Half-off Ragnarok, by Seanan McGuire. Urban fantasy. Paperback, 356 pages. Book 3 in the InCryptid series. Keeping it.
This book provides a second entry into this universe and series. After the first two books ran around with Verity Price in New York (solving the question of where did male dragons go), we then went to Ohio for the third book to follow Alex Price through the swamps to count frogs. Frickens. Small amphibians. But then there is evidence that something in the putrifactors category (which covers everything from gorgons to basilisks) is loose in suburbia, and Alex is on the hunt. His assistant in the reptile house is desperate to keep her family clear while Alex's "hot Australian girlfriend" (if he'd stop canceling dates) keeps trying to get too close to Alex for the comfort of his Price/Healy family secrets.
It's a cute book with strong characters of all genders and species. I enjoyed the story for the romp it was, and since I happen to like snakes, I also enjoyed it for the large number of reptiles (both Cryptid and not) running through the scenery. We got to see more of Sarah, the mice got a walk-on cameo or two, and there was even a reference to the PBS show Square One
. The dialog sounded real to me, and it doesn't hurt that the narration sounded much like someone I know was talking.They look like pale, black-haired humans, for reasons that only nature can explain. Nature's not talking, possibly because even nature realizes that giving perfect camouflage to apex predators is sort of a dick move.
It is worth pointing out that the villain in this book fails the "villain is deformed/disabled and therefore unloved/shunned" trope test. Interestingly, Seanan didn't even see that when she wrote it (and obviously neither did her machete squad or the editor). She has apologized at least once already in open forum after it was brought up.
I recommend this book to fans of Kate Daniels, Mercy Tompson, and maybe even Harry Dresden if you don't mind a *much* lighter storyline.