First, I am continuing my ranting about disappointing books. Second, I love Seanan McGuire’s October Daye books, so I expected to like her new series, InCryptid, as well.
To add some context, the excellent October Daye books are emotional and fraught with loss. I can understand why McGuire would want some relief from writing the heaviness of Daye’s San Francisco. Unfortunately, this first book just doesn’t gel. There are a lot of good elements, but I found it a frustrating read.
Verity Price was raised in a special family. She comes from a long line of reformed monster hunters, who are now “crypto-zoologists.” Instead of slaughtering monsters, they study and protect them, killing them only when there is no alternative. In order to become former monster hunters, they broke off from a hard-line ‘all monsters are evil’ organization, the Covenant of Saint George. The Covenant has a kill on sight policy with both cryptids and Prices. As a result, the family is in hiding.
Verity really wants to be a professional ball room dancer, and is living in Manhattan. There’s a lot going on. There’s lots of clever elements – hyper-religious mice, hard working cryptids trying to blend in, free-running, sassy sayings from mothers and grandmothers, witty repartee, etc. The problem is, Verity herself verges on too stupid too live. She is certain of her own smarts and abilities, but she makes stupid choices that are clearly destined to go wrong. And then there’s the rather flat love interest – Dominic, a Covenant of Saint George operative. For whatever reason, instead of killing her, he skulks about offended by her pro-cryptid attitude, interferes with her dance audition, and sleeps with her. And then there’s a dragon.
I have a lot of faith in Seanan McGuire, so I’m going to try the next book in the series, which was released last month. I hope it’s better.