Thursday, March 6, 2014

Review: "Half-Off Ragnarok" by Seanan McGuire

Half-Off Ragnarok (InCryptid, #3)Half-Off Ragnarok by Seanan McGuire
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

"Half-Off Ragnarok", as the third book in the InCryptid series, held certain expectations for me, in terms of characters and universe. Seanan McGuire not only delivered on those expectations, she knocked it out of the ballpark.

The book begins a few months after the last book ended, with Alex Price, Verity's brother, as the main character. Alex is working at the local zoo, officially studying frogs and reptiles in the local swamps, and unofficially basilisks and other cryptids. He's trying to get a love life with a visiting Australian researcher, Shelby Tanner, while living with his grandparents to help take care of his cousin, Sarah, who is recovering from blowing out her telepathic abilities. Luckily, Alex's administrative assistant, a gorgon named Dee, helps feed the animals and remind Alex of his dates with Shelby.

McGuire sets up this tangled mess of responsibilities for Alex, and then plops in the murder of one of Alex's interns. Since the man was partially petrified, Alex knows that a cryptid was responsible. So now he has to find out if the death was an accident or a murder, not get arrested for the crime, and try to keep Shelby as a girlfriend.

The story moves along nicely, maintaining a good pace without either losing me or boring me. The overall voice in the book is different from the former books, which is good since Alex is speaking instead of Verity. That had been one of my concerns, that this book would sound like the other books even though the main character is different. The author even manages to make a solid, twist ending, though looking back I see foreshadowing, it isn't obvious enough to spoil the story.

Overall, I love this book and I hope that Seanan McGuire writes more book in this universe.

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