Review: Backpacking Through Bedlam by Seanan McGuire

Series: InCryptid #12
Author: Seanan McGuire
Publisher: Daw Books
Released: March 7, 2023
Received: NetGalley

Book Summary:

Alice Price-Healy has finally found her husband. It only took her fifty years of searching. Now it’s time to figure out what her (well, their) new normal is. But Price-Healy’s version of normal is not, well, normal.

In this case, it means helping a bunch of realm refugees find a home and then coming home to war against the Covenant of St. George. We all knew this war was brewing, but those that have spent time outside of the dimension may have been less aware of how bad things had gotten…

Backpacking Through Bedlam also includes a new InCryptid novella, The Mysteries of the Stolen God and Where His Waffles Went.

My Review:

Yes! Seanan McGuire has done it again. The InCryptid series is delightfully complex, fascinating, and ever-growing. This latest installment, Backpacking Through Bedlam, follows Alice Price-Healy (the series has covered multiple family members at this point).

In a way, Alice is the most unique perspective of the family thus far. She’s the oldest and also the most set in her ways. Despite this, she has a lot to learn, and this novel did a great job of driving that point home. I loved it.

I feel like we got a two-for-one deal in Backpacking Through Bedlam. We have a realm/portal adventure (with a side of family drama) for the first part and then a war against a great enemy for the second half (also with a side of family drama). Both were fascinating additions to the lore!

In addition, this novel has a new novella, The Mysteries of the Stolen God and Where His Waffles Went. The novella has multiple perspectives, predominantly James (said Stolen God) and Acadia, one of the Aeslin Mice. In other words, it’s pure perfection! Read this novella if you love the Aeslin Mice.


  • Urban Fantasy
  • Part of a Series
  • Family Drama
  • Dragons & Mythical Creatures
  • Portal Adventures

Trigger Warnings:

  • Giant insects
  • “Monster” hunting sentient creatures

Thanks to DAW Books and #NetGalley for making this book available for review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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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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