1. Any creature whose existence has been suggested but not proven scientifically. Term officially coined by cryptozoologist John E. Wall in 1983.
2. That thing that's getting ready to eat your head.
3. See also: "monster."
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 when her work with the cryptid community took her to Manhattan, she thought she would finally be free to pursue competition-level dance in earnest. It didn't quite work out that way...
But now, with the snake cult that was killing virgins all over Manhattan finally taken care of, Verity is ready to settle down for some serious ballroom dancing - until her on-again, off-again, semi-boyfriend Dominic De Luca, a member of the monster-hunting Covenant of St. George, informs her that the Covenant is on their way to assess the city's readiness for a cryptid purge. With everything and everyone she loves on the line, there's no way Verity can take that lying down.
Alliances will be tested, allies will be questioned, lives will be lost, and the talking mice in Verity's apartment will immortalize everything as holy writ - assuming there's anyone left standing when all is said and done. It's a midnight blue-light special, and the sale of the day is on betrayal, deceit...and carnage.
©2013 Seanan McGuire (P)2013 Audible, Inc.
I like happy endings and realism that is realistic rather than gritty.
There is so much in this book that I like, and so much that bugs me.
Seanan McGuire presents an urban fantasy world and characters that are new, fun, and engaging. I especially love the supporting cast--the scary ones, the adorable ones, and the adorably scary ones.
The story elements are all there... but...
The melodrama. McGuire raises the stakes by having her first-person narrator over-react to plot elements. It's a common writing strategy--when our main character is worried, we as readers are expected to also become worried--but that writing strategy fails horribly when the character is freaking out about things that do not merit freaking out. (We're talking, the heroine successfully takes out horrible monsters, then launches into melodramatic, fatalistic monologues because a much less scary and less horrible monster might show up). If this is really an emergency, if this situation truly merits melodrama and fatalism, I as a reader need to be convinced of that much more thoroughly than McGuire managed.
The plot in book 2 is much simpler than in book 1, which would not be a problem, except that plot twists are replaced by fake tension and melodrama. Also, at least 5 times in the course of the book, our smart, savvy, trained-from-babyhood heroine makes the same stupid mistake. This isn't a theme in the book--it's not like the character's error is highlighted as a fatal flaw. No, the main character makes stupid, uncharacteristic mistakes, presumably whenever the writer needs a way to raise the stakes.
There's also this whole recognizing-long-lost relatives by sight thing in the book that I found completely unbelievable...I even stopped listening to do research, and math, on how ridiculous the idea in the book was. I could rant, but I'll restrain myself.
When book 3 comes out, I'll probably save my credit and look for the book at my local library.
The narrator's voice was too high-pitched for me. I would have enjoyed a deeper voice for sure. I also thought the writing was a bit amateurish.
Brush up on writing skills.
Choose a narrator that doesn't sound like a chipmunk on helium.
I only listened for 30 minutes.
The main character and storyline seemed like it could be fun. The voice, not the acting, of the narrator ruined this for me.
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