Friday, March 23, 2012

Review: Discount Armageddon by Seanan McGuire

Title: Discount Armageddon

Author: Seanan McGuire

Format: Paperback, 350 pages

Publication Date: March 6, 2012

What it's about:

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... (via Goodreads)

Favorite quote: "The things I do to keep potentially extinct monsters from eating the human race, I swear."

My Thoughts:

Seanan McGuire will make you question if the things that go bump in the night could be your next door neighbors, your co-workers, or even friends in her latest book Discount Armageddon, part of her new Incryptid series.

Discount Armageddon focuses on Verity Price, a typical 20-something year old, who just happens to be a cryptozoologist, a ballroom dancer, and has a familial obligation as a member of the Price family to study the monsters who may just happen to be serving you lunch all while, as stated in the description above, working to protect them from humanity and humanity from them.

Not only did I immediately fall in love with this book, but I fell in love with the main character Verity Price. She is Buffy the Vampire Slayer for the next generation minus all the teen angst. Blonde girl bad-ass, who loves to dance, loves boys, loves shoes, she just happens to know how to get blood out of her clothing better than most. What is not to love? Not to say Verity doesn't have angst, after all she has to constantly try to protect her identity as a Price, so the society called the Covenant of St. George, which the Prices used to be members of but left because they discovered that not every cryptid in the world was senseless killer that needed to be exterminated, as the Covenant preached, so basically killing harmless creatures would make them just as bad as the cryptids who do kill, don't find her and exterminate her as well. She does all this while working at a strip club as a cocktail waitress and leading a double life as a ballroom dancer who has found moderate success after staring on a reality show called, Dance or Die. Sometimes a girl has to do what a girl has to do to live out her dream.

But, beyond the bad-ass main character, McGuire has created a rich, fantastically detailed world. I am envious of what goes on in this woman's head! One thing that I know some readers have claimed to struggle with in her books is the fact that the she uses a lot of exposition, however, I felt that all of the back story was relevent and actually served a good purpose, not to mention it seemed to flow seemlessly between what was happening situationally in the book and giving us enough detail to get a really good idea of what the world Verity lives in as a whole.....past and present. I personally enjoyed the descriptions of different types of cryptids and their purposes.

There is a bit of romance in the book, which I also thoroughly enjoyed. Dominic De Luca is the hot boy Verity has a run in with on night while she is patrolling the rooftops, and who just happens to be a member of the Covenant. All sorts of complications ensue. But, what I liked most about the romance is that it wasn't constantly in your face. You knew that Verity was the main focus of the story. And Verity didn't become a blithering idiot every time Dominic looked in her direction. In fact, she spends a good amount of time wondering if she should join him, kick his ass or kill him. Dominic never treats her as lesser either. From the beginning he respects her abilities even if he doesn't respect her philosophies or her reasoning.

Throughout the story we are introduced to several members of Verity's family, although we only really get to know her cousin by adoption, Sarah, who is a cryptid of the cuckoo variety and who just happens to possess telepathic abilities. We learn they all have some special talents and have been researching cryptids for generations. We also learn that Verity's grandmother spends most of her time spelunking in the Underworld trying to find her grandfather. With just the few glimpses we get of the family members McGuire introduces us to I can't wait for future books and stories to get more involved in the Price family.

Overall, this is a fun, fast-paced read. I have read all of Seanan McGuire's books, including the ones she writes under her pseudonym Mira Grant and I have to say that this is by far one of my favorites. I definitely urge you to give this series a go and to check out McGuire's website that has links to not only more adventures of the Price clan, but information about her other series, as well as links to her music and her LiveJournal account, to which she is a very active blogger, and other goodies. I tell you I have no idea how this woman gets any sleep!

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

1 comment:

  1. Great post! I like the comparison between Discount Armageddon and the Buffy series. It looks like there is a nice balance of humor with dark matter. Very cool, must read this week! :)