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Tuesday, March 7, 2023

Book Review: Backpacking Through Bedlam (InCryptid Book 12) by Seanan McGuire

Backpacking Through Bedlam (InCryptid Book 12)
by Seanan McGuire
March 7, 2023
Publisher: DAW
ISBN: 9780756418571
Genre: urban fanasy
Seanan McGuire's New York Times-bestselling and Hugo Award-nominated urban fantasy InCryptid series continues with the twelfth book following the Price family, cryptozoologists who study and protect the creatures living in secret all around us.

Reunion, noun:
1. The state of being united again.

Reconciliation, noun:
1. An act of reconciling, as when former enemies agree to an amiable truce.
2. The process of making consistent or compatible.
3. See also “impossible.”

Alice Price-Healy gave up her life for fifty years to focus completely on the search for her missing husband. The danger of focus like that is that it leaves little room for thinking about what happens after…and now that she’s finally managed to find Thomas, she has no idea what she’s supposed to do next. The fact that he comes with a surrogate daughter who may or may not have some connection to Alice’s recently adopted grandson is just icing on the complicated cake.

So the three of them are heading for the most complicated place in the universe: they’re going home.

But things on Earth have changed while Alice, Thomas, and Sally have been away. The Covenant of St. George, antagonized by Verity’s declaration of war and Sarah’s temporary relocation of an entire college campus, is trying to retake North America from the cryptids and cryptozoologists who’ve been keeping the peace for the past hundred years. And they’re starting in New York.

Alice and company have barely been back for an hour before the Ocean Lady and the Queen of the Routewitches send them to New York. They find themselves embroiled in the politics of dragons, kidnappings, and of course, the most dangerous people of all: family.

Getting “back to normal” may be Alice's hardest task yet.

Alice Healey-Price spent 50 years searching for her husband in the last book, Spelunking Through Hell, to get her happy ending. Now that she has found him, the daughter he adopted, and the people that he had been protecting, she has conflicting feelings about him and their life together. Plus the fact their own children have grown up and no longer need their parents. When they return to their dimension once their mission is accomplished, they find troubling things like the Covenant of St. George trying to retake America, starting with New York.

If you like cryptids, Price-worshipping mice, complicated family relationships, true love, snappy dialogue, worldbuilding, and action, this story will give you happy ending in another adventure of the Price family. Ms. McGuire keeps packing in stories that grow better and better with each book.

I gave Backpacking Through Bedlam (InCryptid Book 12) 5 sheep.

Reviewed by Pamela K. Kinney 

About the Author:
Seanan McGuire is a California-based author with a strong penchant for travel and can regularly be found just about any place capable of supporting human life (as well as a few places that probably aren't). Seanan was the winner of the 2010 John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer; Rosemary and Rue, was named one of the Top 20 Paranormal Fantasy Novels of the Past Decade; and her novel Feed, written under the name Mira Grant, was named as one of Publishers Weekly's Best Books of 2010. She also won a Hugo for her podcast, and is the first person to be nominated for fivHugo Awards in a single year.

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