Magic for Nothing (InCryptid #6) by Seanan McGuire
Synopsis from GoodReads (warning for series spoilers!):
1. Not very likely to happen; not probable.
2. Probably not a very good idea anyway.
3. See also “bad plan.”
As the youngest of the three Price children, Antimony is used to people not expecting much from her. She’s been happy playing roller derby and hanging out with her cousins, leaving the globe-trotting to her older siblings while she stays at home and tries to decide what she wants to do with her life. She always knew that one day, things would have to change. She didn’t think they’d change so fast.
Annie’s expectations keep getting shattered. She didn’t expect Verity to declare war on the Covenant of St. George on live television. She didn’t expect the Covenant to take her sister’s threat seriously. And she definitely didn’t expect to be packed off to London to infiltrate the Covenant from the inside…but as the only Price in her generation without a strong resemblance to the rest of the family, she’s the perfect choice to play spy. They need to know what’s coming. Their lives may depend on it.
But Annie has some secrets of her own, like the fact that she’s started setting things on fire when she touches them, and has no idea how to control it. Now she’s headed halfway around the world, into the den of the enemy, where blowing her cover could get her killed. She’s pretty sure things can’t get much worse.
Antimony Price is about to learn just how wrong it’s possible for one cryptozoologist to be.
Glitter and Mayhem edited by John Klima, Lynne M. Thomas, & Michael Damian Thomas
Synopsis from GoodReads:
Welcome to Glitter & Mayhem, the most glamorous party in the multiverse.
Step behind the velvet rope of these fabulous Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror tales of roller rinks, nightclubs, glam aliens, party monsters, drugs, sex, glitter, and debauchery.
Dance through nightclubs, roller derby with cryptids and aliens, be seduced by otherworldly creatures, and ingest cocktails that will alter your existence forever. Your hosts are the Hugo Award-winning editors John Klima (Electric Velocipede) and Lynne M. Thomas (Apex Magazine), and the Hugo-nominated editor Michael Damian Thomas (Apex Magazine).
Join glittery authors Christopher Barzak (One for Sorrow) and Daryl Gregory (Pandemonium) on the dance floor, drink cocktails with Maria Dahvana Headley (Queen of Kings: A Novel of Cleopatra, the Vampire) and Tim Pratt (Marla Mason series), and skate with Seanan McGuire (InCryptid series), Diana Rowland (Kara Gillian series), and Maurice Broaddus (The Knights of Breton Court series). The fantastic Amber Benson gets the party started with her floor-rattling introduction (Calliope Reaper-Jones series).
Yeah, I need to think of a better title the next time I do one of these…
So, Seanan McGuire has written no small amount of short stories for her InCryptid series, most of which are hosted at her website. Thanks to a combination between that and the library having two of the anthologies that contain some of those short stories (one each, of course), I’ve managed to blitz through all of the short stories that focus on Jonathan and Frances Healy’s lives together. So, here’s a quick little review of: The Flower of Arizona, One Hell of a Ride, No Place Like Home, Stingers and Strangers, Married in Green, Sweet Poison Wine, The First Fall, Loch and Key, We Both Go Down Together, Oh Pretty Bird, Bury Me in Satin, Snakes and Ladders, Broken Paper Hearts, and The Star of New Mexico.
Phew. Let’s get started.
Chaos Choreography by Seanan McGuire
Synopsis from GoodReads: (CONTAINS SERIES SPOILERS!!)
Verity Price is back on the West Coast and getting backinto the swing of the family business: cryptozoology. She’s rescuing cryptids from bad situations, protecting them from monster-hunters, and generally risking life and limb for the greater good, with her ex-Covenant partner/husband, Dominic, by her side. Her ballroom dance career is behind her—or so she thinks. When Verity gets the call from the producers of Dance or Die, the reality show she almost won several years before, she finds the lure impossible to resist, and she and Dominic are off to L.A. for one last shot at the big time.
Of course, nothing is that simple. When two contestants turn up dead, Verity will need every ally she can find with the investigation, without blowing her cover…
Bone Song by John Meaney
Synopsis from the back of the book:
There have been four victims already. Framed for their beauty and one-of-a-kind artistic gifts, they were murdered in the most shocking ways imaginable and their corpses stolen. Now the famed diva Maria daLivnova is arriving in Tristopolis – a city literally powered by the massive necroflux generators that process the dead – and it is up to Lieutenant Donal Riordan to make sure she ends her limited engagement alive.
