cover image Backpacking Through Bedlam

Backpacking Through Bedlam

Seanan McGuire. DAW, $17 trade paper (352p) ISBN 978-0-7564-1857-1

In many ways a capstone to all that’s come before, McGuire’s entertaining 12th InCryptid urban fantasy (after Spelunking Through Hell) draws together numerous characters and threads from earlier installments, offering updates on previous protagonists and giving fan-favorite supporting characters more room to shine. Cryptologist-turned-adventurer Alice Price-Healy has finally reunited with her missing husband, Thomas, after 50 years spent searching for him through myriad alternate worlds, but their long separation means they must work to rebuild their relationship. They barely have time to settle into a new normal after returning home along with their pseudo-daughter, Sally, before they’re called to travel to New York, where other members of the extended Price family are engaged in a quiet war with the monster-hunting Covenant of St. George, who are determined to wipe out every cryptid in the city—and the Prices along with them. Toggling between the aftermath of Alice and Thomas’s reunion, the conflict against the Covenant, and flashbacks to Alice’s earliest adventures, there’s a slight kitchen sink feel to this offering, but, as always, McGuire offers plenty of action and mayhem, complex worldbuilding, snappy dialogue, and a strong focus on the strength of family—both biological and found. Fans will not be disappointed. Agent: Diana Fox, Fox Literary. (Mar.)