A good many weeks ago, care of one of my good online friends, I rediscovered Seanan McGuire. I’ve heard of her before, and I knew she wrote books, but at the time I was in my “I don’t have time to read!” phase (which we all know is crazytalk). I won’t go into the details, but basically, Amazon shipped copies of her latest book Discount Armageddon early, which meant those sales wouldn’t be included in the book’s first week numbers, which led to her being upset (understandably so), which led to some people throwing it all out of proportion.
I suppose you might say that for me, this was a case of “any publicity is good publicity”, because I told myself I would get myself a copy of her book on its first week out. After all, I’ve been meaning to try her writing, so why not now?
I know this review comes late, but–holy moly, this was totally worth it. I knew I would feel good about purchasing the book even if I didn’t like it, but the enjoyment I got from the book was so. totally. worth. it.
Why, is there full-price Armageddon?
Okay, I was just trying to be cheeky. I still don’t know why the book is named Discount Armageddon. It’s the first in a series (named InCryptid) chronicling the life and times of one Verity Price, who comes from a long line of cryptozoologists. Think monster hunters, only in reverse. Well, they hunt some monsters too, if said monsters don’t behave. But otherwise they have a full-time job of taking care that the “monster” population doesn’t drive the super clueless human population batty and insane.
I mean, really. What is there not to like about Discount Armageddon? You’ve got mad ninja skillz. You’ve got all zombies, werewolves, vampires–or close enough. You’ve got hot smouldering young male arch enemies. But you’ve also got Dancing With the Stars! I mean, really.
(Okay, I don’t watch Dancing With the Stars. I actually don’t watch much TV. But that was so awesome anyway.)
You’ve got all that, you might almost forgive bad writing. But this is fabulous, cheeky, witty, enjoyable writing. I couldn’t put the book down. I grinned through a lot of it, laughed out loud sometimes, and reread pieces multiple times for the enjoyment of it.
Okay, but will I like monsters?!
Well, I know I’d rather not meet a monster myself, but Seanan McGuire’s characters are superb. She’s got some good stereotypes here, but she’s given them such a fresh feel they don’t feel like stereotypes at all: a loligoth waheela, a stunning-and-snobby blonde dragon princess. I mean, you could say Verity could be such a stereotype too, but between her tireless care for the community she cares for, her preference for parkour over public transportation, and her passion for dance, she’s absolute fun to read and follow around.
Also impressive (to me) is how she’s taken creatures from almost every sort of mythology available and mixed them together to form this interesting and colorful society. We’ve got your usual mythological creatures present in fantasy like shapeshifters and dragons and ghouls, but mixed in with tanukis and waheela, along with a smattering of original creations like cuckoos and Aeslin mice.
(I think I like the mice best of all.)
For a trivia fiend like me, oh my gosh I must find out every small thing there there is in this amazing new world!
This is what I don’t like about series books
Sadly, this glimpse into this amazing world feels all too fleeting. Maybe it’s because I practically devoured the book while reading it–it was so difficult to put down. It’s an easy and enjoyable read that time flew while I was lost in Verity’s world, and after finishing the book, I wanted more, more, more!
(There’s also a glossary at the end of the book. This was almost embarrassingly very interesting to me.)
Discount Armageddon was something kind of like an impulse buy, but I’m so pleased to have bought it. It was enjoyable and entertaining with interesting characters and fast pacing that just keeps you glued to the book for hours on end. I’ll definitely be looking forward to the next books in this series!