Verity (“Very”) Price has more going on than you’d think. In addition to working as a waitress at a strip club, subletting semi-legally, preparing for a dance competition, and generally trying to keep a roof over her head (and those of her colony of Aeslin Mice), she’s also responsible for keeping tabs on New York’s cryptid population. Which doesn’t leave her much, if any, time for dating.
She manages to find the time anyway, and with a guy on “the other side” — the Covenant, who believe purges of the local cryptid populations are necessary regardless of whether the local human population is impacted or not. And who also consider Verity and her family to be heretics and betrayers of the highest order.
Naturally, when cryptids start disappearing — mostly young, mostly ‘pretty’ — Verity initially suspects the Covenant agent’s involvement.
But her problems, it turns out, are much bigger than she imagined.
That was before I started working at Dave’s Fish and Strips, a place that could’ve been used as the answer to that age-old question, “What does the bogeyman do when he’s not hanging out under your bed?” (Kindle location 451)
I read Maguire’s tumblr on the regular and decided I should pick up something she’d written to help keep her cats (and herself) fed. I’d already read Feed (written under the name Mira Grant), and while I’d enjoyed it I hadn’t wanted to continue reading the series; Feed felt like it stuck the landing to me. And I chose the Incryptid series over the October Daye series for the simple reason that people keep asking her things about the Aeslin Mice and I got curious (I like mice and rats and other rodents). And also, I love the idea of cryptozoology.
Its jaws snapped shut on its serpentine tongue, and it made a wordless sound I assumed was lizard-man for “Ow.” (Loc 2162)
It was worth the read, and I’ll probably pick up more books in the series once my To Read list is slightly lessened. Maguire’s deft sense of humor is at play here, and also there were a number of tropes* I really liked in it: Enemies to Friends, Frenemies, Enemies to Lovers to Enemies to Lovers, smart competent women, monsters I hadn’t heard of before. Discount Armageddon is a fun read with some philosophical questions underneath but not blatantly so. Except the questions about how much we need to give in the interest of who our family wants us to be versus who we believe* we are; those were pretty front and center.
Those elements of cryptid society are the reason no Price who wants to have a decent life expectancy goes anywhere unarmed. (Loc 675)
Also, about the Aeslin mice?
There’s very little that won’t inspire Aeslin mice to religious ecstasy, which is why we’ve kept them around for so long. Having a tiny church choir singing the praises of fixing the garbage disposal does a lot to keep things tolerable. (Loc 934)
The mice made a production number out of breakfast that Disney could have taken some tips from. The dance routine with the soda crackers was a particularly nice touch. (Loc 955)
I think I want some.
“Hail the renewed consciousness of the Arboreal Priestess!” from the Aeslin mice surrounding my bed. (Loc 926)
The room erupted into cheers. Quite literally: with mice crammed into every cushion and hidden under every piece of furniture, it sounded like the apartment had suddenly been possessed by the spirit of Super Bowl Sunday. (Loc 2685)
Then again, maybe I don’t.