Calculated Risks

Calculated RisksCalculated Risks by Seanan McGuire
Series: InCryptid #10
Published by DAW on February 23, 2021
Genres: Urban fantasy
Pages: 448
Format: Paperback
Also by this author: Imaginary Numbers, Over the Woodward Wall, Across the Green Grass Fields, Backpacking Through Bedlam
Also in this series: Backpacking Through Bedlam

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

About Calculated Risks

In an attempt to not destroy Earth while using a living math equation, Sarah transported herself, Antimony, James, Artie, and Greg, their only ally among the Johrlac, along with a chunk of university and students to another planet. A big enough problem since she doesn’t know how to get them all back home. Even worse, her family doesn’t remember who she is.

Sarah thought that using the equation would kill her so she made it erase her from all of their memories. Especially heartbreaking since she still loves Artie and now she’s a hated Johrlac, to be distrusted, even feared.

My thoughts about Calculated Risks

This is the tenth book in the InCryptid series. Calculated Risks starts directly after the events in Imaginary Numbers, thankfully! Because OMG, what a cliffhanger!

Since Calculated Risks is closely tied to Imaginary Numbers, it’s not a good entry point into the series. But for longtime readers, it should be incredibly satisfying to learn more about the Johrlac and their powers. And, of course, get more time with Sarah who’s been an intriguing secondary character in several previous books.

Since the group is on another planet, we get the science fiction trope of how to survive on an alien planet, especially one with giant jumping spiders. Apparently, having a university bookstore to get supplies from is super helpful. Lots of Price-Healy survival skills on display.

While there’s plenty of action because aliens! Zombies! Giant jumping spiders! There’s also a lot of internal dialogue and a fair amount of exposition. All of it written with Seanan’s usual wit and ability to capture emotions. One of her greatest gifts as a writer is creating characters that readers are emotionally invested in.

There’s a bonus novella about Annie’s first hunt as the lead. She, Sarah, Artie, and Verity hunt a killer siren at a con.

Your thoughts

How do you feel about a series where the main character is constantly changing? Do you read the books where the main character is a character that you don’t like? Tell me what you think in the comments below.

Other books

discount armaggedon
Discount Armageddon by Seanan McGuire
across the green grass fields
Across the Green Grass Fields by Seanan McGuire
over the woodward wall
Over the Woodward Wall by Seanan McGuire

Start at the beginning of the InCryptid series with Discount Armageddon featuring Sarah’s cousin and Antimony’s older sister, Verity.

Read my review of Imaginary Numbers, the first half of Sarah’s adventures.

Read one of Seanan’s other series, the Wayward Children, portal fantasies about children who don’t quite fit into our world. Try the standalone, Across the Green Grass Fields.

Enjoy her standalone portal fantasy Over the Woodward Wall written as A. Deborah Baker.

In conclusion

Calculated Risks is a solid entry in the InCryptid series.

Thank you NetGalley and DAW Books for the ARC.

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

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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