seanan_mcguire: (sarah)
[personal profile] seanan_mcguire
To celebrate the release of Magic For Nothing, here. Have an open thread to discuss the book. Judging by the comments I'm seeing, some of you have had time, and I'd really, really rather book discussion (sometimes including spoilers) didn't crop up on other posts.


Seriously. If anyone comments here at all, THERE WILL BE SPOILERS. So please don't read and then yell at me because you encountered spoilers. You were warned. (I will not reply to every comment; I call partial comment amnesty. But I may well join some of the discussion, or answer questions or whatnot.) I will be DELETING all comments containing spoilers which have been left on other posts. No one gets to spoil people here without a label.

You can also start a discussion at my website forums, with less need to be concerned that I will see everything you say! In case you wanted, you know, discussion free of authorial influence, since I always wind up getting involved in these things.

Have fun, and try not to bleed on the carpet.
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Date: 2017-03-08 01:52 am (UTC)
snippy: Lego me holding book (Me as Lego)
From: [personal profile] snippy

Date: 2017-03-08 02:08 am (UTC)

Date: 2017-03-08 03:40 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Well, true to form, I sat down and read almost straight through, with little breaks for things like laundry, wincing and food at points. This book seemed like it was setting up ontop of Verity's "whoops, can't take that back" moment and setting the stage for the next book as well. We know more of the other side now and there is some really ... unpleasant consequences from all of this that's coming down the pipe. I wished for Leo to be dead straight off and I'm glad my instincts were correct about him. Anyone sworn to the pen and the paper... well, let's just say, research is on their side, especially since Thomas was the same way. You weren't joking where you said things were definitely going to get darker in this series. My heart hurts after reading this and I am honestly hurting for the entirety of the Price family. After everything they've done and worked for, it's all come home to roost.

My brain goes to Antimony, though-- and the routewitches and a lot of predictions that were made about the family. I can't recall straight offhand the phrasing, but I remember it had to do mostly with Antimony and more than just the name itself. There's something tricky down the line and I love how it makes me want to re-read everything as easily as the Toby books to ferret out the details. Seanan is sneaky like that.
Ugh, there's so much that was packed into this book, the scenery, the words, the sights and sounds and all of your love for carnivals and derby and comic books really shone through with Antimony. The obvious anger towards Verity, of kicking the hornets nest. Oh ... I am just ... I can't unpack it all now, but I love the mice, I love the fact there was another Aeslin mouse left behind (and more, I presume, Mork had to come from somewhere) and I'd love to know that fascinating history. They could learn so much about their enemies from one little Mouse-- but unfortunately, the Convenant can learn so much from Antimony. I'm genuinely scared for her, for the family and all that they hold dear.

Thank you for such a wonderful book as always.
Edited Date: 2017-03-08 03:41 am (UTC)

Date: 2017-03-17 04:41 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I actually wrote up sort of an October Daye reading guide on my own that was pretty much designed for keeping track of all the foreshadowed stuff/predictions mentioned in those books. No, it's not online yet, I'm not sure where the heck to post it (also, spoilers). The list of mysteries is long, folks. Looooooooong.

(Oh, hey, did anyone see the book summary on Amazon for The Brightest Fell? Y'all are gonna squeal! Mysteries!)

(no subject)

From: [identity profile] - Date: 2017-03-17 04:54 am (UTC) - Expand

Date: 2017-03-08 04:01 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
This was awesome, and I'm going to have to read it a few times to fully come to grips with what I just read.

Damn it, Artie. Why can't you digitize the family library and have reference material for Prices when they need access to that one source of Great Grandpa Jonathan or that one primer from Grandpa Thomas? It's 2017, and you're awesomely talented. Unless there's some sort of book-based sorcery that demands it be written on physical medium. Or is it fear of a security breach?

The reunion in the beginning was incredible. Mindy and Mork were great, as all Aeslin are. I feel so bad for Antimony, but I loved the revelation she had at the end. That was excellent character growth and it felt earned.

Date: 2017-03-14 12:43 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Kind of both? There are things that can't be digitized without becoming so much nonsense scribbling, and there's always the fear of a security breach.

Yaaaay Istas!

Date: 2017-03-08 04:30 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rebecca baldwin (from
I have been counting down to this bookday and am so very pleased so far, unsurprisingly. Istas: do I want her, do I want to be her, do I want her wardrobe... probably all three.

RE: Yaaaay Istas!

