Discount Armageddon is the first volume of Seanan McGuire’s InCryptid series. This book was a lot of fun. The main character, Verity Price, wants to be a ballroom dancer. Her family wants her to more fully embrace the family business. That’s not too unusual. In this case, the family business is being cryptid ecologists and staying hidden. A cryptid is:
1. Any creature whose existence has been suggested but not proven scientifically. Term officially coined by cryptozoologist John E. Wall in 1983.
2. That thing that’s getting ready to eat your head.
3. See also: “monster.”
In the world of Verity, “monsters” are real. Some are a real pain and some are real people. McGuire has provided a bestiary covering some of the cryptids that you will encounter on her website. The Price family, however, can’t just study the cryptids. Some of them want to eat you and while the Price’s have found ways of coexisting for the most part, for the Covenant–a fanatic group whose answer to dealing with both cryptids and Prices is to kill them, coexistence is not an option.
While dealing with all this and working on her dancing career, Verity works as a waitress in a club run by a boogieman and lives in an apartment that she shares with a sub colony of Aeslin mice. In a book full of fun, the Aeslin mice are more fun than you can shake a stick covered in mice at. They are intelligent mice with a propensity for forming religions and religious holidays over just about anything. Like:
HAIL! HAIL THE HOLY FESTIVAL OF NO I DON’T KNOW WHAT IT IS, BUT IT’S BLEEDING ALL OVER THE FLOOR!