Welcome to my first 'Thoughts on Books' post! Today, I'm talking about Midnight Blue-Light Special, by Seanan McGuire. This is the 2nd 'Incryptid' novel, and I feel like I don't have many new critical things to say about her books - I've loved every book I've read by Ms McGuire, and have reviewed various ones on the blog in the past. A 'review' would just have been full of me gushing, so here's something a little different.
Author: Seanan McGuire
Release date: March 2013
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Telepathic mathematicians. Chess-playing dragons. Bogeyman night-club owners. Talking mice. The Price family has spent generations studying the monsters of the world, working to protect them from humanity - and to protect humanity from them. Verity Price is just trying to do her job, keeping the native cryptid population of Manhattan from getting into trouble, and doing a little ballroom dancing on the side. But her tenure on the East Coast is coming to an end, and she's still not sure what she wants to do with her life.
Enter Dominic De Luca, an operative for the Covenant of St. George, and Verity's on-agian, off-again boyfriend. When he tells her that the Covenant is sending a full team to assess how ready the city if for a purge, Verity finds herself between a rock and a hard place. Stay, and risk her almost-certain death, or flee, and leave the cryptids of New York with nothing between them and the Covenant.
It's not the kind of choice that ever comes easy. With allies and enemies on every side, and no safe way to turn, it's going to take some quickstepping for Verity to waltz out of this one. There's just one question on everyone's mind: Is this the last dance for Verity Price?
Six Things I Love From 'Midnight Blue-Light Special'.
1) The Aeslin Mice. I adored these little talking mice in the first book, and as there, they have a tendency to steal the show a little in a scene they're involved in. They're just so funny, but I understand why Verity finds them a bit annoying to live with sometimes. I liked that in this book we got to see them as more than just comic entertainment, as they play an important role towards the end, and show a more fierce side to their personalities.
2) The relationship between Verity & Dominic. Things left off pretty well between these two at the end of the first book, but of course there were still going to be issues to work out, and those really get explored here. You'll have to read it to see if they can really put aside their differences ;)
3) "Turn the darks on". You know how we turn the lights on when it's dark outside? Seanan McGuire has written Bogeymen who have darks to turn on when it's light. This is just one of the many little details she includes which make me smile - it's such interesting world building, I love it.
4) When talking about running naked: "For one thing, without a bra, I was going to wind up in a world of pain." Thank you, Verity Price, for acknowledging something that bothers me a lot in action films. Verity might not be super-curvy, but properly running without any support is going to hurt, and I don't understand how Bond Girls who are bouncing all over the place can escape from the bad guys without even wincing over that. And things like this fill these books, acknowledgements of the reality that is missing from many stories and films.
5) Verity's friends. As readers saw in Discount Armageddon (book 1), the creatures, or cryptids, whom Verity comes into contact with are a diverse group to say the least. I enjoyed getting to see more about them in this book, and the various reactions to the news about the Covenant coming, and to later events in the book. These people know what Verity does for them, and they'll stick by her.
6) Her family. We see a few more hints about the family back home in this book - Verity's dad, in particular, and a little more about her sister. Sarah, the telepathic adopted sister, also has a big role in this book, and even narrates a couple of chapters, which I loved. 'Uncle Mike', another adopted relative, also turns up in this book, and I enjoyed seeing him and the bigger picture of the Healy/Price family that his presence brought.
So there you go, some of the reasons why I'd mark this as a 10/10 book. Ms McGuire continues to write books with multi-faceted characters in fascinating worlds that keep me up well past my bedtime so I can find out what happens next.