Monday, August 5, 2013

Title:    Discount Armageddon [Incryptid, book 1]
Author:  Seanan McGuire
Rating:  ★★★

I think I just discovered another one of those must-buy books. The plot is very interesting, and although it sat in my Nook's TBR pile for quite some time, I never once picked up another book while I was reading it because I wanted to concentrate on Discount Armageddon. 

Ghoulies. Ghosties. Long-legged beasties. Things that go bump in the night... 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 is spending a year in Manhattan while she pursues her career in professional ballroom dance. Sounds pretty simple, right? It would be, if it weren't for the talking mice, the telepathic mathematicians, the asbestos supermodels, and the trained monster-hunter sent by the Price family's old enemies, the Covenant of St. George. When a Price girl meets a Covenant boy, high stakes, high heels, and a lot of collateral damage are almost guaranteed. To complicate matters further, local cryptids are disappearing, strange lizard-men are appearing in the sewers, and someone's spreading rumors about a dragon sleeping underneath the city...

The story has it all for kick-ass female-protagonist-plot lovers: a gun-toting heel-clad female who can ballroom dance and fight her way out of trouble, a really hunky and supportive love interest, highly interesting family members, loveable friends, and a very interesting take on monsters. Have you ever read other books where the kick-ass female is a ballroom dancer and lives to protect 'em? Not your everyday, ordinary plot, I say.

I am totally rooting for this to be turned into a movie, with Sarah Gellar-Prinze as Verity Price. Verity Price, or Very to her family, is blond, and a ballroom dancer...but a cryptozoologist first. She's very nice, quite smart, and very witty. She's armed with more than your usual share of physical weaponry like guns and knives, she also has sharp retorts to boot...and killer heels, whose very moniker doesn't need any further elaboration.

Losing myself into Discount Armageddon, I felt like it was a whole new world. The story supposes that the monsters who lives under your bed, or are just said to be horror stories (or wishful thinking, for some) are actually real and some are even harmless to humans. Thankfully, the author, Seanan McGuire, explains what exactly a cryptozoologist is, and what a cryptid is, and other very interesting fictional factoids about basilisks, worshiping mice, dragons. She also gives quite an example of how great it would be to have a martial arts-capable guy be in love with you.

Dominic De Luca is still an enigma to me. Well, sorry, a hunky enigma. He's smart, he's reasonable, and he's still finding his way into battling his upbringing since birth, converting from hard-core Covenant boy into a man who...well, met Verity Price and couldn't resist her. Kidding. Partly. With the course of his travels with Verity into finding out why a lot of cryptid "virgins" are being killed, he discovers that maybe the Covenant sermons are not really all that honest, and may be not all that correct. I love that he's not controlling and respects Verity's ability to fight and protect the cryptids, even if it's not what he believes in. Of course, he's protective and scared to death when she's in trouble, but at least he's not your typical alpha male who thinks women aren't capable of holding their own in a fight.

The secondary characters are all adorable, especially the Aeslin mice and Sarah, and except for a sleazy bogeyman and traitorous dragon princess. But then again I am impressed with McGuire's ability to really make me dislike two characters in less than 400 pages. I am looking forward to reading about Antimony, and hopes she will deliver as good as she sounds she would.

Discount Armageddon is fast-paced, and each chapter is filled with butt-kicking and witty retorts or funny quips. At the start of each chapter are one-liner advices from the females in the Healy/Price line, and some really amused me. These are not slapstick comedic lines, but retorts that pack a punch...literally and figuratively.

All in all, Discount Armageddon is a fresh series that promises to deliver page after page of action, new caboodles of fictional "facts" about cryptids, and absorbing interaction between its characters. Now, I gotta boogie and get my hands on the sequel. Ciao!