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Review: Discount Armageddon by Seanan McGuire

Discount Armageddon by Seanan McGuire (InCryptid #1)

bought


Synopsis from Goodreads
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...

Amazon  US | Amazon kindle US | The Book Depository US/UK | Fishpond (£4.97)

9/10

* * *
This was so outrageously funny and brilliant at the same time, I can't stop gushing about this book!

I'm a huge fan of Seanan McGuire's writing be that October Daye series or her epic zombie post-apocalyptic fiction as Mira Grant, but this is a big step away from her usual style. Hilarious, light and absolutely mental.


Verity Price's family used to be a part of  The Covenant hunting and destroying monsters, until her great grandfather found a link between order wiping out all the unicorns and a huge outbreak of cholera in Europe which killed hundreds of thousands. Unicorns, you see, could purify water. Since then Prices broke away from The Covenant to become cryptozoologists - people studying cryptids (monsters) and their importance for eco-system.

While other children played hide and seek for fun Verity grew up with hide and seek as deadly serious business, exercising in all sorts of killing arts, living with various adopted cryptids, but mostly she just wanted to dance...

Flash forward to the present time, she is living in New York studying local community of monsters and pursuing a career in ballroom dancing under a fake name, until a young hunter from The Covenant comes to town and cryptids start disappearing one by one.

To solve the mystery Verity and Dominic reluctantly have to join forces, and it's such fun to see them work together. Dominic is raised by The Covenant and extremely prejudiced, Price family is also considered traitors by his organisation, so whatever Verity does he always has to re-evaluate everything he's been taught, and very soon he becomes too conflicted by his upbringing warring with new revelations that these monsters are just like us. Add his attraction to the girl, and their relationships become a right mess...

There are so many little gems in this book I've lost count how many times I squeed in pure delight... Verity does free running and likes jumping from rooftop to rooftop. She's got a colony of religious Aeslin mice in her tiny flat which throws festivals and celebrates holidays for almost every day of the year and say HAIL! all the time. Verity also annoys the hell out of Dominic... 

“So,” I said. He jumped in his seat, twisting to face me. I swallowed the urge to smile, and continued, “If you’re not responsible for most of the cryptids who’ve been disappearing, and I’m not responsible for the cryptids who’ve been disappearing, who is? I’m assuming you’re the only one working this city. You would have tried too hard not to say something if you weren’t.”
He blanched, going as pale as was possible for someone with his particular skin tone. “Quiet,” he hissed, in that low whisper that people think is subtle but is actually more likely to attract attention than speaking in a conversational tone. “Do you want people to hear you?”
“Um … not particularly, but I wouldn’t be upset if they did. Why do you ask?”
“The ears of the general populace must be shielded from such blasphemous words.”
“What, ‘are you working alone’ is blasphemy now? No offense, but you need to get out more.”s
“Not that.” His voice dropped even lower, a stunt I wouldn’t have believed possible. “They mustn’t know about the … monsters.”
“Wow.”
He blinked. “Wow?”
“Yeah, wow. I didn’t know people actually paused portentously in common conversation. Look, you’ve got nothing to worry about.”
“I don’t know what brand of training you may have had, but I assure you, my caution is more well-deserved than your offhanded dismissal.” He leaned back in his seat and eyed me disdainfully. “It’s clear that you have little experience in these matters.”
I don’t know which annoyed me more; the assumption that my training had somehow been less thorough than his, or the easy dismissal of my field experience. I stiffened, the muscles in my jaw tightening until it felt like I was forcing my next words out through concrete. “Is that so,” I said, making it less a question than a statement.
“I understand that things may be different here. Please believe me when I say that the need for caution is universal.”
“Right.” I raised a hand. “Hold that thought.”
I was standing before he had a chance to react, kicking my chair out from behind me. I grabbed it with my right hand, keeping it from going toppling over, and flipped it around to form a makeshift platform before stepping onto the seat and striking a dramatic pose. Several other patrons turned to look toward the commotion. One wolf-whistled appreciatively. When looking to attract attention in a hurry, there are worse strategies than being female and wearing skintight gray spandex in a coffee shop packed with college-age males.
“Citizens of Manhattan,” I said, waving my arms for emphasis. More patrons turned in our direction. Dominic had gone even paler, which was an accomplishment. “May I have your attention?”
“You’ve got it, sweet-cheeks,” called the whistler. “Now can I have your number?” His buddies laughed, elbowing each other in the easy amusement natural to semidrunk frat boys trying to get enough coffee in themselves to remember where they left the car.
“Maybe later,” I said. Turning my attention to the coffee shop as a whole, I said, “My friend and I belong to two rival sects of monster hunters, pursuing the supernatural and mysterious through the underworld for centuries. He believes in extermination. I believe in preservation. Now we put it to you: which of us is right?”
“The one who takes off her top!” called another of the frat boys. Another round of laughter followed.
The rest of the patrons shook their heads and turned back to their tables, dismissing my outburst as being either drunken ravings, promotion for a television show they hadn’t heard about yet, or both. I hopped down from the chair, straddling it as I smiled benevolently at Dominic.
“Well?” I asked. “See any sign these nice folks feel like they’ve heard blasphemous talk?”
“I—you—they—”
“Pronouns are only useful when you combine them with other words. I have a few I can give you, if you’re at a loss.”
“I don’t believe you did that!” He was turning red now as the blood rushed back into his cheeks, horrified embarrassment chasing his pallor away.
“Why?” I shrugged, dropping my chin to rest on my crossed wrists. “Look, these are people who’ve grown up with slasher flicks and horror novels and everything else you can imagine. About the only way I’d get them to listen to me if I wanted to claim that cryptids were real would be to hop up on this table and strip.”
That seemed to get through his rising anger. The color died in his cheeks, slipping back toward white. “I will give you five hundred dollars not to do that,” he said.
“Deal. Also, you should maybe have your blood pressure checked. All that hyper-color action can’t be good for you.”
All in all this is a fantastic, hugely entertaining read, which I highly recommend!

* * *
Читала книгу с огромным удовольствием. Жутко смешная, безумная, обворожительная история.

Неортодоксальная семья Прайс изучает монстров и их влияние на экосистему с 19-го века. До этого они были частью Ковенанта Св.Георгия, который занимается исключительно истреблением криптидов (монстров), и практически ничего о них не знает из-за своего религиозного фанатизма.

Верити, одна из семейства Прайсов, живёт в Нью-Йорке, изучает криптидов, помогает местному сообществу и в то же время преследует карьеру в профессиональном бальном танце по фальшивым именем, чтобы Ковенант, объявивший прайсов предателями, её не нашёл.

Ситуация усложняется когда в городе появляется один из охотников Ковенанта, Доминик. Парочке предстоит заключить нелёгкий союз, чтобы узнать кто истребляет монстров одного за другим в попытке разбудить спящего дракона, кто предаёт всех криптидов и является членом культа Змея...

В книге полно маленьких и совершенно восхитительных деталей как, например, колония религиозных мышей Эслин, живущих в квартире Верити и каждый день празнующих какой-нибудь религиозный праздник (то есть событие в семье Прайс, с которой они живут из поколения в поколение). Верити работает официанткой в стрип-баре, где каждая танцовщица - монстр и добирается на работу свободным бегом-полётом с крыши на крышу. В каждой главе полно обалденных цитат, что с лёгкостью можно использовать в качестве слоганов на футболках...

В общем, вся книга одно сплошное хихиканье вперемешку с экшн. Очень советую!
 
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