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Chaos Choreography: An InCryptid Novel by…

Chaos Choreography: An InCryptid Novel (original 2016; edition 2016)

by Seanan McGuire (Author)

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2381473,087 (4.07)10
Title:Chaos Choreography: An InCryptid Novel
Authors:Seanan McGuire (Author)
Info:DAW (2016), 368 pages
Collections:Your library

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Chaos Choreography by Seanan McGuire (2016)



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Originally posted on Tales to Tide You Over

I don’t binge read series. I don’t. The craft behind the writing becomes too apparent to me, making even well-written books predictable. So why did I pick up the next InCryptid? Well, I was in a specific mood that the InCryptid series fills. The way the main character and locations change, there is more a shared experience than a fixed series feel. It’s an interesting way to run with a concept.

I stated before that Alex is my favorite of the Price family so far because I identify with his approach the most. What I’d forgotten is the way Verity’s determination and enthusiasm whether performing Latin dance or hunting down strange beings in the reservoir draws me in. I might not be inclined to dance professionally, but I can empathize with how she’s pulled in two directions and how the dance calls to her.

As you probably guessed, main character shifts back to Verity for this novel. She collects an ensemble cast of Dominic (ex-Covenant and now her husband), Malena (a chupacabra), Pax (a Ukupani), Brenna (a dragon princess), and the infamous Grandmother Alice. That isn’t going into the main characters for the dance competition except where they cross over just as Verity becomes Valerie. It’s a lot of characters to keep track of, but each is distinct enough I didn’t mix them up at all. Oh, and of course, the mice made their presence known, as how could they not.

Seanan McGuire has a way with characters that makes you want to see them succeed. It’s the right blend of empathy, determination, and sheer idiocy that allows the Prices to leap into danger again and again. They risk life and limb to protect the world, the cryptids, and even humans who aren’t trying to tear everything apart.

This novel is no different.

Sure, it’s supposed to be Valerie (Verity’s alter ego) who holds center stage, but where Verity goes disaster sure seems to follow, if it wasn’t there already waiting to be uncovered. She goes about things the way she always does, making friends, making enemies, and all the while planning to play loose with the rules. It works because she usually has more than her self-interest at stake.

That’s what draws me back to the series when I need a break. It’s the blend of humor with serious situations and an underlying understanding that being evil is a choice, not a species. Besides, I got to meet Grandmother Alice, who was not what I’d expected at all, though maybe I should have guessed some of it.

There were some perfect notes like when Verity realizes her Valerie disguise couldn’t have fooled most of the staff. The persistent statement that the dragons trying to purchase a young male to raise as a husband for their daughters is something so alien humans struggle to understand it jarred though. (This is well within the dragon culture and would preserve their future when only one surviving male is known to exist.) Human history is littered with mostly female, but some male, children being bartered in marriage. The period where this is less common in Western cultures is both short and very recent.

Ultimately, the issues were small and the strengths huge. I enjoyed the actual differences in various cryptid mentalities compared to human and the way Verity takes on the world to protect those she considers friends. Though she’d do it for anyone in need. As to the mystery, I pinpointed some of those involved, but not with confidence, so the need to identify the true enemies carried me through to the end where some were eliminated from my list through surprising twists.

It’s a fun read with some beautiful cultural moments and characters you feel for. ( )
  MarFisk | Feb 25, 2019 |
I enjoyed the hell out of this. I've always been curious about Verity's dancing and it was so much fun to see her connect with her Valerie Pryor identity. Of course I loved all her conflicting emotions about who she is and what she wants to do. Mostly I just settled in for the ride and smiled all the way through. Also, ALICE!

Then there was the ending. Whoa. I have an ARC of the next book in the series waiting on my Kindle and I'm glad I can dive right into it after that. ( )
  tldegray | Sep 21, 2018 |
Another light, fun read in the Incryptid series. ( )
  teknognome | Sep 2, 2018 |
Verity has changed her life dramatically recently. She’s married Dominic, a former member of the Order of St George, which was definitely a surprise (though a family tradition). And she has finally made her decision to follow the family business of crypto-zoology rather than pursuing her career in dance.

