Thursday 8 December 2016

Review: Half-Off Ragnarok - Seanan McGuire

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.

Incryptid Series:
14 Jonathan Healy & Frances Brown Short Stories (Read for free on Seanan McGuire's website)
3 Alice Healy & Thomas Price Short Stories (Read for free on Seanan McGuire's website)
Discount Armageddon
Midnight Blue-Light Special
4 Antimony Price Short Stories (Read some for free on Seanan McGuire's website)
3 Istas and Ryan Short Stories (Read most for free on Seanan McGuire's website)
Half-Off Ragnarok
1 Sarah Zellaby and Arthur Harrington Short Story (Read for free on Seanan McGuire's website)
5 Verity Price & Dominic De Luca Stories (Read for free on Seanan McGuire's website)
Pocket Apocalypse
Chaos Choreography
1 Elsie Harrington Short Story (Short Story in the Shadowed Souls anthology)
Magic for Nothing
1 Aeslin Mice Short Story (Purchase though Seanan McGuire's Patreon Page)
Tricks for Free
That Ain't Witchcraft

Ghost Roads Series:
(Stories are set in the Incryptid World)
Sparrow Hill Road
Train Yard Blues (Short Story in the Coins of Chaos anthology)
The Ghosts of Bourbon Street (Crossover Short Story with Verity from the Incryptid series free on Seanan McGuire's website)
Last Call at the Last Chance (Short Story available via Seanan McGuire's Patreon Page)
The Girl in the Green Silk Gown

Visit Seanan McGuire's website for more information

Half-Off Ragnarok steps away from Verity and gives her older brother Alex a chance to shine. I would have been nervous about the change in narrator for the next few books but after reading a lot of the free short stories on Seanan McGuire's website I've really enjoyed getting to know lots of different members of the Price family so I was looking forward to the switch up.

Alex is very different to his sister, where she's confident and outgoing Alex is more of a nerd, he has friends but his circle isn't as large as Verity's and he prefers to stay out of the limelight. Alex has moved back in with his grandparents to help them take care of Sarah after the injury she received rescuing Verity in the previous book so we get to see a whole other side to her from his point of view. Technically Alex works at Columbus Zoo as a researcher who is in charge of the reptile house but he's really there trying to start a basilisk breeding program and monitoring the local incryptid populations.

Things start to get complicated when his colleagues at the zoo start dying and when Alex realises the bodies are being partially turned to stone he knows he is the only one qualified to track down the murderer. Alex is trying to balance hunting a killer and all his other cryptozoologist duties with spending time with his girlfriend Shelby, a colleague at the zoo who is a big cat trainer. Shelby is getting more and more suspicious about the weird goings on and Alex is having trouble keeping everything hidden from her.

I really enjoyed the change of pace this novel offers us, the more rural setting allows us to see a lot of the incryptids in their natural habitat and Seanan McGuire excels at adding interesting creatures to her world. Alex's pet Crow was a particular favourite of mine, he's a church griffin which is basically a cross between a raven and a main coon cat and he's utterly adorable, but you'll also meet a variety of snake like creatures from basilisks to gorgons and some cute sounding feathered frogs known as frickens.

Half-Off Ragnarok was a fun instalment to the series and I'm looking forward to reading more of Alex's story.

Source: Purchased

Other Reviews:
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