But Riordan isn’t the only one watching daLivnova. For the Diva is being followed by two other secret “protectors”: Commander Laura Steele – who’s made a more or less successful transition to para-life – and her partner, the invisible free-wraith Xalia. They are part of the necropolis’s vast underground network and they’ve mobilized against an unseen enemy for a battle of epic proportions. For a perverse death cult with powerful members in every stratum of society has learned how to distill from the bones of their sacrificed victims the ultimate thrill – a nectar that, once tasted, is impossible to resist. And the more precious the life, the greater the pleasure it is to take it away.
Soon Riordan will find himself in the unlikeliest of alliances as he journeys through a world of corruption – both aboveground and below – among gargoyles and zombies, spirit slaves and assassins, science and sorcery, in search of an enemy even the dead have every reason to fear….
Fool Moon by Jim Butcher
Synopsis from GoodReads:
Lost Items Found. Paranormal Investigations. Consulting. Advice. Reasonable Rates. No Love Potions, Endless Purses, or Other Entertainment.
Business has been slow. Okay, business has been dead. And not even of the undead variety. You would think Chicago would have a little more action for the only professional wizard in the phone book. But lately, Harry Dresden hasn’t been able to dredge up any kind of work–magical or mundane.
But just when it looks like he can’t afford his next meal, a murder comes along that requires his particular brand of supernatural expertise.
A brutally mutilated corpse. Strange-looking paw prints. A full moon. Take three guesses–and the first two don’t count…
So this is going to be a bit different from my usual review format because I’m reviewing five (very short) paranormal romance novels in one huge chunk (partially to keep myself from going crazy trying to write full length reviews for all of them). So… Here goes.
*Apologies in advance if you don’t like looking at covers with half-naked men on them, but this series is paranormal romance meets fairy tale retellings.
Pocket Apocalypse by Seanan McGuire
Synopsis from GoodReads:
Endangered, adjective: Threatened with extinction or immediate harm.
Australia, noun: A good place to become endangered.
Alexander Price has survived gorgons, basilisks, and his own family—no small feat, considering that his family includes two telepaths, a reanimated corpse, and a colony of talking, pantheistic mice. Still, he’s starting to feel like he’s got the hang of things…at least until his girlfriend, Shelby Tanner, shows up asking pointed questions about werewolves and the state of his passport. From there, it’s just a hop, skip, and a jump to Australia, a continent filled with new challenges, new dangers, and yes, rival cryptozoologists who don’t like their “visiting expert” very much.
Australia is a cryptozoologist’s dream, filled with unique species and unique challenges. Unfortunately, it’s also filled with Shelby’s family, who aren’t delighted by the length of her stay in America. And then there are the werewolves to consider: infected killing machines who would like nothing more than to claim the continent as their own. The continent which currently includes Alex.
Survival is hard enough when you’re on familiar ground. Alex Price is very far from home, but there’s one thing he knows for sure: he’s not going down without a fight.
Half-Off Ragnarok by Seanan McGuire
Synopsis from GoodReads:
When Alex Price agreed to go to Ohio to oversee a basilisk breeding program and assist in the recovery of his psychic cousin, he didn’t expect people to start dropping dead. But bodies are cropping up at the zoo where he works, and his girlfriend—Shelby Tanner, an Australian zoologist with a fondness for big cats—is starting to get suspicious.
Worse yet, the bodies have all been turned partially to stone…
The third book in the InCryptid series takes us to a new location and a new member of the family, as Alex tries to balance life, work, and the strong desire not to become a piece of garden statuary. Old friends and new are on the scene, and danger lurks around every corner.
Of course, so do the talking mice.
Midnight Blue-Light Special by Seanan McGuire
Synopsis from GoodReads:
1. Any creature whose existence has been suggested but not proven scientifically. Term officially coined by cryptozoologist John E. Wall in 1983.
2. That thing that’s getting ready to eat your head.
3. See also: “monster.”
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 when her work with the cryptid community took her to Manhattan, she thought she would finally be free to pursue competition-level dance in earnest. It didn’t quite work out that way…
But now, with the snake cult that was killing virgins all over Manhattan finally taken care of, Verity is ready to settle down for some serious ballroom dancing—until her on-again, off-again, semi-boyfriend Dominic De Luca, a member of the monster-hunting Covenant of St. George, informs her that the Covenant is on their way to assess the city’s readiness for a cryptid purge. With everything and everyone she loves on the line, there’s no way Verity can take that lying down.
Alliances will be tested, allies will be questioned, lives will be lost, and the talking mice in Verity’s apartment will immortalize everything as holy writ–assuming there’s anyone left standing when all is said and done. It’s a midnight blue-light special, and the sale of the day is on betrayal, deceit…and carnage.