Date: 2017-03-14 12:43 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I appreciate that you enjoyed her cameo. :)

Date: 2017-03-08 04:35 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Hooray, it's here! There is a trip to B&N in my immediate future--like within 24 hours future. Can't wait. :D

Date: 2017-03-08 06:59 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Super wonderful awesomeness! Loved getting to see Annie fly on her own in the Big League, and, dare I say it, do some growing up. Her epiphany in that final confrontation with Margaret was wonderfully well done.I absolutely adored Sam, and I do hope we haven't seen the last of him. As for Leo ... oh Annie, I'm afraid you may come to regret not throwing that knife when you had the chance.

As a Florida girl, who happens to live just an hour from Gainesville, I admit to uttering a little *squee* at the epilogue. Could you tell me, pretty please, if the next book takes place in Florida? That's not really spoilery, right? Not that it will dampen my eagerness to read it, of course.

Like the October Daye books, this series gets better with each installment. Thank you so much for sharing these worlds with us.

Date: 2017-03-09 06:34 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I damn near died when she was heading to Madison, cause guess where I live? While some things weren't accurate IRL (there's not actually any seedy hotels by the campus area - they've all been torn down and turned into condos, and you can't take a bus from the airport out of town) I was over the moon that my tiny but awesome little city was there. ANNIE WAS HERE.

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From: [identity profile] - Date: 2017-03-14 12:44 am (UTC) - Expand

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From: [identity profile] - Date: 2017-03-14 12:43 am (UTC) - Expand

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From: [identity profile] - Date: 2017-03-14 02:05 am (UTC) - Expand

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From: [identity profile] - Date: 2017-03-17 04:38 am (UTC) - Expand

Date: 2017-03-08 11:23 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Read it yesterday, enjoyed it a lot- first read highlights were teenage cobras, and Adrienne coming back. I know what she did was wrong, but I did feel a little bad for her.

Looking forward to the reread :-)

Date: 2017-03-08 01:32 pm (UTC)
ironed_orchid: (YAY)
From: [personal profile] ironed_orchid
Sam appreciation thread here!

Date: 2017-03-14 07:44 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I'm cackling at your icon.

And Sam is The Best. I just want to hug him.

book release

Date: 2017-03-08 02:16 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Book just landed on the doorstep yesterday morning. Can't wait to start reading it! Thanks for this great series.

Date: 2017-03-09 04:04 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
If you had told me circa Midnight Blue-Light Special that Margaret Healy would one day break my heart... I hope this isn't the last we've seen of her.

And speaking of heartbreak: the English Aeslin. Ouch. I had wondered if any had stayed behind, and the answer did not disappoint. Or pull any punches. How many generations has it been in mouse years, so to speak?

I loved everything about this. Annie is great, and so was the supporting cast (Mary! We got to see more of Mary!). Props for the most creative way to deal with a bomb I've seen in a while.

Date: 2017-03-09 08:29 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I found myself sympathizing with Margaret at the end too. I seriously doubt Leo kept her alive out of the goodness of his heart either. He probably intends to hang the failure all on her shoulders. Like I said in my previous comment, I really think Annie should have taken the shot.

(no subject)

From: [identity profile] - Date: 2017-03-14 12:44 am (UTC) - Expand

Date: 2017-03-09 06:16 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I loved it,and the mice. You can see her starting to come towards a place to be open towards building a better relationship with Verity. PS. I really should not have finished it last night. I needed to go to bed before 2:30 a.m. but such is life

Date: 2017-03-09 12:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
This was absolutely amazing, but I swear, it went to some fairly hard places. I know this was purposeful, but putting Antimony in that situation was possibly the worst decision the Prices could have made. She's already an outsider, in terms of relationships and appearances, and you're going to send her into a situation where she's going to be made to feel welcomed and supported and like she belongs? I get the intelligence was absolutely vital...But good Lord, was that recipe for disaster. The fact that she's clearly harboring some sympathies for the Covenant after her experiences is honest to goodness scary.

And I have to ask: Will we be getting an audio version? I always sort of assumed it might be a bit slow in coming, since you've got to find a new female narrator (I really like the way you've had different people voice Verity and Alex's books). Just wondering if that's in the works or if Incryptid is about to be one of the few series I sit down and actually read instead of listening to.

