“Magic for Nothing” by Seanan McGuire is an urban fantasy that will stop and make you think about things you’ve seen that are on the edge of uncanny…and wonder. I enjoy the stories in this series and it was fun getting a closer look at Antimony Timpani Price and her abilities, although I sympathize with her for her perceptions of her place in a family of overachievers. The colorful world of carnivals and its denizens definitely have a different twist and it’s always wonderful to learn about different cryptids, although I didn’t need anything to enhance my distaste for spiders, lol.
I think that one of the things I most enjoy about this series is how much information is disseminated in the most unique of ways. Even though I haven’t read every single title in the series, I had no problem becoming immersed in the somewhat tilted world of the Price family with its weird and wonderful members. Naturally, the Aeslin mice stole the show, particularly with their pithy way of describing their ‘gods’, and I was tickled by the construction they engage in as well as the conclusions drawn by Antimony after interaction with these wee but wise creatures. The breathtaking aerial feats are vividly described, and I loved the slow burn that flares between the two new adults in the story. It’s awkward getting to know someone new, but this takes the challenge of getting past secrets to new and lofty levels, even as a showdown is inevitable.
The wry humor that underlies the dramatic events appeals to my snarky sense of humor and the well-built world that includes so many fantastical beings never ceases to amaze me. The nods to elements of pop culture provides a fun facet to keep one entertained as tension mounts. Each story builds on the ones before, so it is my suggestion to start at the beginning to avoid becoming lost in the intricacies of the struggle between the extended family that goes across continents. Be forewarned that this is an ongoing series, so things are neatened up by the end, but not resolved by any means. I always hate to see one of these stories end, and that was doubly so this time, so I hope the author is steaming along writing sequels to both of her compelling series!
This urban fantasy is part of the ‘InCryptid novel’ series and focuses on Antimony (Annie) Timpani Price’s quest to infiltrate the Covenant. Accompanied by her trusty Aeslin mouse she’s nicknamed Mindy, Annie tests her abilities to function without a safety net, in more ways than one. Unexpected allies and the discovery of new beings who will become more important to her than she could have predicted force her to re-evaluate her beliefs but she will have to hone her skills and learn to harness the energy burning inside of her if she is going to survive her first solo assignment.
1. Not very likely to happen; not probable.
2. Probably not a very good idea anyway.
3. See also “bad plan.”
As the youngest of the three Price children, Antimony is used to people not expecting much from her. She’s been happy playing roller derby and hanging out with her cousins, leaving the globe-trotting to her older siblings while she stays at home and tries to decide what she wants to do with her life. She always knew that one day, things would have to change. She didn’t think they’d change so fast.
Annie’s expectations keep getting shattered. She didn’t expect Verity to declare war on the Covenant of St. George on live television. She didn’t expect the Covenant to take her sister’s threat seriously. And she definitely didn’t expect to be packed off to London to infiltrate the Covenant from the inside…but as the only Price in her generation without a strong resemblance to the rest of the family, she’s the perfect choice to play spy. They need to know what’s coming. Their lives may depend on it.
But Annie has some secrets of her own, like the fact that she’s started setting things on fire when she touches them, and has no idea how to control it. Now she’s headed halfway around the world, into the den of the enemy, where blowing her cover could get her killed. She’s pretty sure things can’t get much worse.
Antimony Price is about to learn just how wrong it’s possible for one cryptozoologist to be.