Review: Tricks for Free by Seanan McGuire

Author: Seanan McGuire
Series: InCryptid #7
Publisher: DAW
Released: March 6th, 2018
Received: Own

Tricks for Free is the seventh novel in Seanan McGuire’s InCryptid series, and at this point, I’m completely obsessed with the series. This novel continues to follow Annie Price, the youngest of three siblings, and currently on the run.

Antimony Price is a lot of things, and for a moment there, she was an undercover agent. Times two. She managed to save a whole carnival from the Covenant, but at a cost. Now she’s on the run, trying to avoid bringing the Covenant and all its wraith directly to her family.

So naturally, she ends up in Lowryland. An amusement park should be the perfect place to mess up any tracking abilities the Covenant has. Likewise, we all know that her time there is going to be far from incident free. She’s a Price, after all.

It all started with one accident. Followed in short order by a surprise revelation, and even more accidents and chaos. Now Annie must be the one to step up, for whether she wanted it or not, she has been pulled into what is going wrong at Lowryland.

“There’s a place for everything, and everything has its place. It just so happens that this knife belongs in your spleen.”

Tricks for Free is a wonder fueled piece of chaos, one set in an amusement park of all places. While that may sound odd, it’s actually the perfect setting for this adventure. There is so much humor woven into this narrative, thanks to the hints and references strewn about. It made for quite an entertaining read.

Antimony Price is a character that needs time to grow on you, but once she does, it’s basically impossible to avoid rooting for her. She’s such a strong and stubborn character, and clearly she has a talent for finding trouble.

This is the first novel that doesn’t feature chants from the Aeslin mice (there’s a reason for that), and I was surprised by how sad that made me feel. Still, it is interesting to see what a Price can get up to, when they’re completely (well, not quite) on their own.

“Change is good. Change keeps us growing, and growing keeps us living. But don’t ever change so much that you forget who you used to be.”

It feels like with each passing novel there’s a stronger connection between the InCryptid series and Ghost Roads. Aunt Rose has certainly become a bigger thing, as have the references to all things ghostly. Personally, I adore it. So if you read Sparrow Hill Road, loved it, and are desperate to read more about the lovely Rose and all her adventures, definitely consider picking up this series. You won’t regret it, I promise!

“Ain’t no party like a pity party, because a pity party only ends when you bury the bastards who made you feel sorry for yourself.”

I adore that this novel took the time to explore a bit more of Annie’s magic, and everything else that makes her a bit of an oddity, even in her own admittedly very odd family. I know that the next novel (That Ain’t Witchcraft) will be following Annie Price as well, and I’m seriously looking forward to what happens next.

The Recitation of the Most Holy and Harrowing Pilgrimage of Mindy and Also Mork
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

The Recitation of the Most Holy and Harrowing Pilgrimage of Mindy and Also Mork is a short story included at the end of Tricks for Free, though ironically it’s actually set mostly before this book has begun.

It’s set sometime between Magic for Nothing, and Tricks for Free, and follows two series of events. The first one should be fairly obvious: the adventure two Aeslin mice (Mindy and Mork) must go on in order to find their way home.

The other follows the one and only Sam, a carnie brat who is determined to find Annie, even if that means dealing with her dead aunt. Yes, you read that right. If you’re up to date in the series, that sadly will make a lot of sense.

Both perspectives are a lot of fun to read, and the inclusion of this short did help, as the Aeslin mice are otherwise not present in Tricks for Free (I know! My poor heart). I also really enjoyed Sam’s perspective. Then again, I adore his character, so that really shouldn’t be that much of a surprise, huh?

About Liz (AKA Cat)

I am an avid animal lover, photographer, reader, and much more. While my photography blog is feeling a bit neglected at the moment, the other sites I'm involved in are going strong. ✧I review books, comics, and basically anything else in the literary world over at Quirky Cat's Fat Stacks (of Books). ✧I review comics and books, as well as write content for Word of the Nerd. ✧I review comics for Monkeys Fighting Robots. ✧I write content for Screen Rant and CBR. ✧I write book reviews for The Review Crew.
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