Review: Calculated Risks by Seanan McGuire

Author: Seanan McGuire
Series: InCryptid #10
Published: DAW
Released: February 23rd, 2021
Received: NetGalley
Warnings: Memory wipe

I received a copy of Calculated Risks in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Calculated Risks is the tenth and most recent novel in Seanan McGuire’s InCryptid series. Sarah’s story continues here, in an otherworldly experience that only a Cuckoo could make a reality. This novel makes me so grateful for getting caught up on the series, for it really has been such a blast.

Sarah Zellaby is a Cuckoo by birth, and a Price by adoption. When she was forced to choose between the two, she forged her own path forward. One that she hoped would save her family, and the world.

Unfortunately, her choice got her trapped in another dimension. Yes, literally. And she’s not alone. This is actually a good thing in this case, as she wouldn’t stand very good odds at finding her way home otherwise.

The problem is, the family that is with her doesn’t remember her. Their memories of her have been wiped from their minds, and that’s going to make trusting her, a Cukoo so much more difficult.

“My name is Sarah Zellaby. I’m an adopted member of the Price family, a mathematician, a cryptozoologist, and a Priestess of the Aeslin mice. I am not human.”

Wow. Calculated Risks is arguably the most tense read of the entire series, with Sarah feeling on the out more often than not. She’s learning about herself, her heritage, and her adopted family, all in one go. Oh right, and the other dimension they’ve accidentally traveled to.

This book answers just about every question I had about Cuckoos – and about a million that I never would have thought to ask. For that reason alone, it’s an absolutely fascinating read, and one I would recommend to any fans of this series.

It’s also pretty different from the rest of the InCryptid series so far, which I sort of expected. Being that it’s set in another dimension and all. But it’s not just that, even the characters are different than I expected, something that will make sense as one reads the book.

“Being a telepath in a non-telepathic society is a great way to learn how much you don’t like people or ever want to be around them if you have any choice in the matter, FYI. I don’t recommend it.”

There were a couple of new characters introduced in this plot arc that I really grew to appreciate. I hope that we’ll see more of them, even if Sarah isn’t the leading perspective for the next novel (I have no idea yet, so only time will tell!).

Honestly, Sarah’s plot arc did go so much farther than I expected, both in the literal sense, and in a more figurative sense. I feel like her story has really come full circle, and been completed in a way that many of the others haven’t been. Not that I would complain if we got another book or two revolving around her.

“Sorcery is just physics gone feral. We’re psionic. It’s no the same thing.”

Was Calculated Risks worth the read? A hundred times yes. But there is a downside, at least for me. I just spent the last week and a half binging (and loving) this series. So…what do I do now? I feel like there’s something missing now. At least I have all of the short stories to read, that’ll help.

Singing The Comic-Con Blues

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Singing The Comic-Con Blues is included at the end of Calculated Risks, the most recent InCryptid novel by Seanan McGuire. As you might guess from the title, this is a fun and light story, especially in comparison to everything that Sarah just went through.

This short features (as you can probably guess) Annie, Sarah, and Artie, and is set nine years before the events that take place in another dimension. It makes an excellent contrast, and really gets us back into the fun and quirky parts of the Price life. It also makes me want to go and read the rest of the short stories, in hopes of getting more moments like these.


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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