Title: Half-Off Ragnarok
Author: Seanan McGuire
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Series: InCryptid (Book #3)
Publication Date: March 4, 2014
Format: Paperback, 356 Pages
ISBN-10: 0756408113 (DAW/Penguin)
ISBN-13: 978-0756408114 (DAW/Penguin)
Reviewed by: Kristie
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.
Quick & Dirty: Book three is a wild, crazy reboot to the series as it jumps to the brother’s story.
Opening Sentence: Alex knelt in front of his new terrarium, peering through the glass as he searched for a sign of his latest pet.
Half-Off Ragnarok, the third novel in the InCryptid series by Seanan McGuire, offers up a completely new perspective in this wildly funny and crazy urban fantasy novel. This series follows the Healy/Price family as they protect humans from cryptids and protect cryptids from humans. Verity’s brother Alex gets his turn to tell his story as a guest researcher at the West Columbus Zoo. If you haven’t read the previous two novels then you really don’t have to in order to jump into this one but it does continue the story of Sarah, a cryptid who continues to heal after the events of the last book Midnight Blue-Light Special.
A few months have passed since Verity’s showdown with some Covenant members in New York City, Sarah is now living with her “mother” in Ohio. Alex, Verity’s older brother, is living with his grandparents while he is working at the West Columbus Zoo as a guest researcher for reptiles but in actuality he is studying the reproduction cycles of basilisks and the local cryptid population. When Alex isn’t busy with his research, he is dating a hot Australian zookeeper named Shelby Tanner, it is a relationship that he doesn’t expect to last but he is having fun while he can because not everyone can handle knowing that cryptids are in fact a real species.
A human is killed at the Zoo and it could only have been a cryptid that could have done it. Alex must find out who or what is killing humans because it could cause a whole bunch more cryptids to die when the Covenant comes to town. During a scene that could only be described as highly dangerous, incredibly insane and hilarious, Alex and Shelby learn that they actually have more in common than they thought. Together they put their relationship on the line along with their lives in order to take down the creepy creature that is turning people into stone.
Alex is the older brother of Verity and Antimony. He doesn’t quite have the skills that his sisters have but he has spent a lot of time studying reptiles. I really liked Alex although it did seem weird at times that I was reading from a man’s point of view since all the other books I’ve read from Seanan have female leads. Alex has an awesome pet, a church griffin, which is basically a cat with wings. I want one! It is a cross between a Maine coon cat and a raven but I still want one.
Shelby Tanner is an Australian zoologist with a specialty in big cats. She has some similarities to Alex but it is her since of humor and her ability to adapt to the situations that she and Alex get thrown into that make me really like her. Although I do feel Shelby’s and Alex’s relationship is a little too convenient considering they both went into it knowing it wouldn’t last.
In the end, I really like this world of hidden monsters that Seanan has created. I also like how close knit this family is even if they may seem mentally unstable at times. (I only say this because of the decision making they must go through when dealing with the cryptid population.) They stand up for their own morals and principles even at the potential cost to their own lives. I highly recommend this series for people who like a touch of paranormal with their dose of normalcy and also for characters who have a quirky sense of humor.
“I’ve got it!” shouted Dee, just as the lindworm’s head flashed past my position, and my blood went cold.
Its eyes were granite-gray from side to side, with no pupil or sclera.
“You’re not going to be able to stun it!” I whirled, firing twice more into its side. The lindworm hissed horribly and whipped around again, jaws snapping shut on the place where I would have been standing if Frank hadn’t effortlessly yanked me out of the way. I fired at the lindworm again. Thanks could wait until we were no longer in immediately danger.
There was a whoop, and Shelby was abruptly sitting on the lindworm’s back, straddling it like a cowgirl riding a bucking bronco at the rodeo. She hooked the fingers of one hand under the broad scales at the back of its skull, drawing a gun from her waistband with the other hand. Her grin died as she glanced my way, meeting me eyes.
Clenching my jaw, I nodded.
The InCryptids Series:
1. Discount Armageddon
2. Midnight Blue-Light Special
3. Half-Off Ragnarok
4. Pocket Apocalypse
5. Chaos Choreography
6. Magic For Nothing
7. Tricks for Free
FTC Advisory: DAW/Penguin provided me with a copy of Half-Off Ragnarok. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.