Format: Paperback, 432 pages
Release Date: March 6, 2018
Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal
1. Punishment for past actions.Antimony Price is on the run. With the Covenant on her tail and her family still in danger, she needs to get far, far away from anyone who might recognize her—including her own mice. For the first time in a long time, a Price is flying without a safety net. Where do you go when you need to disappear into a crowd without worrying about attracting attention? An amusement park, of course.
2. An attempt to pay for what can’t be bought.
3. See also “exile.”
Tricks for Free, by author Seanan McGuire, is the seventh book in the InCryptid urban fantasy series. The series features the Price family, an eccentric group of cryptozoologists who safeguard the world of magical creatures living in secret among humans. Tricks for Free once again features the youngest Price, Antimony who was last seen escaping the Covenant of St. George (Magic for Nothing) and leaving her new "friend" Sam Taylor and her Aeslin Mice, Mindy and Mork, behind to their own adventures which you can read about in the back of this novel.
As the story picks up, Annie is living under an old alias, Melody West. She has traveled to Florida where she gets a job working for Lowryland thanks to a former high school cheerleader friend. Annie/Melody basically does everything except be one of the princesses that the park features. Some people would call Lowryland the amusement park. It’s one of the largest in Florida, the keystone of the Lowry entertainment empire…but for Annie, it’s a place to hide. She’s just trying to keep her head down long enough to come up with a plan that will get her home without getting anyone killed.
Annie has a familiar friend as a roommate, Fern Conway (a sylph cryptid), who knows who Annie really is. Her other roommate is a Megan Rodriguez (phiny gorgon cryptid) who is a medical student. As I am sure you are aware by reading the previous installment, Annie has also been a Roller Derby Girl alongside Fern and another character who appears later in the story, Cylia Mackie. I adored both Fern and Cylia and do hope they continue to make an appearance in any future Antimony novel. It's interesting to note that because of her rollerblading in the park with Fern, trouble rears its ugly head.
The discovery of a dead man brings her to the attention of a Cabal of magic users running Lowryland from behind the scenes. They claim to know about her fire abilities. They claim to want to train her. They claim to want her on their side. But, Annie knows that anything that is too obvious, definitely comes with a price. This is when so called accidents start to happen throughout the park. Annie and her allies, which now includes the before mentioned Sam Taylor, who is basically a monkey, must deal with the cabal and protect innocent lives before the cabal escalates their end game to its conclusion.
One of the more steadier characters in Annie's stories has been Mary Dunlavy who died at the same time as Rose Marshall which you can read about in the Ghost Roads series by the same author. Mary is a crossroads ghost, but she also stands as the Price family "babysitter." We also get a glimpse of what the crossroads really is and why nobody should ever, ever go there for any reason. Rose also makes a brief appearance just to make things interesting. Was her appearance necessary? Probably not. But it goes to show the extent of how far the Price family reach really extends.
Let's talk about my letdowns. I don't like Sam. I think he and Annie don't belong together no matter how much it appears it's going to be that way whether or not I like it. I think sex with what's basically an animal is disturbing. It has reached the point in today's society where anything is acceptable and anything goes. Sorry folks, I won't ever feel comfortable with anyone having sex with any sort of animals. I missed the Aeslin Mice! I dare say that I would have preferred if Mindy and Mork had found a way to get back to Annie, instead of making their way back home to Oregon.
I do recommend that you at least read Sparrow Hill Road by the same author to understand who Rose Marshall is and why the author choose to use her in this story. Rose is a curious sort, that's for sure. Rose's second novel releases in the summer of this year. Speaking of Mork and Mindy, there is a short story in the back of the book that chronicles their adventure of having Sam drop them off at the airport, and then finding a way home. Of course, it also includes Sam, and Mary Dunlavy who really has become an important cog in this series.
Apparently, things get interesting from her according to all the posts I have read on Goodreads and elsewhere. Publisher wants another Annie book. Book # 8 will be called That Ain't Witchcraft. After that, it's supposed to be Sarah and then Alice who has been searching for her husband all over hell's half acre.