"Necessary Part of the Incryptid Series"
Reviewed by Diana Troldahl
Posted January 17, 2018
Seanan McGuire always delivers a well-written tale. MAGIC
FOR NOTHING has the expectedly enjoyable interactions with
new-to-us cryptids, as well as an interestingly close-up
view of workings within the folds of the Covenant but for
me the reading experience was not as enjoyable as I had
hoped. Your mileage most likely will vary, but all I can
base this review on is my own reading experience.
In my personal viewpoint (perhaps colored by me being more
than three decades older than the protagonist) I found it
incredibly frustrating that the sense of imminent danger
created by the author was seemingly ignored by the main
character. Pages of wonderful interactions with new people
(who are in danger of slaughter) became annoying, simply
because McGuire did such a bang-up job of explaining the
peril and heightening the tension.
The decisions made by Antimony were as best I could tell
perfectly within the realm of her character, which
probably made her just as annoying as a small few of the
young adults I have met. All that aside, because that part
of the plot tension existed because of poor decisions on
the part of the main character it did impact my enjoyment
of the book in a huge fashion, so my personal rating of
the book is 'never read this book again', although I
stress again that it was very well-written, the lack lies
within me as a reader, not the author as writer.
Was the payoff worth the frustration? Only you can be the
judge. If you are a follower of the Incryptid
definitely buy this one. If this is your first encounter
then I advise you to start with a different book (unless
of course you are in your early 20's in which case you
will likely have tons of empathy for Antimony.) All I can
tell you that when the fewmets hit the fan, I was almost
giddy with relief that the tangled deception was over.
On the whole, I DO give MAGIC FOR NOTHING a high rating.
It is very well written, all the parts are in place for an
enjoyable read and Seanan McGuire's mastery of
characterization meant that Antimony was real enough to me
to spark my annoyance. Will it be one of my go-to re-reads
when I want to immerse myself in another world? Nope.
1. Not very likely to happen; not probable.
2. Probably not a very good idea anyway.
3. See also â€śbad plan.â€ť
As the youngest of the three Price children, Antimony is
used to people not expecting much from her. Sheâ€™s been happy
playing roller derby and hanging out with her cousins,
leaving the globe-trotting to her older siblings while she
stays at home and tries to decide what she wants to do with
her life. She always knew that one day, things would have to
change. She didnâ€™t think theyâ€™d change so fast.
Annieâ€™s expectations keep getting shattered. She didnâ€™t
expect Verity to declare war on the Covenant of St. George
on live television. She didnâ€™t expect the Covenant to take
her sisterâ€™s threat seriously. And she definitely didnâ€™t
expect to be packed off to London to infiltrate the Covenant
from the insideâ€¦but as the only Price in her generation
without a strong resemblance to the rest of the family,
sheâ€™s the perfect choice to play spy. They need to know
whatâ€™s coming. Their lives may depend on it.
But Annie has some secrets of her own, like the fact that
sheâ€™s started setting things on fire when she touches them,
and has no idea how to control it. Now sheâ€™s headed halfway
around the world, into the den of the enemy, where blowing
her cover could get her killed. Sheâ€™s pretty sure things
canâ€™t get much worse.
Antimony Price is about to learn just how wrong itâ€™s
possible for one cryptozoologist to be.
What do you think about this review?
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