This is such a fun series, not just because of the breadth of imagination that blends real-life situations with remarkably outlandish creatures in a unique urban fantasy. Those who follow these stories are already familiar with beloved characters such as the Aeslin mice who both chronicle the lives of the Price family and sometimes play pivotal roles (but always provide opportunities for wry humor and asides), but the other beings that wander through these stories make sure that there is never a dull moment. It was intriguing to see the challenges of a dance competition that includes non-human competitors who have such a passion and dexterity for different types of dance but this definitely provides a different perspective on the concept of being eliminated from the contest. I enjoyed seeing the juxtaposition between Verity as the loving newlywed and the fiercely capable Price family representative and I have even more questions about her mysterious grandmother. The ending felt a little forced to me, and I wasn’t thrilled by some of the occurrences that led up to the exciting climax.
There is a chilling amount of violence throughout the book and some things hit me a little oddly (including the obsession with wigs) but there are also very wacky scenarios to lighten up the atmosphere at times, ranging from an ally who was just as likely to be walking up the walls or ceiling as on the floor to a plesiosaur named Nemo who needed to be transported from a water reservoir (the aside describing scientific curiosity meeting primate behavior was delightful) to someplace stocked with food it actually wants to eat. Regrettably, I am behind on this series, but I was able to follow most of this story because I am familiar with many of the main players. I suspect that those who are new to the series would flounder if they tried to start with this particular story, but if one is able to suspend one’s disbelief (high enough, lol) this will be a wonderfully entertaining and hair-raising foray into a world that includes a dancing chupacabra, a dragon princess emcee, and a snake god. Oh, and some pithily observant and articulate mice. Enjoy!
“Chaos Choreography” by Seanan McGuire is part of the ‘InCryptid’ series and follows Verity Price who is invited back to the reality dance show that allowed her persona Valerie Pryor to indulge in her love of and talent for dancing. Amazingly enough, her new husband Dominic and a group of Aeslin mice accompany her to Hollywood, but not only does the competition get fiercer and more challenging but it turns out that their talents for dealing with cryptids are going to be essential, and reinforcements will be needed if everyone is going to survive long enough to discover who will be the next champion.
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 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 contestants turn up dead, Verity will need every ally she can find with the investigation, without blowing her cover.…