While I have become an ardent fan of Seanan McGuire’s writing, I am a relative late-comer to her body of work and this is the first book in her InCryptid series that I’ve read even though it is listed as the seventh in the series. But one (of the many) great things about McGuire’s writing is that she manages to give you everything you need to know to enjoy the story, without slowing down the action for those who are already familiar with the characters. It’s brilliant and seems to be a lost art among many of today’s authors.
Antimony Price is a cryptozoologist (studies monsters) and she is trying to get away from her present life. The Covenant (a group who hunt and kill those monsters she would like to study) are trying to track her down, which has everyone she knows in danger. But finding a safe haven isn’t particularly easy. Antimony heads to Florida where she decides the safest place to hide is in a crowd. She applies for a job at the Lowryland Amusement Park and finds that a former ‘friend’ – her high school cheer-leading captain (who looked after “Annie” when she thought that there was a no-good boyfriend in the picture) is in the position to hire her – and look after her once again.
But when accidents start happening and people begin dying at Lowryland, Annie learns that a secret enclave of magic users are behind the scenes, running Lowryland and they want to help Annie learn to control her powers. But help is never free. Fortunately she’s got some new (and old) friends to get her through.
I don’t think there’s anyone writing urban fantasy better than Seanan McGuire today. Her characters are strong (but fallible), unique, identifiable people. And not just the main characters. Anyone we are introduced to comes alive in her books and that is an absolute treat.
The stories are engaging and the plots unfold deliciously in these books, and this is no exception. Although i know what I needed to in order to enjoy this book, I am definitely tantalized her by Antimony’s past and I look forward to going backward and getting caught up on her story.
I find that McGuire is also combining a number of her worlds or at least crossing over with themes and world-building. The mention of The Crossroads in this story was instantly familiar to me as I not long ago read and reviewed books 1 & 2 in the Ghost Roads series. For her fans and followers, this is definitely a lot of fun.
And while I didn’t mind starting here on book #7, my recommendation would be to start at the beginning. You don’t want to miss out on a single moment of McMuire’s stories.
My ARC included a novelette “The Recitation of the Most Holy and Harrowing Pilgrimage of Mindy and Also Mork” – the story of two mice. In this instance I was lost. I got the sense that I really needed to know more about who these characters were and why this was important to me.
Looking for a good book? Tricks for Free by Seanan McGuire is a strong urban fantasy in the InCryptid series (#7) and definitely worth reading for fans of the genre, but perhaps you will want to start with the first book in the series!
I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher, through Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.
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Tricks for Free
author: Seanan McGuire
series: InCryptid #7
publisher: Daw Books
paperback, 409 pages