At least until the producer of the dancing reality TV show she almost won calls her asking her to come back for a very special season. It’s a last chance at her dancing dream, one last chance to see if this is really what she wants… and one last opportunity she cannot turn down

Except when her fellow contestants turn up dead - and it looks like woo-woo and cryptids may be involved.

Hail! Hail the return of the Arboreal Priestess!

It’s been a long time since we saw Verity and I agonised for a little while about whether I wanted to see more of the rest of the family or welcomed the return of Verity. I know, I’m awkward because I lamented moving from Verity in the first place- and then I discovered Alex, The God of Scales and Silence and much preferred his storyline

But at the same time I love that we are returning to Verity. One element of series with shifting protagonists I’m not a great fan of is we tend to forget the older characters. They just vanish or fade into the background - characters which were once compelling enough for entire books are now seemingly reduced to irrelevance. So I love that we have established this precedence, I love that we can revisit these characters and that no-one with be forgotten. More series really need to take a lesson from this

And despite liking Alex’s story - that doesn’t mean I don’t love Verity, I do. And I especially love how this book is coming back to one of the main conflicts of Verity’s story that wasn’t entirely finished was her conflict over whether she wanted to dance or follow the family business. I mean she made her decision, but it felt vaguely like the decision was forced on her. And that’s not bad - sometimes circumstances over take her dream, but it was nice to see that her passion, her dream hadn’t completely left her and it was important to her to revisit it. I really liked how this was done, seeing her connect to old friends, having her both see the things she loved so much about dance but also seeing them with a new light and, perhaps, with less nostalgia. I really really liked the many excellent, subtle ways

I was a little disappointed by Alice, the Noisy Princesses; mainly because my expectations were so high having heard so much about her but the focus was very much on Verity so her terrifyingness was not the focus. Which was probably the best way to go and she did bring so much of her character with just lots of hints and references which was restrained and excellently done

I’ve mentioned a couple of times that I prefer Alex’s story to Verity - but this is nothing to do with Alex or Verity - it’s to do with Dominic. I find Verity’s husband to be… bland? Who is he? What interests him? What is he doing with his life other than being Verity’s husband? Does he have hobbies? Ambitions? Plans? What conflicts is he experiencing given his huge shift of opinions from being a member of the Order? He just seems… hollow.. Especially next to the excellent characters that are already in this book.

The world building, as ever, remains excellent with a whole lot of research, supernatural creatures and the excellent blend of science and mythology working so well which makes this series so unique and so awesome. Even if it needed more Aislinn Mice (hail! Everything needs more Aislinn mice). Honestly I could write many many paragraphs of how awesome this world building is, but I’ve already said repeatedly in the last 4 books because it is just that awesome. I love it so much I really cannot praise it enough - the different cultures, the way they interact how inhuman some of them are, it really works.

Read More ( )
1 vote FangsfortheFantasy | Nov 23, 2017 |
Another fun entry into the Incryptid world, but now we have Verity back and we get Alice for the first time in a full length novel! I loved Alice, I loved the hints and drops at how she 'gets around' and does her business. The characters for this one drove it forward. I'm shocked to say I think I was more attached to her brother than to Verity by this point so I was missing him throughout this. Overall though, very fun entry. ( )
  Adilinaria | Aug 11, 2017 |
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For Will, who has felt the sting of reality television and lived to tell the tale.
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"When we took the stage at the start of this season, twenty dancers stood before you, ready to dazzle you with their talent, strength, and personalities."
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 075640813X, Mass Market Paperback)

More information to be announced soon on this forthcoming title from Penguin USA.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 19 Nov 2015 13:36:55 -0500)

Verity Price thought her dancing days were behind her, but when she is offered another shot on the popular reality show, Dance or Die, she takes off for L.A. with Dominic in tow. But when two contestants wind up dead, it is up to Verity to figure out the killer?s next step. DAW fantasy series, (Original), 368pp.… (more)

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