I am currently reading my way through a long list of science fiction and fantasy titles. (http://www.npr.org/2011/08/07/138938145/science-fiction-and-fantasy-finalists if you are interested in the list).
Cute. Smart. Snarky. Exactly what is necessary for my Summer Festival of Fluff.
“Never tell anyone to be careful, never ask what that noise was, and for the love of God, never, ever say that you’ll be right back.”
Verity Price belongs to a family of cryptozoologists who have been studying monsters/cryptids for centuries, protecting humans from them and them from humans. Verity also has ambitions as a professional dancer and has moved to New York, both for dance opportunities and a little space from her rather overwhelming family.
Aeslin mice: Sapient, rodentlike cryptids that present as nearly identical to noncryptid field mice. Aeslin mice crave religion and will attached themselves to "divine figures" selected virtually at random when a new colony is created. They possess perfect recall; each colony maintains a detailed oral history going back to its inception. Origin unknown.
Verity has a group of Aeslin mice living in her NY apartment, worshipping her as their goddess. Hail! That said, her love life gets a little complicated:
I gasped, "Oh, God, the mice!"
"What--?" Dominic stared after me, bewildered, as I grabbed the sack, jumped to my feet, and ran to the bedroom door.
"Bedroom privileges have been revoked for the remainder of the evening!" I shouted, chucking the chicken bag into the middle of the hallway, where it was immediately besieged on all sides by tiny, furry bodies. "I invoke the Sacred Law of Food for Privacy! Feast, and leave me alone!"
When I finished the book last night, I immediately returned to the beginning and re-read all of the mouse passages! I absolutely adore the mice and wish I had my own colony to sing my praises daily and remember all of the important events of my life! In fact, it was tempting to try to quote ALL of the cute mouse bits and I’ve restrained myself. So if you read the book, there is unknown cuteness waiting for you. Honestly, I wish this kind of book had been available 30 years ago—my younger self would have eaten this up with a spoon. Even my jaded older self enjoys it a lot. The romance is rather predictable, but I do think that every man should have to face an army of mice the first time he stays over at a woman’s house!
Okay, so this will never again be mentioned in the same breath with Of Mice and Men (sorry John Steinbeck for this one instance), but I’m sure that was not what McGuire was aiming for. I suspect that this level of cute, smart, and snarky will be difficult to maintain, but I am willing to check out the next book simply to see what the mice are doing!