) - Seanan McGuire

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...

"Don't worry about me," I said flippantly. "I'm the bad thing that happens to other people."

A surprisingly hilarious story about a woman named Verity who hunts monsters while also protecting them.

Verity Price is a descendant from a family of traitors, according to the Covenant, who make it their mission to eradicate anything that they consider unnaturual, like the cryptids (also known as monsters).

Her family has been in hiding ever since abandoning their place in the Covenant and they now spend their time protecting, studying, and occasionally exterminating cryptids. 

I was temporarily thrown into supernatural overload when introduced to bogeymen, ahool, a johrlac, waheela, dragon princesses, talking mice, and more. Fortunately, there is a handy field guide included in the back of this novel. Unfortunately, I didn't discover this until I was a little more than halfway through, counting down how many pages I had left until I was finished.

Although I very much enjoyed the first half of this story, there were some problems I encountered and when I was 3/4 of the way through I found myself skimming so that I could finish and move on to something else.

I disliked the love interest..and I don't ever recall that happening to me before. Sure, they almost always start out with some sort of complication, such as being enemies or from opposing factions. But as the story progresses, these love interests become more relatable, start to show redeeming qualities, and in the end you're cheering them on. This didn't happen for me. Dominic De Luca just wasn't that guy. He's a member of the Covenant, disgusted by and ready to kill anything that isn't human. When he first meets Verity, he has an awkward, too formal way of speaking and I originally thought he was going to be an obstacle, a bad guy, and that first impression stuck with me. I appreciated his eventual change of heart after being enlightened to his own ignorance, but it certainly didn't endear me to him. I'm sure there will be plenty of readers who swoon over this stubborn, uptight, self-righteous character. Just don't count me as one of them.

Another issue for me was the story no longer holding my interests a short time after reaching the halfway point. Once Verity discovers the dragon under the city, she does a lot of running around explaining to others that the dragon exists and doing mundane tasks that really seemed to slow the story down. She encounters the lizard men on occasion, but not the actual people that are causing the problem or the dragon himself until the ending.

Despite my complaints, the story had its share of enjoyable moments. There were a lot of hilarious, well-written lines and I caught myself laughing often. I also enjoyed Verity herself. She's a very likable, kick ass character.

I don't know that I'll be continuing this series, but I recommend you give this a try despite my hang-ups. I seem to be in the minority with my feelings regarding this book, because I've seen a lot of excellent, gushing reviews. 

"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."


Miss Vain's Paranormal Fantasy said...

Okay I'm so glad I read your great review because I have no desire to read about a stuffy self righteous character!! No thank you!! Plus if you're skimming to finish then that's another reason for me to not read this...I find 3 star reviews to be the most difficult reviews to write, but you summed it up perfectly!!!:)

fishgirl182 said...

sorry you didn't love this. it's one of those books that i have been meaning to pick up. maybe i'll like it more than you. but thanks for sharing!

Alexa said...

I have this one on hold at the library for me right now so I can't wait to go pick it up. I read several reviews where people were raving. I'm sorry you had a few things with the book that you didn't like but I'm hoping I don't have the same issues.

Thanks for the great review

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