Incryptid, Book 1
Synopsis: 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…
Review: I’m a big fan of the October Daye series and when Seanan McGuire announced her new urban fantasy series, it did not take me long to get the first book. The synopsis immediately intrigued me as the novel seemed to have all sorts of supernatural creatures and a world that I had not yet had the opportunity to discover in other novels.
We discover Verity, a descendant of an almost mythical family. Her ancestors have betrayed the Convent to protect humans and Cryptids, making them criminals. Indeed, the Convent is trying to exterminate all creatures that are not human and it makes no difference if they can protect themselves or not. So that makes them enemies forever. But Verity lives alone in Manhattan, working in a club as a waitress at night and as a professional dancer under another identity when she can. In addition, she monitors Cryptids and mixes with them. She takes her job as a dancer very seriously, a life shared with the one as a crypto zoologist. Everything is almost ok until the day when Dominique De Luca, a member of the Convent, comes in her city to carry out a purge. Nothing could anger more our heroine, especially when people start to disappear and she strongly suspects this young man to be behind this. But when rumors of the existence of a real dragon sleeping under the city spreads, Verity will have to manage many bigger problems.
I was totally blown away by the book and the ideas of the author. Many species are presented here, even some that we can not suspect and I was always curious to find out what was behind each character. I must say they all have a human aspect for the most part and we do not suspect what they are capable of. I think the cutest are the mice, okay they must be super annoying, but I loved them and their celebrations! I always wanted more to know about their next ideas. Because it must be said that they are always incredible.
I confess that between all these species I did not know about, it was initially a little difficult to locate everything, and we need a little time to really understand and assimilate what happens. But once it is done, we can read the book quite easily.
Our two main characters are a delight to follow as well. Verity is a young woman determined to live two lives. And dancing is constantly there in her words or in her way of fighting which was nice to see, or to imagine some of her fights. Dominique is a person totally opposed to her, which is suddenly quite funny when they discover who they are. It will take a little time for him to understand that things aren’t black or white, but there are shades of gray everywhere. I think this volume begins a reflection about what he has always been taught and this will be featured gradually in the coming volumes. I look forward to learn more about him, or even about Verity and her family. Especially as we approached them a bit too, which heightens our curiosity.
This is a very good first book, and I can tell you that book 2 and 3 were also really great.