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Publisher's Summary

Just when Sarah Zellaby, adopted Price cousin and telepathic ambush predator, thought that things couldn't get worse, she's had to go and prove herself wrong. After being kidnapped and manipulated by her birth family, she has undergone a transformation called an instar, reaching back to her Apocritic origins to metamorphize. While externally the same, she is internally much more powerful, and much more difficult to control.

Even by herself. After years of denial, the fact that she will always be a cuckoo has become impossible to deny.

Now stranded in another dimension with a handful of allies who seem to have no idea who she is - including her cousin Annie and her maybe-boyfriend Artie, both of whom have forgotten their relationship - and a bunch of cuckoos with good reason to want her dead, Sarah must figure out not only how to contend with her situation, but with the new realities of her future. What is she now? Who is she now? Is that person someone she can live with?

And when all is said and done, will she be able to get the people she loves, whether or not they've forgotten her, safely home?

©2021 Seanan McGuire (P)2021 Audible, Inc.

What listeners say about Calculated Risks

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A great end to Sarah’s story

This is book 10 in the Incryptid series. While each book can be read as a standalone, these books are best read in order. The previous book in the series, book 9, Imaginary Numbers, ends on a cliffhanger - a number of the main characters are suddenly in another dimension- which is where this story begins. Therefore, to enjoy this book to the fullest, you should really read Imaginary Numbers. As in most of the books for this series, Emily Bauer is once again the narrator and she does a fantastic job bringing the story to life. This story is told from Sarah Zellerby’s (a non-human) perspective. Sarah’s species is colloquially called a cuckoo because cuckoo mothers place their infants in other family’s homes to be raised by them, much like cuckoo birds do. Sarah is not like most cuckoos who are normally telepathic murdering sociopaths. Sarah was found as a child by Angela Baker after the accidental death of her first “real” parents. Since Angela is also a cuckoo, though she is a non-receptive telepath and as a consequence is fairly harmless, she removed the murdering time bomb in Sarah’s head before it could go off at adolescence turning her into a murdering sociopath and raised her to be more human and less cuckoo. Sarah was raised with her “cousins”, Verity, Alex, Annie, Elsie, and Artie. Sarah’s family are the Prices who believe incryptids (non-humans) who are not harmful to humans or other species should be protected. Sarah and Artie (an incubus), have been in love with each other for decades but never acted on it. The book begins with Sarah, Artie, Annie, James (a newly “adopted” adult Price sibling), and Mark, another cuckoo, on an Iowa college campus that has been transported to another dimension with an orange sky with giant millipedes flying in it. Sarah is tied to a chair, the others do not remember Sarah and therefore believe she is a regular telepathic murdering sociopathic cuckoo and the cause of the current problems. The reason they do not remember Sarah is that she inadvertently erased their memories of her while using their brains (along with thousands of cuckoo’s brains) to process a complex, massive equation that was supposed to destroy the earth, transport all of the cuckoos to a new dimension, and kill Sarah in the process. Sarah thwarted the world ending part of the equation but as a result, transported the campus to a new dimension, and erased their memories of her. This book follows the group as they struggle with not remembering Sarah while trying to figure out how to get themselves and the campus transported back to earth and not dying in the process. I loved the story and the interplay amongst the characters as they navigate their memory gaps, the strange and sometimes dangerous creatures in this dimension, mindless zombie cuckoos, and Sarah’s grief over her lost family and her guilt over being forced to solve the equation. This book, like all the books in this series, made me laugh, cry, gasp, and grit my teeth. The book concluded Sarah’s story arc beautifully but left enough unresolved issues to allow plenty of room for more Incryptid books starring the Price family. And the possibility of more Price books is a fantastic thing.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

“Hail the Calculating Priestess!”

I was so excited to get back to Sarah’s story after the cliffhanger ending of Imaginary Numbers. Emily Bauer narrates the series except for Pocket Apocalypse, which features Alexander Price’s point of view. Emily does a fantastic job of giving voice to these characters and setting the tone. Listening is pure joy.

Sarah Zellaby, adopted cousin of the Price family and resident Cuckoo, was kidnapped by her birth family, and underwent a transformation called an instar, all so the cuckoo’s could travel to another dimension. Sarah did her best to stop them, but was transported to the new dimension along with Annie, Archie, and others. Only none of them know who she is. Can Sarah get them to trust her and get them back home?

I am not a fan of math, but can appreciate the awe of it and the calculations Sarah performs. While it was exciting to see some Price family and friends with her, it was so hard realizing what happened, particularly with Artie. He was mean to her and Sarah struggles with the emotional loss. I spent time worrying on how McGuire was going to fix this. Can she fix this? She had better fix this. *stomps foot*

Eep! Only McGuire could make me warm and fuzzy about a spider. That’s all I am saying. We learn so much about Sarah and her species. It was intense with giant bugs and ah, err, zombies? Well, sort of. You’ll see. We meet the indigenous people of this dimension, which proved very interesting.

We learn more about Grandma Alice. McGuire loves to tease us with tidbits. While groups of books focus on one of character, I highly recommend you listen/read this series in the order of their release. This story contains major spoilers and history. It has it all danger, romance, intense battle scenes and more.

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

wonderfully read

Having finished a few duds recently it was great to return to incryptids to be reminded what good reading is. Perfect intonation really brings out the book’s tone. The story itself was good, but nothing new. A decent finish to the previous few, but not that mind blowing.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

loved everything but the ending was too sudden.

the story was great but at the end it just left you hanging! like give me a little aftermath jeez

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Family isn't blood...

Family isn't blood, it's who you choose to surround yourself with.

Just that prevailing idea throughout the book wove a clear clean thread as the story began where Imaginary Numbers ended. Our group of family, friends, and heros trapped in a different dimension. Even though Antimony, James, Artie, and Mark have forgotten who she is and though it is partly her fault blame her for their current situation. Rather than spoil the book for any readers I will say that idea of who makes up a family, trust, and love feature heavily throughout. Greg, is a character I nwould tell all readers to look out for, he is amazing!

The only reason that I didn't give Ms McGuire 5stars on this even though it read well, is it seems like the end was just rushed. Like everything was shoved in the last few chapters and the end felt way to convenient. It just felt like it needed more to understand how and why the ending occured the way it did, and how Sarah could arrive at the solution at the end without knowing some key pieces. *shrugs* I hope that exceptable to folks without giving away to much. If I sound vague, you'll understand after you read it and then we'll have something to talk about. 😁

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    5 out of 5 stars

if there was one more cliffhanger I was going to

SCREAM! And maybe threaten to hurt the author. or hold a family member hostage.
Thankfully it was a satisfactory ending with lots of room for sequels still

  • Overall
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Best in Series!

I think Sarah is my favorite voice in this series. it's an awesome read, lots of edge of you seat moments as well as laugh out loud moments. The narration is excellent too.

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    5 out of 5 stars

So Good!

As always, this world feels like home and with every book I am more invested. I recommend it whole heartedly
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