Discount Armageddon - Seanan McGuire

I first read Discount Armageddon a couple of years ago, when I was in a bit of an urban fantasy phase and started a bunch of series - I carried on with a couple of series, at least for a while, but this wasn't one of them. Not because I didn't enjoy it, since I gave it 4 stars at the time, but for no particular reason at all, so in some ways I'm glad that the series being nominated for the Hugo has made me pick it up again (with some assistance from Netgalley). 

 

The basic premise, like much urban fantasy, is that all of those monsters etc. are real and they live alongside humanity, though in the case of this series since we're mostly working from the perspective of someone who's trying to understand them (rather than kill them), the term 'cryptid' is most used. Our protagonist in this book and the next in the series is Verity Price, part of a family who parted ways a couple of centuries earlier with an organisation called the Covenant who think that the only good cryptid is a dead cryptid.

 

Alongside a shitty job working as a waitress in a mostly-cryptid strip joint, Verity is also a wannabe dancer and takes part in competitions (and a reality TV show) under an assumed name. In hindsight, I think it was this aspect of the character that I didn't care for as much this time around. When a representative of the Covenant who just happens to be tall, dark and handsome turns up in New York, Verity unsurprisingly ends up having sex with him while also dealing with a plot to wake a dragon buried under the city's streets. 

 

All in all, Discount Armageddon does what it needs to do - a lot of world-building for following books in the series, introductions of the main characters and cryptid types, and it can't be faulted for that. On a re-read, I found Verity a little more annoying than previously and the insta-romance a bit obvious, not that this has stopped me moving on to the next book in the series (Midnight Blue-Light Special) since I have it to hand...