Title: Discount Armageddon
Author: Seanan McGuire
Copyright: 2012 (DAW); 344 pgs.
Series: InCryptid #1
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Verity comes from a long line of cryptozoologists. Her family left the Covenant of St. George years ago when they realized that killing every supernatural creature indiscriminately was wrong. Now, they study, protect, and assist the cryptid population. It doesn’t mean they won’t kill one if it because a danger, but it the last resort, not the first.
Even though she’s been trained to handle all sorts of knives and guns, and has had martial arts training, what Verity wants to do most is dance. Ballroom dancing, to be precise. Her family has agreed to allow her to pursue competitive dancing in New York, for a year, as long as it doesn’t interferes with her responsibilities to the cryptid population. And she has to keep her true identity hidden, so she won’t catch the attention of the Covenant.
Verity encounters a Covenant operative, Dominic De Luca, one evening while making her patrol rounds. Dominic’s in New York to ascertain if the city is in need of a purging — of cryptids, that is. This is not something Verity wants to hear, and Dominic is too indoctrinated to listen to Verity’s insistence that not all cryptid are dangerous monsters.
Cryptids start to disappear. Dominic insists he’s not killing them — he has no reason to lie to Verity. He thought she might be smuggling them out of the city to protect them him, but she assures him that she isn’t. They agree to team up because whatever is stalking cryptids, can’t be good for the human population either. While assisting Verity, Dominic sees for himself that not all cryptids are monstrous killers.
Comments: This was a fun read. I really enjoyed the world-building. Though her passion is dancing, it doesn’t take up much of the story. Most of Verity’s time is spent solving the mystery, doing her patrols, and working as a waitress.
The supporting cast was great. I can see Dominic unbending more and more as he starts thinking for himself. He made a lot of progress when he agreed to help. Verity certainly enjoys keeping him off balance.
Verity’s family is crazy, in a good way. They’re a close, loving family who’s members are also highly trained killers (they have to be, if they want to survive an encounter with the deadlier cryptids or Covenant operatives). They’re supportive of each other and I really liked hearing about them.
And one of my favorite things — the Aeslin mice. They can turn anything into a religious celebration. I loved them.
(Note: Cross-posted from Goodreads with some modifications).
Start: 24 March 2012
Finished: 25 March 2012