Friday, September 20, 2019

Thoughts: Half-Off Ragnarok

Half-Off Ragnarok

by Seanan McGuire
Book 3 of InCryptid

~ Goodreads ~

Rating:  4.0 Stars

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.

I went into this third book in the InCryptid series knowing that we were switching perspectives from Verity Price to her older brother, Alex Price.  I hadn't exactly decided on any kind of expectations, but I was still a bit wary about how much I'd like the book based on what little you get to know about Alex from Verity's POV in the first two books.  And while I didn't really squee or love Half-Off Ragnarok as much as I loved the first two books, I admittedly enjoyed following Alex's POV very much.

Alex Price is a science nerd and his sort of socially awkwardness only makes him so much more endearing.  Especially since this book didn't really focus on the quirks of his personality, even while displaying them in ways that I absolutely enjoyed.  I'm not sure how I felt about Shelby, although she seemed a bit one-dimensional and stereotyped--though this could have just been because of the first person POV wherein we only really get to see things from Alex's perspective.

The mystery of who was turning people to stone was actually a rather great premise to start the book off with, and made this an interesting page-turner... even as the rest of the book felt a bit lackluster.

Don't get me wrong--I absolutely enjoyed myself reading this book.  But somehow it just didn't bring about the giddy feels and the laugh-out-loud moments that I'd found so much fun from the first two books.  This could just be because of the little book time you get with Alex's splinter colony of Aeslin mice, or maybe the absence of a specific carnage-loving Gothic-lolita Waheela whom I ended up loving from the second book.  Even Alex's miniature griffin, Crow, didn't really help much, cute as the little snot was.

Nonetheless, this was definitely a great inclusion to the series, and I actually kind of appreciate seeing the cryptid world from more than just Verity's perspective.  And the nerdy scientist thing that Alex is sporting is quite endearing.

We still could have used more time with the Aeslin mice, though... just sayin'...

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