Half-Off Ragnarok by Seanan McGuire is the third book in the InCryptid series. Half-Off Ragnarok is our first insight to Alex Verity’s elder brother, it follows on from Midnight Blue-Light with reference to Verity but the only remaining character from the previous novels is Sarah.
Half-Off Ragnarok is set in Ohio I want to say six months after Midnight Blue-Light but I could be wrong about that. Alex has moved back into his Grandparents house to help look after Sarah, who is still struggling after her injuries from Manhatten with Verity. Alex is a zookeeper by day in a Reptile House and has a love for reptiles originally moving to Ohio to try and start a Basilisk breading program. He sparks a friendship with Shelby Tanner that is a big cat specialist and they seem worlds apart but they are both holding secrets from each other.
Alex is intriguing because he seems the complete opposite of Verity and where his completely confident and outgoing. Alex is more withdrawn and more scientific. He feels confident when investigating things but doesn’t have the confidence when in social circles like Verity. The way they interact with Cryptid’s is different as well while Verity respects them she interacts with them with installing a little bit of fear compared to Alex that just uses respect. What also is nice to see is Sarah and the way that she is completely injured and the family is worried that she could revert to her natural ways because she doesn’t have any way of putting to coherent conversations right now or understanding the world like she used, however within this book you see her struggle with that she still finds a way of helping her family showing as always just because your born a certain way it doesn’t mean you have to act like it. Shelby was also a good lead character being this definite positive force that Verity was giving Alex the drive where he might not have.
The story itself was intriguing and had some interesting twists and turn along the way. Going from one threat to another, but in a more subtle way than the previous books. While having that threat, urgency and action that I’ve come to expect from the genre but still slowing down more to expand our knowledge and understanding of the Cryptid that showed just the difference between Alex and Verity. It was also really nice to show the Cryptid in their own environment rather than the struggles of Manhatten trying to fit in with humans every day as opposed to when they need supplies.
I gave Half-Off Ragnarok 5/5 on Goodreads because for me the writing by Seanan has really improved throughout of the series. Along with the fact that I had finished this book in 4 days which isn’t actually that abnormal but this one wasn’t think I need to read I actually wanted to read more as much as I could. Whether it was the characteristics of Alex I am not sure but the backgrounds were better explained and it was a joy to read, the different ways that different species interacted and understanding the importance.
I will be adjusting the way I rate books from now on though because I realised I’ve probably set the bar a little too high constantly giving 4/5s and should probably adjust down to 3/5. Wanting to save 5s for books I really can’t put down. (Not saying that any of the books that got a 4/5 isn’t deserving of it)