That Ain’t Witchcraft by Seanan McGuire

Read May 2022
★   ★   ★   ★  

Surprisingly fun and a nice return to the attraction the series originally held for me. Snappy dialogue, a tone that nicely balances fun with consequences and an interesting storyline all make for a perfect early-summer read.

“The corn was still moving, shaking and rustling like an entire platoon of creepy kids was hiding on the other side.”

After having read the series on-and-off for most of the books over a number of years, I’d say the the strengths in this series are the incryptids, or the non-human species. Many benign, a few not, but all give McGuire a chance to exercise her imagination-brain and come up with scenarios that result in sentences like these:

“Oh, my sweet Lady Luck, can you people get a room?” asked Cylia. “Should you be making out with the monkey while you have your babysitter in your pocket? Because I’m not human, but that feels wrong to me.”

Weakness, at least series-wide, is a certain sameness in voice no matter which sibling is telling the story. In this case, it is Antimony, or Annie, the youngest of the three Price siblings, on the run from the Covenant with her boyfriend and two roller-derby friends, and occasionally guided by a ghost. They end up finding a place to hole up in Maine (home of the Stephen King novel, as is frequently pointed out).

There’s a novella from the middle male sibling at the end of this one and it was instrumental in sending my mind down this path. I’d also note that I think that while McGuire can occasionally dream up a twisty plot, she can’t always execute it as well particularly in sustaining action sequences, and the contrast between the novel–which was solidly done–and the novella–which was not–was stark.

“The Prices are what they are. They court danger like a lover, and seem surprised when their affections are returned.”

Many thanks to Vivian, whose review inspired me to take a second (okay, fourth) look at the series.

“She started the car, and we drove on toward the future, which looked like it might at least have better plumbing than the past.”


About thebookgator

avid reader and Goodreads reviewer looking for a home.
This entry was posted in Book reviews, Urban fantasy and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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