Brought to you by OBS reviewer Omar
Half-off Ragnarok is the third book of the Incryptid series by Seanan McGuire, featuring Alex Price brother to Verity Price the main character of the past two books in the series. Like in the other books of Incryptid, Half-off Ragnarok shows us new and old cryptids, and for that this A to Z has being created. If you would like to have a visual of the cryptids in the series you can always see the North America Field Guide.
A: Alex Price – Alexander Jonathan Price or Alexander Preston (name he goes by at his workplace at the zoo). Alex is a cryptozoologist from the Healy-Price-Baker lineage. He is the older brother of Verity Price. Like his great-grandfather and his father, Alex is a man of science, but since he was a young child he has prefered the reptilian cryptid to the more urban ones. At the moment he is living with his maternal grandparents helping them with his aunt Sarah (more of cousin that aunt because they’re same age.) As a descendant of the Haelys he has a small colony of Aeslin mice that call him The God of Scales and Silence.
Angela Baker – Angela Baker is the Grandmother of Alex, adoptive mother to Evelyn Ann Baker, Drew Baker and Sarah Zellaby, and Spouse to Martin Baker. Angela is a Cuckoo or as they are normally called Johrlac. Even though she is a Cuckoo she was born being only a projective Cuckoo, which saved her from receiving the psychopath thoughts of her mother, letting her create her own conscience and moral. Even though she is different than a normal Cuckoo other Cryptids still fear her, but the ones that know her trust her. She found Sarah when she was abandoned and helped her change the way she was raised. Angela loves her family and will do everything she can to keep them safe.
B: Bargain – When Alex or any member of the Price family with a colony of Aeslin mice needs something from them they bargaining. In the book Alex needs their help as assistants with the samples of Frickens that he brought. The payment was cheese and cake. Another situation was when the mice kept saying HAIL! HAIL THE RETURN OF THE GOD OF SCALES AND SILENCE! every time he entered the kitchen. That time he bargained with a bag of donuts to which the contents was even a mystery to him. In exchange for it, they stayed in his room for the rest of the day.
Basilisk – (Procompsognathus Basilisk) Is a cryptid whose appearance is the combination of a large chicken and a reptile. They have scales and feathers, and like the myths, their gaze can turn flesh into stone. The gaze of a Basilisk turns its victims into stone from the outside in. Basilisks are not smart being compared to common chickens. Like chickens they’re social and like to climb trees. They go into hibernation for long periods of time and turn their bodies like rock, making them good at camouflaging. Basilisks eggs are venomous and sometimes stones; their chicks are blue when they are born.
C: Cockatrice – (Procompsognathus Cockatrice) Is a cryptid whose appearance is the combination of a large chicken and a reptile. They have bat leather-wings and a serpent’s tail, their gaze can turn flesh into stone. The gaze of a Cockatrice turns its victims into stone from the inside out. The Cockatrice are smaller than their cousins the Basilisks, but are compared to wild turkeys in their behavior and intelligence. The Cockatrice are immune to the gaze of their own and of the gorgons. They prefer mice and insect but are capable of taking down on bigger victims. Their eggs are safe to eat if you would choose to eat it.
Crow – Crow is Alex’s pet Church Griffin (Grypos Vegrandis Corax). He is the combination of a raven and a domestic cat. He is describe as the forepart of a raven and the hide part of a great shaggy cat. Some say that the Church Griffin has the mind of an imp from the deepest parts of hell. But Crow appears fine. He can fly but because he also looks like a cat he gets tired after a while. Crow is good at taking orders (at least the ones he knows.) He likes being petted and to sleep in Alex’s chest. He eats scraps of meat, liver and the mice that are for the reptilians in Alex’s office at the zoo. At first he was supposed to be named Poe as in Edgar Allen Poe’s Raven but Antimony said it should be Crow.
Chandi – Chandi Sarpa is small eight year girl that wears the most beautiful dresses and saris Alex has seen. She is a female Wadjet. Her fiancé is Shami who lives in the Reptilian House at the zoo where Alex works. She tends to sneak early in the morning into the zoo through any crack that she finds without a single spot of dirt. Alex thinks that while she is a cute little girl she is going to be a beautiful women when she grows up. Like a Wadjet, she is immune to poisons which helps when feeding the poisonous reptiles of the zoo in exchange for more time with Shami.
D: Dee – Deanna Lynn Taylor de Rodriguez is Alex’s assistant and a local Pliny’s Gorgon. Dee (nickname), started to work with Alex when he arrived at the zoo, to help him with his Basilisks breeding program. As his assistant, she also goes with him on his specimens hunts at the local swamps, searching for cryptids to analyze. Dee is married to Frank the doctor of her community and has a daughter that at the moment is studying. She has a brother, Walter, who lives in the fringe of the gorgon community and breeds Cockatrice to eat.
