Spelunking Through Hell by Seanan McGuire: Remarkable Love Story

Love, noun:

  1. An intense feeling of deep affection; may be romantic, filial, or platonic.

Passion, noun:

  1. A strong or barely controllable emotion.
  2. Enthusiasm, interest, desire.
  3. See also “obsession.”

It’s been fifty 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.

With book 11 of the Incryptid series, there are only so many ways to share how much I love Seanan McGuire and her work. Each series she writes has a unique tone and voice. Each series I love but one of the reasons I love this series is because it is fast paced, funny, and yet, has heart. I also appreciate the viewpoint that the monsters may not be the villain. These novels are truly a love story to the strange and the unusual and no one does that better than Seanan McGuire. 

For fans of the Incryptid series, including myself, we’ve been waiting for this story for a long time, the story of Alice and Thomas. What makes it truly remarkable and brilliant writing is that Seanan takes the plot that we’ve all been waiting for with baited breath and makes it accessible for those who might not have read all of the other Incryptid novels and short stories. I caught up with the short stories before I read this novel and it made it infinitely more pleasurable so I do recommend reading the other books first but if you haven’t, I can see where there is enough information and details so first time readers can have a solid understanding of the world and the relationship between Alice and Thomas. Will you enjoy it as much or fall in love with the characters as deeply? I don’t know but I like to believe my love of the other novels makes a difference. 

Regardless, the story is tightly woven, fast paced, and full of action, emotion, and great characters, both main and secondary. Seanan McGuire builds a relatable character in Alice, one in which others can sympathize, even while it appears Alice has gotten in deeper than she expects and is far more willing to risk life and limb more than anyone sane should. But her cause is believable and the emotional payout in the story is incredibly satisfying, even with twists and turns you won’t be able to anticipate. This novel is a love story at its core but I don’t want to tell you the end result. While Alice is unrelenting in her search, the truth is she might not be successful. And that concept, that writing of her story, is what makes Seanan so compelling and a joy to read. 

If you love the series, I highly recommend this book but if you haven’t, find time to find the others, read them and then immerse yourself in this incredible love story. 

Rating : 5 out of 5 skins 

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