Thursday, March 24, 2016

My snake cult is bigger than your snake cult!

I got a surprise a few weeks back when people started posting about how their copy of Seanan McGuire's new InCryptid novel, Chaos Choreography, had arrived on their doorstep or in their e-reader that day. Then I got annoyed when I found out my local library had no copies and none on order. Which meant breaking down and buying a copy on Amazon, which in turn will mean buying the other 4 so that my collection will have no holes.

It was worth buying, though.

As she promised after Pocket Apocalypse (as seen here), we're back to following around Verity, the narrator of the first two books in the series. In between her last book and the current return, she's been across the US, getting married to Dominic in Vegas. They're currently in Portland on the Price family estate. Which is good, since we finally sort of meet the youngest sister, Antimony. However, we're in Portland long enough to rescue a dinosaur before Verity gets an e-mail for her alter ego Valerie, asking her to return to compete in an all star season of Dance or Die!, the show she came in second on before the series started.

Since this is an InCrypted novel, that doesn't go quite the way anyone expects.

Early on, we find out eliminated dancers are being murdered, and no one really remembers them leaving after the show. Which leads to another snake cult, this one much more knowledgeable than the one back in book 1. Verity receives help from two fellow dancers; Pax, an ukipani [wereshark, sort of] from her season, and Malena, a chupacabra from a later season. After it's revealled that this cult knows what its doing, Verity's grandmother, Alice Price-Healy shows up, marking her first print appearance. (Alice looks much younger than Verity, and also serve to explain dimensional reality as it applies to this particular world.)

We also meet a Routewitch (introduced in Sparrow Hill Road), who helps deliver some exposition on the nature of snake cults in the greater Los Angeles area.

While this all builds to an exciting and partially farcical conclusion, the journey is fun and satisfying.

It honestly reminded me a bit of the Season 3 Angel episode "Birthday", wherein the character Verity is given a second chance at something she wants, then has to decide if it's what she really wants.