March 29, 2017

Shelley's Review - Chaos Choreography by Seanan McGuire #Urban Fantasy @seananmcguire @dawbooks

Series: InCryptid # 5
Format: Paperback, 368 pages
Release Date: March 1, 2016
Publisher: DAW
Source: Library
Genre: Urban Fantasy

The fifth book in New York Times-bestselling Seanan McGuire's witty urban fantasy InCryptid series about a family of cryptozoologists who act as a buffer between humans and the magical creatures living in secret around us.

Destiny, Noun: 

   1. The inevitable or irresistible course of events.
   2. The inescapable future.
   3. See also “Screwed.”

Verity Price is back on the West Coast and getting back into the swing of the family business: cryptozoology. She's rescuing cryptids from bad situations, protecting them from monster-hunters, and generally risking life and limb for the greater good, with her ex-Covenant partner/husband, Dominic, by her side. Her ballroom dance career is behind her...or so she thinks. 

When Verity gets the call from the producers of Dance or Die, the reality show she almost won several years before, she finds the lure of a comeback impossible to resist, and she and Dominic are off to L.A. for one last shot at the big time.

Of course, nothing is that simple. When two of her fellow contestants turn up dead, Verity will need every ally she can find—and a couple she wasn't looking for—in order to navigate the complicated steps of both the tango and a murder investigation without blowing her cover. It doesn't help that her official family backup is her grandmother, Alice Price-Healy, who thinks "subtle" is something that happens to other people.

Winning this competition may have just become a matter of life and death.

Chaos Choreography is the fifth installment in author Seanan McGuire's InCrypid series. When last we read about Verity Price in Midnight Blue-Light Special, she had left just Manhattan behind along with her paramour Dominic de Luca. 6 months later, Dominic and Verity, who are now married after a quickie stop in Vegas, are back in Portland, Oregon at the secretive survival ranch where the Price-Healy's have been holed up keeping out of sight and out of mind of the dreaded Covenant of St. George who believes they are traitors to the cause. 

The Price-Healy's are Cryptozoologists. What is a cryptozoologist you ask? Cryptozoology is the study of creatures whose existence has yet to be—or else cannot entirely be—proved or disproved by science. These creatures, known collectively as cryptids, include examples like the Loch Ness Monster, Bigfoot, Dragons, Plesiosaurs, Boogeymen, and the Himalayan Yeti. The Price family stands up for those who follow the law, and put down any who step out of line.

3 years ago, Valerie Pryor aka Verity Price, came in second place in a dance competition known as Dance or Die. Verity has dreamed about becoming a professional dancer all her life, but after her year in Manhattan dealing with the Covenant, and discovering something wonderful that was once thought extinct, Verity has leaned towards becoming a cryptozoologist full time. Then one phone call changes everything. The producers of Dance or Die have invited Valerie back to compete against the top four finalists from the previous (5) seasons. Think of Dance or Die as So, You Think You Can Dance? 

There's so much to talk about with this book. First, I have to guide your attention to the Aeslin Mice. They are freaking amazing and adorable and if someone doesn't send me one right now, I'm going to take my toys and go home. Right. Anyway! The Aeslin Mice are the Price-Healy family historians. They remember everything that ever happened to the family. They celebrate almost everything, including cheese and cake. They have slick names for all of the Price-Healy's. In Verity's case, she is called The Arboreal Priestess. 

“Breanna Kelly, meet Alice Price-Healy. Grandma, meet Breanna. No one is shooting, stabbing or immolating anyone in this hotel room."

"Please," added Dominic. "I have to sleep here."


Second, McGuire introduces readers to the enigma of the Price-Healy family. The reason why the family has been labeled as traitors by the Covenant and why they have to be careful to not bring too much attention to themselves. Meet Grandmother Alice Price-Healy. She doesn't age like you or me. She can actually pass as Verity's sister. She has tattoos which are really spells woven into her skin. Plus, she is a multidimensional traveler who has spent years looking for her missing husband. Alice is the most dangerous person in four dimensions. She is known to carry grenades with her, and she is one of the more brilliant characters that McGuire has created.

As Verity, Dominic, Alice, and a supporting case of characters work to find out what is happening to those who have been eliminated from the show and stopping an even bigger catastrophe from happening, things get rather interesting and choices are made that will have a severe impact on the rest of this series. If you love cliffhanger endings, well you get one that will blow your mind away. If you don't, well you get one anyway that will blow your mind away and push you towards reading the next book in the series called Magic for Nothing which features Verity's younger sister Antimony. 

Haven't read this series yet? You should. If you've been reading the authors October Daye series, then you know McGuire can write some really entertaining, as well as twisted storylines. Her characters are as fun to read about, as they are badass. I dare say that Verity is my favorite character in this series which is why I skipped over her older brother Alex's two books. I was able to pick up this book without having to figure how what happened in Alex's books, or if they would have any impact on this storyline. Also, if you love swoon worthy Italian men, well, Dominic will definitely make a lasting impression.

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  1. I am behind with these, but I just did not like them as much as Toby

  2. Creative world in these. I still need to try her books.

    Nice review, Shelley!

  3. Oh wow I've only read book one in this series, I should check out the later ones :D

  4. I really enjoy this one but the sequel on Antimony was so good!

  5. I'm glad to hear this was a good one! I need to read something by this author.



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