Discount Armageddon features Verity Price. Verity’s family used to be members of the Covenant, an organization that hunts and kills cryptids to “keep” humanity safe. The Price family broke away from the Covenant, due to a philosophical difference in that the Price’s believed cryptids are essential “people” and didn’t deserve to be hunted to extinction. Anyway, that makes the Price Family traitors to the Covenant and although the Covenant thinks the Prices are dead, if they are ever found they would be killed on sight.
Enter Verity, a Price that would rather ballroom dance than join the family business of watching over the cryptids. Long story short, she ends up in New York, watching out for cryptids, ballroom dancing and waiting table at a cryptid strip club owned by the boogie man. Verity notices that cryptids are disappearing from New York and starts to investigate. Enter hunky demon killer Dominic De Luca and everything went downhill for me from there.
Be forewarned, there is a lot of world building and background story development in Discount Armageddon. The “real” story really doesn’t kick in until around Chapter 11. Although the world building was interesting, Seanan McGuire is a genius at that, I was left wondering if it all needed to be done at this stage of the series. It just seemed to slow the pacing down.
I didn’t particularly feel invested in either Verity or Dominic’s characters. I felt they a lot of the character development was superficial and there were contradictions they I just didn’t believe. Although there were certain characteristics I enjoyed about Verity, overall I could not relate to her. She’s stubborn, a bit selfish, and reckless. That recklessness endangers not only herself, but her family at multiple times through the book.
Dominic’s “change of heart” at the end of the book, didn’t fit the character that had been portrayed. It happened way too quick for me and I would have liked them to be friendly enemies at the end of the book and then develop into something else in future works. As with many things in Discount Armageddon it just wasn’t believable for me.
Lastly, I became annoyed with the repetition in the book. We are constantly reminded that Verity is a waitress, that she is a dancer, that the Prices would be killed if news they were alive came out, etc. I can’t count the number of times I thought that I had just read that sentence a few pages back. For myself, it interrupted the flow of the story and I kinda felt that the author had no confidence in me as a reader – as if I couldn’t remember a couple of facts.
So what did I like about Discount Armageddon. Well, initially, I was drawn to the uniqueness of the characters and story. It had that goofy/satirical comedy/paranormal vibe to it. It does, but where other series excel at that style of presentation, this one fell flat for me. There was not depth of character insight or character development to support the goofiness or make things believable to me.
I will probably give the next book, Midnight Blue-Light Special, a read. Sometimes a series will settle down with the second book and it works from there. Overall, not a stellar read for me, just not a “squee” read. If you can’t abide silliness in a book, you probably should just avoid this one.