Discount Armageddon (Incryptid #1) by Seanan McGuire Book Review

Write on: Mon, 29 Jun 2020 by  in Charles' Reviews Read 2453


DISCOUNT ARMAGEDDON by Seanan McGuire is the first of the Incryptid series. I absolutely loved her Velveteen versus books (sadly unavailable in electronic format) and was eager to get started in another of her series. The Incryptid series drew me in with its beautiful cover that reminded me instantly of Buffy and had a self-aware sexiness. A picture is worth a thousand words and our first image of Verity Price says, "I am a monster hunting woman dressed as a schoolgirl--ask me why.

The premise is that Verity Price is a professional ballroom dancer/waitress at a strip club (not dancer)/monster hunter/crypto-zoologist. Basically, the setting is a little like Grimm. The world is full of monsters that are mostly harmless (or at least as harmless as ordinary people) but have a variety of powers as well as peculiar habits. These people, cryptids, are hunted by the fanatical religious terrorist organization known as the Covenant. Verity comes from a family of former Covenant who have decided this is murder and prefer to study them.

Verity is desperate to have a little normalcy in her life but not quite so much that she abandons her duty. Indeed, the strip club she works at is one that caters primarily to cryptids. It's during one of her trips to investigate some of the more animalistic ones that she meets Dominic Deluca. Dominic is a Covenant Hunter who has decidedly less positive views of cryptids. The two of them reluctantly have to team up when it becomes clear that there's something much worse than the usual "nasty" cryptids about.

The book is hilarious from beginning to end and full of overt wackiness mixed with beautifully written snark. Verity has a bunch of religious mice who worship her as a goddess that she keeps in a Barbie Dreamhouse. Her boss is a boogeyman who insists on trying to lure her into dark places just because that's what boogeymen do. Oh and money-obsessed dragon princesses who are Verity's chief tormentor's at her job.

I did have some issues with the book because some of Verity's actions seem driven more by humor than sense. For example, she tracks down a murderous serial-killing ghoul at the beginning of the book and manages to subdue it while it's preparing to murder another victim. She then promptly lets it go and gives it a warning to get out of town. This is meant to shock us that she's not a casual killer but she's mentioned as going after other murderous monsters.

I really liked the bizarre ecology that Seanan McGuire has created for this universe. There's a little "tell don't show" going on in that Verity often breaks into long and detailed descriptions of cryptid biology (zoology?) but that's justified by her profession. I also really like how aggressive and in control of her environment she is. She takes the initiative in romance and that's rare even in urban fantasy. Plus, the book is full of loving descriptions of her outfits and dancing.

Overall, I really enjoyed this novel and its various twists and turns. I wasn't a fan of the Dominic character but every other character was awesome. Verity is a solid heroine and I look forward to reading more of her adventures. I listened to the audiobook version and strongly recommend the narrator.

Available here

Last modified on Tuesday, 30 June 2020 11:00
C.T. Phipps

C.T Phipps is a lifelong student of horror, science fiction, and fantasy. An avid tabletop gamer, he discovered this passion led him to write and turned him into a lifelong geek. He is a regular blogger on "The United Federation of Charles".

He's written Agent G, Cthulhu Armageddon, Lucifer's Star, and The Supervillainy Saga.