This creative and entertaining mixture of science fiction and paranormal tale challenges one to look at the world just a little differently. Although I am unfamiliar with the series, there are enough clues distributed throughout the story that one can convince oneself that things are progressing logically…within the framework of this world. There are so many fun and memorable creatures, including a mischievous Church Griffin named Crow, screaming yams, Aeslin mice (who practically steal the show, in my opinion), a Tim Tam loving yowie named Basil…the list goes on. I am fascinated by the incorporation of science and virus theory into a world that deals with basilisks and werewolves and gorgons (oh, my) as well as with the familiar issues of prejudice, family loyalty and cliquishness, distrust of foreigners, and rights of minorities (who, in this case are non-human). I think that this tale could be read over and over again and one would find some new heretofore un-noticed twist each time through. This is a whimsical fantastical story that is action-packed and thought-provoking from start to finish and I can’t wait to read more in the series.
“Pocket Apocalypse” by Seanan McGuire is part of the ‘InCryptid’ series and centers around Alexander Price, cryptozoologist, and part of a very influential family, who travels to Australia to deal with a frightening threat of werewolves. Incidentally, he must interact with Dr. Shelby Tanner’s family and friends, who not only don’t want a foreigner to come in dictating their actions (expertise with dealing with the threat notwithstanding), but heartily dislike and distrust his attachment to Shelby. The combination of a variety of beings who have different agendas, the hostility of the natives, and a fearsome and unreliable treatment make it a challenge to cope with this threat which may endanger more than just the local community, but rather the entire globe.
Alexander Price has survived gorgons, basilisks, and his own family no small feat, considering that his family includes two telepaths, a reanimated corpse, and a colony of talking, pantheistic mice. Still, he’s starting to feel like he’s got the hang of things at least until his girlfriend, Shelby Tanner, shows up asking pointed questions about werewolves and the state of his passport. From there, it’s just a hop, skip, and a jump to Australia, a continent filled with new challenges, new dangers, and yes, rival cryptozoologists who don’t like their visiting expert” very much.
Australia is a cryptozoologist’s dream, filled with unique species and unique challenges. Unfortunately, it’s also filled with Shelby’s family, who aren’t delighted by the length of her stay in America. And then there are the werewolves to consider: infected killing machines who would like nothing more than to claim the continent as their own. The continent which currently includes Alex.
Survival is hard enough when you’re on familiar ground. Alex Price is very far from home, but there’s one thing he knows for sure: he’s not going down without a fight.