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Midnight Blue-Light Special by Seanan McGuire

Midnight Blue-Light Special by Seanan McGuire

Midnight Blue-Light Special (InCryptid 2)

By: Seanan McGuire

Release Date: March 5, 2013

Rating: 4 Stars

Summary: Cryptid, noun:
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.


Writing urban fantasy is like trying to reinvent the wheel, as in there’s very little new ground to break at this point, but as Seanan McGuire put it in her shoutout to Michelle Sagara West’s Silence: “Being a wave isn’t bad; I write urban fantasy, I am basically sponsoring a surfing competition. But there’s something wonderful about diving into a wave and discovering infinitely more.” So rather than writing a full length review, I’m just gonna list the top five reasons why Midnight Blue Light Special is infinitely more than your average urban fantasy:

1) Verity Price – A smart, funny, sassy heroine is par for the course for an urban fantasy, as in more likely than not these books won’t work without one, but that doesn’t make Verity any less charming or fun to read about. Whether it’s her weird obsession with guns and knives, her oddball relationship with her family of misfits, or her dedication to her cryptozoologist job despite the lack of perks, she does it all in style, in a way that had me with a stupid grin plastered on my face more often than not.

2) Sarah Zellaby – As best friend characters go, Sarah is pretty awesome. The fact she’s not human isn’t that unusual, but the fact she’s an extremely dangerous giant psychic bug who just happens to look human is. That’s the kind of creative detail that instantly makes you zone in on the character, add to that her various freeloading escapades (facilitated by her psychic powers), the sci fi references (because she subscribes to a psychic code of conduct), and how she’s just there for Verity (psychic support, again) and yeah awesome.

3) The Cryptozoology – Did you know male dragons are large fire-breathing lizards bigger than a bus while females look like hot chicks? Definitions two (“That thing that’s getting ready to eat your head”) and three (“See also: ‘monster.'”) are oddly appropriate, but when McGuire’s got her creative juices flowing with all sorts of weird facts about the Cryptid community, the results are bizarrely unputdownable.

4) The Aeslin Mice – In other words, look no further than the Aeslin Mice, tiny talking mice with all sorts of weird religious rituals who shout the most inappropriate things at the most inappropriate times (though they’re easily bribed with food). I want one. No, I want a whole colony. But I especially like Verity’s description of the Chief Priest, yeah, this isn’t a serious book, but that line just nailed the theme (apparently there is one, about growing up differently, as a cryptozoologist and all the associated burdens).

5) The Other Cryptids (aka The Supporting Cast) – I like Istas and her oddly violent ways. I like Kitty and how conniving she is. This only makes sense when you realize they’re both not human, one’s a therianthrope and the other’s a bogeyman, that’s why they work – they’re the kind of characters that make reading about monsters (weirdly) fun.

Go to Mitch’s review on Goodreads.

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