Review: Pocket Apocalypse by Seanan McGuire (Incryptid #4)


Pocket Apocalypse by Seanan McGuire // VBC ReviewPocket Apocalypse (Incryptid #4)
Seanan McGuire
Published: Mar. 3, 2015 (DAW)
Purchase: Book Depository or Amazon
Review source: copy provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review
Hear a clip from the audiobook

Reviewed by: Margaret

Rating (out of 5): 4 stars

Note: While review will be spoiler free, it does make reference to previous books in the series.

About a year has passed since the events of Half Off Ragnarok. Alex Price is still running the reptile house at the Columbus Zoo and still dating Shelby Tanner, who moved with him after her apartment building burned down in the last book. One day out of the blue, Shelby asks Alex what he knows about werewolves. It seems her family in Australia is under attack and completely unprepared, despite belonging to a secret society of monster hunters. She wants Alex to go home with her and help defeat the werewolves.

After all the unusual creatures that have been featured in the Incryptid series, my first thought was, Werewolves? Really?But Seanan McGuire gave them a unique Incryptid twist. The lychanthropy virus, of which –w or wolf is the most common variant, began as a form of rabies that affected shapeshifters. It mutated and spilled over into other species and now any mammal large enough to transform into a wolf can be infected. For instance, in the prologue nineteen-year-old Alex battles a werewolf-horse (which was frighteningly horrific.) The virus has never been found in Australia, so the Thirty Six Society has no experience dealing with it. Alex’s descriptions of what could happen if they don’t stop an outbreak sound a lot like a disaster movie–instead of zombies, it’s the werewolf apocalypse.

When they arrive in Australia, Alex finds himself in a Meet the Parents nightmare of epic proportions. He’s faced with not just Shelby’s family, but also the entire Thirty Six Society. Even though Shelby asked for his help, she seems to be the only one who wants him there. He has to battle prejudice against cryptids, the Covenant and “guys who are dating my daughter” just to tell them what he knows about werewolves. And when he tells them they’re doing things wrong, they don’t get any more welcoming. Despite being the expert, Alex finds there’s a lot that he doesn’t know about werewolves once the war begins.

Alex is a somewhat unconventional hero. He’s capable of action movie worthy stunts, but he’s a science geek at heart. He’s just a very well-trained geek. When he executes any of those not-so-geeky moves, he explains the training he and his sisters had as children that made him able to do that. It provides some interesting insight into the Price family and a reminder that the series is about all three siblings. I didn’t feel like Alex was constantly comparing himself to Verity, the star of the first two books in the series, which was a big issue for me in the last one. I thought Shelby’s sisters were interesting characters as well, especially the brutally honest Raina, and I’m wondering if they’ll show up in later books.

Pocket Apocalypse is sort of a two-part mystery. First, Alex is gathering information about the virus and the creatures it creates for academic purposes and to improve his family’s reference materials. If the werewolves weren’t killing people I think that would be his primary focus. Secondly, and more importantly, he’s trying to identify the werewolves and stop them from taking over. The plot was exciting with lots of action and some unexpected twists. I really got involved in the story and had to stay up late to finish. I’m excited to see what’s next for the Price family and what creatures will get the cryptid treatment from McGuire.

Sexual content: sex

2 Responses to “Review: Pocket Apocalypse by Seanan McGuire (Incryptid #4)”

  1. susan emans says:

    Great review! I am really looking forward to reading Pocket Apocalypse.

  2. Wilda Konik says:

    I just finished reading it, and while I think the book itself was pretty good, it felt more like a book one than a book later in the series, because it didn’t feel like the overarching stakes were there. The cool thing about the Covenant threat was that there was something sort of epic hanging over the micro-story, and I’m not sure that this had that same sense of there being a real threat to the world, instead of just Alex. I didn’t feel that same sense of concern over Australia that anything real would change or go wrong, because the only real threat was of a massive plague that would destroy everything… almost too serious to be taken seriously. I enjoyed the writing, though, and hope the sisters get books of their own later — though I’d prefer to round out the Price sisters first.

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