Half-Off Ragnarok by Seanan McGuire

InCryptid, Book 3

Synopsis: 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.

Review: I’m a big fan of Seanan Mcguire and I really enjoyed my reading of the first two volumes of the Incryptid series. Verity was a heroine that I took a great pleasure to follow throughout her adventures. So when the third volume came out, I bought it without thinking and without reading the summary elsewhere. In the beginning, this is how I realized that we didn’t follow Verity anymore… I admit that I was a little destabilized, because I was not expecting that. Well I must say that I also had a a priori on this change and the fact is that I was a little disappointed before even reading it. But I should have kept in mind that the author has a wonderful talent and of course, the novel could only please me. Yes, because even if it is not our beloved heroine, we have the chance to find Alex, the brother of the young woman, whom we heard so much about. I must confess that even though I have a special attachment relative to Verity, this novel was a very nice surprise.

Alex is a big fan of everything related to snakes and being a zoologist, he meets his passion in everyday life. As he continues his research, his life seems to finally take a good way. Indeed, he goes out with a young woman he greatly appreciates, Shelby, even if the whole is quite difficult when he has to conceal a part of his life and cancel their dates at the last minute. He also has an unusual assistant, a gorgon, who helps in his missions whatsoever. And he lives with his grandparents, other characters we had heard a lot about, and who themselves try to help Sarah to recover. Yes, because since the end of the second volume, the young woman is struggling to return to a normal life, and everyone need to be present to take care of her when necessary. But as if that was not complicated enough already, now bodies are beginning to appear at the zoo, people petrified partially, while destabilizing the lives of all our characters. It is up now to Alex to discover what’s going on, especially when it seems that he is now himself the target of a killer, as well as Shelby. And while they both team up to discover the truth, they may realize that they do not really know each other that well and that many secrets are placed between them.

I must say that we discover rather quickly the secret of Shelby, but I prefer to keep it to myself because it’s a question I’ve asked myself many times. But one thing is for sure, I am convinced that your assumptions will be wrong! I loved her character anyway! The young woman does not hesitate to get out all the nonsense that pass through her head or to speak her mind, even when situations are really frightening. I also enjoyed all her stories about Australia! It was always interesting and funny to see what she had to say about her native country and one thing is for sure … she loves it more than anything! It’s quite refreshing to see such enthusiasm from her. As for Alex, I must say that he is quite different from her sister and yet they also agree on many points. He does not hesitate to make every effort to help the people he loves and he takes his work to heart. What was also interesting was to see his interactions with his family and that is, it must be said, quite fascinating! His grandmother was a character that we really learn to appreciate fully. I was also glad to see Verity  even if only slightly.

The plot was really well done and I confess that I did not suspect for one second the killer’s identity. We find ourselves swept up in a very interesting survey that will take us throughout history and that will allow us to discover many characters, people and species that we didn’t know about. All this allows us to complete our knowledge about this world that we discover with each volume and that continues to grow. It’s always really fascinating to know new characters and new cultures such as the one discovered here.

I’ll maybe stop there in my review, but one thing is sure, I’m curious to read more about Alex now, which is perfect as the next two novels focus on him. I only hope that we will return at some point to Verity or that we will discover more about their little sister who really seems someone very special. It is in any case once again a very good novel and I can only advise you to read the series.



19 thoughts on “Half-Off Ragnarok by Seanan McGuire

  1. I suck at solving mysteries so if I were to read this, in sure I’ll be kept at the edge of my seat and my nails bitten to its nubs. I need to try his work!

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