Discount Armageddon by Seanan McGuire
Book 1 of the InCryptid series
Purchased from Amazon
Michelle, the Bookshelf Stalker’s Review – 4 Stars B+
When you think of the bogyman, you don’t normally think of him running a strip club named Dave’s Fish & Strips. How about those delicious sweet pastries you eat from your local bakery, is it the result of a talented bakery chef or a cryptid known as a Madhura?
Verity Price doesn’t have to wonder about the bogyman or other monsters that we thought were only figments of our overactive imagination. She is a cryptozoologist. Cryptozoologists study monsters. You can’t call Verity a monster hunter because sometimes, she is saving the monster from the human. Verity is in the unique position of trying to create a symbiotic relationship between human and cryptid (aka monster). If the cryptid does become the monster of our nightmares, Verity has been trained from birth to handle anything (and I mean anything) that is thrown at her. Verity’s entire family has been trained in the preservation of the cryptids and the safety of the clueless humans.
However, not everyone feels the same way as the Price family. The Covenant of St. George (aka “The Covenant”) wants to exterminate all cryptids. They are the… shoot first, ask questions later…type of organization that the Price family wants to save the cryptids from. To do this, Verity and her family have been in hiding and fighting those few Covenant that find their way to their doorstep.
Enter Dominic, a Covenant agent that comes to Verity’s city with one goal…exterminate the cryptids. Raised in the Covenant, Dominic not only has been brainwashed by the Covenant regarding how dangerous the cryptids are, but he’s also been misled about Verity Price and the rest of the family.
This book was crazy fun. McGuire is a master at world building. By the time you are halfway through the book, you truly believe that there are Aeslin mice, Ahools, Bogeyman, Ghouls, Madhura and other cryptids. Each cryptids is explained in detail, and the reader learns why a Madhura would prefer to work in a bakery, or why a dragon princess has endless gold in their “nest”. The details could be overwhelming for someone not used to this type of world building but I loved it. I love feeling like you are part of the world rather than just reading about a different world.
I will never eat gingerbread again without thinking of this book!
Let’s talk about mice baby!
I’ve already mentioned the mice. But really, they need to be mentioned again. They live with Verity in her apartment and they had me laughing so much. They believe that Verity is a goddess and basically worship her. Not only do they worship her but they are constantly throwing festivals to celebrate everything (and again, I do mean everything). In other words, the mice like to party and they will use any excuse to do so. The interactions between Verity and the mice were by far my favorite (next in line- Verity and the Madhura).
If you go to McGuire’s website , you can even get information about each cryptid and some very fun pictures. (See the mice below)
This isn’t your everyday Scooby Do mystery!
The actual storyline revolves around 1) Why are cryptids turning up dead and 2) Dominic and Verity’s relationship. I was a bit scared when it looked like Dominic was going to be Verity’s love interest. He seemed like a major ass at the beginning of the book and seemed so eager to follow the Covenant regardless of what Verity showed him about the cryptids. Both Verity and Dominic where good with weapons, physically strong, quick on their feet but they both were majorly conflicted when it came to each other.
Dominic and Verity decide to work together to solve the cryptid disappearance. They have their own motives in the beginning but soon, the reader sees a new side to Dominic. McGuire keeps the reader guessing regarding Dominic’s true motives all the way to the end of the book and I loved that. I won’t give away my feelings about Dominic at the end, you’ll just have to read the book!
The mystery of the dying cryptids had some great twists. I was stumped and I loved who ended up being the bad guy (or girl) in the end.
Those dancing feet!
One aspect of this book that I loved was Verity’s internal conflict. She was raised to be a Cryptozoologist but that doesn’t mean it’s her first love. Verity’s true love- dancing. Verity wants to help the cryptids (some of them are her adopted family) and wants her families respect, but since she was a child, her real love has been ballroom dancing. An important part of this book was Verity’s internal struggle with handling her passion versus her duties.
So much fun in this book. While the world building can be overwhelming, it was necessary in my opinion. Once you get past all the new cryptids you have to learn, the life of a Cryptozoologist, and the functions of the Covenant and Price family, you are left for a wild, fun ride that not only made me laugh but had me anxiously looking for more.
Hurry Seanan, I want book 2!!!!
Some of my favorite lines from the book-
“That isn’t an answer.” I planted my hands on my hips. “Was there a reason for shoving the gummy bears off the counter? Did they tell you they were suicidal? On second thought,” I raised a hand, palm out, “don’t answer that. If the candy is talking, I don’t want to know.”
“No matter how many times I put this on, I can’t get past the part where I look like a hooker.” “No, you don’t, honey.” said Carol. “hookers get better tips.”
“Ah” I sat up again, grinning at him. “That’s pretty much true. We’re all crazy. But crazy has its benefits.” “What benefits are those?” he asked warily. “Crazy gets all the knives.”
“Anyone who doesn’t believe that dance can be a form of combat should spend some time watching more well-endowed dancers trying to contain their cleavage with nothing more than adhesive and attitude.”
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