Backpacking Through Bedlam by Seanan McGuire: Fantastic Continuation of the Series

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.

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 never am disappointed in a novel by Seanan McGuire. And Backpacking Through Bedlam continues that tradition as a fantastic continuation of the series. The Incryptid books have been among my favorites for years but I must admit to a soft spot once we reached Alice and Thomas. I had been waiting for their story for years and I love the story that we’ve gotten so far. 

One of the best aspects is that the characters struggle. Alice isn’t used to having back up. Thomas is used to being in charge. And they have Sally along as well who’s getting used to being back on Earth. All of them have issues to work out as they learn about the current state of the world and their family. Even though the story is fairly straightforward, it is the complexity fo the relationships and the characters that drive this complex and interesting novel. 

To be frank, I couldn’t put this book down and can’t wait for the next one. The continuous drama and crisis for the characters keeps the story fast paced and enjoyable. If you love the series, you will love this book. If you haven’t read the other books, I do suggest picking up the first one in the Incryptid books but if you do, you’ll fall in love with the characters and the world. It is a fantastic continuation of the series. 

Rating: 5 out of 5 covenant agents. 

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