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That Ain't Witchcraft
InCryptid #8
by Seanan McGuire
Daw, $7.99, 445pp
Published: March 2019

Antimony Price has never done well without a support system. As the youngest of her generation, she has always been able to depend on her parents, siblings, and cousins to help her out when she’s in a pinch—until now. After fleeing from the Covenant of St. George, she’s found herself in debt to the crossroads and running for her life. No family. No mice. No way out.
Lucky for her, she’s always been resourceful, and she’s been gathering allies as she travels: Sam, Fūri trapeze artist turned
boyfriend; Cylia, Jink roller derby captain and designated driver; Fern, Sylph friend, confidant, and maker of breakfasts; even Mary, ghost babysitter to the Price family. Annie’s actually starting to feel like they might be able to figure things out—which is probably why things start going wrong again.
New Gravesend, Maine is a nice place to raise a family…or make a binding contract with the crossroads. For James Smith, whose best friend disappeared when she tried to do precisely that, it’s also an excellent place to plot revenge. Now the crossroads want him dead and they want Annie to do the dirty deed. She owes them, after all.
And that’s before Leonard Cunningham, aka, “the next leader of the Covenant,” shows up…
It’s going to take everything Annie has and a little bit more to get out of this one. If she succeeds, she gets to go home. If she fails, she becomes one more cautionary tale about the dangers of bargaining with the crossroads.
But no pressure.

Seanan McGuire's newest novel is number eight in The Incryptid series, “That Ain't Witchcraft”. It focuses on the youngest in the Price family, Antimony, continuing with her story after the events of book seven “Tricks For Free”. As the synopsis says, Antimony is still on the run but has gathered her friends and boyfriend as support. But not only does she have to deal with the Crossroads but Leonard Cunningham, the wonder boy of the Covenant.

First up, the plot is captivating.  Seanan McGuire is truly talented at building a story that grabs you by the throat and doesn't let go. Her main character is stuck in the dilemma of not being able to go home and yet, Seanan manages to find a unique solution to the problem; one I didn't foresee.  Between the Covenant and the Crossroads, the plot keeps you on the edge of your seat, up late at night and completely wrapped up in the story.

The world building is amazing, always one of Seanan McGuire's strengths. The diversity of species of cryptids and the amount of research that Seanan McGuire puts into building the universe is what makes the story so compelling. She's built a complex world using scientific details and mythology so rich in details that it makes me wonder if it's right around the corner of ours.

Most of all I love the characters. Antimony is complex, strong-willed, sarcastic and full of spunk. The supporting cast is equally interesting, with real motivations and full of grey, not black and white. The supporting characters have their own strengths and weaknesses, their own purpose to the plot and are far more than mere appendages to the main character.

This is a fantastic, fun, and engaging read with an incredible ending. The plot is full of twists, the world-building is complex and the characters are real, breathing people. I completely recommend this novel and the rest of the Incryptid series.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars ~~ Andrea Rittschof

For more titles in this series click here
For more titles by Seanan McGuire click here

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