Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Midnight Blue Light Special by Seanan McGuire

So, I finally came up with a term that I choose to use for the occasions when an author heads up a chapter with a piece of faux history, an adage from a fictional wise man, or a quote from persons of fictional or other dubious heritage - epigram. Epigram as seen in the #2 definition from Webster's Collegiate Dictionary - a terse, sage, or witty and often paradoxical saying.

McGuire done a couple of things in this second iteration of the Incryptid series with her chapter headings. First, she's included an epigrammatic quote from the females in Verity Price's family tree, usually dealing with the intertwined subjects of love and weaponry. Second, she has placed a graphic above these that indicates inn whose "voice" the tale is told. Fortunately, she's telling a multi-POV story with just two narrators, rather than massively multiplayer, like Weber, so once I caught on to it, it was easy to tell whether Verity, whose graphic was a set of dancing footprints, or Sarah, whose graphic was a mathematical equation (reflecting, of course, her favorite hobby of auditing math classes) was the protagonist of the moment.

Another refreshing thing in this urban fantasy is that Verity doesn't have all the de rigeur trust issues that plague the genre. She has a loving and well-armed family, and has many allies in the cryptid population of Manhattan. In fact, it's far more likely to be those allies who have to learn to trust Verity, for a change, when a hit team from the Covenant of St. George arrives in town to check on their boy, Dominic De Luca, and to make sure any cryptids in the area are swiftly eradicated.

In fact, the only trust issue for Verity is whether or not she can trust her boyfriend, Dominic, to look out for her and the monster population, rather than to return to the not-so-loving arms of the Covenant and his own family, when push comes to shove.

How many of us have felt just this way, in a metaphorical sense?
"Come on, let's go see a dragon about an apartment."

McGuire is prepping us new POVs in the next couple of books in the series, primarily concerning Alex, Verity's brother, when she allows us to get into her adopted cousin Sarah, the cuckoo's, head.

"It's being a cuckoo like me that's hard. Sometimes I feel like neither nature nor nurture did me any favors. Here, Sarah. Have a moral and ethical code that means you'd feel bad killing people for your own enjoyment, and have a set of instincts and hereditary skills that means you're not really built to do anything else. It'll be fun!"

Not as much carnage as I, and the waheela, Istas, were hoping for when the final showdown arrives, but this is a fun and easy read, with a slightly odd take on the urban fantasy scene.

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