Spelunking Through Hell: A Visitor's Guide to the Underworld (InCryptid, Book 11) Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
The 11th book in the fast-paced InCryptid urban fantasy series returns to the mishaps of the Price family, eccentric cryptozoologists who safeguard the world of magical creatures living in secret among humans.
- An intense feeling of deep affection; may be romantic, filial, or platonic.
- A strong or barely controllable emotion.
- Enthusiasm, interest, desire.
- See also “obsession”.
It’s been 50 years since the crossroads caused the disappearance of Thomas Price, and his wife, Alice, has been trying to find him and bring him home ever since, despite the increasing probability that he’s no longer alive for her to find. Now that the crossroads have been destroyed, she’s redoubling her efforts. It’s time to bring him home, dead or alive.
Preferably alive, of course, but she’s tired, and at this point, she’s not that picky. It’s a pan-dimensional crash course in chaos, as Alice tries to find the rabbit hole she’s been missing for all these decades - the one that will take her to the man she loves.
Who are her allies? Who are her enemies? And if she manages to find him, will he even remember her at this point?
It’s a lot for one cryptozoologist to handle.
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|Listening Length||12 hours and 46 minutes|
|Whispersync for Voice||Ready|
|Audible.com Release Date||March 01, 2022|
|Best Sellers Rank|| #61,190 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
#190 in Humorous Fantasy (Audible Books & Originals)
#825 in Humorous Fantasy (Books)
#937 in Urban Fantasy
Top reviews from the United States
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The book was outstanding, though, I could have done without the pandemic preaching in the acknowledgements. I fail to see how that was appropriate at all, and I personally didn't appreciate it, but I don't read McGuire's books for her opinions on how she believes people should behave, I read her books to be entertained. I hope more authors remember the reason why most people read fiction more in the future.
And back to the book, because that is the important thing here, I have missed this series and was so glad to have another installment, I may have intentionally taken my time a little more than usual in the hopes I could get just a little closer to the release of Book 12. Unfortunately, I just don't read quite THAT slowly, as it turns out, so till next time...
Spelunking Through Hell is the eleventh novel in Seanan McGuire's Incryptid Series. Although the novels are the main works of the series, you will understand Spelunking best if you read the short stories McGuire has written about Alice and Thomas. Although many of these are available free from her web site, some are available only on Patreon. To be brief, Thomas Price and Alice Healy-Price are the progenitors of the Price family in North America, around whom the Incryptid novels revolve. Most of the novels are about their grandchildren: Alex, Verity, Antimony, Elsinore, Artie, and Sarah; along with a bunch of strays whom the Prices have picked up in their walks through life. This tendency to incorporate strays is one of the more endearing characteristics of the Prices.
I have always felt that Alice and Thomas were the central figures of the Incryptid series. Therefore I was really looking forward to Spelunking, the first novel to be told from Alice's point of view. Thomas was lost many years ago (1965, if I remember right), as told in some of the stories previously mentioned, as well as the bonus novella And Sweep Up The Wood… included in this book after Spelunking.
Unfortunately, I found that I don't like Alice very much. The Prices are a family of very dangerous scholars -- they carry enough knives and guns on their persons at all times to assault a fortress. But they identify as cryptozoologists, meaning they consider it their life work to study the cryptid species (magical beings) that inhabit the world alongside humans. The Prices are planners. They think things through and make plans, which. if not always successful, are at least well-considered.
What we find in Spelunking is that Alice is the dangerous progenitor, and Thomas the scholar. Alice has one approach to every problem that arises: frontal assault. She relies on her combat proficiency, her tolerance for pain, and her luck to carry her through intact. Alice is not a planner. And she is scornful of scholarship, proudly ignorant of classic literature, although she worked as a librarian. Alice is not stupid, but her intelligence is not what strikes you.
Actually, if you are familiar with Buffy the Vampire Slayer, you will not be far wrong in thinking of Alice as Buffy. (McGuire is a Buffy fan, so this is probably not coincidence.)
In conclusion, I felt that Spelunking showed that the characteristics of the Price family that I most respect probably came from Thomas, not Alice. So that was disappointing.
I will review And Sweep Up The Wood… separately.
And Sweep up the Wood: four stars.
Alice and Thomas get it on
And Sweep Up The Wood… is the bonus novella included with Seanan McGuire's Spelunking Through Hell. It is a prolog to Spelunking.
Before Spelunking, we knew a great deal about how Alice and Thomas got to be Married With Children. Numerous stories by McGuire described their courtship. The two previous novels, Imaginary Numbers and Calculated Risks mentioned in passing how Thomas was lost and Alice was unable to follow when Thomas was ripped out of this universe, because she was pregnant with a baby (who would eventually be Jane Rose). Spelunking in fact begins by recounting the latter story. No story published yet (as of 10-Mar-2022) recounts the story of their marriage or how they lived together for the five years of Thomas's imprisonment and had a child, Kevin Alexander. When last we left Alice and Thomas, Alice's father Jonathan was preventing them from communicating, mainly by lying to Alice.
And Sweep Up The Wood… tells the story of how that communication block got broken. It's hard to say any more without major spoilers, but it is a good story.
Although there are still some details left to fill in, we now have in hand most of the story of Alice and Thomas.