Thanks for the awesome story and WHY THE HECK ISN'T IT NEXT MARCH YET!?!?!? I must know what's happening! Curse you for being so good! :-D




Of course, upon reflection, I'm not in a rush for next March. Good lord, the next time we check in with the Prices, I'm going to have three kids (my wife and I are having triplets). This is my last pre-fatherhood Incryptid book. Excuse me while that new wrinkle in the ongoing joyous freakout that is my life currently hits me.

Covenant sympathies

Date: 2017-03-10 10:52 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] carina erk (from
I think it was less about harboring sympathies for the Covenant, but more the realization that those are people - horribly misguided people, but people all the same, instead of faceless monsters. With all their little ticks, hobbies, favourite foods, and a terrible worldview fed to them from birth.

Other than let's say Verity, Annie also doesn't have much experience with killing (if I got that right) - she does state that she's never killed a sentient being, and humans aren't just sentient, they're her.

Realizing that the enemies you have feared all your life, that you will probably need to kill to ensure the survival of not only yourself, but all your loved ones, are basically just like you? That's quite a punch to the gut.

Also, I'm a huge fan of Leo as a villain.

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From: [identity profile] - Date: 2017-03-14 12:45 am (UTC) - Expand

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From: [identity profile] - Date: 2017-03-14 11:02 am (UTC) - Expand

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From: [identity profile] - Date: 2017-03-14 07:48 pm (UTC) - Expand

Anyone can have a dead aunt...

Date: 2017-03-10 03:31 am (UTC)
ext_14638: (Amor Vincit Omnia)
From: [identity profile]
You know, I thought I was just imagining the Coupling reference with the first dead aunt joke, but no...

I have to say, I absolutely LOVE Leo as the villain. There aren't enough quietly competent villains in fiction, I feel. He strikes me as someone who will be quite effective. And even though I thought there might be more to him at the start, the bit where he reveals things at the end is absolutely breathtaking.

Also, as others have said, poor Margaret. I wonder if she can be brought back into the fold?

And poor Antimony. I hope she is going to be OK.

RE: Anyone can have a dead aunt...

Date: 2017-03-14 12:45 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Nope. ;) Anyone can have a dead aunt!

Date: 2017-03-10 06:15 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I did not expect to get to read this so soon, and with my eyes, even.*

For whatever reason, the contrast that springs to mind is less Verity - maybe because she set the tone for the series? - than Kevin. And Damn, I like Kevin, but Antimony is just hitting so much harder. I don't think all of that is subject matter. (And look, I'm a professional scientist.)

I do wonder if there's more emotional backstory than I've seen yet on Antimony - I know I've missed at least one story, but I'm thinking about Grandma Angela referring to her as an unlikely candidate for grandchildren, which seems a lot to load on the angry youngest child.**

...and Sam is amazing. OMG, please, more Sam. Someday, anyway.

More Leo seems likelier? But I like Leo.

I wonder how much getting Mork back to Portland might have done more than everything else the family hoped to accomplished through Annie's infiltration. ...if in a very Healy-focused way. (The possibilities for a continued mouse exchange program are kind of terrifiyingly huge and terrifying.) Speaking of which, mouseless Antimony is pretty terrifying as well.

* Technically I should also have bailed on seminar, having been rendered useless for many things, but who can neglect the mating dances and visual ecology of jumping spiders?
** I mean, sure, my brother, but my brother is a gay alt-right troll. We can all say a prayer of thanks that it's extremely unlikely he will ever have children.

Date: 2017-03-14 12:45 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I, too, am deeply fond of Sam.

Date: 2017-03-11 12:59 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I absolutely loved this book. It was kind of startling, at first, to read what Antimony thinks of Verity -- very awesomely done! I'll join the chorus of MORE SAM and Leo as villain is the right mix of creepy and confident. Like with all Seanan/Mira books, I blazed through it in a single sitting and will have to go back and read more later.

BTW, Seanan: I wore my Wicked Girls t-shirt to the Women's March on Washington back in January. It felt very appropriate.

Date: 2017-03-12 08:25 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
That was wonderful and worrisome and so good. I'm firmly Team Annie (my kindle is, well, named Antimony) and delighted that we got a book from her point of view (and the next one squee).

I thought Leo had figured out what was up, but I expected him to show up and go "get me out of here, please." The actuality was a lot more interesting and Sam is better, anyhow. :)

Date: 2017-03-13 02:28 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jessica taylor (from
I'm worried about Annie. And the mice. Can I pre-order the next one yet? (Pre-ordering is good right?)

