Carolyn Cushman Reviews That Ain’t Witchcraft by Seanan McGuire

Seanan McGuire, That Ain’t Witchcraft (DAW 978-0-7564-1179-4, $7.99, 432pp, pb) March 2019. Cover by Aly Fell.

Antimony “Annie” Price’s adventures continue in this eighth volume in the InCryptid series. She and her cryptid friends, still on the road after their harrowing adventures at Lowryland theme park, finally find a safe place to stop for a while in Maine. But this is Stephen King country, where their rental house hides secrets, the local police chief is suspicious, and there’s a confused sorcerer who has problems with the Crossroads. Then those same Crossroads call in Annie’s debt and order her to kill someone, and she’s in desperate need of a way out. The plot’s entertaining, though eventually it feels a bit sketchy, with Annie mostly winging things on her way to a conclusion that solves too much without really satisfying. Still, getting there’s a lot of fun, with plenty of funny snark and some charming romance to go with the really grim bits. There’s also a solid backup novella, “The Measure of a Monster”, that manages to be both grim and heartwarming, following Annie’s brother Alex, his girlfriend Shelby, and his cryp­tid cousin Sarah on a frantic search for children missing from a nearby gorgon community.

Carolyn F. Cushman, Senior Editor, has worked for Locus since 1985, the longest of any of the current staff, and handles our in-house books database, writes our New and Notable section, and does the monthly Books Received column. She is a graduate of Western Washington University with a degree in English. She published a fantasy novel, Witch and Wombat, in 1994.

This review and more like it in the March 2019 issue of Locus.

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