by Terrance Mc Arthur
Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win a copy of Pocket Apocalypse, along with a link to purchase the book.
Seanan McGuire writes the October Daye urban fantasies and I like them a lot. I hadn’t read any of her InCryptid books…until now.
In Pocket Apocalypse, Alexander Price, cryptozoologist, goes from Ohio to Australia, land of koalas, kookaburras, kangaroos, snakes, parrots crossed with Tasmanian Devils, bunyips, drop bears, naked swamp giants, and…werewolves? The lycanthropy-w virus has appeared Down Under, and Alex is asked to help stop the outbreak. To do it, he has to face something more frightening than wolf-men: his girlfriend’s family.
Alex’s family is pretty strange, what with telepaths, a reanimated corpse, mice that worship the family as deities and a ballroom dancer, but Shelby Tanner’s family seems determined to hate and/or kill this foreign know-it-all who is taking their daughter/sister from them and their crypto-watching friends like him even less. Of course, it doesn’t help that Alex seems to walk into trouble, getting people killed.
There are some mind-blowing aspects of this book. Most urban fantasies treat werewolves as a big furry family with political complexities that run along the lines of The Godfather. Pocket Apocalypse treats the condition from a scientific standpoint: as a rabies-like virus, lycanthropy-w, which can turn any mammal into a wolf, if it has sufficient mass to survive the change (so don’t be afraid that a wolf-squirrel will come over your windowsill and attack you).
Alex is a bookish fellow, happiest doing research and he’s not fond of lycanthropes, due to a traumatic episode of his teen years. He’s quirky, not very impressive to look at, but well trained in doing what he has to when he has to–my mental image of him looks a lot like an American version of the fez-wearing Doctor Who, although the book cover illustration vaguely resembles David Arquette.
One of the themes of the book is What Is a Monster, since the Australian crypto society is into protecting the non-sentient creatures, but doesn’t acknowledge or work with the non-humans that have their own existence. In ways, the story sheds light on some of our own prejudices and blind spots in the way we treat others.
Alex’s dancing sister, Verity, was the focus of the first two books in the series, and Alex followed with Half-Off Ragnarok and now Pocket Apocalypse. Verity will be back in the fall and there is a third sibling, Antimony, who hasn’t had a book of her own, yet. We can only hope for the future.
To enter to win a copy of Pocket Apocalypse, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “Pocket,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen June 27, 2015. U.S. residents only. If entering via email please include your mailing address.
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Use this link to purchase this book: