Backpacking Through Bedlam

Backpacking through Bedlam

by Seanan McGuire
Series: InCryptid #12
Genres: Fiction / Fantasy / Urban
Published on March 7, 2023
Pages: 352
Source: From author/publisher

Seanan McGuire's New York Times-bestselling and Hugo Award-nominated urban fantasy InCryptid series continues with the twelfth book following the Price family, cryptozoologists who study and protect the creatures living in secret all around us.

Reunion, noun:
1. The state of being united again.

Reconciliation, noun:
1. An act of reconciling, as when former enemies agree to an amiable truce.
2. The process of making consistent or compatible.
3. See also “impossible.”
Alice Price-Healy gave up her life for fifty years to focus completely on the search for her missing husband. The danger of focus like that is that it leaves little room for thinking about what happens after…and now that she’s finally managed to find Thomas, she has no idea what she’s supposed to do next. The fact that he comes with a surrogate daughter who may or may not have some connection to Alice’s recently adopted grandson is just icing on the complicated cake.

So the three of them are heading for the most complicated place in the universe: they’re going home.

But things on Earth have changed while Alice, Thomas, and Sally have been away. The Covenant of St. George, antagonized by Verity’s declaration of war and Sarah’s temporary relocation of an entire college campus, is trying to retake North America from the cryptids and cryptozoologists who’ve been keeping the peace for the past hundred years. And they’re starting in New York.

Alice and company have barely been back for an hour before the Ocean Lady and the Queen of the Routewitches are sending them to New York to help, and they find themselves embroiled in the politics of dragons, kidnappings, and of course, the most dangerous people of all: family.

Getting “back to normal” may be the hardest task Alice has undertaken yet.

I was sent an ARC of this book from the publisher for review. I was thrilled because I love this series. The premise is that there is a family who has been protecting cryptids in North America for generations. They broke away from a group in England who started out hunting dragons. Now that group from England has realized that these rogue members who they presumed were dead are alive and well and working against them.

It is always hard to review a series book because so much depends on knowing what comes before. That is especially true in this book. This isn’t a series that you can just pick up in the middle. I would absolutely recommend going back and starting this series at the beginning though. It is one of my absolute favorites. This is one of my auto-read series.

This book doesn’t disappoint. One of the recurring storylines in the background of the series is that there is a grandma who has been traveling through dimensions looking for her missing husband. For some reason she hasn’t been aging. It has been something that is just mentioned almost as a running gag through ten books. Then Seanan McGuire told her story starting in the last book and made it poignant. Alice found her husband and now they are trying to come home and restart their life together. Of course it can’t be that easy.

  • When your life goal is suddenly met – then what?
  • What is your purpose now?
  • How do you live with a person who is very different from the man who disappeared fifty years ago?
  • Can you reconcile with the family that you walked out on?
  • What if they don’t want anything to do with you?

Mix that all up with witches and dimensional jumping and dragons and you get an idea of this book. If you’ve been reading the InCryptid series you are going to love seeing Alice trying to fit back into life on Earth. If you haven’t started yet, it is time to pick it up.