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).
When Alex Price agreed to go to Ohio to oversee a basilisk breeding program and assist in the recovery of his psychic cousin, he didn't expect people to start dropping dead. But bodies are cropping up at the zoo where he works, and his girlfriend—Shelby Tanner, an Australian zoologist with a fondness for big cats—is starting to get suspicious.
Worse yet, the bodies have all been turned partially to stone...
Hail! Cheese and cake for all!
Half Off Ragnarok is another delightful installment of the Price family series, cryptid investigators and protectors par excellence. This third book follows Alexander Price, Verity’s brother, in his studies of reptiles, both regular and cryptid. I appreciated the accuracy of the reptile information and of Alex’s location at a zoo, an environment that I am familiar with.
The excellent Aeslin mice are still present, although we are obviously dealing with Alex’s branch of the species. Colonies of sapient mice are one of the best inventions in McGuire’s series and they retain their charm in this third novel. They don’t have the same prominence in HOR, but they still provide an important touchstone—the mice need to be fed, consulted, and protected.
We also meet Shelby Tanner, Alex’s love interest and a stereotypical representation of an Australian. Even the cover illustration makes her a strange cross between Barbie and Bindi Irwin. Thankfully, she becomes a more rounded person as the reader gets to know her, since I suspect she will be a regular character in future.
I’m a fan of urban fantasy and this remains one of my favourite series.