Reviewed by: Krista
Rating (out of 5): 4 stars
Seanan McGuire introduced her main character Verity Price, a professional ballroom/burlesque dancer who moonlights as a cryptozoologist or vice versa (I’m not sure, but then Verity isn’t either), in last year’s hilarious and action-packed Discount Armageddon. For all of you who need to Google cryptozoologist, the author handily provides a definition on one of the preface pages.
Verity’s days consist of serving the New York Cryptid community, working at Cryptid Burlesque Club, and somehow attempting to pursue her dreams of being a professional ballroom dancer. And on occasion discovering the last male dragon and foiling an Armageddon cult. It’s enough to make any girl hang up her dance shoes. Unfortunately, Verity’s on-again, off-again, kinda sorta (again Verity is as confused as we are) boyfriend Dominic De Luca comes bearing the bad news that Covenant of St. George, of which he is an operative, is coming to do a purge of New York. The Covenant’s main mission being to destroy anything that is not within their definition of normal. In other words, they are out to get us.
In Midnight Blue-Light Special Verity and Dominic both face life-defining decisions, which could alter their entire life trajectory, all the while attempting to pull the wool over the eyes of the Covenant team there to assess Dominic’s progress so far.
All the things I loved about the first book return and are fleshed out even more this time. The book’s strengths are found in its main characters and sub-characters. McGuire gives even the most minor of characters color and depth, where they could have easily faded into the background. For example the extra-jointed Kitty, who freaks people out with a simple handshake, Verity’s cuckoo cousin Sarah, who has a loose sense of right and wrong, her gay Chupacabra dance partner, etc.
Honestly, I could go on forever about the secondary characters. My favorites by far are the Aeslin Mice. They are a religion-loving, Verity-worshipping rodent colony that lives in a retro-fitted Barbie dream house in Verity’s apartment. Their naming of anyone is who enter the Verity’s apartment is hilarious and perceptive (they gave Dominic the title of God of Questionable Motivations).
The book isn’t without flaws. I did find it a bit slow to get started, but when it finally picked it up it dragged you along, with or without your consent. McGuire’s writing always takes me somewhere I wasn’t entirely expecting. I definitely will be picking up the continuing books in this series and recommend it to any person’s reading list.
Sexual content: Sex