Apr. 12th, 2016

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One day, I will learn what the connection of the titles are to the books here. Maybe.

Book #5: Pocket Apocalypse
Author: Seanan McGuire
Provenance: Listened to the audiobook from Audible

So here we are at book 4 in the InCryptid series! I read Discount Armageddon, the first book in this set, a while back, and was fine with it, but not enough to continue on, I guess? But then I thought about it more, and I wanted to read more of McGuire's stuff, and so now I'm through another one. And it was enjoyable, although I doubt I've liked any of the books in this series as much as the Toby Daye books.

In this one, Alex Price (the brother of the main character of the first two books) is taken back to Australia by his girlfriend to help manage werewolves making their way to the continent. And in InCryptid-land, lycanthropy is even worse than you'd normally think, because any mammal can be turned into a werewolf, so the potential pool of wolves is much larger. Also, being an island ecosystem, having a whole new set of predators around could be really devastating. (This in a continent that has like a million feral camels because someone thought camels were a good idea.) But of course, things get to be more complicated, and y'know. Werewolf shenanigans of a creative and clever variety.

Even though it's a different set of characters from the first Alex book, I think I enjoyed this one a bit more than the previous one. The setting was well thought through, with a good cast of characters among the Australian crypto-zoologist crew, and the writing is, as usual, a lot of fun - good character beats and humor, a different enough voice from Verity (or Toby), top notch use of talking mice. Lots of creative non-humans, both sentient and not, really. Those relationships are always interesting to see here. And the plot had some good twists, which I will not divulge. It's also more horror-y than a lot of McGuire's stories are; I'm not really a huge fan of that generally, but it wasn't enough to put me off.

A couple of points, though: there's always so much more people talking about how proficient they are at escaping or hurting each other in this series, a lot of posturing, and... I guess maybe it's not unrealistic, given the character set, but there always comes a point in these where I've had enough of it, and it's never when the book has run out, it seems. And some of the stuff around the werewolf plot and Alex's attitude towards it seemed... again, maybe not unrealistic for the character, but I did want to shake him a couple of times, and was happy when essentially one of the other characters finally did.

So yeah, I mean... these are still fun reads, and I'm not stopping with them. I already have #5 on my nightstand. We'll see how long it takes to get to that one. I wouldn't read this one first (definitely at least read Half-Off Ragnarok before this), but if you're enjoying the series, this'll be good for you, too.


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