E: Extinct – “Those can’t be Aeslin mice,” Shelby said. “They’re extinct.” “They’re not extinct,” I said. “They just don’t get out much.” – Shelby surprised by seeing for the first time the Aeslin mice.
F: Fricken – (Anuraves) Is a cryptid whose appearance is the combination of a frog with feathers. At first or in older text they are called Anuraves, but the name Fricken was given to them when Frances Healy in 1928 saw it first, she snorted and said “It’s a frog with feathers. It’s a damn fricken.” The name stayed and now it’s the common name. The common frickens are harmless but the poison dart frickens aren’t. They are very sensitive to pollution and other species of amphibians.
Frank – Franklin Javier Lusczando de Rodriguez is Dee’s husband and the doctor of the gorgon community. He is seven feet tall, thin, with bronze skin and black scaled-snakes. At the moment he’s mentoring another gorgon so he can be a doctor and move to another community to be of help. He has a daughter named Megan.
G: Gorgons – The Gorgons are a type of cryptids that have gaze-base petrification, and like the legends, they have snake for hair. There are three types of gorgons: the Greater Gorgon (Gorgos Medusa) that like myths say can turn its victims into stones and are able to turn its lower body into the tail of a snake. The lesser Gorgon’s (Gorgos euryale) gaze causes paralysis that is follow by death to anything that is under five pounds; the venom from its snakes can cause paralysis and death if not treated with antivenin. The Pliny’s Gorgon (Gorgos stheno) are capable of turning its victims into stone when both their gaze and the eyes of their snakes are directed to the victim; both their bite and the ones from their snakes’ in their heads are venomous. The pliny’s male is normally four feet taller that the female.
H: Hannah – Gorgons crossbreeds are not fertile, but there are cases where nature changes its mind. This is the case of Hannah the leader of the Gorgon community where Dee lives in the outside of Ohio. Her mother was a pliny’s gorgon and her father was a Medusa breed. Her parents wed thanks to the help of Jonathan Healy. She is nine feet tall, with the snakes of her head longer falling to the middle of her back the color of rattlesnake scales in the moonlight. Thanks to her father’s genes she has the ability to changes her lower half into a serpent’s tail.
I: Ice cream – She turned her head toward me, and asked, “Vanilla? With ketchup and curry powder?” I managed to repress my shudder. She probably wouldn’t have recognized it in anyway. “Yes, vanilla ice cream with ketchup and curry powder” – Alex’s ice cream bargain to Sarah, so she would pay attention to him.
J: Johrlac – The johrlac or Cuckoo (Johrlac psychidolos) is one of the most dangerous types of cryptids. The Johrlac is a psychopath, telepathic cryptid. They’re both projective and receptive telepaths, a most feared weapon because of what they make their victims believe. Once a Johrlac has trapped its victim it will make it believe that the johrlac is a parent, a brother, a sister or the most important person in its life. This is when the destruction starts. Mothers project their insane thoughts to their children inside their womb which makes them psychotic. Though the Johrlac have mammal tendations, it is speculated that they evolve from a parasitic wasp. The Aeslin mice call them the Heartless ones because they literally don’t have a heart, but instead a circulatory system. They resemble humans with pale skin, black hair, and bright blue eyes. They love math and if ever encountered, shot at site.
K: Kumari – Kumari Sarpa is the mother of Chandi the little girl that sneaks into the Zoo. Like her daughter, Kumari is a female wadjet. She is tall with brown skin like the scales of a spectacled cobra’s back. She is married to a male wadjet named Daksha. As a doctor and a cryptid, Kumari has connections with other cryptids, such as the Bogeyman which don’t like Alex, so sometimes he asks her for help.
L: Lindworm – (Lindorm lindorm) is a type of cryptid whose appearance is that of a giant skink. They’re eighteen foot-long and have armor-plated scales. The lindworm can be found all over the world, it’s a dangerous predator that will eat its victims in one bite. Other cryptids kill them when encountering them, the lamias in Greece eradicated them before the Covenant got there. The female is two or three feet longer that the male. Lindworns always stays in pairs and when you encounter one it’s highly sure the other one is near. The only way to kill a lindworm is to decapitate it or destroy its body.
M: Martin Baker – Martin Baker is Alex’s grandfather and husband to Angela Baker. Martin works as the coroner for the City of Columbus, Ohio, and is a revenant, a person that is basically the construction of dead body that has been successfully reanimated. He is six-and-half feet tall and looks like he wrestled too many bears in his days. By being reanimated, he is immune to the power of the cuckoos, because of this he meet Angela, fall in love and got married. They adopted three children: Evenly, Drew and Sarah. As a revenant he will need spare parts at times but for now his good for another forty years. He is a nice man that loves his family and will do anything for them.
N: Numbers – For the Cuckoos math is their obsession. The numbers are something that distracts them. In the book the High Priestess of the Aeslin mice colony said that Sarah was having problems keeping track of the numbers when she was supposed to recite primes as an exercise. The High Priestess was scared because if a Cuckoo loses the numbers it means that she’s very ill and fears for Alex and their safety.
