This is officially my first book by Seanan McGuire. While I did consider Rosemary and Rue when it first came out, I never bought it or read it. I think it was at a time I was feeling very urban fantasy-ed out (something I feel even more these days actually) and I let it slide. Now there are so many books in the series it intimidates me.
When Feed came out, I was dubious at first since I am totally not a zombie person. But the reviews started coming out mentioning the chemistry/biology and solid SF side to it and I decided to give it a go. I very quickly became a Mira Grant fangirl and loved the whole Newsflesh trilogy. When I finished Blackout, I was very sad there weren’t any more – or at least, not yet. I’ll be lining up when her future Mira Grant books come out.
So I decided if I couldn’t read Mira Grant books, I’d have to try the Seanan McGuire ones. Discount Armageddon is the first of a series, so it seemed a much easier place to start than with an older series that is now up to seven books.
I started this book with a hiss and a roar. I enjoyed Verity’s voice and the story she was telling. The mice are lovely fun – although I’m very glad I don’t have a colony of them living with me. The back story of the cryptids, Verity’s family and the Covenant was all interesting. Then Dominic came along. I rather like Dominic actually, but he was clearly there to be the love interest with conflicting loyalties who was going to have to learn his way was wrong and the Price’s way was right. McGuire actually did it very well, but I found it a bit frustrating all the same.
Halfway through the book (small spoiler) sure enough, Verity and Dominic have sex. It’s good sex and they both enjoy it – until afterwards Dominic spouts Covenant doctrine and Verity predictably gets mad about it. And suddenly I stopped reading. I didn’t know why. I just wanted to put it down. And I left it there for several months. (Actually, as I check the dates I see with was three and a half months, which really surprises me. I didn’t think it was that long.) At the time I wasn’t sure why I stopped. I wasn’t sure if it was what Dominic said or how Verity reacted, but I just wasn’t happy.
After finishing Agent of Change, I decided I really wanted to make a dent in the number of books I had marked as “currently reading”, so I went back to this one, not sure if I was going to enjoy it or not.
I finished that particular chapter and things were off again. The pace picked up, the deliberate angst set up actually turned out to be quite mild, if not exactly resolved by the end of the book, and we got to the meat of the story. We had interesting revelations about dragons and dragon princesses, good rapport and a developing partnership between Verity and Dominic, not to mention an exciting climax and enough hanging loose ends for more books.
I was really enjoying the book again by the end and looking forward to the next one.
And now I’m writing up my thoughts, I find I’m caught between “really enjoyed it and want more” and the niggles that bothered me. Those are mostly the stereotypical setup to Dominic’s character and status (hey, he’s even an orphan) combined with that middle of the book I hid behind spoiler tags, both of which leave him happily lying to the Covenant about things and kissing Verity by the end of the book (neither of which I consider a spoiler because both were incredibly obvious). Much as I liked him, I think Dominic is more of a trope than a character in this book.
But he still has potential to become his own character. I really hope he does and the odds are good that when Midnight Blue-Light Special comes out, I’ll be buying it.