Midnight Blue-Light Special by Seanan McGuire
(Description nicked from B&N.com.)
“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.”
One thing you can always count on with Seanan McGuire’s books is that they’ll be tons of fun, and the Incryptid books are the most fun of all. The author excels at finding the humor in a plot and presenting it without letting it become silly or trite. That’s especially important in this book, because while there’s plenty of humor, some events are darker than in the previous book. The Covenant’s aim is to kill all of Manhattan’s cryptids, and of course Verity and her family will be in danger if they’re caught.
One of the neat things about this series is not only how many interesting species the author includes, but how she makes them alien without making them so different that readers can’t relate to them. My favorite of these characters is Ista, a rather bloodthirsty lady who nonetheless shows moments of childlike wonder at things outside her experience. And of course, I can’t neglect to mention the Aislin mice, who will worship anything at the drop of a hat. In this book, they get to be a bit more serious as well, aiding Verity in ways that only they can.
I really like Verity as well. She’s an incredibly strong heroine, and not just physically. She may not feel that she’s the right person to be protecting Manhattan’s cryptids, but she doesn’t shy away from doing what needs to be done. She’s also not shy about accepting or asking for help when she really needs it. She’s one of the most well-rounded characters that I’ve read about.
The next book will leave Verity and move on to her brother Alex. I’m hoping that in addition to a change of location, there will be more about the entire Price family, because there have been some cool hints as to what other members of the family are like. Although there haven’t been many glimpses of them thus far, what has been said has made me very interested to see more.
I recommend this series a lot, because it’s not only fun and light-hearted, but it’s also tightly plotted and full of action that you won’t find anywhere else. Midnight Blue-Light Special is a rollicking addition to what is already one of my favorite series.