Review: InCryptid Novellas, Extras, Freebies, etc. by Seanan McGuire, Part 2

Posted April 19, 2017 by Jessica in Jessica, Reviews / 2 Comments


Same deal as last week, these are the InCryptid shorties, 0.2 – 0.65. I’ve hyperlinked the FREEBIES back to McGuire’s website where you can download them in a variety of formats for yourself. Sorry if it feels like I’ve been mailing it in review-wise the last couple of weeks, but I’m shaking the book funk, I promise.

2.1 – Blocked

4 stars

This was kind of adorable.

The waxing poetic about cheerleading was out of my frame of reference (the cheerleaders at my high school were a bunch of Mean Girls), so I couldn’t relate to that, but ROLLER DERBY is frickin’ cool. And I love that Antimony, whom we’ve yet to directly meet, but about whom we’ve heard borderline scary things, was introduced to us at a vulnerable time in her life.

Makes her seem less insane.

2.2 – Bad Dream Girl

2 stars

As much as I love roller derby, I did not love this story.

BAD DREAM GIRL felt like it was written to fill a anthology slot, and while it kind of was, McGuire writes for anthologies all the time, and it’s always been meaningful to whatever world she’s adding to.

Not this time. It was all, “I don’t wanna bore you with details,”—seriously, that was said at least three times—Antimony trying to figure out what kind of cryptid she was dealing with, and it ended with a confrontation that left me concerned for the youngest Price’s life expectancy.

Seriously, if this is how they deal with problem creatures, how are any of them still alive?

No bueno.

2.3 – Jammed

4 stars

Roller Derby is an awesome workout, especially if you like your cardio with a decent dose of blunt-force trauma.

*snickers* Doesn’t everyone?

Now that’s what I’m talking about. Verity’s scary, pit trap-digging, take-’em-out-from-the-shadows little sister might turn out to be my favorite Price.

When a derby girl turns up dead and dismembered at on of Annie’s matches, it doesn’t take her long to determine that a human couldn’t be responsible. From there her investigation turns into an exercise in teamwork that was both fun and and warmed the cockles of my heart.

Misc. stuff:

1. Artie is getting on my last nerve. If he doesn’t cut the hermit-researcher act soon, I’ma burn his house down.

2. Antimony has a lot of legit issues with her family. I hope they get worked out, b/c seriously . . . I don’t want to not like them, but they’re making it difficult.

3. I looked it up, and my town has a roller derby league. I am so there when the season starts. Bff is already on board. *moonwalks* *booty shakes*

2.4 – Survival Horror

3.5 stars

So that started out super cool.

Annie is chillin’ in Artie’s lair when he downloads an evil game meant to suck them into the prison dimension holding . . . NOT TELLING! Mwa ha ha!

But then solution was kind of basic . . . Maybe also brilliant, but regardless, it felt anti-climactic, so meh.

2.5 – Red as Snow

3.5 stars

First of all, *chants* Istas, Istas, Istas . . .

Now that that’s out of way, the only other thing I have to say is that I really hope—really, really hope—that I was reading too much into what was being insinuated about what Waheela tradition dictated Istas do now that thethinghappened.

O_____O

2.6 – Black as Blood

4 stars

Would it be redundant if I chanted “Istas” again? *chants* Istas, Istas, Istas . . .

Oh well. Can’t be helped.

1. Ryan’s family, with the possible exception of his sister Christine, SUCK.

2. Istas is brave and determined and loyal and ALL the good things.

I love her. She’s deserves happiness. She deserves to be more than the cryptid community’s opinion of Waheela. *growls*

2.7 – White as a Raven’s Wing

4.5 stars

Part of the reason I rated this one so highly was the consistent alienness of Istas.

She is Waheela. She is not human.

It was easy to reconcile her otherness, b/c in her human form, she was also other. She was a bloodthirsty steampunk goddess, but steampunk is a human subculture, so while she was other, I thought I understood her.

I did not. And these last few shorties have done an amazing job of illustrating that point.

And now that Istas has taken care of her unresolved family business, I hope there will be happiness in her future.

3.1 – The Ghosts of Bourbon Street

4 stars

I’m surprised that I liked this one as much as I did (b/c dead things), but McGuire twisted the ghost plane into a macabre version of Faery, so yeah, LOVED it.

Especially Amelia the driver, horses, and body of a coach. She was it; it was her. Creeptastic.

BUT. As is sometimes the case with these stories, the resolution was a bit anticlimactic, so minus one star for that, but otherwise, this is one of my favorites.

3.2 – IM

2 stars

That . . . was the most pointless, irritating extra I’ve ever read. It was all whine, whine, poor me, whine, then when something actually happened, END SCENE.

Ughhhh.

And what was that whole “prophecy” drop in?

3.3 – Snake in the Glass

4 stars

Better than the last one, if still frustrating.

Verity and Dominic are slowly but surely making their way to Oregon, but not before visiting the legendary Carmichael Hotel in Chicago. I enjoyed watching Dominic unapologetically explain his past with the Covenant and his future with Verity, and I especially appreciated his stance on arranged marriages.

BUT.

A point was made that something was bothering him, and while Verity made a note to mention it at a more convenient time (like when they weren’t late for dinner with the gorgons), it never happened. *flares nostrils*

3.4 – Swamp Bromeliad

3.5 stars

Awww . . . BUT WE STILL HAVEN’T ADDRESSED WHATEVER DOMINIC’S PROBLEM IS.

And it’s kind of important to get it resolved, wouldn’t you say?

3.5 – Waking Up in Vegas

3 stars

Dominic gets a new identity. Goons try to steal the mice. Unknown problem does not get addressed.

3.6 – My Last Name

3 stars

Verity and Dominic finally make their way to the Price family home.

As newlyweds.

Yeah, that goes over about as well as you’d think.

BUT. Whatever the problem was that Verity was going to come back to? Never definitively addressed.

Oh, it could’ve been that he felt like she didn’t need him as he hazily confessed while high on swamp bromeliad pollen, or it could’ve been that he’s never had a family, while you can’t swing a cat without hitting one of Verity’s extended relations, but who knows?

B/c never laid to rest.

And considering that they just ELOPED, that’s mighty off-putting.

6.5 – Sleepover

2 stars

Elsie has a bad breakup. Totally pointless.

If you’re interested in this anthology (SHADOWED SOULS edited by Jim Butcher), make sure it’s for something more than this one.

And that makes us current. Nothing to do but wait for the next full-length novel or pounce on new freebies as they get posted.

Jessica Signature

My name is Jessica and I live in Chattanooga, Tennessee. I’m trying my hand at writing, but mostly I read. My favorite genres are Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, Science Fiction, Urban Fantasy, and the YA versions of those genres, but if there is a book of a different color getting lots of buzz, I’ll read it too, just to be informed. If I’m not reading or writing, I’m probably on Goodreads or Pinterest or baking blueberry pies because I love them.

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