When Alex Price agreed to go to Ohio to oversee a basilisk breeding program and assist in the recovery of his psychic cousin, he didn’t expect people to start dropping dead. But bodies are cropping up at the zoo where he works, and his girlfriend—Shelby Tanner, an Australian zoologist with a fondness for big cats—is starting to get suspicious.
Worse yet, the bodies have all been turned partially to stone…
The third book in the InCryptid series takes us to a new location and a new member of the family, as Alex tries to balance life, work, and the strong desire not to become a piece of garden statuary. Old friends and new are on the scene, and danger lurks around every corner.
Of course, so do the talking mice.
Half-off Ragnarock is the third book in Seanan McGuire’s InCryptid series. This is an urban fantasy series that follows the price siblings and their adventures in protecting modern monsters. Feel free to check out my reviews of the first two novels: Discount Armageddon and Midnight Blue-Light Special. The first two stories follow Verity Price but Half-off Ragnarock focuses on her brother Alex as he studies the reptile InCryptid populations of Ohio. Alex is the head reptile biologist at the local zoo and he is content to keep his nose in the books. But, then he is attacked by a lesser gorgon and it’s time for the family to investigate!
I’m just going to start this review by stating….this is my least favorite novel in the series. So, yeah.
And now on to the good stuff. I loved that we get to learn more about the Price family, especially Alex’s (and Verity’s) maternal grandparents. Grandma is from the same species as Sarah and we get a unique look at how see interacts with the family. Thankfully, we don’t have to wait to learn how Sarah is faring after the climax of Midnight Blue-Light Special. Actually, the interactions between Alex and Sarah have to be my favorite because they are so darn sweet! The majority of the storyline is focused on Gorgons and other snake like creatures, and well, I am terrified of snakes. I still managed to find the descriptions interesting, if slightly creepy. I was more interested in the family medical kit than the actual incryptids. And, my favorite character was definitely Crow! You’ll see why when you read it.
Now for the eh stuff. Alex was way too arrogant for my taste and the narration was from his point of view, so I found myself rolling my eyes a lot. There was just too many ‘everyone is going to do this because I say it’s the best way to handle this situation’ moments. The way he treated Shelby often pissed me off. His attitude was ‘here Shelby, let me put you in this dangerous situation around incryptids you know nothing about and then explain everything to you afterwards.’ NO! NO! NO! Shelby well trained and is already dating Alex. There was no need for him to continue showing off with his vast knowledge. He should prepare her before the dangerous situation. *eyeroll* AND, I needed more mice. Crow made up for the limited interaction with the mice, but I still missed the grand parades and feasts of the first two novels.
Here there be Spoilers: I am actually going to whine about a trope that showed up at the end of the book. So do not continue reading if you want to avoid this info. I am not a fan of the ‘I’m in love with your girlfriend even though she’s never looked twice at me so she won’t have to die if she agrees to be my sex slave’ trope. NO! I’m honestly surprised at how much this trope is used. Sure, it is used to keep Shelby alive and push Alex in to Rambo mode, but it just felt out of place. Once again *eyeroll*
Half-off Ragnarock just wasn’t as strong as the first two novels in the series. I prefer reading from Verity’s pov and Alex just fell flat for me. Am I going to stop reading the series? Probably not because I enjoy the world Seanan has created. But, I am not in a hurry to pick up the next book. Have you read Half-off Ragnarock? What are your thoughts?