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Friday, March 6, 2015

Book Review: Pocket Apocalypse: InCryptid #4 by Seanan McGuire

Pocket Apocalypse (InCryptid #4)
by Seanan McGuire
Mass Market Paperback, 368 pages
Published March 3rd 2015
by DAW

Endangered, adjective: Threatened with extinction or immediate harm.
Australia, noun: A good place to become endangered.

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.

In the fourth novel by Author Seanan McGuire, we have Alexander (Alex) Price, member of a cryptozoologist family, with some non-humans. He has a Church Griffin named Crow for a pet and he works at the West Columbus Zoo as a visiting researcher from California (he was not from California and the zoo had no idea what he was researching). Placed there to oversee the basilisk breeding program established by his predecessor in the back room of the reptile house, something he was happy to do after seeing a lovely lady from Australia, Shelby Tanner. When Shelby asked him to come home with her to Australia, as they had a werewolf outbreak, Alex was frightened, but agreed to.

Of all the monsters out there, werewolves scared him. But he learns there might be worse things than werewolves and the virus they carry—Shelby’s father, Riley, leader of the Thirty-Six. It seems Riley does not care for the American boyfriend with the last name of Price, especially since he thinks the Prices are still card-carrying members of the Covenant of St. George. And that dislike gets worse for Alex, when he is attacked and bitten by a werewolf and a fellow Thirty-Sixer, Cooper, is also bitten and dies. Between working to get a cure made, fighting off werewolves, making friends with the local cryptids, being worshiped by his Aeslin mice (if you ever read Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, these mice put me into the mind of the pan-dimensional overlords, just not as advanced.), and surviving the Australian eco-system.

Pocket Apocalypse is Steve Irwin meets Destination Truth with a dash of Animal Planet and Monster Quest. Ms. McGuire kept me engaged and took mythology and folklore to the next level of page-turning urban fantasy with the plot and characters.

Review: Half-Off Ragnarok (InCryptid #3)

5 sheep

Pamela Kinney

About the Author:
Seanan McGuire was born in Martinez, California, and raised in a wide variety of locations, most of which boasted some sort of dangerous native wildlife. Despite her almost magnetic attraction to anything venomous, she somehow managed to survive long enough to acquire a typewriter, a reasonable grasp of the English language, and the desire to combine the two.

Seanan is the author of the October Daye urban fantasies, theInCryptid urban fantasies, and several other works both stand-alone and in trilogies or duologies. In case that wasn't enough, she also writes under the pseudonym "Mira Grant." For details on her work as Mira, check out

In her spare time, Seanan records CDs of her original filk music (see the Albums page for details). She is also a cartoonist, and draws an irregularly posted autobiographical web comic, "With Friends Like These...", as well as generating a truly ridiculous number of art cards. Surprisingly enough, she finds time to take multi-hour walks, blog regularly, watch a sickening amount of television, maintain her website, and go to pretty much any movie with the words "blood," "night," "terror," or "attack" in the title. Most people believe she doesn't sleep.

Seanan lives in a creaky old farmhouse in Northern California, which she shares with her three cats, Lilly, Alice, and Thomas, a vast collection of creepy dolls and horror movies, and sufficient books to qualify her as a fire hazard. She has strongly-held and oft-expressed beliefs about the origins of the Black Death, the X-Men, and the need for chainsaws in daily life.

1 comment:

  1. I've read the first book, and really did not like the characters, so I didn't read the rest. But these are new main characters, so perhaps I should try again.