Title: Snakes and Ladders
Author: Seanan McGuire
Series: InCryptid #0.12
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Paranormal fantasy, Strong women, Urban fantasy
Dates read: 7th September 2020
Format: Free online short story
Publisher: Seanan McGuire
5th sentence, 74th page: “Damn mice.”
There’s nothing that little girls love more on Halloween than going trick or treating with their mother, a sackful of talking pantheistic mice, and their dead babysitter. All right, maybe there are a lot of things that little girls love more, but for Alice Healy, a nice out with her beloved mama and her favorite ghost is just about perfect.
Right up until someone snatches her off of a porch, that is.
For Alice, this is the most terrifying thing that has ever happened. For Fran, this is the end of the world, and something she may not survive; if she doesn’t get her little girl back, she may be joining Mary in the grave. And for the snake cult that grabbed Alice, this may be the chance that they’ve been waiting for…
It’s tricks and treats on a Buckley Halloween, and this time, there are more than just the usual masked monsters roaming the streets.
Alice is just the cutest character I’ve read in a long time. Alright, she’s going to grow up into a pretty kick ass woman by the time the full-length novels roll around. But in this short story? Yeah. She’s damn cute. And adorable. And just so funny. I love how she pretty much takes everything in her stride and just rolls with all of the insanity which is happening in her life.
Being an Aussie, I’ve never been too involved in the whole Trick or Treating thing… but this short story definitely gave me a whole new dimension of understanding. Alright, I get that this isn’t what is normally meant by trick or treating. But I still loved that the Halloween spirit was bought into this story in the typical, slightly insane InCryptid manner.
In Discount Armageddon, snake cults are mentioned a few times. This was a much better introduction to the cults – so it might have been useful to read this before actually reading the novel. I love how McGuire has been able to construct a world in which each of the short stories are introducing a new cryptid and drawing you further and further into her fantastic world building.