Half-Off Ragnarok (InCryptid #3), Seanan McGuire
Reviewed by Amanda
Published by DAW, March 4, 2014
Paperback 368 pages
When Alex Price agreed to go to Ohio to oversee a basilisk breeding program and assist in the recovery of his psychic cousin, he didn’t expect people to start dropping dead. But bodies are cropping up at the zoo where he works, and his girlfriend—Shelby Tanner, an Australian zoologist with a fondness for big cats—is starting to get suspicious.
Worse yet, the bodies have all been turned partially to stone…
The third book in the InCryptid series takes us to a new location and a new member of the family, as Alex tries to balance life, work, and the strong desire not to become a piece of garden statuary. Old friends and new are on the scene, and danger lurks around every corner.
Of course, so do the talking mice.
I think I would like to spend just a few hours in Seanan McGuire’s head while she’s writing or thinking about her writing projects. She goes from the book series I still can’t shut up about, Newsflesh, to her new Parasite series, to the October Daye series, to Incryptid and still more I haven’t read yet. She lists her writing projects on her blog and I just don’t know how she can keep it all straight! So more than a few hours in her head would be way too exhausting for me-but I feel it would be amazing.
McGuire jumps you in with both feet to her InCryptid world, but she gives you a comfortable landing place. She doesn’t infodump, but fills you in all along so you’re comfortable in the world of the Price family. I don’t think you necessarily have to have read books 1 and 2 of this series to follow Half Off Ragnarok, but they are also really fun. The Price family are all pretty much nuts which is why the series is so enjoyable. They take their work and family relationships seriously, but nothing else. Again, the books are just fun, and while there’s action, thus far they haven’t broken my heart like October Daye (that pie still kills me) or the Newsflesh trilogy. This series makes me laugh, but keeps me thinking too.
I like that McGuire writes kick ass female protagonists like Verity Price, but her male leads like Alex are great too. I really enjoyed his science nerd outlook and I’m looking forward to his next book. Half Off Ragnarok gives us some of the characters who were in Verity’s world which I really enjoyed, but also introduces some awesome new species as well. And there’s actually a very helpful lexicon included in the books so you can keep track of all the Cryptids.
And really, how can you not love a series with talking, worshipful mice? Though that could be my one complaint, they weren’t in this book enough! I want my own colony of Aeslin mice very badly. I wonder how they’d do with a labrador?
I’m thankful that Seanan McGuire writes so much of everything because she has a ton of Price family short stories on her blog. I need to sit down and read all of these to get my fix before 2015 and the next InCryptid. Though I admit-I’m already reading Half Off Ragnarok again.
5 stars! Read all her books!
Holly I might have to put these on your assigned reading shelf!