O: Oils – Shelby likes to add essential oils that smell like eucalyptus to her laundry so that it smells like home for her. In Alex’s case, he doesn’t add pine oil but is known to buy scented Christmas candles so he can pretend he’s back in Portland.
P: Petrification – Petrification is when an object is paralyze or turned into stone. The three known cryptid that can cause petrification are the Gorgon, the Basilisk and the Cockatrice. All of them turn the flesh into stone with their gaze, it could be from inside out or outside in. Petrification can be stopped in the first moments after making eye contact. If the victim makes a jam with Bilberries and Belladonna, cleans the affecting area (the eyes) with purified unicorn water, applies the jam on the area and drinks antivenin of the cryptid it might saves its life.
Q: Queen – “The moon doesn’t approve of the screaming in the cornfield,” she said. She sounded entirely reasonable, as long as I ignored the fact that she was talking like a book of Mad Libs. “Have you seen the Queen of hearts today? Does she have the treacle tart?” – Sarah talking about the Queen of hearts after surprising Alex who had woken up and making him scream by staring at him from his bed in his room.
R: Returned – “HAIL! HAIL THE RETURN OF THE GOD OF SCALES AND SILENCE!” “I have returned with company, and donuts,” I informed them, after waiting for the cheers to die down. “I request a bargain.” – Alex has to hear the chant everytime he returns into his room, just like when ever he bargains with the Aeslin mice.
S: Shelby Tanner – Shelby Tanner is the tiger trainer who arrived at the zoo at the same time as Alex. She is a major zoologist from Australia who is studying the big cats of the zoo because of the lack diversity in her country. She and Alex were paired by the Human Resources Director of the Zoo. Alex describes Shelby as “A boisterous, enthusiastic to fault once she had decided on a course of action, and prone to leaping before she looked.” She looks miserable, almost funeral when not smiling, but when she smiles she could outshine the sun. Shelby is not happy that Alex makes too many rain-check dates on her with his other “job,” but still she has her own secret which she is guarding from Alex.
T: Thirty-Six – The Thirty-six Society is an Australian organization that was founded in 1936 when the Covenant of St. George made incentives to make the hunt that ended with the death of the last thylacine (the Tasmanian wolf.) Before that there was no organization but a few agents were able to keep the Covenant out of Australia because for them everything in their ecosystems were abominations. Thirty-sixer as their members are called are all cryptozoologist. Ten years ago they had their first encounter with the Johrlacs and it took them five years to eliminate them.
U: Us – “Now this big beauty is Mitya, one of our Siberian tigers,” Shelby said. “Isn’t he a looker? Come on, Mitya, give us a kiss” She tapped her thigh with one hand. The largest of the tigers in the enclosure responded by rearing up onto his hind legs, putting his forepaws on her shoulders and licking her cheek like a dog. – Shelby during a show at the Zoo with the tigers she trains asking them to give a kiss for the audience.
V: Vicodin – After the fire in Shelby’s apartment grandma Angela gave her Vicodin for the pain so she could get some sleep. She barely made it to Alex’s bed before she collapsed. In the mooring she woke up surprised with Crow sleeping on her chest.
W: Wagjet – (Naja Wadjet) Is a type of cryptid that displays an extreme sexual dimorphism. This is because the male wadjet resembles a large spectacled cobra that can reach the length of twenty feet, they are mostly colored black, gold, and brown, but they has been encounters of wadjets with orange and white shades. The female has the appearance of a normal human person from Indian descendent. She has retractable fangs and very fine scales on certain parts of her body. All mature wadjets are highly resistant to poisons and venoms of all kinds but before puberty the children have to already find a mate so they can acclimate to each others poison or they won’t be able to form a full immunity and will be unable to reproduce. Wadjets mate for life.
Walter – Walter is Dee’s brother, he lives in the fringe of the community with other gorgons. They were born there when their father decided to be self-sufficient, to which Walter is still trying to be. As an example, he has been trying to breed other cryptid (not sapiens) to use as guards of food. He doesn’t have a good relationship with Frank.
X: aX – “Do you have an ax?” “What?” She stared at me. “The building is about to burn, and you want to know if I have an ax? Are you sure you’re not just having a really odd nightmare?” – Alex and Shelby having a conversation during a fire, but he just wants an ax to save themselves.
Y: You – Shelby made a frustrated noise. “You cancel dates. You keep secrets. You talk about lizards at dinner table. You’re a geek, Alex, and that’s fun for while – I like smart men – but you weren’t willing to let me see anything deeper. You wouldn’t even watch bad science fiction shows with me, and most geeks love that sort of thing.” – Shelby expressing how different Alex is from other boyfriend’s she has had.
Z: Zoo – The Ohio West Columbus Zoo is where Alex, Dee and Shelby work. The Zoo is where most of the murders with petrification occurred along with the wild goose that got turned into stone and left as a garden statue.