Metropolitan Mythology

I try to space out book review posts so my blog isn’t inundated with them, and I’ll often include a few books in one post. I really should start writing the reviews right after reading the books, however, even if I don’t intend to post them for a while. Both of the books here are ones I finished a while ago, but hadn’t gotten around to reviewing yet. This is especially true of the first one; I think it’s been about a month. Well, not according to GoodReads, but I think that was just when I listed it as something I was reading instead of when I actually finished it. I need to get on the ball here.

Renegades, by Marissa Meyer – By the author of the Lunar Chronicles, this novel takes place in a city ruled by superheroes, who took over law enforcement duties after an age of anarchy. The main character, Nova, joined up with her anarchist uncle in an attempt to overthrow the Renegades and restore more personal freedom after the superheroes didn’t save the rest of her family. She’s allied with a group of other anarchists with super powers, and on their advice, she joins the Renegades to serve as a spy. Once in with them, however, she starts seeing their side, at least until she learns that they’re trying to come up with a way to sap the powers from non-Renegades. She also strikes up a relationship with Adrian, the son of two of the most prominent superheroes. I thought it was kind of long considering not a whole lot happens; it’s mostly just an introduction to the world and its characters. There’s obviously more in the works, though, since it ends on a cliffhanger. I do have to wonder what will happen with Nova’s loyalties, as both the Renegades and Anarchists seem totally corrupt overall, although they both have good people in them.

Discount Armageddon, by Seanan McGuire – I believe I saw this recommended in a list that included a lot of other stuff I like, but I really knew nothing about it other than that it involved cryptids, which isn’t a bad start. It’s the first book in the InCryptid series, and the main character is Verity Price, part of a family of cryptid hunters who broke away long ago from the larger Covenant of St. George because of their intolerant views on mythical beings. Verity is a bad-ass fighter, although her true passion in life is ballroom dancing, and she works as a cocktail waitress in a strip club run by a bogeyman. McGuire brings a lot of different sorts of supernatural creatures from folklore into modern New York City, and even makes up her own. I was particularly interested in the Madhura, humanoids from India with an affinity for sweets. I don’t know of any mythical basis to them, but “Madhura” is Sanskrit for “sweet.” Then there are the Aeslin Mice, comic relief characters (although perhaps not so much to those whose homes they live in) who celebrate religious festivals pretty much all the time. I looked it up, and “Aeslin” means “dream” or “vision” in Gaelic, which fits, although I couldn’t help thinking of the the mice of Narnia and their devotion to Aslan. The main plot involves a dragon discovered living underneath the city, and the attempt of a snake cult to wake him. Verity reluctantly teams up with a Covenant member named Dominic De Luca, further complicated by the fact that they’re attracted to each other. I have the next book on electronic reserve at the library.

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