February 25, 2020

Review: Imaginary Numbers

Review: Imaginary NumbersImaginary Numbers by Seanan McGuire
Series: InCryptid #9
Published by DAW on February 2020
Genres: Urban fantasy
Pages: 433
Format: ARC
four-stars
Also by this author: Over the Woodward Wall, Across the Green Grass Fields, Calculated Risks

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Imaginary Numbers is the ninth book in Seanan McGuire’s urban fantasy InCryptid series. Following the efforts of the extended Price Healey family to protect cryptids – the creatures that normal humans think are legends like gorgons and dragons to those that we don’t know about like the alien cuckoos.

Seanan’s world-building is always incredible. Each book in this series gives readers a deeper knowledge of the cryptids sharing the planet with the humans. Creating entire ecosystems for mythical creatures based in real-world science is amazing. Mixing the zoological information with compelling plotlines is a true skill.

My thoughts about Imaginary Numbers

In this book, instead of focusing on the Price family’s generations-old battle with the Covenant of St. George, the story focuses on cousin Sarah, a secondary character from earlier books. Sarah’s a cuckoo, a telepathic species of apex predator cryptids from another dimension.

After rescuing her cousin Verity in an earlier book, Sarah’s mind was severely damaged. As a telepath who can take over human minds and impose her will on them, this made her incredibly dangerous. It’s been a long five years but Sarah and her adoptive parents think she’s recovered.

So the plan is that using her cuckoo powers, she’ll leave her parents’ home in Ohio and travel to Oregon to visit her extended Price family at their remote compound. She’ll be able to reconnect with her cousins, especially Artie, the half succubus that she’s been in love with forever.

While the test starts off well, Sarah doesn’t make it out of the airport before she’s attacked by another cuckoo. And things just get worse. As wily and prepared as Sarah’s family is, how do they survive let alone win against mind controlling aliens?

For fans of the series, Imaginary Numbers is a solid entry. For urban fantasy fans who haven’t read the InCryptid books, definitely give them a shot – fast-paced storytelling, stellar world-building, and snarky characters make it a total thumbs up recommendation.

Other books

discount armaggedon
Discount Armageddon
by Seanan McGuire
burn for me
Burn for me by Ilona Andrews
moon called
Moon Called by Patricia Briggs

Start at the beginning of the InCryptids series with Verity’s story, Discount Armageddon.

If you enjoy urban fantasy with a strong female lead and a bit of snark, try Burn for Me by Ilona Andrews. Read my review of the most recent book in the Hidden Legacy series, Emerald Blaze.

The Mercy Thompson books are another urban fantasy series featuring a strong female lead. Moon Called is the first book. Read my review of Smoke Bitten, the most recent book.

Thank you to NetGalley and DAW for the DRC.

Your thoughts

Do you read the InCryptid series? Who’s your favorite character? Tell me in the comments below. I’m Team Verity because of the ballroom dancing although I feel more Antimony in temperament.

About Seanan McGuire

Seanan is the author of the October Daye urban fantasies, the InCryptid urban fantasies, and several other works both stand-alone and in trilogies or duologies. In case that wasn’t enough, she also writes under the pseudonym “Mira Grant.” For details on her work as Mira, check out MiraGrant.com.

In her spare time, Seanan records CDs of her original filk music (see the Albums page for details). She is also a cartoonist, and draws an irregularly posted autobiographical web comic, “With Friends Like These…”, as well as generating a truly ridiculous number of art cards. Surprisingly enough, she finds time to take multi-hour walks, blog regularly, watch a sickening amount of television, maintain her website, and go to pretty much any movie with the words “blood,” “night,” “terror,” or “attack” in the title. Most people believe she doesn’t sleep.

Seanan lives in an idiosyncratically designed labyrinth in the Pacific Northwest, which she shares with her cats, Alice and Thomas, a vast collection of creepy dolls and horror movies, and sufficient books to qualify her as a fire hazard. She has strongly-held and oft-expressed beliefs about the origins of the Black Death, the X-Men, and the need for chainsaws in daily life.

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