Here we go again...

Date: 2017-03-13 11:54 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] hardy himmelhund (from
Oh Seanan, your books just never get boring. Thank you for yet one more good read.

Just a few quick thoughts, having just finished the book. First, I like our new protgonist. Second, I'm glad the story didn't turn into yet another covenant boy seduction. Though I enjoyed the carniestuff very much, I would have liked the dangerous infiltration of the Covenant on their home turf to be a bigger part of the story, for that was the biggest departure from "what an Incryptid story usually is like". Guess this isn't the last we've seen of Leo and the Covenant. That guy has the potential to be a formidable villain.

Speculating on the next book, maybe Antimony will find herself in a situation where she'll have to cooperate with the Covenant? Perhaps against some very nasty cryptid on a killing spree. That could include the temptation of the dark side and the risk of coming back into the fold. And maybe going back to England, deliberately or as a prisoner, where we meet the rest or Mork's colony, because, honestly, an Incryptid novel without Aeslin mice? How is that supposed to work? Or will there be another adorable animal sidekick? Guess we'll know in about a year.

RE: Here we go again...

Date: 2017-03-14 12:46 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Any further infiltration would have meant Annie needing to kill for the Covenant. She wouldn't have come back from that.

RE: Here we go again...

From: [identity profile] hardy himmelhund - Date: 2017-03-14 09:34 pm (UTC) - Expand

Date: 2017-03-14 07:14 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]

I was unreasonably thrilled by that, and of COURSE Artie has a copy. <3

Loved loved loved Antimony and getting to see her side of things - I kept wanting to defend Verity every time Annie started on that mental path, but... Man, I can kind of see her point.

Date: 2017-03-17 08:47 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
The thing is, Antimony is also a born ham--she does circus performing!--but at least she didn't go on television.

Date: 2017-03-14 07:56 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
It's official: Antimony is my favorite Price. I love her short stories, and now, getting deeper into her head, how she feels about her siblings (especially Verity), her love of roller derby, and her general growing pains as the "black sheep" Price kid on her first big assignment...oh man. She's flawed and wonderful and there were times when my heart just broke for her.

Also: Sam is <3, YAY ISTAS CAMEO, oh my poor Mork (I see what you did with those names, by the way :D), Leo and his excellent villain potential, and...sympathy for Margaret?! Didn't see that coming.

Next book is gonna be gooooood. :)

Date: 2017-03-16 02:54 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Annie's book is spectacular! I've read it twice and look forward to listening to the new audiobook. I hope we see more of Sam in the future, and am interested to see where the mouse cultural/genetic exchange is going.

I wonder how widely the news of Annie's heritage can spread within the Covenant? Leo and Margaret both know, but have good reasons not to tell.

Date: 2017-03-17 12:53 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] argh c (from
1) Has there ever been an origin story of how the Aeslin mice attached to this particular family and I missed/forgotten it somehow?
2) Loved Sam:
- hoping he makes a comeback in Tricks for Free (very, very glad that Leo didn't get tapped as love interest)
- greatly appreciated the Monkey King/Journey to the West shout out
- is the whole Furi / furry thing deliberate?
- Sam being referred to as a Yokai was very confusing
3) They planned Antimony's infiltration so carefully, why would they send her without any kind of exfiltration plan at all?
4) At one point in her introduction, Antimony says "my friends call me Annie and my family calls me Timmy" but no one ever calls her Timmy
5) What did Timpani supposedly study for her college degree? What did/is Antimony study/ing? (because other than roller derby she doesn't seem to have an occupation?)
6) If the carnival burns and all survivors are found 3 states away, will any adjuster really pay out? 8-)

Date: 2017-03-17 04:36 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I think the story hasn't been written about yet, just kind of mentioned that the Healy family coming across Aeslin mice prompted their leaving the Covenant.

Good point on the lack of exfiltration, though I don't know how they would have handled it in enemy territory in another country and only Mary knew where she was.

Yeah, nobody did call her Timmy...which seems a bit much.

(no subject)

From: [identity profile] - Date: 2017-03-17 04:37 am (UTC) - Expand

Date: 2017-03-18 09:29 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Got the book, devoured it in two days and am really left with only one pressing question--has Seanan written the story of Rose and the Price family yet?

Date: 2017-03-18 09:40 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I had to read this one in bits and pieces because Annie was so vulnerable and hurting and it kept getting worse until it epilogued and I must stop crying now.
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