Friday 22 June 2018

CBR10 Book 47: "Chaos Choreography" by Seanan McGuire

Page count: 368 pages
Rating: 4 stars

Verity and Dominic have left New York, and got married in Vegas while travelling with Verity's stuff cross-country. Verity has given up on her alter ego Valerie Pryor and her career in ballroom dancing and is fully committed to cryptozoology with her new husband and the rest of her family. Then she gets a call from the producer of "Dance or Die", the reality show that she came runner up in a few years ago and she's asked to return for a "former contestants" edition. While she's unsure of what to do, her family encourage her to go and make sure, once and for all, what career is the one she's meant to devote herself to.

Posing as Valerie again, with Dominic hiding out in a motel a ways away, Verity reunites with old friends and gets serious about dance again. Then she discovers that the contestants who have been voted off the show are being killed and their bodies used in some sort of sinister, arcane ritual. Verity is going to need help, more than just Dominic is able to give her. Luckily, her grandma Alice is willing and able to lend a hand, and together they start investigating, only to discover that the danger is greater and more immediate than they feared.

I was very happy to spend time with Verity and Dominic again, and they are super cute as newly weds. We are also properly introduced to Verity's grandma Alice, who due to complicated reasons looks young enough to pose as Verity's cousin. She seemed no nonsense and absolutely hardcore. There's another mystery of people going missing and turning up dead, and yet another group of people trying to summon a snake god - this time people who seem to know what they're doing. Friends and acquaintances of Verity are in danger and she and her family have to stop the cultists before everyone on the show dies.

My biggest problem with this book came towards the end, when things suddenly seem to happen all too quickly. Several people Verity cares about are dead, yet she seems curiously unaffected by it. She also makes some poor decisions in one dramatic moment that I can't imagine won't have pretty serious repercussions in books to come. It seemed out of character for her, and I can't imagine any of her family members are going to be particularly happy about it. I'm assuming McGuire has some sort of plan going forward, but I think it may be time for me to take a break from these books for a while now - I think I've reached my limit for a while.

Judging a book by its cover: While you may be fooled into thinking this cover features a pair of blonde twins sporting guns, this is in fact supposed to be Verity (and I refuse to believe that a reality TV show that wanted viewers would put her in whatever the heck the woman on the cover is wearing here to dance - just nope) and her grandmother Alice, whose rarely if ever shows her true age, due to exploring a lot of strange dimensional portals looking for her missing husband. Her tattoos contain magic spells, which I also thought was pretty cool. So far, this is my least favourite cover in the series after the first one.

Crossposted on Cannonball Read.

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