Verity Price is back on the West Coast and getting back into the swing of the family business: cryptozoology. She’s rescuing cryptids from bad situations, protecting them from monster-hunters, and generally risking life and limb for the greater good, with her ex-Covenant partner/husband, Dominic, by her side. Her ballroom dance career is behind her—or so she thinks. When Verity gets the call from the producers of Dance or Die, the reality show she almost won several years before, she finds the lure impossible to resist, and she and Dominic are off to L.A. for one last shot at the big time.
Of course, nothing is that simple. When two contestants turn up dead, Verity will need every ally she can find with the investigation, without blowing her cover…
“Ah, yes; I’d missed this phase in our relationship. The intrigue. The subterfuge. The frequent need for tetanus shots.”
Seanan McGuire has a crazy wonderful imagination, as evidenced by her huge body of work in completely different, original settings. She’s become one of my favourite authors, primarily due to her October Daye urban fantasy, which just hits all the right buttons. Her Incryptid series, while not my favourite, is still loads of fun, with the author’s own take on creatures of lore. Along with a family full of eccentrics, you can’t help but enjoy the ride.
And we’ve never made any deals with demons. A few deals with my Aunt Mary the crossroads ghost, but she always recommends against it, and for the most part, we listen. She knows what she’s talking about.
“Once again, I have to ask: how many dead aunts do you have?” asked Dominic, a note of desperation creeping into his voice.
In this fifth installment in the series, we’re back to Verity as our narrator, she who introduced us to the world of cryptozoology in the first and second books. I much prefer her to her brother, narrator of books #3 and #4, and it was great getting back into her world again.
Each of us in the family has our own computer – how else could we ever have felt comfortable looking at porn?
Torn between her love for dance and her duty to her family, Verity gets the chance to once more assume her dance identity on a reality tv competition, but very quickly, her two worlds inch uncomfortably close together when contestants end up dead in what appears to be some kind of dodgy snake-god summoning ritual. Yeah, I know. Just go with it.
“My mama didn’t raise no fools. We ate them.”
Despite the serious subject matter, the humour in this book is spot-on. I also adore the continual romance between Verity and her now-husband, Dominic. He starts to understand her passion for dance a lot more, and supports her all the way in pursuing this unexpected second chance.
It may not be what I recognize as important, but that doesn’t mean it’s worthless.
The cheering mice are, as always, delightful, and it was interesting getting to know another one of our MC’s relatives, who makes an appearance as Verity’s much-needed back-up.
“Ours is a friendship born of unstable footing and guilt.”
Snark, inter-species co-operation, the glamour of dance and some murderous cultists – what more do you want?